Review by Terryus100

Reviewed: 08/27/04 | Updated: 08/27/04

The first great Star Wars game since...

How long has it been since there was a great Star Wars game? Well, there hasn't been one--until now. Star Wars: KOTOR blends exploration-based gameplay, a phenomenal and unique combat system, the power to choose your true role in the galaxy, and a new, but very satisfying Star Wars universe. This is not only the best Star Wars game on the market; it is the best movie. The plot in this game is incredibly deep, focusing on your actions towards the dark or light side.

Plot: 10/10: The plot of this game is extremely well done. I wont give away any specifics, but the basic plot of the game is this: You are on a quest to stop Darth Malak, a powerful Sith lord. You begin your quest on the Endar Spire, a Republic capitol ship, that is currently under attack. You and Carth Onasi manage to escape, and embark on a quest to find Bastila, your ship's commander, on the world of Taris. Once you finally manage to leave Taris you will head for Dantooine, another world, and begin your pursuit of Malak. Three quarters of the way through the game there is a HUGE plot twist, so I really wish I could give away more, but that would spoil a surprise wothy of when Luke learned that Vader was his father.

Music: 10/10: Who doesn't love that opening title music to all of the Star Wars movies, or for that matter who doesn't love all Star Wars music? The music in this game is even more suiting than it is in the movies. The regular Star Wars tunes are there (With the exception of the imperial music) and many more tracks have been added, all of them excellent. This game has many tracks, and they never get old.

Sound Effects: 8/10: The sound in KOTOR, while certainly above average, is on par with episodes 4-6, not 1-2. By this I mean that the sound is on par with a movie from the 70s, not one from 2000. Just about every light saber combo makes the same noise, as well as every sword, and every gun. However, the basic sound in the game certainly does not distract you from the incredible gameplay, and the sound effects never really do get old, even if they could use improvement. The real reason for this score was the voiceovers. While all of the actors who do the voices (especially HK-47) are excellent, their mouths do not match the words they are saying at all.

Graphics/Visuals: 7/10: No one is going to buy this game for the graphics. While the graphics are certainly above par for an RPG, especially one by Bioware, they still do show a lot of pixels. The figures do not have nearly the quality of most games. The animations of attacks in this game, never really change and the in game engine is mediocre at best. The environments, while very well detailed, lack the complexity of a game like Morrowind. However these visuals do have one saving grace. The cinematic engine is outstanding. The effects in these cinematic sequences are far better than in episodes one and two. I have yet to play a game with this level of cinematic detail.

Combat/Gameplay: 10/10: This area is the reason this game deserves a perfect score. The combat system is completely unique to this game. It is a strange, but very well orchestrated combination of turn-based and real-time combat. When you sight an enemy, the game pauses. After this you have 4 main options to choose from. You set up to four combat choices from these four categories, that will be acted out upon unpausing. The categories are basic attacks, force powers, offensive items, and healing/shielding items. All feats and force powers have 2-3 types, that can be upgraded to the next level when characters level up. The excellent combat system comes along with exploration based gameplay. This is not an open game, but one must explore every planet fully, if you want to find what you are looking for. This is a somewhat linear game, with a lot of side quests, all of which are worth completing. Some are very long and complex, and others are quite simple, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. But the true reason this game stands out as an RPG is the power to choose your destiny. You can become a great Jedi, and save the galaxy, or a cruel Sith and rule it. Whichever way you choose to play the game, KOTOR is an incredible experience, and once you finish the game as a dark or light side character, you can start over as the other side—and the game will feel completely different. KOTOR is a legendary game that will stand the test of time as one of the greatest RPGs ever made. We can only hope KOTOR 2 will be the same…

Conclusion: 10/10: This is a behemoth of a game, and should be played by everyone. This game is one of the best overall gaming experiences out there today. This new combat system should be implemented into many new games to come, as it is the most innovative in a long time. KOTOR has had a profound impact on RPG makers everywhere and right now KOTOR 2 looks even better.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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