Title: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Publisher: Lucas Arts
Release Date: July 15, 2003
# Of Players: 1
Xbox Live Compatible: Yes, downloadable content is available.
MSRP: $19.99 (Now a Platinum Hits game)
In case you donít know anything about Star Wars (in which case I highly recommend you read some prequel and sequel comics, as I think the most recent movies donít really do the series justice and the comics are the bread and butter of the franchise) this game takes place approximately 4000 years before Episode I in which you take control of a character who has a strong affinity to the force and must save the galaxy from the Dark Lord Malak who has an unstoppable fleet bent on the conquering and destruction of the Republic.
This is where the game shines. Itís based on a hybrid turn-based\real time system where you can either pause the game and give your character commands or put them in one at a time for a more ďon the flyĒ approach. The game is based on a d20 system, where behind the scenes dices are rolled to calculate for example how much damage youíre going to do in that round and then the computer adds and attribute modifiers you might have. It sounds complicated at first but it really isnít once you get the hang of it. There are several feats included such as Flurry which gives your character an extra hit per round at the expense of defense, Power Attack which gives a large boost to damage but lowers your attack rating. Thereís to many to mention but rest assured thereís a lot. Once you get your Jedi class (on average 5-7 hours in the game) you get to select force powers such as Force Lightning, which Palpatine and Dooku used or Force Choke made famous by Darth Vader. I donít really want to give away too much as this game is better experienced then told but rest assured once you start swinging your Double-Bladed Lightsaber and encircling 3 or 4 enemies in a whirlwind of Force it will make it all the better.
The graphics in the game are also superb. Much more sore the artistic qualities. If youíre a Star Wars fan youíll be amazed at how realistic Tatooine looks and the level design and massiveness of the sith world Korriban (youíll be even more amazed at how much better this stuff was though out than in the stuff they put in the prequels). Everything is on point, from the textures on your Jedi robe to the glare off of the bald, scaly head of the Selkath. There are some gripes though. There are a few locations where the game slows down, most notably on Korriban when youíre fighting a large number of sith, and there are some jaggies here and there. Also not much was done with the lighting in the game; youíll know what Iím talking about when you twirl that lightsaber in a dark area and it doesnít reflect off the way. A big nitpick that most people pick up on and you yourself will as well is how the low number of character models. Chances are the Jedi you talk to on Dantooine is going to have a twin brother Manaan. But these are minor annoyances that nowhere near bring down the cinematic quality and feel of the game.
Not really much to say here, the controls are right on and they couldnít get any better than this. Also by clicking the right analog sticks puts the camera in first person mode allowing you to view the scenery and really be taken in by its beauty.
Ah yes, the sounds. It doesnít get any better than this. The opening sequence is lovely orchestrated, as is the rest of the game. And Bioware managed to get a hold of some damn good voice actors and they really add to the cinematic feel of the game and make you feel like youíre in the Star Wars universe. Blasters sound like blasters, lightsabers make that humming sound for every time you swing them and they clash against one another. And when the aliens speak, from the howling of the wookies, to the gargling of the Selkath, youíll know youíre in Star Wars.
Overall Score: 10\10
I must admit this is probably the best game Iíve ever played. The little things that do bring this game down donít matter in all the good qualities this game has. If youíre not a bum on the street, owning an Xbox and this game is a must.
On a side not, if you are a Star Wars junkie like I am, through out the course of this game and after you finish it youíre going to wonder where Mr. Lucas is getting his staff. And why this game is better than any movie he has put out in the last 5 years, only an opinion.