Knights of the Old Republic

I just got KOTOR yesterday and to be blunt it's an incredible title. I'm not a big Star Wars fan, at all. I am interested in the possibilities of the diegesis, but for the most part the execution plain sucks, especially when Lucas is at the helm. Episode V is the best and the most watchable though. Anyway, I bought this games because it was a Bioware title and admittedly because of the HUGE HYPE MACHINE generated. For the first twenty minutes, I felt let down because of a) the HUGE HYPE MACHINE really overinflated my expectations and
I don't like Star Wars and for a while it seemed really too Lucas-y to me. After things started rolling, though, the game got good, really good. If you don't like Star Wars, buy the game anyway. It's a Bioware title. The voice acting better than ANY of the Star Wars films and the universe is far more defined and while there is still a "good vs evil" black and white morality, at least it's done with more finesse and there are shades of gray, a plus in my book. Combat has been aggressively compared with NWN, a title which I didn't like, but streamlined. I'm a little old school, but I liked the old Baldur's Gate titles over NWN -3D wasn't working for me. But this is a little different.

Combat is simplified, but not in a dumb sense. When an enemy is sighted, the game automatically pauses. From there, you can choose to either fight, throw grenades, use force powers, or use healing items or modifiers. The games uses a simplified version of the AD&D ruleset third edition. Actually, since I'm not into the boardgame, the manual was pretty cool in that it explained what the hell 1d20 means! A nice touch IMO. Speaking of the manual, it goes into great detail explaining how combat is computed, which I like and for the most part the manual is very complete. I always like to read the manual before playing a game, but even if you don't the opening tutorial does a good job explaining things and believe me any SXer will be able to understand the interface lickety-split. Bioware knows what they're doing. I found combat to be fun primarily because it is so visually pleasing. Sword fights are amazing to watch and even though I'm not a Jedi yet, the light saber duels are beautiful.

Fuck Lucas, this is what Star Wars should have been. Bioware had some leeway in developing the story and plot since it takes place 4000 years before Ep 1, and they used it well. Hell, even the loading screens provide interesting tidbits into the Star Wars lore. As mentioned before, this a well written world. And mind you, EVERY LINE OF DIALOG IS SPOKEN (please excuse caps), and spoken with an amazing amount of professionalism. At first I wasn't too impressed - I generally find voice acting in games to subpar over all with few exceptions, but during conversations dealing with character development, things started to really shine. Imagine seeing those Lucas cookie-cutter characters after the end credits and you'll see what I mean. These people actually have lives and thoughts and emotions, something Bioware games are generally known for I guess. You actually care for your companions. Bravo, Bioware.

Graphics, perhaps the biggest thing people are bitching about. So it's not antialiased and it's chuggy. To be honest it isn't a hindrance at all. It's a lot smoother then say Morrowind or Pirates of the Caribbean and it's not exactly a twitch shooter. If you're that picky, wait a couple of months and play it on your monster 5000 dollar soon-to-be-outdated-by-the-end-of-the-month computer, it's coming to PC in the fall. The environments are broken up into segments, and seem to be linear at first, but I don't have a problem with this. I don't mind being guided for the first few hours. It helps in terms of leveling up and such. I've heard that it really starts to open up afterwards so no worries. Load and save times are amazingly quick and there's a "zapping system" which allows you to warp back to your designated base of operations, heal up, and warp back to where you were - very convenient and a nice touch.

If I had fifty bucks and an Xbox, I would get this game. Even if you hate Star Wars, I'd get this game. It's a Bioware Game, pure and simple. I'm getting bored easily with games today. Dark Cloud 2 is really too friggin repetitive and .hack was just boring. KOTOR is a winner in my mind. I would strongly recommend renting, but I think you'd have a hell of a time renting this game. Get it online or find a store with extras. Money well spent.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask, or check out the forums at
thanks 4 the review. i was quite interested in this game and for the same reason as you i might add (bioware

from the preview footage i downloaded some months ago i gathered gameplay would be very similar to NWN as you say.

has the combat been made any more interactive than with NWN? e.g rather than just click on an opponent and wait for them to die.

talking about how you didnt like the move to 3d from BG to NWN i'd say that the shift to 3D turned out good. I do much prefer the BG2 engine to the NWN of course, the MAJOR let down for me was the stupid henchmen shit. I wanted to control a full party like BG but instead got this bullshit henchmen which you can't even change the equiptment of. Is it the same in KOTOR?
While I didn't find NWN to be enjoyable, for some reason KOTOR's fun. For one thing, I think the game look's better, and the aesthetic helps. You might be a little disappointed,though, for it seems a little dumbed down and easy, so far. I'm playing it on Normal and I'm breezing through bad guys for the most part, though I'm only a couple of hours into the game and there is adjustable difficulty settings like every Bioware title. My goal is to be the game in under two weeks because I'll be heading out of the country for a couple of months
I don't think I'm doing a very good job explaining the combat system. Remember, it's an RPG made for a console ; some restrictions had to be made. It's not as hardcore as a typical Bioware title, but trust me it's not another Final Fantasy product! If and when you get the title, you might find the first hour to be underwhelming, as I did. Stick with it, though, and you'll find an incredible game. Definitely the best game I've played in a while.

Ok, there are NO HENCHMAN, but you do have the option to obtain droids, which is different I think. You can have up to two supporting characters, making a three-character party. Party AI is very good IMO. Pathfinding can be a little wonk at times, but your guys never run into walls. Expect the same kind of character interaction you would get in any BG title, and you need to have a supporting cast to get through battles. These guys are no dummies when it comes to laying foot to ass.
mmm it sounds like there are henchmen from what you are saying. by henchmen i mean dudes that accompany you that you do not control. this was ok in summoner because you could change thier equipment but i prefer total party control.

i suppose though, as a starwars title, you wouldnt be wanting some hardcore rpg gameplay anyway. i'm most likely to pick this up on pc as i dont have an xbox although sonic heroes as re-awakened my interest in getting one.

hey good luck beating it in two weeks. if its up to biowares standards you'd be struggling for two months