Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – PC
Release Date: November 19th, 2003
Genre: Role-Playing Game
Nerd Rating: 8.5/10
In my experiences as a gamer, very few video games have been amazing enough to warrant me playing it over and over again, but Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is definitely one of those games. I have beaten this game over five times now, and it isn’t a short game either. I am quite a big Star Wars fan but I can honestly say out of every Star Wars game I have played, this is by far one of my favorites, if not my all-time favorite, and it’s biggest competitor is the sequel Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing game developed by BioWare that takes place in the Star Wars universe (obviously) around 500 years before the events of Star Wars: The Old Republic and 4,000 years before the events of the Star Wars movies. The strong point of the game is definitely the story, as it is an amazing story that relies heavily on your choices and has two different endings (light side and dark side.) The story has tons of betrayal and will keep you on edge as to what will happen next, while still enjoying the gameplay every step of the way. I am trying not to spoil anything, so I can’t go into the story too much, however it is definitely not something ANY Star Wars fan can afford to miss out on. Every single important (and some not-so important) character in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is memorable and has a story outside of the game (which can be found in comics, books, the sequel, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is BioWare’s Star Wars MMORPG.)
The gameplay of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is extremely well executed and fun. While there are only two endings in the game, the way you go about playing the game is completely up to you in the sense that even though you are a Jedi, you aren’t confined to lightsabers and the force. You will find yourself with a wide array of weaponry and armor to use on your quest to bring down (or overthrow) the Sith lord Darth Malak. The main quest line is interesting, and there are many side quests to complete and different ways to complete each one.
One of the things that make the game have great replay value, is that you are not forced to play in a certain way. Would you like to play through stealthy and smart, or would you prefer to use your lightsaber to rush into combat? The choice is yours and those are only two of the many ways to play! Throughout the game, you will put together a crew of nine people including Jedi, a republic soldier, a Mandalorian, a young Twi’lek, and even her Wookie best friend! You will fight a variety of enemies including Sith soldiers, dark Jedi, sand people, Mandalorians, and many others!
Aside from the main objective, there are three mini-games, the card game pazaak, a turret section on your ship, and swoop bike racing. The mini-games are pretty fun for the most part, and my favorite is definitely swoop bike racing. The one part of the game that does get tiring and repetitive is the turret section you will sometimes have to do when traveling in your ship from planet to planet, however that is my opinion and the turret sections are rather on the short side if you can aim even halfway decently.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is indeed a role-playing game with its structure and leveling system. I feel that leveling up in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is very simple to understand and is executed quite well. Every time you gain a level, you will be able to put some points into your main stats (wisdom, strength, intelligence, etc) as well as your skills (repair, sneak, persuade, etc.) You will also gain perks each level, which give you the ability to perform different attacks as well as boost stats among other things. Upon becoming a Jedi, you will also gain new force powers every time you level up. Force powers are either light side, dark side, or universal powers. While you aren’t restricted (light players can use dark force powers, etc) the other side’s powers will cost more force points, which is how many force powers you can do before the force bar has to refill. I would compare force points to “mana” in a normal RPG with a mage-type class.
Jeremy Soule, the composer for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic did an amazing job with the music composition. The music when roaming the planets are beautiful, and smoothly transitions into a more intense soundtrack when battle occurs or when you are in a hostile area like a Sith ship. The music is something I wouldn’t mind having on my personal Ipad, as it is simply that beautiful. Then again, it wouldn’t be Star Wars without amazing music, right? The designer, James Ohlen, also did a fantastic job with the game. Although obviously aged from 2003, the game still finds a way to be absolutely beautiful competing even with newer games. I’m obviously not going to mention every voice actor as there are far too many, but the voice acting in this game is incredible and highly believable. My biggest complaint with the details in this game would have to be that there are limited NPCs. Obviously every important NPC is unique, but the NPCs you pass all over the planets are limited to like ten or so models.
While I would have loved to been able to give Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic a better rating, there is one major issue that needs to be addressed. The PC port for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is absolutely dreadful. If you have an Xbox or Xbox 360, and don’t mind not being able to mod the game (though it does have pretty awesome mods,) I would highly recommend buying it for Xbox. The PC port crashes quite frequently on the planets of Manaan, and Korriban, as well as a few other places. There are ways to get past these crashes, but they require enabling cheat codes and warping to the area after where it’s crashing. Don’t forget though that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is an older game that was made for a single core-processor and Windows XP, so certain technical issues are to be expected.
Despite the crashes, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is still majorly worth buying for PC or Xbox, whichever you prefer. The main difference between the two is that PC users can mod the game easier, as well as enable console commands (cheats,) and the PC version has an exclusive ship you can dock on with a merchant who gives you good gear. The gear sold by the merchant is still available in the Xbox version, just not all sold in one place. BioWare did an absolutely superb job on this game, and I just wish they would make a second sequel (I don’t count Star Wars: The Old Republic as a sequel because of it’s MMORPG status. However, I have heard that BioWare designed it to be played alone as well and it works quite well as a sequel due to some of the cast returning. I was a beta tester for Star Wars: The Old Republic and haven’t played it since testing, however, once I finish my latest playthrough of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, I am thinking of checking Star Wars: The Old Republic out again.)
Do YOU agree with my review? Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments, but beware: Rakghouls are known to roam the undercity comments! May the force be with you.
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