Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1.0

This game is a milestone in the story of Star Wars, in the galaxy it explores
4.5  (19 votes)
32.0 (See all)

We all know Star Wars movies, everybody has heard about them, but not everybody knows what happened “before” the movies, and this is what this game tells you – actually, it tells you about the things that happened 4000 years before the movies.

You start as a recruit under command of a Jedi named Bastila Shan, in the starship Endar Spire. The ship is under attack by the Sith, who have been tracking Bastila, hence you must escape alive in a pod to the nearby planet, Taris, and from there flee to the Jedi Academy to join the Jedi, as Bastila has found you have some affinity with the Force. The Jedi Council gives you missions to prepare you for the final confrontation, when you will have to choose between restoring peace in the galaxy or ruling it as the new Dark Lord of the Sith, between the light or the dark side of the Force.

If you are absolutely new to BioWare's games you can start learning by activating tutorial tips in the options menu. However, if you know other BioWare's games, such as Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights, you will see some similarities here. It seems to be a typical action game, but it is more a matter of turn-based strategy - you have to decide if it is better to attack, heal, or enhance your skills. The engine used here is Odyssey, which is based on a previous engine from the same developer, Aurora, which was used in Neverwinter Nights. Although Odyssey is supposed to be better than Aurora, it still has some of its bugs.

One awesome aspect of the game is the great number of dialogs and possible answers you can give to most people, in order to give you a rich and entertaining environment populated by Star Wars aliens, humans, and robots. Your alignment with the Force can be lighter or darker depending on what you say - sometimes you can get out of trouble just by saying the right words, and sometimes your words can start a fight. This shows you how the dark side sometimes taints the Jedi - some of your dialog options will be different depending on your gender, male or female.

You start playing alone, but with the tutorial in the Endar Spire you will learn to make up parties of up to three people. You will find nine characters that can join you, and among them, there are other Jedi, soldiers from former armies who still fight with each other, a Wookiee, a smuggler, and two droids. At times, you talk to them, either just for idle talk or to discover a dark past.

Besides the main quest, you will find minor quests, which can aid you in getting some powerful items, can make you lighter or darker, help you make profit, or just help others. Many changes are based on your alignment with the Force, and they deserve some replay. Some quests can be accomplished with the help of others, but some you have to complete them on your own. Some are triggered by a citizen who knows someone in your party.

Besides the main playing style, there are others, such as racing, or playing a card game similar to Blackjack - you can play it once you get a basic deck, which some merchants will be happy to sell to you, allowing you to customize your deck, making it easier to gamble and beat others.

Even though this game has some flaws, it is one the better games ever made; it won more than 40 prizes as Game of the Year 2003. This, together with its sequel, are the only two games that have made me think about real problems in the real world, and for that reason “Knights of the Old Republic” does not seem to be so "far, far away."

Review summary

Pros

  • Epic story
  • Great graphics
  • Seven planets to explore
  • You can personalize your weapons
  • You feel like in Star Wars
  • Many, many ways to advance

Cons

  • Some different characters have exactly the same face
  • Some bugs
  • Influenced by other BioWare's games
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