Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Developer: Bioware | Publisher: Lucasarts |Release Date: 2003 | Genre: Role Playing Game | Website: Official Website | Format: DVD, STEAM
Any RPG fan with a pulse automatically salivates at the mention of Bioware. These guys have proven themselves over and over again to be masters at what they do and few others come close to their achievements in the role playing game field. Now add Star Wars to that equation, and tell me you’re not excited.
Set 4000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire you are cast in the role of a young soldier caught up in the middle of a battle on the Outer Rim world of Taris. Darth Malak the last surviving apprentice of the Dark Lord Revan has build up a Sith Armada and is causing havoc across the universe. The Jedi are doing their best to oppose him but they are scattered and vulnerable. Through a twist of fate you end up joining forces with Bastilla, the young Jedi knight who turned the tide against Revan through her “battle meditation” technique but obviously Malak also has an interest in her and so the battle between good and evil begins. Don’t expect everything to be clear cut however. Bioware has woven in some awesome plot twists and remember it’s your choice whether you follow the light or the dark side of the force so don’t make any hasty assumptions.
The Star Wars license has seen a lot of abuse of the years but Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR) definitely makes amends for a lot of it. This might have been an Xbox original but it has made the transition to computer flawlessly and will provide any gamer with hours of entertainment.
Rather than mess with a winning formula Bioware used the “d20” battle system for this game and while it might sounds strange to hear D&D terms in a futuristic Star Wars game it actually works. Combat takes place in semi realtime and you can pause at any time to issue commands. Battles look spectacular with flashy lightsaber and force powers being hurled all over the place while weapons fire slices through the air. This game might have had its roots on console but it’s by no means a slouch in the graphics department.
As you embark on your epic quest you will meet up with various characters that will join your cause along the way and in typical Bioware fashion these guys and girls all have their own fascinating backstories. Take the time out to listen to them and you might learn a lot more and even open up some new side quests. It’s a pity that you can only have 2 characters in your party at a time but you can swap them around most of the time so be sure to take along the best people for the job depending on where you’re heading. Bioware has a knack for creating memorable characters and I have to admit I was laughing out loud on more than one occasion for the anti-human ramblings of assassin droid “HK-47”. Other characters like Juhani and Mission have more tragic pasts but will still draw you deeper into the story and make you care about what happens next.
Character creation and advancement is as deep as any other RPG game on the market with the only pity being that your character has to be human so no aliens I’m afraid. Gaining levels, equipping implants, upgrading weapons and armor and gaining new feats and powers is awesome and no fan of the genre will feel short changed by the amount of options available to you. Moral choices play a big role in the game and your light or dark side affinity will constantly be checked.
KOTOR is quite a big game and you can expect to visit lots of stunning locations like Taris, Dantooine, Tatooine, Manaan, Koriban and even the Wookie homweworld of Kashyyyk. It’s not all just running around cleaving people into pieces with lightsabers and solving puzzles, you also get a chance to take a break and take part in other fun stuff. Almost all the planets has a swoop racing track where you can take part in a race or why not head to the local cantina for a game of Pazaak? En route to your destinations you might also be intercepted by some hostiles forcing you to take the control of a gun turret for some fun blasting action.
As in any Star Wars product the sound is probably one of the biggest highlights and KOTOR does not disappoint. With excellent voice overs and an epic music score the game really springs to life. Here and there you might hear a dodgy voice and the Wookies sounds annoying (but that’s just me) but overall you’ll want to turn the volume up not down. All the sound effects also sound like they have been lifted straight from the movies.
All in all there’s very little that I can fault with this game. It’s obviously not perfect but for any Role Playing Fan (and do I even need to say Star Wars fan?) this is an essential purchase.
- OS: Windows XP and Windows Vista
- Processor: Intel Pentium 3 1Ghz or AMD Athlon 1GHz
- Memory: 256 RAM
- Graphics: 32 MB with Hardware T&L
- DirectX®: Directx 9.0b or better
- Hard Drive: 3.5 GB
- Sound: Directx 9.0b compatible
- OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
- Processor: 1.8 GHZ Intel chipset or faster
- Memory: 512 MB or higher
- Hard Disk Space: 5 GB
- Video Card: ATI Radeon X1600 / NVidia Geforce 7300 (128 MB VRAM or higher)
- Languages: English
- Supported Video Cards: NVIDIA GEFORCE 7300, 7600, 8600, 8800, 9400, 9600, GT 120, 320M, 330M, ATI RADEON X1600, X1900,HD 2400, HD 2600, HD 3870, HD 4670, HD 4850, HD 5670, HD 5750, HD 5770, HD 5870, HD 6750, Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Additional: Intel integrated video chipsets are not supported. This game is not supported on volumes formatted as Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive), Apple Intel Chipsets only. Power PC Processors (G4 and G5) are not supported