Star Wars is Coming: Retro Review: KOTOR

In honor of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, I am going to post this review from LarryBann. Follow his new Twitch Stream, LarryBann!

Retro Game Review: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

HEAVY SPOILER WARNING:  This review contains a lot of spoilers, but it is for a 12 year old game after all.

It seems weird to be reviewing a 12 year old game, but weirder still is playing it again after so long.  Back in 2003, this game came out and while I didn’t get to play it, it was responsible for lost sleep due to not wanting to set down the controller.  I originally played this game on the original xbox but for the review purposes I wanted to try it out on pc.  Why play this game again after all this time?  Well, after replaying some of these areas in the Shadows of Revan expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I wanted to go back and see them again and play Revan’s original storyline in Knights of the Old Republic.  Also, I had recently spotted the game as being available in the iTunes app store but didn’t want to pay for a third copy of the game especially with my pc version still sitting un-played.

First off, the graphics haven’t aged as gracefully as I would have liked.  These were really decent at the time, but I found myself looking to see if anyone had modded the game to update the textures or anything like that.  Sadly no, but hopefully someone will get on that soon as this is really the only downside to playing this again.  Everything else is what I remember.  Yes, swoop-racing side quests are still not as fleshed out as they should have been, but there are mods for that if you’d like, or you can skip it all together.  The rest of the game really shines.  From the RPG elements, the wonderful (albeit mostly linier) storyline, to the sheer customization of armor and such, I absolutely love this game.  This was also in my opinion the first time I felt the lightsaber combat was done right.  Before this, we had the FPS Jedi Knight games that felt too forced (again, my opinion and no the pun was not intentional).  Granted this is turn based combat.  Here it’s less about skill, and more about strategy.  But then again, we don’t all have force-like reflexes.

One technical issue I ran into (and confirmed it was an issue for multiple users) was the game exiting in the middle of one of the overly repetitive cut scenes, such as when leaving a planet. It only happened for me when trying to skip past. Fortunately there is a way to turn these off via the config application that comes with the game.

The story has you playing a protagonist who wakes up to klaxons going off as you are in the middle of a capital ship battle. Your ship, the Endar Spire, is done for.  You need to get off the ship, escape Taris, and somehow stop the Sith Empire.  Along the way you’ll become a Jedi and team up with a group of companions who will help you out.  One of the biggest plot twist comes when your character realizes their life was a lie and they are Revan (about ¾ into the game). This was huge at the time and really made the whole story line.  The other big sell is the romance story lines. You have two choices here, Bastilla if you are a male character, and Carth if you’re female.  I played as a male as this was the then canonical end to the game (along with being light side).

I found myself playing the game differently than my previous play-throughs mostly because before I would either be all light side or all dark. This time I wanted to complete all side quests regardless of their alignment.  I specifically held off advancing to the 3rd star map with this goal in mind.  Did it make the game take longer?  Yes, but I felt it worth it to re-experience this game as a whole.

Above all, if you’ve never played it and are a Star Wars fan this game is a must play

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~ by LibraryGamer2979 on November 17, 2015.

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