Review by Wilbo
"Good game made great by Star Wars"
The first time i heard that BioWare was making a game based off of the Star Wars universe...i must admite i nearly pissed my pants. In the ensuing months, i tried to keep up with it, but once i found that it was going to be released on the XBOX first, i kinda gave up and moved on to other games. Now that it has come to the PC and i have played it fully, i think its time that i offered my review of it.
This is a good game...PERIOD. However, those only looking for the next Baldur's Gate should just hope that whoever is left from the black isle ''fallout'' hehe will come through. Bullshit aside this game really baffled me. Its so good, yet so much less than i expected. I'm still giving it an 8 because i spent countless hours playing it, which i think is the most important aspect of a game...playtime...but i can't help but feel that it could have been better. Therefore my review begins as such:
The game is played from a 3rd person perspective, but uses the standard ''realtime'' turn based system that that anyone who has played any of the company's former games is familiar with. For those of you who are not, the game uses a system in which attacks and such are decided by a system of numbers, that take into account a wide variety of variables such as defense, agility, magic barriers, damage type, and much more.
I'm going to start with combat, as you have no doubt seen before, simply because I beliefve that this is what makes or breaks some RPGS. Weapon selection is ample, although the utility of weapons is somewhat questionable. Many of the weapons you find seem useless to me, although maybe through creative use they can be better used. Howver, despite this, if you relly want to roleplay it is possible to outfit certain characters with weapons that devastate droid opponents, etc. Unfortunately, this flexibility ends up meaning that a certain few types of characters have an easy ride through the game, while others will be truly hard pressed to finish the game. But we'll get on more to that later.
One thing that i was highly dissapoined with was the control of party members. There really isn't any. You have a maximum of 3 characters with you at each time, and they pretty much follow you around...fairly well, a few times they'll get lost but it really doesn't affect gameplay. The problem comes with gameplay...once combat is initialized...the game pauses and give you a chance to issue commands to your team in order to combat the enemy. This is is where this game really let me down...i shall elaborate:
The game uses a party based system, but you can only control one member at a time, from behind, and there is no way to issue waypoints in order to maveuver your party into position. Your party is controlled by, while the game is paused, issuing various commands into a queue(did i spell that right?) and then un-pausing the game and letting it play out. Most of the time...simply letting everyone run into battle and do their default actions works...but sometimes more care is needed. You can only choose what powers and actions your characters can do, and there is a limited amount of them you can queue up, meaning the more difficult battles you really have to pay attention.
Fortunately, there are very few battles that the game, even on the hardest level, really require extensive management of your crew. Most of the time, a few simple setups prior to engagement to battle result in a quick victory. But i must say that having the ability to have you're players surround the enemy or have them waiting in a trap are sorely missed.
But, this game seems to be more about the story than its combat, and in this it does an excellent job. While it might have a little more in common with the original movies than it should...the overal story and execution is excellent. If you choose, the entire game can be recited via excellent voice acting...some of the best i've ever heard. Indeed playing the game with the subtities off can add hours to its gameplay...if you so choose.
If you've gotten to this point then its possible that you may wish to play this game...well thats the last issue there is with this one...its a system hog.
If you have less than a ghz processor and MINIMUM 32/64 Geforce 2 the game will most likely be a huge mess. However, patches have already helped to improve this, but make sure you're system is up to standards before you buy it.
In the end, i might get called out plenty for this but this game seems to me like a merger between console RPG's and CRPG's, which isn't a bad thing...it has a great story and provides hours of great gameplay, 30/40 your first time through...and there are multiple endings.
If you're looking for Baldur's Gate but with jedi's...look elseware...
But if you're looking for a great and interesting RPG based on Star Wars...well its you're only choice...
I had fun with it...just hope there is a sequel...
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/04
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