Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Review

Considered one of the best Star Wars RPG games in history, we revisited this famous game to see how well it has aged and if it is still worth playing in 2016.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Review

Introduction

Knights of the Old Republic was released on July 15, 2003, for the original Xbox and on November 19, 2003, for Microsoft windows. It was later released on May 30, 2013, for IOS Devices. The game takes place 4000 years before the rise of the Galactic Senate. Throughout the game, you follow the path of a young Jedi and his/her companions as they embark on an adventure to destroy the Sith’s new weapon, the Star Forge.

You can buy the game on Steam for $9.99.

Story

Darth Malak, a former Jedi and Dark Lord of the sith has unleashed fleets of warships against the republic. Jedi Knights are struggling to keep order throughout the galaxy and many of them have fallen in battle fighting against this Dark Lord.

You start the game as a young republic soldier aboard a Republic ship, the Endar Spire, which is under attack by the forces of Darth Malak. After escaping the ship, the player rescues their Jedi commander by the name of Bastilla. Bastilla recognises that you are strong with the force and takes you to Dantooine to a secret Jedi temple to be trained. While on Dantooine the player finds out about a secret weapon Darth Malak has been using called the Star Forge. The Jedi council then task the player and his/her companions with finding what the Star Forge is and destroying it.

The story in the game is well written with plot twists and mystery. The story of the game is very immersive and will not disappoint players who buy games to experience the narrative. My only problem with the narrative is that at some points in the game, the story progresses a lot slower than at other points in the game and the dialogue can get a bit tiresome.

Customisation

At the start of the game, the player has to choose between three different character classes and also the gender of their character. The three different character classes are Soldier, Scout and Scoundrel. Each class has their own perks which would suit different playstyles. Later on in the game when you train to become a Jedi, you will have a choice of more Jedi classes that you can choose between.

When creating a character, you will also be able to choose their name and what their face looks like. However, the face customisation is simple compared to other RPG’s as you pick between a collection of pre-built faces instead of designing and editing your own face.

 You will also be able to assign skill points and advance certain feats. This will give your character different skills such as being able to hack into security systems, being able to detect mines or just being able to dodge attacks more effectively.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The different classes

Gameplay

When deciding whether to buy a game, gameplay is one of the deciding factors. In KOTOR, you have one main character that is always in your party and you can also assign companions who you meet along the way to join your party. You can switch between and control anyone in your party. Your companions level up like your main character and so you can use them to help you fight battles or disable security systems and mines.

While playing the game, you will travel between many planets found in the Star Wars universe including but not limited to Tatooine, Kashykk and Taris. Each planet is open for you to walk around and most planets can be revisited to complete side quests and gather items.

Combat is turn based but appears to be running in real time. You can switch between your party members giving them commands (e.g. Heavy Attack this enemy or use a health pack to regain some health). The player can also pause the battle to issue commands to the party members. The combat system isn’t as advanced as some RPG games but it is far from basic and it is fun to use.

The player can engage in conversation with lots of different lifeforms that they meet. During certain conversations, the player will have a choice on what to say and actions to take. The options given are determined by your gender and skills. You will also be able to try to persuade lifeforms and this will be successful if your persuade feat is high enough. What you say in conversations may affect your alignment and sway you closer to the dark side or light side (e.g. threatening someone for no reason will give you dark side points, making you get closer to the dark side). Your alignment affects what force skills you can get with a number of skill points you own. For example, if you are more to the dark side, then gaining Force Choke will cost fewer skill points. The conversation system is fulfilling and often makes you consider which option would be best. The choices you make can affect the story.

 The gameplay in KOTOR seems outdated and the movement system, even for its time is often clunky. However, after some getting used to, it doesn’t detract you from the experience.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Combat

Graphics and music

Knights of the Old Republic was first released in 2003. Because of this, the visuals are outdated and are not close the visual quality in recent video games. However, the graphics have aged well and even though they seemed outdated, it shouldn’t put you off playing the game as the graphics were at the top end for 2003. The game’s graphics are modern as in the characters are designed to look like real life and are not pixelated characters like in older games.

Now we are on to music. Music is one of the main things that immerses you into a game. The soundtrack of the game feel Star Wars and it is well made however it is not as impressive as the soundtrack from the Star Wars prequel films and other games like Morrowind and Life Is Strange.

Performance

The game came out in 2003 on Xbox and PC. We have not had experience with the Xbox version, so we can’t comment on the performance in that version but the windows version does have some issues. As the game is old, you have to run the game in compatibility mode and disable some graphics options (Frame Buffer Effects and Soft Shadows) for the game to work on newer operating systems. Luckily, Steam’s new refund system means that you can get a refund if the game doesn’t work.

After you have got the game working, performance is fine and the game runs smoothly with fast loading times.

Conclusion

To conclude this review, Knights of the Old Republic is an immersive RPG game based in the Star Wars universe. It is a must buy for Star Wars fans as the game has a great story, decent music and unique characters who are developed as the game progresses. However, the game is let down by basic customising in designing your character and outdated gameplay. The game contains dozens of hours of gameplay and has a lot of replay value. It is well worth the small price of $9.99.

PROS
CONS
 + Well written story – Outdated gameplay mechanics
 + Easy to use but extensive combat system – Basic character customisation
 + Dozens of hours of content
 + Lots of replay value
 + Lots of choice in conversations
8.8
Great

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