Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

August 11, 2003

May the force be with me

A few things are synonymous with Star Wars: Geeks, light sabers, and crappy games. This is the unfortunate truth because Lucas Arts seems to love to put out games that use the Star Wars title just to sell a few copies. Unfortunate as it is, the low standard has become accepted, as it was set by all the previous Star Wars games. Sure, some good ones have come out, but nothing that lived up to the standard that the movies set or filled the potential that the movies provided. In steps, Bioware, (a personal favorite of mine) who is most known for the Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate series, improved in large strides the genre of the Star Wars game. Bioware is the originator of the Aurora Engine that lets turn based actions proceed in real time by doing all the calculations unseen and extremely rapidly. They have focused their biggest efforts on the world of Dungeons and Dragons, with the engine made specifically to bring the tried and true method of dice rolling into a game. With this engine being so brilliantly done, Bioware was contracted to develop the newest Star Wars game. Much acclaim was given to the decision of Bioware being the developer, seeing how Bioware itself has many fans. This combined with the multitude of Star Wars fanatics, this game was sure to please.

Dungeons and Dragons Meets Star Wars

Sounds like the biggest mark fest for geeks across the world, however Bioware was able to meld the two together to bring a truly fascinating RPG. The base rules are the same, your character upon creation gets a certain number of points to add to his or her attributes. They are all present and accounted for: Dexterity, Strength, Charisma, Constitution, Wisdom, and Intelligence. Same base rules of DnD apply including saving throws to avoid side effects as well as item and character powerups you can equip. Those familiar with the system will feel right at home. Those not familiar with the DnD system will find it to be extremely well thought out and customizable. Of course your character gets more points with leveling up as well as Feats they can use to learn more skills such as two weapon fighting and sniper shots. While the Feats are a bit different then those in DnD they have been modified to fit the Star Wars universe. This makes for extremely customizable characters. I found myself already planning my support characters and from the get go I wanted my main character to wield two short lightsabers. For character creation junkies this will be appreciated.

Tasks at hand

This game is an RPG though and though. You will be required to partake in certain tasks to advance the main storyline as well as your characters. The side quests are quick and challenging and allow many opportunities to gain experience. Often times you will run into one of the fun puzzles that end quests. For those familiar with Neverwinter Nights, you will find them very entertaining and challenging puzzles. Some puzzles extremely creative such as solving murders, computer hacking, and memory games. There are very few dull moments in questing. The main storyline itself is done brilliantly. As your character develops over time you will be giving decisions to make regarding the storyline. Your decisions affect your character greatly. You can either have your character go light or darkside of the force. Your decisions will constantly shift moving your more light or darkside and as such the look of your character will even cha

Two swords or one?

Star Wars is well represented in the look and feel of the game. Character modeling, item modeling, and over all design is well done. The game’s lighting and animations are top notch, as well as every item that is equipable is represented on your character. Personally I am an item junkie. I will find myself running around in my favorite looking armor regardless of defense rating, I am all about the look of my character. I would say the only flaw in the game would be that the crisp graphics in no way shape or form stay crisp when close ups are involved. Unfortunately there are plenty of close ups where textures get significantly ugly.

Grab it where you can

This is one of the best games I have played in quite some time. Like I said before, this is an RPG through and through. Quest junkies, Hack and Slashers, and of course Star Wars fans will all find it appealing. I love many aspects of this game and hate none, and that is impressive if you know me. I can find very few faults in this game and I recommend everyone getting it. It is fun, replayable, and hell… its Star Wars! Being a Jedi kicks ass no matter what it is. In this game you can be multiple Jedi, enough reason to spend your money. A Pickle favorite easy.

Score: 5/5

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