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

As what will appear as blasphemy to die-hard Knights of the Old Republic fans, I have yet another gripe with this game. There’s just too much loading. This was my biggest complaint with Neverwinter Nights, so it’s not surprising it’s my biggest complaint here. There’s simply too much time spent watching the loading screen. With Neverwinter Nights, I was able to ease this problem somewhat by adding more RAM to my PC. I don’t see this as an option for the XBOX. I can overlook a turn-based combat system, but the loading times are really starting to annoy me. It discourages me from exploring the galaxy.

Wookiee: Arrrrr wwarrrrrraarrrrggggg Rooooaarrr!?
Me: What… you think we should explore the North Apartments?
Wookiee: Roooarrrr!
Me: No way… that’s at least 10 loading screens from here.

There’s something familiar about all this…

The story is quite involving. Without going into great detail, it’s typical Star Wars…. and I’m talking Episodes 4, 5, 6… not that prequel stuff. (OK OK… there’s a swoop bike race, but it stars you… not a little kid.) You’ll run into people and places that will remind you of scenes from the original trilogy. As an example – it’s not the Millennium Falcon, it’s the Ebon Hawk; it’s not R2-D2, it’s T3-M4. As you play the game, you might enjoy finding the similarities. The game certainly captured the feel of the original Star Wars… an exciting story… filled with fantasy and adventure.

It’s not enough for Star Wars characters to be in the game… they have to look good. AND WOW… they look goooood! This game was made for the XBOX, so it’s nice to see that it takes advantage of the superior power of the system. As an example, I was disappointed by Lord of the Rings: Two Towers. Because I found the graphics similar to the Playstation 2 version, my enjoyment of that game was somewhat tainted. Not with Knights of the Old Republic… that Star Wars look is dead on – custom made for the XBOX. With all the different environments, it’s important that every place has it’s own unique feel. The graphics were so good, I often didn’t notice it. I felt like I was playing in a movie. Most games, I can see where the developers skimped on the polygons. Not here, all I could think was… that blue Twi’lek, she has a cute butt.

As with Neverwinter Nights, the music and sound is dead on. The characters like to yap… and they do it in full audio. COOL! What’s even neat is when you run into aliens, the audio will not be in English. You’ll have to read the subtitles to understand. While voice acting is becoming commonplace with today’s games, the difference here is that you can feel the emotion. It’s very well done. As for the music, you won’t have to hear the same old Star Wars music a billion times over. Nope, Knights of the Old Republic has it’s own musical score. Again, this adds to that general feeling with Knights of the Old Republic… familiar, yet new.

Be warned Star Wars fans…
with the graphics, sounds and
storyline coming together in such
perfect fashion… it can suck you
right in.

No Multiplayer?!

I’m not a fan of Massivily Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games. I’ve suddenly developed an intolerance for monthly fees. However, I would have liked to have seen a multiplayer option for Knights of the Old Republic. This could have been the one game that made me cave in and get XBOX Live. Neverwinter Knights has online capabilities, I’m surprised that Bioware didn’t carry those options over into Knights of the Old Republic. An online option would have helped with the replay value… because I really don’t see myself going through the story a second time.

No really… I like the game

I mention several problems with the game, but that what makes Knights of the Old Republic great. Despite the lack of multiplayer, turn-based combat and frequent load-times, I still found this game highly addictive. The most impressive part of Knights of the Old Republic is that you control the flow of the story, you determine how the main character is portrayed. Events don’t progress until you solve the problems, until you make choices or until you are ready. This is why I consider video games the superior medium of entertainment. It’s more interactive than a book or movie. This game doesn’t just show me the Star Wars adventures, I get to experience it.