XBOX Game Review – Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Microsoft’s XBOX scored big when they landed the exclusive rights to this one. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, by BioWare Corp, is nothing short of amazing. With a quality storyline, superb graphics, top-notch audio, addicting gameplay and the Star War license, this game is an instant classic.

Great Game… if you can get it!

I consider myself quite the avid gamer. That is why I’m embarrassed to say Knights of the Old Republic caught me by surprise. I didn’t pre-order. I didn’t even think the game was going to be that good. But after my tremendous disappointment with Star Wars Galaxies, I was willing to give Knight of the Old Republic a shot. BUT I COULDN’T FIND IT! I went to four video game stores. They were all sold out. That’s never happened to me before. I thought this was odd, as Star Wars Galaxies was sitting right there on the shelf. Now it was personal. Now I had to find the game. At this point, I didn’t care if it was good. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

What is this game all about anyway?

The easiest way to describe Knights of the Old Republic is to think about Neverwinter Nights – BioWare’s video game translation of the old Dungeons & Dragons game. Do you remember when people used paper, pens and multi-sided dice to play a fantasy game? Well, that’s what this Star Wars game is based on. The gameplay is identical to Neverwinter Nights. You create your character by determining various attributes. You have physical stats such as Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma. This will determine how your character performs in any given encounter. Role-Playing hinges on you to forming an attachment to your character. Knights of the Old Republic character creation is done in the traditional style. Nothing revolutionary, but you don’t need to fix what isn’t broken.

There’s more than one way around a problem…

Another big part of your character is determining your style. There are three basic types… the Scoundrel, the Soldier or the Scout. Say there’s a guard in your way. The scoundrel would sneak by, or bribe, the guard. The Soldier would attack the guard. The Scout would simply find another way around. Solving problems in your own unique way is what makes this game great. Many problems have more than one solution. You’ll find that out when a giant Rancor is blocking your path.

Good Vs. Evil…

Another unique part of gameplay is the EXTREME emphasis on Good Vs. Evil. It’s not just about solving problems. How you resolve an encounter can alter your alignment. That guard in your path, let’s say he’s just doing his job. Maybe he’s even a nice guy. He politely asks you to clear the area. If you decide to kill him anyway, you will get a point toward evil. Knights of the Old republic lets you choose how you want to play. You can be a hero or a villain. It really is up to you.

Turn-Based Combat…

This is one of the few things that disappoints me about Knight of the Old Republic. I think skill and strategy should matter in video games. Unfortunately, it’s just strategy here. You click a button, and your character makes an attack. Controlling a party of three characters does add some variety, but generally it’s just hit the “A” button and then loot the corpse. If you try to invoke the least bit of combat-skill, you will see the game’s lack of AI. That Rancor in my path… well… I won’t ruin the story for you… but let’s just say I easily killed him by using an old videogame trick.