on 14 August 2003
I managed to get a hold of this game from the states, and there hasn't been a game that has had me this hooked since Halo.
When i bought baldurs gate: dark alliance, i was expecting somrthing like the PC version, but ended up with a gauntlet clone.
this time though, Bioware have done themselves proud. This is Baldurs Gate how it shoud have been, but with lightsabres and Jedi. For those who have played BG on PC, the format of the game is much the same, real-time combat, but pausable so you can stack commands. You have up to three players in your party, you can switch between them at any point. I have only 6 of the nine characters so far, but they are all different, Wookies, Mandalorians, Droids.....
Combat is fast and action orientated, but this is no button bashing hack and slash. You issue an attack command, and your character continues to attack, with some fancy sword play if you have a melee weapon equipped, or happily blasts away. Force powers are particularly cool, and include (so far) force push, burst of speed, stun.
I've only touched on the second world, and with promises of 10, this is going to be a pleasurable journey....
on 29 September 2003
OK, let me explain the title. Bought the game on a Thursday afternoon, started playing it at 7.00 p.m. Now, I had to get up at 5.00 a.m. the next morning for work, but, as I didn't finish playing until 3.00 a.m. was very difficult. So...... I suddenly developed the Flu, and 27 and a half hours of solid gameplay later, I am fit to go back to work, hehe!!
First things first, DO NOT be put of by the fact that the words STAR WARS are in the title. This is unlike any other Star Wars game ever released, it is a bloody good one!!!!
You will be overcome by intense fighting action, which needs thought, not just high speed button bashing (Do I apply the Med Pack now, or the Hyper Battle Stim, or just go for a double bladed light sabre power attack?), torn apart by soul wrenching decisions (Good, Evil, or a mixture of the two?) and held in the utmost suspense about what will happen next (unlike the two most recently released films.)
Best part of the game for me?
Having a Wookie pledge a Life-Debt to me, my own Wookie, and be honest, how many of you out there that have seen the films, the ORIGINAL films, have had a secret dream about that?
Onto game play:
Plays like a dream.
Graphics: To be honest, REALLY good, walking through the city of Taris and seeing ships take off in the background, on the mysterious world of the Elders, seeing the wrecked ships on the sundrenched beaches.............
Ok, being picky, I hated it when running downhill, the fellow team members head would "appear" behind you, and at some points there was slowdown,(whether this was due to the graphics engine or the fact my XBOX had been running for so long I am unsure), but these points were few and far between.
Amazing. ALL the sounds from the films. The correct "whoosh" from the sabers, the unforgetable sound of heavy balster fire, and an amazing soundtrack.
SO easy to pick up. I never read the instruction booklet, you won't either. Wish more games played like this.
A LONG LONG time. I want to go back and be a BAD guy now. I want to figure out how to save the underworld citizens of Taris from the deadly disease, to find out what happened to the talking fishes children, and to see if Bastilla's mother really was a bitch.
But I cant. I have to go to work, LOL!!!!!
Buy this game NOW.
Just make sure you can fake an illness.
Time and time again 'Star Wars' video games have burst forth with untold gusto and promise only to be thrown back at Lucasarts with a public and critical air of disgust and/or disappointment.
Finally we have a product that brings all it pledged. We have a game in 'Knights of the Old Republic' that not only gives gamers a true taste of the Star Wars universe we've come to know and love through the movies...but also a game that manages to almost eclipse the films that inspired it.
KOTOR's role playing story is rich and deep, full of 'dark' twists and character surprises. The sheer scope alone is staggering in it's ambition and execution. Other video games of this genre (RPG) are often condemned for playing too much 'like a movie'...for not being 'involving enough for the player'...and for...'not giving the player enough access to the character development at each progressive stage'.
Stand up developers 'Bioware' and take a bow! Using the game mechanic from their hugely popular 'Baldur's Gate' series, the little devils at Bioware have managed to deliver a game to the masses that will attract and mesmerise 'any' game player. Be they Star Wars fans or not. Even those die-hard anti RPG game players amongst you.
Too many mediocre games find their way into your collections. You know the titles I mean...go look on your shelf and count them off. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is close to perfect. Close...but not perfect. That slot is currently reserved for Halo2.
Buy KOTOR...construct your lightsaber...or two...or even double-bladed. Use Force-Choke to extract info from an innocent if you want to play it 'Darkside'...try a little Force-Persuasion if you're playing 'Lightside'. Control various characters out of the nine in your party, level each and every one up into the superbeing of your choosing. Visit six planets and various 'other' locations. Hyperdrive across the galaxy to collect on an outstanding bounty. Compete in Swoop-bike races for respect, reputation and extra cash. Battle with droids, wild beasts, dark Jedi, and your own personal draw towards the dark-side.
What more do you need...apart from sleep and a social life?
The efforts of Lucasarts have always been sketchy across the board. One moment they can inspire you with truly dynamic and amazing games like X-Wing: Alliance and then the next they produce something akin to used toilet paper... like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Gungan Racing and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. They also produce a lot of mediocre titles which are fun but offer no depth or any inspiration, like Jedi Starfighter. True classics from Lucasarts are now few and far between and finally one has come in the form of Knights of the Old Republic.
The game takes some 5,000 years before the events of Episode IV. You create your own character out of a few basic classes offering general attributes and strengths specific to the classes (for example the soldier will be strong whilst a rogue will be dextrous).
The game takes place within a dramatic story line often echoing events in the movies while managing to inject a refreshing sense of originality. The Republic's most trusted turn against her and drive her into civil war after saving her from a massive war which weakens her - The events of Episodes 1-3 anyone?
The way the storyline unfolds is perfect. It really is involving. Everyone you speak to has an opinion if not full on dialogue. Every side mission has some sort of relevence to your main mission or storyline. Yet you don't really have to do any of the side missions. You can choose whether or not to behave in a bad or a good way. You can kill people, speak badly towards others and behave threateningly and this will take you down to the dark side. If you act with good will and charity you will head towards the light. The options in nearly every scenario are mind-boggling.
Parts of the game take you into what I would call "dungeon mode" of old games like Legend of Zelda III: Link to the Past. But thankfully they have diluted the boundries between the dungeon world and the outside world so that even though you know you're in a dangerous world you can, for the most part, escape from it. It's not outside of the playable world but incorporated into it.
When you're in such dangerous places even more choices are presented to you. You can bash down some low security doors or hack into them and open them. You can enter a room and kill everyone with your weapons or slice into a nearby security panel and order the room to be gased. You can find some old disused droids, repair them, and send them out on patrol and do the work for you. The system is innovative and gives you a level of control that takes the linear feel completely out of the game. Even though you are clearly following a plot (this isn't Morrowind) you never lose the sense that you can do whatever you feel like.
When you get to the Jedi Academy you have the option of Jedi training. It really is thrilling fighting with a double bladed lightsabre one minute and then using two lightsabres the next, or even mixing the lightsabre with a vibroblade.
Some people may not like the fighting which is essentially turn-based and based on a D&D style system of rolls and saves. I think the pause and queue attack system works quite well because it has dynamism and strategy rolled into one. Decisions you make while paused about which weapons and items to use can mean an easy fight or something which takes out your team. For example on one occasion I duelled a guy called Bendar Starkiller. The first time I played him I throw a concussion grenade, before mine hit he had thrown three plasma grenades - bam, I was dead. Next time I just charged at him with Critical strike and he was dead within ten seconds and I had taken no damage.
Essentially there's too much that's good in this game to talk about so I'll move onto what's 'bad' about it.
The main story line only has about 20-25 hours of hardcore playing in it. The story line involves you so much and you find yourself enjoying the game to such an extent that 25 hours really is nothing. The time flies. I played about 8 hours on my first sitting and my friend 13, it was that addictive. It does have replay value with retrying the game every so often to play in a different way but I would have loved to have had more in the way of game time.
The economy. Credits are seriously hard to come by, especially if you play on the harder modes. It owuld have been nice if the economy allowed for you to sell your goods for credits. Often, especially if you are acting for the light, you'll find yourself short on credits.
In closing I will say this: This is the best game on the Xbox so far in my opinion. I preferred it to Halo which was another great game. It is an essential addition to any X-Box collection.
on 16 October 2003
As someone who generally ignores RPG’s, and having only a casual interest in Star Wars, I found the hype surrounding this game to be irresistible, and parted with my £40 on release day. I kept my receipt safer than usual, in case the plethora of XP’s, DC’s, and HP’s etc got too overpowering for me. Fortunately, my trust in word of mouth was deserved. It’s superb.
KOTOR places you in a turbulent era of intergalactic history. With the Republic badly weakened after a great war against the Mandalorians, two former Jedi defected to rekindle the power of the once great Sith. One of these former Jedi, Malak, betrayed the more powerful Revan, to assume total control. With the Republic on its knees, and the Jedi seemingly powerless against such force, you are entrusted with the task of overthrowing the new Sith order, thus restoring peace and saving the Republic. Simple!
Quality and polish are evident from the intro, in the form of some impressive cinematic sequences. Although set millennia before Episodes I – III of the films, the official licence is used to good effect, with the familiar musical score and sound effects providing a suitable Star Wars atmosphere to whet your appetite.
So far, this will be familiar to Star Wars fans, who have shelled out in the past looking for a game to rival the films, only to be disappointed. Mercifully, BioWare has shown respect to the Star Wars licence. The level of effort applied is apparent from start to finish.
You are in complete control from the outset. Initially, you need to create a team leader, who conducts all of the main dialogue, and will be a permanent fixture in your party. You can determine gender, appearance, skill sets, and strengths; almost every attribute has been included, and applied with a great measure of depth.
To start with, you’re on your own, attempting to escape a besieged ship, but the first sequences introduce you to team play and resource management, and also guide you through some battle sequences. The learning curve is pitched just right, allowing novices to get to grips with turn-based combat, while not interfering with the more proficient players’ enjoyment. It’s a finely tuned balancing act, which has been perfected and consistently applied throughout.
As your character progresses and acquires other party members, you have the option to get your hands dirty with the stats, or let the CPU do the brain work for you. I thought it would be a pain in the backside, but the interface works so well I hardly noticed myself getting involved in the makeup of my characters. Your party grows up to a maximum of nine, so you’d imagine catering for them all would become tiresome, but clever use of the Xbox controller allows you to sweep through the nitty-gritty with ease. Limiting exploration to any three members from your total party also staggers the brainwork into bite size portions.
Alongside the technical development of your characters, you also have the opportunity to converse with them, discovering more about their background and personas. This often leads to side-quests and opportunities that are entirely of your own creation, increasing the feeling that you are in control of your own destiny and path through the game. Some amusing dialogue, reinforced by good voice acting, also gives you the chance to interact with your group the way you want. Do you sympathise with the Wookie, or call him an eight-foot walking carpet? It’s up to you. General conversation is also spiced up by some funny one-liners, which you should use sparingly if you want to avoid making too many enemies.
This feeling of freedom doesn’t just cover dialogue. The core of the game is your choice between the dark and light side of the force. Almost every scenario is geared towards decisions that contribute to your standing as a force for Dark or Light. Example: - You need something from a store to progress, but you don’t have enough credits. Do you threaten to relieve the shopkeeper of his head(s), or go and earn the credits in a swoop bike race, solving a dispute in the process? Your decisions add weight to a gauge that works like a seesaw, constantly reacting to your decisions, and reflecting your struggle between dark and light.
Even more intelligent is the way that your dark/light decisions impact other areas of gameplay. In combat, Light side skills are less of a drain to use for a Jedi, and the dirtier, (more entertaining) dark side skills work the same way for a Sith. In addition, using the dark side in conversation may grant you a short-term advantage, but this may backfire later on.
On the downside, the frame rate is quite choppy at times. Other minor glitches are there, such as your teammates’ infrequent but appalling moments of stupidity when controlled by the CPU. Like their frustrating habit of following you into a corner and standing behind you, idiotically blocking your path, or getting hopelessly stuck behind scenery, leaving you to run into the distance completely unaware.
More frequent problems are the relatively small areas you can explore before being confronted with the ‘loading’ screen; or approaching somebody for a quick chat, and being bombarded with a ream of unwanted peripheral information. At least you get the option to insult their tedious ranting when they finish.
In summary, these minor problems are completely irrelevant when held against an achievement like this. It’s a victory for honest and thoughtful games design, but a loss for your other half/boss/friends/family!
on 29 November 2003
I've just finished playing this game and it's absolutely fantastic. Personally I'm not a big fan of RPG's but this one definately hit the spot. It has all the element's of the Star Wars universe and coupled with immersive gameplay, plot twists and entertaining battle sequences it has plenty to offer, not only for Star Wars fans but also for the RPG enthusiast.
There is plenty of replay value as you determine whether you lean to the light or dark side based on the choices you make. There are also a wealth of options to choose from enabling you to tailor your would be Jedi to your own preferences.
The game does have a few flaws in that the initial levels can be a little tedious as you find yourself backtracking quite a bit which can seem quite boring, but patience is the key young padawan!! Also some of the extra objectives can be annoying depending on how helpful you want to be as you'll be going back and forth in order to obtain information!
All in all this is a great game and one that most definately needs to be in your XBOX collection. Just make sure you don't make any plans once you've bought this game and you may need to do the sicky to get out of work so you can truly enjoy it!!
on 17 September 2012
first off i am a huge fan of this game, and its sequel 'KOTOR 2- the sith lords'. so this review isnt about the gameplay (which is brilliant) but the technical issues when playing on an xbox360.
lets get one thing clear, this game is not broken, but it suffers annoying emulation flaws. there are sound issues, like voices overlapping and uneven distance, like when you can here a sith guard talking very loudly when standing half a mile away, but your companion is almost whispering when standing right in front of you. plus there are lags in gameplay, especially during fight scenes.
star wars KOTOR 2 also suffers from similar faults, but less frequently, making it the more playable game out of the two.
so its up to you and what kind of player you are. if your the kind who cant stand faults or glitches of any kind, dont bother with this game. its 'ok' on the 360, but in my opinion your better off playing it on an old xbox.
I have written a similar review/warning for KOTOR 2.
on 15 September 2003
After a summer of playing MotoGP2 online, night after night, because there was no other game worth playing - FINALLY some variety has been injected back into my gaming habit.
KOTOR is quite simply the best xbox RPG and most definitely the best star wars game I have ever played. It's as engrossing as HALO was with a similar feeling of belonging to a much larger endeavour.
The free reign that you feel you have as a character playing thru the story is matched only by the likes of Deus Ex on the PC and is certainly unrivalled on the xBox. There are some issues with slightly fiddly controls and menu inconsistencies but they really are minor and everything becomes second nature pretty quickly.
The sheer quantity of quality adventure time you will get out of this title is astounding - I'm 18 hrs in and am certainly not yet halfway thru the game - I'm also very, very tired. Time has a way of playing tricks on you when you play KOTOR; the first you'll know that it's 4 in morning is when your head starts to involuntarily nod forward and the hallucinations start...
BIOWARE have outdone themselves this time - they've moved gaming one step closer to the all-encompassing "experience" that we're all waiting for. They've raised the bar significantly. Buy this game and prepare for a large loss of sleep.
on 24 September 2003
I will start by saying I have not completed this game yet, and only when I do will I be able to get back to the real world.
This game sucks you in and keeps you playing for hours at a time. Nothing seems more important than getting to the next bit of plot.
I will go as far as saying this is the most addictive game I have played, although I admit I am a Sar Wars fan, which probably helps.
Game play is very good, I am not usually a fan of RPG's but this has become one of my all time favourites, and I have been playing games since the 80's.
Great graphics, good story line, it feels like an interactive film at times, good sound, great value per pound (When you save the game it tells you how many hours you have been playing for, just so your wife/mum/girl friend can nag you I think, I have been playing for 50 hours and still have a good bit to do in the game).
A must buy but be warned, prepare not to do anything else for a while, this game is addictive and should be classed as class A drug.
on 13 January 2005
While browsing the KOTOR reviews here, I saw some obviously made by people who had never played an RPG before. They complained about having to read all the text, and being forced to choose all the time. Well, guess what? That's the POINT of an RPG, you do what you want! If ya want a game where all you do is kill people, stop reading this now and go buy, say, Halo (I'm not dissing Halo here, I rather like it, just ain't my style). OK, now for the review proper.
KOTOR is a truly amazing game by any standards. It introduced an amazing Light/Dark system, allowing you to choose your path. In fact, wether you are Light or Dark has sever impact on the game, like who one of the final mini-bosses is, or who lives and who dies. Replay Value is, thus, absolutely amazing. A revolutionary idea in terms of RV.
The graphics are not the bext XBox can offer, but luckily graphics don't make an RPG. The many worlds of KOTOR, are, nonetheless, amazing, and lightsaber combact is more realistic then ever.
The music score features some very nice new tunes which fit in with Star Wars amazingly, and are a pleasent change from the dramatic crescendos of John Williams. In fact, you may find yourself returning to areas just to listen to the music.
As for gameplay... Well, the RPG engine is amazing, allowing for great PC-style RPGing on the XBox. The attack system seems to be real-time, but is in fact a seamless D&D style d20 system, which works well. Although people complain of not getting to attack themselves, allow me to tell you that NONE of the popular RPGs (FFX, Kingdom Hearts, etc) have manual attacks. Finally, the variety is amazing. Seven huge worlds, nine different characters ranging from Wookies to homicidal droids, three different character classes, tons of feats, jedi powers, and weapons all make for great ways to think of strategies - will you be an all-out attacker, or a Light-side healer?
Finally, my own opinion. KOTOR is, without a doubt, the best game on the XBox, easily topping Halo and Halo 2. A must have for RPG or Star Wars fans, and highly recommended to other gamers too.
Replay Value: 10/10