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Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Star wars Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR for short) is a star wars game developed by BioWare and published by Lucas Arts. The game originally was released for windows and Xbox, however the past few years it has come to Mac os, iPad and iPhone. The original game was released late 2003. The game takes place about 4 millennia before the events of the film star Wars episode 4. A Sith named Darth Malak has declared war on the republic. You the character are stuck in the middle of these events. The game is a story based RPG, with the users view set in the 3rd person allowing for a tactical element to be used.
The Game play of KOTOR is a third person role playing game, the player of the game has to choose from three basic classes at the start of the game (Soldier, Scoundrel and Scout) all with different progression trees and skills. You also have the ability to customize the feats and stats of the character before you enter the game. Eventually after defeating a number enemies and gaining experience points the character levels up and gains the choice to select skills, and feats which allow you to gain new skills and passive bonuses in and out of combat, later on you gain force powers. After you hit a certain point in the game you get the option to choose between another set of Jedi Classes (Jedi Guardian, Jedi Sentinel and Jedi Consular). Throughout the game you will be faced with many choices some of these choice will be considered 'Good' (light side of the force), 'Neutral' (neither side of the force) and 'Evil' (dark side of the force). So when encountered with these events the player has to choose and these will influence the players alignment with the force, this alignment will affect future choices, the story of the game and the types of force powers that the player can use.
The game utilizes a quest system which you receive from certain NPC's or items you find within the game. The player completes the quest and usually receives an item or more information within the story of the game. The quests are split into main story quest or side quests, usually the main quests allow the player to advance the main story and the side quests usually are for the companions on the ship or to get better equipment (either by increasing the experience gained or just buy better items). There are a few mini games within the game, one involving a time trailed race using a swoop bike, a couple of these races are intertwined with the main story quests, a couple with the side quests however most are just used to gain money within the game. Another mini game is the card game Pazzak, it is basically a different rules version of the game 21, this is mainly used to get money within the game.
Throughout the game when out of the home hub area (mainly the ship Ebon Hawk) the main character has two companions with her/him at any point, these companions will either help in combat and controlled via the AI of the game or the player can control them if it is necessary to do so. Also the companions can cut in to the dialogue to give the player extra information or get information out of a non-player character (NPC). Also outside of combat the companions will engage each other in talking unlocking extra quests and information. Many of the companions you gain throughout the game need to be met or have a quest completed surrounding them. Outside of combat in the game the player can control the movements of the main character and talk to any of the NPC's, talking to the NPC's opens up a dialogue tree all of which depends of previous actions the characters alignment and other minor factors, some options are neutral in choice other affect the light and dark side of the force, some will get the same outcome in the conversation while others will get a unique response and some options will not allow the user to re-enter conversation with the NPC.
The sounds within the game are currently dated, however due to the age of the game that is to be expected. The game has numerous voice actors within the game and on the general line the voice acting is good, and some characters mainly the main 10 or so within the game the voice acting is brilliant, and really true to the Star Wars universe. Where the game really shines with the sound aspect is the music within the game, it uses music for the films as well as new material for the game and the created music is fantastic and well integrated into the game. The sounds of the combat within the game are good for the time period however within recent years they are lacking.
The graphics within the game are dated now like the sound however for the time era it was a suitable for the size of the game. The character models where something to behold, they were detailed and well made, the hair and clothing physics were expertly at the time of creation. Where they graphics did lack was the texture work of the floor and weapon models, most of the them are rushed in my opinion, there is some allowance due to the sheer size of the game and the amount of models within the game but even so it wouldn't have taken the developers long to fix the textures on the game.
The background story is that the galaxy is at war, between the Republic and the Sith Empire. The story starts with you waking up on a spaceship called the Endar Spire, the ship alarm systems are going off which is the cause of your awakening and the ship is under attack. This is where the tutorial of all the game starts. After the Endar Spire you are sent to the planet below of Taris where you meet many companions including T3-M4, Carth Onasi, Mission Vao and Zaalbar. Here you and your companions try to find a Jedi who was on the Endar Spire and get off planet. After which you travel to the planet Dantooine and take refuge among the Jedi academy based there. Soon after you are given a mission to find an object on the planets Tatooine, Mannan, Korriban and Kashyyyh. Along the way you pick up more and more companions. You discovery the source of Darth Malak's power and other secrets, until you face the Dark Lord himself. Personally the story for me was so rich in Star Wars lore and information it made me open my eyes to the whole Star Wars universe. The fact that everything within the game has a huge background and with the detailed information makes you totally immersed within the game. The actual overarching story within the game is one of the best I have ever come across, only rivaled by the likes of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2, Assassins Creed Series. You feel totally for the characters and most of the time the choices you have to make regarding yourself and your crew are hard but every option no matter how small is brought into the story in some way or another. There are also many side story lines within the game which tie in and out of the main story line too, all of which again add to the immersion of the game.
My opinion in this game is that it is one of the best that existed in the early 2000's, the story was one of the best I have ever come across. I would recommend this game to anyone, especially to any fan of the Star Wars Universe.
In a galaxy far, far away
The Star Wars universe has always been ripe for gaming. We've already seen some great spaceship simulators produced like X-Wing and Tie fighter. We've seen some first person blasters like Dark Forces, but then a slew of ho-hum games brought little but disappointment. Then Activision and Bioware brought out the seminal Knights Of The Old Republic.
Great classic Star Wars locations abound. A republic cruiser, Tatooine, Dantooine, Kashykk (Wookie land) and others. Bounty hunters, Tusken raiders, Sith, Wookies, Twi'leks and more. Blasters and melee weapons, leading to the ultimate hotness; use of the light sabres themselves. Best of all, because the game setting is 4,000 years in the past when compared to the films, there's scope for a universe-affecting plot without the need to step carefully around established canon.
Dungeons and Dragons in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
Knights of the old Republic (KoTR) uses D&D 3rd edition rules. You can choose between three starting classes which lead into three advanced Jedi classes later in the game. You have your basic warrior class (Soldier), a thief-style class (Scout) and a combination class (Scoundrel, or obvious-Han-Solo), half-way between the two.
One of the main differences is that Soldiers will be more durable in combat, with greater access to feats while Scouts have far more skill points to invest. Feats are typically buffing "powers" that affect combat. Giving the ability to strike more regularly or with greater force, and many others. Skills are exactly what it says on the tin. A soldier is not going to be able to open that security gate. A Scoundrel may, while a Scout probably will.
Playing as a soldier is the most straight-forward and probably the choice that most players will go for. Because you have the ability to choose from a pool of potential companions, you do have the option to play as whatever you want. More importantly, if your character falls in combat, things continue until your companions either win or join you. A very nice aspect indeed.
Later in the game, you become a Jedi. At that point, you get to make the same class choice again. Only things revolve around force points. The soldier-type will get access to more force type attacks, but less force points than a Scout-type. The three Jedi classes are Jedi Consular, Jedi Sentinel, and Jedi Guardian. There's no reason why you have to choose the same class type the second time around.
Combat is straightforward. You walk through a level until an enemy sees you, then the game auto-pauses, giving you the facility to issue orders to yourself and your companions. A queue of orders can be generated, such as throw grenade, followed by power attack, followed by use medikit. You can pause the game at any point by pressing the space bar and resume the same way.
There are a number of conversation options, and your feats and skill can alter these. You really can persuade someone that these aren't the droids they are looking for with but a gesture. If you chose that power.
One of the coolest aspects of the game for me was the way you could personalise your light sabres. You have a choice of colours, and can use either one sabre, two or a two-bladed weapon a la Darth Maul. Furthermore, special crystals could be found or purchased which give extra effects or damage.
Another uber cool feature is the facility through free choice to ally yourself with the light or dark side of the force. Your appearance will alter accordingly, as will your cost to use certain force powers. You can still use force lightning if you're nicer than nice, but it will drain your force points far quicker. If you're evil personified, you can cast lightning all day, but healing someone will be very expensive.
As alluded to above, the plot is really something special. You begin the game with amnesia, and are quickly drawn into a fight between the old republic and a sith fleet led by Darth Malak, once protégé of the legendary Darth Revan. Locations are well thought out, leading to much raising of gooseflesh as you echo many of the film's greatest footsteps. Once example would be stepping into a dingy bar in Anchorhead on Tatooine. There are plenty of moments that belong to KoTR alone, such as when you masquerade as a Sith in training on their ancient training world, or lead a Wookie rebellion against a rapacious corporation.
Not only is the plot great, you develop a pool of possible companions to crew your proto Millenium Falcon. All of them have rich backstories and side quests, excellent voice acting and none of them seem cheap or caricatured. There's something for everyone, though you'll want to go with whoever will compliment your own class choices most of the time. All have items, abilities or specific weapons to be upgraded.
Bastila Shan - A smoking hot but rather preachy and slightly arrogant Jedi knight, recently graduated and possessing a unique Jedi power. She represents the first such character you are able to recruit, and is intregal to the major plot.
Carth Onasi - A distrustful republic soldier, betrayed by someone he once idolised. A standard soldier class who specialises in the use of blasters. The pilot of your spacecraft.
Canderous Ordo - Heavy weapons specialist and Mandalorian mercenary. Someone who lives for battle, and has little morals, regarding them as useless constraints.
Mission Vao - Twi'lek scout and teenager. Close friend of the Wookie Zaalbar. Bubbly and cheerful. A bit like a care bear with head tentacles and a pistol. Useful for unlocking or decoding stuff.
Zaalbar - Exiled as a madclaw by his clan, specialising in the use of his crossbow blaster-thing, but useful with a large blade due to prodigious strength.
Jolee Bindo - An amusing old Jedi Knight living in exile deep in the dangerous swamps of Kashykk. Useful as a general buffer / healer for your party.
Juhani - A struggling Jedi apprentice that looks a lot like Cheetara from Thundercats. Volatile and hot tempered. Good front combat tank.
HK47 - My favourite companion. An at times hysterically funny assassin droid whose memory can be gradually unlocked. Alternates between obsequiousness and insulting. You're both master and meatbag to him.
T3-M4 - Basically R2D2. The least developed companion. There's little conversational options to be had with something capable of only a series of beeps and bops. Surprisingly versatile as a companion however.
Enemies are pleasingly varied. Sith come in both the foot soldier type and dark Jedi versions. The halberd-wielding piggies make an appearance, as do a whole range of other star wars regulars. Mandalorian mercenaries are a constant, concerted menace and there's a whole host of various beasties indigenous to each location, from the bizarre to the terrifying.
The graphics may have aged, but the game is as good now as it has ever been. And you no longer need a powerful machine to run it at highest resolution. Upgradable items including weapons and armour are rendered nicely, with what was incredible textures at the time. Everything has a suitable Star Wars look and feel to it. Sound effects are great, from blasters to the hum and crackle of Light sabres. Combat music feels instantly recognisable.
There is plenty of game here, at least thirty hours of fun to be had. The different locations keep plates spinning, avoiding the feeling of repetition. You even have the choice, once you have your ship, to visit whatever planets you want in whichever order. There's a few sub-games, including racing, gambling and ship combat, but they feel tacked on.
The story is a great one and the general game polish is high, something that wouldn't be the case with its successor, the unfinished Sith Lords. If you have a PC and have not played this, and you like Star Wars. It's a genuine no brainer. Buy it now for about the cost of a happy meal.
Knights of the Old Republic is a party based RPG set in the Star Wars universe. So a long time ago in a galaxy far away. In fact its set before the films so it's a very long time ago indeed. As such you won't be meeting any of the character from the films although some of the locations will be familiar. As you would expect you get the chance to play a jedi (or sith), but I'll tell you now that you will be waiting for a while before you get your hands on a lightsaber. The game doesn't start you out as a powerful force master with exciting skills and weapons at your disposal. It's an rpg, so you have to earn levels and abilities before you finally progress to the point where you can choose to become a jedi, and then try and get a lightsaber. Even at this point you can make the choice to continue the game without becoming a force user. But I rather doubt you'll consider that option for long on your 1st play through. The story is good and well told through cut scene and dialogue in quests. The game is spread over a number of world and these are varied in graphics and mood.
Pick a character class, gender and face, roll for stats and then you can begin. You start on a space ship with no memory, and you need to discover your past while completing the various missions that will be given to you as the story progresses. You start off alone but very rapidly find new friends to travel with. At any time you can have a party consisting your character plus up to 2 others. The other playable characters remain on your ship until you bring them into the party and all of them gain experience regardless of who you bring along.
As indicated earlier you can be either light or dark side, but your alignment is dictated by your actions, so to be very light/dark you need to be consistent in your actions and quest decisions. Combat is real time-ish - actions are queued and activated once they reach the front. Combat can be paused at any point allowing you to switch between party members to set actions dependant on the situation. There are a lot of skills (passives like computer use and trap disarming) and feats (combat masteries and force powers) to choose between, and while all skills can be learnt by any class some get bonuses to them.
One piece of advice - the game has a max level (20) which is a combination of your starting class and jedi class (eg if you get to lvl 9 in your starting class you can only get up to lvl 11 jedi class ). So to get the most levels as a jedi you need to not level you character too far in starting class.
Replay value is high - you can be one of 3 starting classes, moving on from these to one of 3 jedi classes. And of course you can then do the same with the other alignment, which will need you to take different actions and quests.
If you're a Star Wars fan and don't mind putting some time into a game this will be great fun for you, if you're not a fan its still a good rpg.
If you like this try out Baldur's Gate 2 for a more hardcore rpg experience. Be warned - its even longer.
The story line goes like this, you play a soldier of the Republic who is a crew member of a Republic ship that is destroyed by the Sith. After you escape to a Sith planet you must find another survivor of the doomed ship called Bastila, a Jedi. After you find her in the game you very shortly find out that your main character is very force sensitive, and you must then learn to embrace your new powers to stop the evil Malak.
About the graphics, while some look really stunning, with flying flocks of birds in the backgrounds, flying space ships, swaying grass, etc. other locations you visit are bland, featureless and boring. Which I may conclude that the visuals overall for the game are good, just not overly stunning.
About the action play , well you can give orders during real time, stack a load of commands in a queue, or just leave your team to it and they'll attack accordingly all by themselves! In its tradition, the player often times chooses his destiny, be it on the light or dark side. This action can be decided by the choices and action the player take whilst solving task and quest. Making choices that dictate which side of the light/dark side aren't naturally obvious either. It's not because the game has bug, but when you sit back and think why you were given those points afterward it does make sense. You really have to think about your actions beforehand.And is real great with me.
With its quite long game play, Knights of the old Republic is a great Star Wars game that surely keep you going for hours.
A game that was a breath of fresh air in PC gaming on time of release. For some reason there is something about playing a Jedi that always makes me smile.
This game has you develop a character from the beginning, you can either choose to be good or evil. You receive XP that allows your character to level when a certain amount is received. Along the way you find yourself picking up weapons/armour/and other items of use. You can use or sell them depending on your gaming style.
You can also get characters to help you, they join your party and offer a lot more than just firepower to your team. They offer to the story with dialogue and their own actions. Beware not to upset them too often though or face the consequences. The game does make you think though which is one of the aspects I enjoyed the most.
The graphics of this game are very impressive and you don't really need a high spec machine to get it working well. The sound and music is typically Starwars which is excellent. I had been using headphones most of the time and you really feel like you are in on the action.
Battles work well with you choosing the actions (RTS style) of your party members before the battle actually takes place (Real Time). The game pauses for a brief moment whilst you issue commands. You can have them attack, defend, or use items that you have picked up/bought.
It is a good game that has many hours of game play (I completed it in 36 hours doing a lot of side quests) to work through. There are also different endings so allows you to play through more than once which is good. The story is engrossing and offers a lot of content from the Starwars universe.
I rate this game highly and is always one I can go back to and learn something new. Bioware's open ended game deserves;
5 out of 5.
The game is set over 4000 years before the films, although most of the aliens can be recognised from the films, you take on the role of a what seems to be an ordinary Republican soldier during a war between the Republic and the Sith, the imperials.
The game starts of with you waking up on a Republic ship with no memory of who you are or why you are here, and the story starts from here. You have to fight your way of the ship slowly piecing together your memory whilst completing missions and objectives and assisting your friends.
The game takes you to many of the worlds that have previously been seen in the Star Wars universe and some new ones.
You play in the third person perspective, and although you have your main character as you go along you meet new characters who join your party each one having special abilities to help your mission, at the start of each mission you can decide who to take with you and whilst playing you can select who you want to play as.
All the missions have main objectives that must be completed and they have several sub mission, games that you can complete if you wish.
Every option and move you make decides if you move to the light side or the dark side of the force, this affects how your friends and characters interact with you and the outcome of the missions.
As in most role playing games you earn experience to upgrade your characters and the abilities of the character like new force powers etc.
The controls are pretty easy to use and quite easy to learn, you can do complicated moves fairly easily without having to remember lot of buttons.
The graphics are pretty good and some of the cut scenes are fairly spectacular, and the soundtrack and sound in the cut scenes are of a good quality and are worth watching.
Value for Money
Endless hours of game play in the game you can easily play the game several times and still not have done everything available, even to play through it once takes awhile so is a very good buy and the story is pretty good too.
For me, good computer games provide a near-total emersion experience. I get to control characters as they strive for their objectives, I feel their frustrations and their triumphs. When I finally have to walk away from the computer for such irritating needs as food, toilet and sleep, I find that six hours or more has passed in a flash.
Great computer games need to give me more. The most satisfying are those where I get to dip my toe into well-loved worlds from TV (Star Trek), Film (Blade Runner) and even literature (Discworld: Noir). The universe I most like to pitch my cyber-tent in has to be Star Wars.
I bought 'Star Wars: The Best of PC' in 2007. It claimed to contain '5 of the greatest Star Wars games ever'. I recommend this collection as there is not a weak game in it. You have an eclectic mix, consisting of Empire at War, Battlefront, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Republic Commando and Knights of the Old Republic.
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) takes place 4000 years before Princess Leia downloads the Death Star's plans onto R2-D2. This means the narrative has a degree of latitude from the protocols of the Star Wars universe. For example, the Sith is a far more overt presence in KOTOR than in the films.
This is a good place to begin looking at the actual game. The player's character, whose name and gender you decide, begins the story having just survived the crash of a space ship. They have no recollection of their past, which means no particular leaning towards good or evil. The player's actions influence this and, as the story unfolds, you can favor the good path of the Jedi or the dark path of the Sith. These choices in turn, will influence the attitude of characters you interact with and the powers you wield.
During the course of the game, other characters will try and help you and others will try and kill you. The Jedi masters will teach you to use the force, while the Sith lord Darth Malak tracks you across the galaxy.
Any product of the Star Wars franchise should have certain features guaranteed: interesting and exotic locations, interesting and exotic characters, clever technology, and lots and lots of fighting. KOTOR delivers bucket loads of all of them.
The action takes place over several superbly rendered environments. Your character will travel from the depths of the ocean, across majestic deserts and through deep space. You hop around these destinations onboard the Ebon Hawk, which is where the characters in your party will wait until you need them.
You can be accompanied by a range of characters but, with only a limited number of slots available, choosing them will require careful thought. These characters include loyal droids, wise-cracking mercenaries, and headstrong women. Each has a variety of special abilities and you will need to call on all of them at different stages. Remember, they too have their own position on the Jedi / Sith scale.
You will need to find, fix and manipulate a variety of gadgets to progress during the game. This might be as simple as finding a key card to a restricted area, or you might have to locate the power plant for a pod-racer in order to challenge the local champion.
As well as searching rooms, this involves talking to other characters. Some of these will send you off on quests and sub-plot arcs in order to retrieve information or objects for them. You select what you say to these characters from menus, usually containing four choices. If you say the wrong thing, they will become uncooperative or even try and kill you.
Finally, the battles you fight. As with the classic films, these range from dog-fights between space ships to the elegance of light-saber duels, with every kind of gun-shooting, stick-wielding melee in between. The majority of the combat takes places place with your selected group against an enemy of two or three members. It is turn-based, but you can pause the action to make adjustments to your characters' attributes.
KOTOR had the depth and scale to be a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon. It was also a phenomenal piece of computer entertainment, as it's truck-full of awards attest (see Wikipedia entry for details). It feels fresh, even in 2008, which is an awesome achievement given its release in 2003. There is a warm predictability about being in the Star Wars universe. The characters in KOTOR align fairly easily with those in the original films and the Ebon Hawk is obviously the ancestor of the Millennium Falcon.
This is also true of the plot which unravels as predictably as the original Star Wars film. Luckily, there are many twists and turns in the plot, and the player is able to influence the decisions taken. The final plot twist is superb and I guarantee you'll want to go back and play it in different ways.
I'm very glad the sequel to KOTOR has now been released. I just need time to play it!
£11.99 from Amazon Market Place as a discrete title
Computer: 100% DirectX 9.0b compatible computer
Operating Systems: Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP
CPU: Intel PIII 1 GHz or AMD Athlon 1 GHz required
Memory: 128 MB RAM required for Windows 98, 256 MB RAM required for Windows ME/2000/XP
Graphics Card: 32 MB OpenGL 1.4 compatible PCI or AGP 3D Hardware Accelerator with Hardware Transform and Lighting (T&L) Capability required
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 9.0b compatible Audio Device required
Linking Ribena with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Ribena is most famously made from Blackcurrants. In 2005, Kellog's blackcurrant flavour Mini Wheats featured cut out characters from Star Wars in a special 'Jedi Mind Game'.
4,000 years before the films is the setting for this game. The Republicans having defeated the Mandalorians are under attack from the Sith and the knights are being wiped out.
You take the role of a human, male or female and choose to be a scoundrel, soldier or scout. When you become a Jedi you choose between guardian, sentinel and consular. To build yourself up you must allocate your points to any of 6 attributes - dexterity, intelligence, strength, constitution, wisdom and charisma. There are also 8 skills for you to allocate points between - demolitions, awareness, stealth, computers, treat injury , persuade, security and repair. The final point allocation area is feats which are a range of different attack and defence skills, different ones will be available to you depending on whether you choose the light or dark path. The choice between light and dark will also affect how the world reacts to you. You do not choose between the two merely by clicking a box, your actions throughout the game will decide this for you.
I'm not a far of the Star Wars films at all and one of the best things about this game is that you don't have to be a fan of the films. You can easily appreciate what a truly amazing RPG this is without having any feelings towards the films or even if you dislike the films. The graphics are very good as is the sound but the gameplay and storyline are fantastic.
Not only do you have the main missions, there are enjoyable side missions for you to do and activities such as swoop racing for you to get involved in. With regard to replay value due to the light and dark influence there's plenty of replay value.
If you like RPGs you'll love it, if you don't like RPGs I'd still advise that you try it as it may change your mind.
Star wars Knights of the old Republic PC is the PC version of the Xbox role playing game.
This game follows the same story as the Xbox version, you start off on a ship that is about to crash you must survive make it to the surface and discover who you are exploring many planets and meeting many new people along the way.
Your actions both good and evil directly affect the game world and the people and it. This is great fun.
Unlike the Xbox game the PC version has user created mods, so you can make your characters look like Darth Vader or any other famous star wars character, this is immense fun and adds a whole new life to the game. The PC version runs at higher resolutions so the graphics are improved.
Even if you have experienced this game on Xbox you may want to invest in the PC version, you should be able to find it for about £10.00.