"Short but oh so sweet."

First off let me say this: I love Bioware RPG's. As a matter of fact the Baldurs Gate series is by far my favorite RPG Trilogy ever. This game is no different only one thing kept me for giving this a perfect score.

Graphics: 10/10

Sweet leaping Jesus! If you're a graphic buff you'll be in heaven once you lay sight on this game. Good god is this game pretty, so pretty it spoils the rest of the games that came before it. Beautiful Textures, Bright Colors, Swaying Foliage, Sparks, flames, blowing sand, ground fog it's beautiful! The Character models are wonderfully made too!

But DAMN does this come at a high price, this game needs some massive power, Hunks of Memory and A very good graphics card to fully appreciate it all(smoothly that is), But if you can pull it off your eyes are in for a wonderful treat. If you look at the Lightsabers in Jedi Academy then the ones here you'll think the guys running around in JA are beating eachother with glowsticks.

Sound: 9/10

I pray you have a souncard with EAX because once again you get a treat. Sound Location, Echoes the familiar lights saber and blaster sounds and with my man Jeremy Soule composing the music to this game it's even better.

The voice talent here is awesome as well, my only gripe is the alien languages not that their bad I love the authenticity it's just each language as three repeating erm..''sentances'' after awhile some of the languages start to irk you. *Cough*Twi'lek and Selkath*Cough* but I'm glad not everyone speaks english.

Story: 10/10

Set thousands of years before the original trilogy when Jedi and Sith numbers were high. You start out as your average grunt working for the republic on a ship called the Endar Spire. Well things get bad as it is attacked and some very precious cargo is put in danger. From their the story only gets better with the biggest swerve I have ever seen awaiting you(LET NO ONE SPOIL IT FOR YOU!)

Characters: 10/10

I have to rate this seperately because you have such a lovely cast of companions. Where as you the main character make's up his own destiny the people you meet are so different from you and each of them have a story to tell you about their past and ambitions. Carth is the first of many you'll meet and he's more than meet's the eye, Bastila, a Jedi(Who has the same english accent as basically all Jedi, weird huh?) is a bit brash and sometimes very rude. That's only two I'll leave the rest of the personalities for you to discover. But frequently talk to Jolee and HK-47 both of them are hilarious.

Gameplay: 8/10
You start by creating you character with a VERY limited appearence selection. Basically you choose your characters face and that's it. Which is inexcusable for a game this graphically powerful. Hell Bioware could have made appearance much better by adding being able to pick you hair style and color, eye color, skin color and facial hair. That's it. You can't be aliens like you can in JA, like I said it's limited.

Next come choosing you class you got your Soldier whose your frontline badass that can destroy all in his way. The Stealy Scoundrel who can sneaks around and surprise peeps from behind, but it's very strong and your scout. A nice middle way between the two. From their you picks your skills such as repairing(comes in handy), computer use(for hacking) etc.

Then come your feats which range from being able to wield a weapon in each hand to fix things better. After that it's your name and then you're off. I really would have liked more apperance choices though, I hate having to select from a premade face.

Unlike NWN(which I still love by the way) this game doesn't resemble Diablo. It pays more homage to the Aurora enging and 3ED D & D rules. The gameplay is so tweakable that you can play it something like an action game or a sraight up RPG. Numerous sidequests are available if you just look, and the battle system is pretty damn good with great animations.

So what's the down side, too many fetch quests. I can think of only about 1 or 2 quests that didn't involve going to point A grabbing object 1 then going to point b and giving it to person 1. I'd like a little bit more variety but hey that's my only gripe.

On the plus side there is plenty of replay value because of the Darkside and Lightside aspect. Basically every action you do most likely will have a consequence, you'll either increase you lightside rating being a good person and helping those in need or you'll be a ruthless I'll kill you all type person.

Each style doesn't have a huge impact on gameplay at first, but towards the end of the game it will. So what are you Hero? Or Tyrant?

Force powers. Eventually it's common knowledge that at some point in this game you're going to get your grubby hands on a lightsaber and start using the force for your enjoyment. Both turning out to be extremely fun, screw guns use your lightsaber! The force powers are cool too and evolve as you gain more powers, you can go from being able to push people to being able to hold them in the air helpless and spinning them about to outright knocking 8 or 9 people around you yards away.

Or even better you can go from just stunning a droid to completely destroying it with a wave of your hand should you desire and their are plenty more force powers. My favorite...Mind Tricking. Getting this power opens up so many more lines of dialogue but don't abuse..well unless you want to be evil.

You know what? I just though of something else that bothers me. This game is too short. Not including Yavin(since you don't really do anything) This game only has about 5 or 6 worlds to go to and theirs not much to explore on them outside from the town and dungeon type areas. If you just blow through the game it'll take you about 15 hours, but if you stop and do all the sidequests and what not you'll get 15 more. Other than that there's not much, I just wish the game was a wee bit longer. The good expirence is over too quick.

All in all however short his is, the game is very well done and in my personal book my game of the year. Great Story, Wonderful characters, JAW DROPPING GRAPHICS and everything else I've said. Even though the game is way too short, I can see myself playing this on and off for a longer time.

Here's to hoping for an Expansion pack or a sequeal! Bioware good job, now you whoever this is reading my review, step away from your computer and pick up this game.

*Waves hand*

You want to buy Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic.

Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/04

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