Review by TheRedneck14
"Light Side or Dark Side"
Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic [or KotOR] is an RPG made by the incredible developers Bioware set 4000 years before the events of Episode IV it is also one of the best Star Wars games I have played, so lets light this candle.
Like I said, KotOR is set 4000 years before "A New Hope". And the main plot of the game is a search for an item called the "Star Forge".
You play an unknown Republic Soldier who is discovered to be force sensitive after some suspicious events and was surprisingly quickly trained into being a Jedi [you will see why if you play the game]. And the Jedi put you on a quest to find the "Star Maps" and the aforementioned Star Forge. Your main enemy in this game is the Sith Lord Darth Malak who killed his old master Darth Revan.
You and some friends you find such as Carth, the Republic pilot, Bastila the Jedi who "killed" Darth Revan [remember, Malak did it], HK-47, the insane homicidal assassin droid [who I always bring with me in the game] and Canderous the Mandalorian. And there are also many more party members you can use.
Anyway the story is quite good, there are a few twists and turns, but if you really want to know everything just check the Forum and you can find out all of the little secrets.
KotOR is an RPG that uses real time battle sequences [IE: it is not turn based like in Final Fantasy, you fight in real time] and this is also done with the Dungeons and Dragons system. All of the battles are done by some kind of virtual dice roll that determines if your attack hits and how much damage you can do. You can also choose several different character classes [normal classes, and the Jedi ones once you are trained]. You also learn different Feats [abilities], Force Powers and you can upgrade your class skills [like hacking computers, repair or healing] and your own physical stats [your defense, strength, constitution]. And you are able to choose a male or female character, which does change some things. You also have several different Weapons, equipment and Armor, and most of them can be upgraded with parts you find.
You play by going through the levels, trying to advance the story by finding an item, talking to someone and getting some information, killing people etc. Most of the time you are told where to go, like in Taris [the first level], you are given an objective by someone, and it is stored in your Datapad [a kind of Journal] until you do it, so when you are told to find Mission Vao, you go around asking people about her until you find out where she is, and you go there, simple as that. It sounds boring, but remember, you also have to kill a lot of people along the way to gain experience and level up.
One of my problems is that sometimes the game glitches and freezes up, and sometimes you can't order your team around as well as you would like and you need to constantly watch them. But the game is very fun to play nonetheless.
If you want to have a challenge at KotOR, play on one of the harder modes because otherwise it won't be that hard to beat the game. KotOR is a very easy game if you know how to play RPG's, if you know how to customize your character and use your gear you will be fine, if not you will get killed quickly once you get off Taris. The real challenge in KotOR is finishing all of the quests you can do, and beating the game on both Light Side and Dark Side for both of the endings. There is no real big reward for doing everything, but having the patience to do all of the quests, which will add to your time, is the real challenge of this game.
I don't really know how to describe the controls for KotOR. When I play everything is done with the keyboard, and the buttons are easy enough to remember, you can also click on things with your mouse to do the actions. I found everything to work good enough for me when I played it, so I am happy with it.
I found this to be a little bit weak, the game was made for the Xbox and I found it to be underpowered [look at Halo, compare it to this]. The weapons look a little fakey to me. But the Character models do look nice, although the face animation looks a little weird, it is also nice to see that the NPC's do move around, you can look at them and see them looking around where you are, nice little detail. I also found some things to be too shiny, like the Armor and sometimes the people themselves [Quarrens have a nice little blinding glint coming off of their face].
I have also found that some video cards can make the game get really screwy, and sometimes my character warps around [Dantooine is a big offender for this] and you will have to turn stuff down to make the game go off of 1 Frame Per Second. But other than that the environments are well done and have good detail in them, and the game itself is massive.
How could you get a Star Wars game without good sound? You will notice that there are 4 CD's when you buy this game, and I think that a couple of them were used just to hold all of the voice over data in this game.
There is a massive amount of voice acting in here. And all of the main characters have their own voice acting, and it all fits their personality, but HK-47 is the funniest one to listen to with his rants on "meat bags" and his love of killing stuff. The voice work is top notch, although ALL of the Aliens repeat the same voice over and over and over and over, it gets really annoying hearing the same twi lek voice on every alien in the game. Also, your character never talks, you do select what he/she says but it would be nice to hear what you select.
And with the music, it is all very well done since Star Wars is known for its incredible score, and Bioware did a great job on it. The game really sounds great and it makes up for some of the faults with the visuals.
KotOR is a very atmospheric game, you do feel like you are whatever you named your Jedi at some times cutting through hoards of Sith with a light saber. The most immersive part for me was all of the Dialogue, which felt very realistic and well acted [except for my character, because he/she is mute]. The graphics were good enough to convey what was going on in all of the levels, such as when you were in Mannan on the Sea Floor where the base was destroyed, it set up the mood quite well. All in all, the game is about a mission where you are isolated and you need to find some objects, and that is what the game feels like.
I have played the game several times and that was to do all of the side quests you are given to do, and to get both of the endings you can get [one if you stayed to the light, one if you fell to the dark], and sometimes you will play just to hear HK-47. But after that there is not much left unless you enjoy the game.
Great sound, well developed story, funny characters and HK-47, 40 Hour game if you do everything
Graphics are a little weak, glitches, not as much fun after multiple play throughs.
Should you get it:
Buy it for a great Star Wars game that expands the story well.
Bioware made one of the best RPG's and Star Wars games I have ever played. And I fully recommend that you buy the game and play it, you will not regret it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/19/07, Updated 05/30/08
Game Release: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (US, 11/18/03)
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