I'd heard about the hype surrounding KOTOR for years. Yet, I never made the time to play it. Finally, when I upgraded my computer, I thought it was finally time to give the game a try. As a Star Wars fan, I couldn't have been happier. Here are a few key points:
STORY The game has a very rich story, far better than most of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Your character is a Force-sensitive Republic soldier who leads an odd assortment of characters to locate an ancient superweapon controlled by the Sith. However, along the way you face dozens of side quests and have to make decisions in how you respond to challenges. You get to influence the story through your choices and can eventually head down the light or dark path. Thus, decisions have consequences - and it's not just the very final decision in the game, but innumerable small decisions when conversing with characters. I played through once, but it's clear that I could play the game again in its entirety and it would be a very different experience.
CHARACTERS The characters are undoubtedly the best part of the game. KOTOR manages to incorporate a fairly substantial leading characters and dozens of important supporting characters. Many of these have become fan favorites, including Bastila Shan, Canderos Ordo, Darth Malak, and of course Darth Revan. This is because each character has a unique personality and, more importantly, the grow and mature during the course of the game. You end up really caring about them by the time you're done.
GRAPHICS This game was released in 2003, yet the graphics hold up surprisingly well. Certainly better than most of what I'm used to on the Wii. I'd love for BioWare to rerelease KOTOR with improved graphics, but there's really not much to complain about here. Of course, this might depend on how powerful your computer is and whether you're willing to risk smooth performance for better graphics (fortunately, my computer's really powerful, so I got both!).
GAMEPLAY I was a bit worried that the RPG-style gameplay would detract from the combat experience. However, it's seamless. Your characters don't pause during turns, but rather keep fighting. If you order your characters to attack and then sit back, it becomes an almost cinematic experience. However, be sure to invest some time learning how the combat system works and about your equipment. After a few hours into the game, you'll find that you have far more items than you'll ever be able to master.
DRAWBACKS I kid you not, my only complaint is the ending. After such a dramatic quest, it was a bit of a letdown. I was expecting a 10 minute cinematic denouement chronicling the fates of each character. Oh well...
STABILITY I've read a lot of complaints about stability issues. Fortunately, I didn't experience much of this at all. I played through the entire game (around 50 hours) and it only crashed twice. However, I just got a new MacBook Pro, with the highest performance specifications, so my experience probably isn't typical. You will definitely need a powerful computer, but the game is good enough that you'll be able to put up with the occasional stability problem. Just be sure to save frequently.
After having played and beaten KOTOR, I'm simply left hungering for more. I'm going to try to get KOTOR II, but there's not much else out there. It's sad that Star Wars video games have only declined since KOTOR. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was a big disappointment. Hopefully, the new Old Republic game will bring back the glory days!
I honestly don't care if people think this game is a classic in the RPG genre, I don't like it at all. The thing that really killed KOTOR for me was the combat system; as it's turn-based fighting. Now turn-based combat has its time and place, but when you put it in a game set in the Star Wars universe, it doesn't feel right. Real-time combat in this game would have made it SO MUCH better, as it would have felt more true to Star Wars. It's a shame because … more
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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republictakes place just a few years after the Mandolorian Wars, thousands of years before the events in the Star Wars movies we know and love. Two Jedi, master Revan and his apprentice Malak, led the Republic's forces to victory and pursued the Mandalorians into deep space only to return as Dark Jedi at the head of a huge fleet of Sith warships. Only the Force powers of the Jedi Bastila prevented the Sith from overwhelming the Republic's weakened forces. At the start of the game Malak has usurped control of the Sith by betraying Revan and has attacked the ship carrying Bastila and yourself. In true Star Wars style, the game begins with a bang.
The storyline could have been a standard coming-of-age yarn but is instead a genuinely interesting adventure told with humor, compassion, and respect for the source material. Your character has a mystical bond with Bastila, and the two of you share some kind of connection to the Sith villains Darth Malak and Darth Revan. The game's planet-hopping adventures are driven by your exploration of these connections and how they relate to your larger goal of discovering the source of the Sith's sudden fleet. During your adventure you can explore side quests minor (such as racing swoops or gambling) and major (such as uncovering the fascinating back stories of your companions). Star Wars fans will get a kick out of the rich lore introduced in the game, particularly the Tatooine storyline that reveals the origin and...