Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
Reviewed: 10/17/2003

At first the idea of combing stars wars with RPG’s seemed like something that might not work. Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic throws that theory right out the door. Its mixture of star wars elements and RPG game mechanics makes it a “force” not to be reckoned with. The story starts off long long ago in a galaxy far far away…

Okay, okay, I’ll cut the star wars lingo out and get with the review. The story begins with you smack dab in the middle of a confrontation aboard the Endar Spire. The battle reaches its climax when you escape the ship with your new found partner Carth Onasi in search for Bastila Shan, the only hope to save the Jedi from the evil Sith Empire….or so you think! This game has a very strong and deep storyline that will draw you right into the star wars universe and keep you wanting to know more.

“Damn that’s beautiful!”

This is one of the most beautiful games you’ll look at for the Xbox system. The graphics are so amazingly and richly detailed. Bio Ware took a lot of time into making this game feel and look like the real Star Wars experience and it wins out in all areas. The environments are full of energy and come alive. The landscapes show true attention to what a Star Wars planet should look like and are just about picture perfect. Suns set, rivers flow, animals roam, deserts look hot and humid, forests are dark and dank, plains are long and have huge vast hills, spaceships and enemy bases are full of rich textures and substance, this game is a true example of what beautiful 9 out of 10 graphics should look like.

The only fault in this category is the fact that there are not a lot of different character face models. There is about 10 – 15 set face models for girls and guys so at some points in the game you may see someone that “looks” like a person you just spoken to a while ago but there not. Sometimes this leads to slight confusion but its something that is very easily over-looked after a while.

In the sound department, this game delivers with the most well scripted Star wars language to ever grace a Star Wars video game. Every single culture has there own full blown language complete with text and speech, and for Star Wars fans they will realize that the comparison to the real deal in the movies is completely flawless. Each culture looks and sounds just like they leaped right out of a Star Wars movie. Just about every single line of text has voice-overs behind it which makes up hours of voice acted script.

Sceen Shot
“Holy lightsabers!”

Star Wars: KOTOR is one of the most fully customizable Star Wars games to date for a console system. You begin the game creating your own character right down to the last detail including: the culture, the gender, what clothing they’ll wear and what status they will be classified under whether it be a soldier, scout or scoundrel. Each of these classes also has their very own traits and special bonuses that influence what abilities your character has

But it doesn’t stop there! Further on in the game when you begin to understand the way of the Jedi you then have the ability to choose been what type of lightsaber color you want, what style, and not to mention all the different Jedi powers you get to choose from when you gain experience points. Every choice you make in this game influences the storyline and levels you up towards the dark side or the light side. You choose your fate……

Star Wars: KOTOR is an RPG game along the lines of PC games like Baldurs Gate and the like. Your character is placed in a fully 3D world but what makes it a full-fledged RPG is the fact that each character levels up in order to become stronger. Each battle you fight makes you gain experience points. An interesting twist however in this game includes the fact that picking the right decisions or in some cases the wrong ones can make you gain experience points as well, so you level up through knowledge as well as brute force. The interface is like an RPG menu with a status screen, item screen and the like. You equip weapons, armor and power up through menu screens.

Screen Shot
“What are you looking at?!”

The way combat works is along the lines of a turn-based game but not fully-turned based. When a battle is about to begin the characters pause for a split second, from there you have the option to input combats for each character of up to four turns ahead of time. When you’re ready you “un-pause” and let the action begin. Each character will perform whatever actions you implemented. At any point in time however you get to choose to stop them from straight out attacking, and heal or aid the team. But that is an easy way of doing things. You don’t have to necessarily implement the commands in this “paused” mode. You can select them on the fly as the action is going on. This takes more practice however and quick finger action.

Your main mode of transportation in KOTOR is the Ebon Hawk. This is not acquired until further on in the game, and helps to break it from being a linear game. Every time you board the Ebon Hawk and make your trip to the next destination, it truly feels like you entered a whole new world. The laws are different, the missions change drastically depending on the circumstances your facing and each planet has their own set of special landmarks and history behind it that make them different from each other. The only similarities each planet holds is the fast and fun swoop bike races. These are fun mini games that are around selected planets. When trying to image what this is about think of F -Zero with a swoop bike. Fun! It would have been cool if the races where longer and had some twists and turns, but this game is merely used as a fun activity and a chance to win some prizes and cash. (Except for one part in the game but you’ll have to find out when it happens!)

When a game has the ability to win “best star wars game”, “best xbox game” and is a strong contender for “game of the year for 2003” it is something you need to check out. If you have an Xbox this game is a must have to add to your xbox library. Here is their official site.

-Q Jets

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Great
Story Great
Graphics Excellent
Sound/Music Great
Replay Value Very Good
The Verdict: 9