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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)

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      24.03.2012 02:55
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      Worthy Award Winner

      In 2003, I first greeted Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic with half hearted disdain, as my childhood friend from school tried to shift what was clearly a game he did not care for, in exchange for a tenner. His hyped description was about how great it was to wield lightsabres, yet his apparent reason for selling it was that he couldn't acquire said lightsabre in his minimal gaming experience. Soon enough he wore me down and I had a new xbox game, an empty wallet and a sense of disgust that I had paid for something Star Wars related. Its not that I hated SW, it was more of a disinterest, the first 3 films were 'too old' for me, fresh into my teenage years and the 2 'newer' ones had JarJar Binks - enough said. In retrospect I don't know what it was that possessed me to play the game in the first place, perhaps boredom or just getting the most for my money, either way, looking back, I am very glad I did as it was one of the best gaming experiences I could hope for on the Xbox.

      KOTOR has all the classic role playing elements you could hope for straight off the bat - Customising your very own character and choosing classes, levelling up stats and hand picking skills & feats. Considering the scale of the game (and its age) the customisation is limited when it comes to appearance, meaning you choose one of several varying default characters. As soon as you're done tweaking your main guy, you're whisked straight into a desperate battle - an attack on the Republic space ship the Endar Spire - of which you must fight your way through numerous Sith troops, whilst the game neatly waves you through a tutorial of all the battle basics. Before the ship gets completely obliterated, you manage to escape via the last life-pod thanks to the aid of your first companion, Carth Onasi, a loyal, experienced, handy with a blaster, Republic man with trust issues (and love interest for the female gamers). Some brief but graphically fantastic FMV's of the ship exploding and life-pods landing show a nice insight as to what the movie like videos have in store for you. Soon enough your player awakens on the hustling bustling planet of Tarris, in search of the mysterious and powerful jedi Bastilla, another love interest.

      Thats as vivid as I'll get for describing the storyline, but be assured that there are far more characters to make your acquaintance, planets to roam, adventures to be had. Actual gameplay consists of a 3rd person view (behind the player) running all over the spectacularly designed environments. The hi-tech utopia of Tarris, the sand storm world of tatooine, ancient relic ridden Sith planet Korriban, Jedi academy farm world of Dantooine, an Atlantis-like ocean world of Manaan and the wild swampy depths of Kashyyyk. All just begging to be scoured in search of an ancient device known as the 'Star Forge'. Each planet is distinctly unique and offers rich subplots and different avenues to approach. To make them even more memorable, composer Jeremy Soule, produces an exquisite, full orchestral soundtrack to go with your exploration (some of the battle music can get repetitive though). I've thrown quite a few Star Wars names and such around so far and if you aren't overly familiar with the franchise, I hope you aren't put off because inside all the weirdly spelt and pronounced fiction, lies a hotbed of interesting, interactable, recruitable characters. People try to sell you their 'wares', burden you with their plight, beg for your assistance and cause all sorts of ruckus to distract you from the sometimes too serious main plot.

      Companions also differ in personalities and even species, with wookies, droids and twi'leks included. All of whom have vast side quests and conversation paths that can keep you coming back for more play-throughs. The games method of communication and dialogue were only one of the reasons the game garnered so much success and awards. Your character is met with numerous choices to select, offering up words of encouragement from light side players, selfish and violent phrases from dark siders, but mostly neutral options to worm out information and personalise to your own style. The battle system is a varient of turn based fighting as players choose to home in on targets, choose one of many upgradable physical attacks, jedi powers or class specials, then hope for a hit and lots of damage or effect. (the moves rely on a set algorithm involving player stats - strength providing more damage, dexterity for speed and hit rate, constitution for defence etc). Players can also find or purchase hundreds of different weapons and armours, to customise even further by merging modifiers for extra damage or protection - the colour of lightsabres can be altered, along with the type of crystal used.

      The story and gameplay were so addictive and playable that I could completely overlook the fact it was, what I thought a nerdy franchise (it still is) and end up embracing it. Don't be fooled though, the game has absolutely nothing to do with any of the events in the Star Wars films, it is only set in the same environment. It all seems to come down to choice - choose your personality, clothes, fighting style, friends, journey.. and end up in an outrageously epic struggle to determine the fate of the galaxy ..pause for effect..

      ..and I'm glad my friend ended up missing out on one of the best games available on Xbox, because it meant that I didn't..

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        17.10.2010 18:36
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        A great RPG that can be played on the Xbox or the Xbox 360.

        KOTOR was the first RPG i had properly played, and still remains one of my favourites now. Although the game is a 'on the rails' RPG, meaning that you must follow a set path, unlike other RPG's where you are free to do what you want, in any order. Despite this, the game still feels good, and has a decent amount of replay value, as you have the ability to play through the game, making different choices each time, there are different endings depending whether you are dark sided or light sided. I personally probably wouldn't play through the whole game again if i had already completed it, at least not for a while, but i know people who have completed it several times in a row within just a few months. The games storyline is excellent, which is sometimes rare for video games, but Bioware is well known now for its brilliant RPG's, crreating titles such as Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR I & II and Mass Effect. The game runs on a turn-based/real time combat engine, where you give your party commands and they will follow them out in real time, often it is wise to pause the game, give your characters a list of commands to execute, then unpause and wait for them to act it out.

        If its your first time playing and you wish to do every side quest in the game, it will probably take about at least 20 hours to finish the game, possibly more. The first planet (Taris) tends to have the most side missions, the rest of the game is mainly the actual storyline, however there are a few quests on each planet that are not story-related, but each adds something to the game.

        Like other Bioware games, the PC (Player Character) can learn about the background of his party members, in KOTOR this is fairly simplistic, as you progress through the story, your party members will open up to you, and tell you more about themselves. KOTOR II brought in a slightly deeper system for this.

        All in all its a great game, graphics are decent, story is good, difficulty isnt too difficult on the hardest setting, but its not a walk in the park.

        The game also works on the Xbox 360, although it suffers from framerate issues in busy areas and in combat, as well as certain audio glitches that occur on the rare occasion.

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        24.02.2010 13:17
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        Overall, this is a great action, role-playing game

        It's hard to imagine anyone realising just how big Star Wars was going to become with movies, merchandise, games etc. after the release of the first movie in the 1970's. Star Wars has literally been a world wide craze spanning four decades and still going. I loved the original Star Wars movies so wanted to try this game on the XBox and I'm glad I did as it's pretty good...For me this game is way above any others that have been released to date in my opinion.

        The videogame is set some 4,000 years prior to the time of the films, and this game tells an entirely new tale that captures all the elements that made the original movie trilogy so enthralling. You take control of a character that is fully customisable meaning you can pick the face, sex, class of the character amongst other things. You are then thrown into a brand new adventure.

        In regards to storyline this isn't too much different from the movies. The Sith are seeking to control the galaxy under the guidance of Darth Malak. He was once a proud Jedi servant of the light side of the force. But after commencing a war with the Mandalorians he changed sides.

        The Republic and the Jedi dealt the Sith a horrible blow when a young female Padawan named Bastila used her powerful battle meditation and allowed the Republic forces to kill Darth Revan. However, this didn't end the Sith threat--it only allowed the evil Malak to usurp the title of Dark Lord of the Sith.

        When you start the game you are a soldier fighting for the Republic. As the game progresses you will make friends and enemies. You will travel across the vast galaxy and build your own lightsaber and train with the Jedi. You will even get to choose your own destiny and whether you continue with the good guys or fall down and move to the dark side. This is fantastic as it's really open ended allowing you to choose which side of the force to fight with.

        The gameplay is like other role playing games. Battles are fought across real-time with turn based action ensuing. You can pause in the middle of battle too in order to issue specific commands for example.

        Depending on the character there are a large variety of options available in each particular battle. Each character has their own powers and skills to use.

        As in most games of this type the success of each attack or failure is dependent on dice throws. There are also many side issues and quests to occupy yourself like speaking to locals on whichever planet you are on and getting quests for rewards to undertake.

        The graphics in this game are good but not the greatest ever seen. Each world has it's own unique look in terms of backgrounds etc. They are all visually pleasing. I think I was a little disappointed by the character's facial expressions as they weren't overly detailed to say the least and the same most of the time.

        Overall, this is one of the best Star Wars I've played and is well worth finding and buying if you love Star Wars films

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        18.01.2009 18:10
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        Great game for the xbox, plus downloaded content

        Knights of the Old Republic is the most like Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate then any other Star Wars game you may have played. This is a hybrid turn-based RPG where the focus is on strategy then action. Also the big selling point is the story.

        I haven't played it through the whole game but I can tell you it is very good game. The other big feature is the decision making part. As you make decisions in the game the story will change, characters will treat you different and you will develop you're character.

        The other cool things are the locations. If you ever wanted to visit some less explored places in Star Wars and really be able to walk around, talk to people and experience it all. The vehicles are cool, the fact you have companions to be with you, group tactical battles.

        You can really experience a great story and a wonderful universe to be explored.

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        13.11.2008 16:02
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        The finest Star Wars game ever made

        For the longest time the Star Wars franchise suffered from a serious problem - try as they might, every time they released a video game it seemed to miss the mark.

        It's not that any of the games where particularly BAD - many were very passable efforts - it's just that none of them came close to realising the potential of George Lucas' epoch defining behemoth.

        Then, in 2003, the excellent BioWare released Knights of the Old Republic, and the curse was lifted.

        BioWare have always been masters of the RPG genre, from the Baldur's Gate series through to the more recent Mass Effect, and they brought all their ability to bear on KOTOR.

        The game is set 4,000 years before the movies, but don't worry, this is still the Star Wars universe we know and love. Blasters, lightsabres, dodgy cantinas and legions of faceless troopers are all here for your interactive pleasure. You play with one main character and a team of secondary characters you can rotate in and out of your current squad as suits you. All the Star Wars archetypes are represented - the cocky rogue, the brash pilot, the wookie - even the Millennium Falcon is here in an easily recognisable form. All these combine to make the universe feel like Star Wars should feel.

        The gameplay is great, especially if you're familiar with RPGs and enjoy (as I do) the micro-management of your character's abilities and equipment. Combat is turn based rather than live like a first person shooter, but there's so much to do you'll be glad of the ability to pause and gather your thoughts. The graphics are rendered wonderfully (though perhaps a little dated by today's standards) and lightsabre combat especially is spectacular.

        All of these great qualities, however, pale into insignificance beside the game's crowning achievement - the story. It's amazing. Galaxy sweeping. It has drama, a truly immersive romance subplot (playing as a male character anyway, never quite got round to playing the female romance storyline...) and is guaranteed to keep you hooked. I'm not going to say anything about it (and if you plan to play it for the first time AVOID SPOILERS) other than this anecdote:

        There's a twist, of course. I didn't see it coming, and when it did it put me into a genuine rage for days. I stalked about the house glowering at everyone, and while I was playing I turned my previously sweet and kindly character turned into a seething, slicing psychopath hacking his way through all the bad guys I could find until the situation was resolved. Good times. I rarely get emotionally involved in games or films (books are a bit different) but KOTOR got me.

        If you've never played, get it and give it a whirl - it's incredible.

        (I can also confirm that the Xbox version will play on the 360)

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          03.11.2008 16:01
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          Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic for xbox was on of the best games for the console ever!

          Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was another star wars game to be released. This was one of the best star wars games i have ever played on the xbox, because you don't go around killing whatever you see, but work out how to get out of situations or even fix them. This game requires that you use your head to get through each level, such as deciding whether to take someone along with you or whether to buy an item to help you on your quest to get to the death star. You actually can talk to almost every character on the game and can sell items to certain people/aliens. you can use different characters to deal with a problem. Once you have defeated an enemie, you gain points which can be used to upgrade your skills, such as force heal, lightning and force push. The game is quite long as you need to go and speak to people and complete tasks to complete missions or gain more points or money. The mini games are interesting as you can race to get more money to buy more better upgrades and weapons to defend with. Or you can talk to people and they can and sometimes depending in which world yo are give you tasks to do to get points and lots more money.

          Overall a good game for the console and a great game to add to your collection. It's not the best star wars game out there but for the Xbox it was probably one of the best. This game lasted me for hours as there was lots to do and explore. There are not alot of worlds to go and explore on but each world can take sometime to explore, so worht getting and adding to your Star Wars collection.

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            21.08.2008 15:59
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            Love it.

            Star wars Knight's of the old Republic is a fun role playing game from Bioware for the Microsoft Xbox.

            The story starts with you on a ship that is under attack, you must escape to the planet below. Once you have done that your quest begins you learn who you are over the course of the game you also meet interesting characters along the way.

            The fun thing about this game is that you can choose to be good or evil. Your actions have a direct consequence on the game world. You can help people or you can rob and kill them. It is fun to do both good and evil so to fully experience the game you should play it at least twice or you'll miss stuff.

            This game is one of the best games available for the Xbox and if you have an Xbox360 you will be pleased to know that this game works on your console. It will cost you around £15.00 to buy which is expensive for an Xbox game but I still recommend it highly.

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            15.01.2007 14:57
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            An RPG that even an RPG hater can adore,KOTOR is possibly the best Star Wars game ever

            Given the hit and miss nature of Star Wars games, and the fact that ordinarily I loathe Role Playing Games, you would think I would have been tempted to give Knights of the Old Republic(KOTOR from this point in) a skip, no matter how much hype it got. Tempted to skip it I was, until one summer holidays when I had too much time on my hands, too much money, and decided to plonk down the cash for it anyway, figuring if I didn't like it, I could always sell it off.

            As I mentioned, the game is an RPG, where you take a character, whom you customise, through the game from a 3D third-person point of view, trying to complete tasks and find out information, while doing battle in a combat system that is pseudo-turn based, but that I'll get back to in a minute. Your character has to enlist the aid of several other characters in his or her quest, and take part in several mini-games, such as Swoop racing and asteroid shooting on route to completing their game.
            As I mentioned, the battle system is turn based, a system I usually abhore, however, Bioware, the game's parents, have implemented a system that while Im not head over heels for, it is certainly more enjoyable for an action orientated player like myself than out and out-turn based. Your attacks are assigned to buttons, which you enter, and can have up to 4 waiting to be launched at an enemy. Whose attacks connect and miss is determined via an off-screen dice rolling system which I believe originated in the Neverwinter Nights series, although I may be 100% wrong about that.
            Your created character can be of either gender or any race, and can fit into one of three classes, each with their own unique pros and cons, Soldier,Scoundrel and Scout being the classifications. You have six areas (strength,wisdom,charisma,intelligence,dexterity and constitution) which you assign points to, something akin to what you find in sports games custom player systems, but with the addition of teaching your character skills such as first aid and advanced combat.
            These can be improved upon by 'levelling up', which is achieved by winning fights, as well as other activities, such as using computers or your actions towards other characters.

            Ah, now this is where the game earned a fair bit of good press, it's ability to allow players to act as they feel towards the other characters. You can be passive or aggressive, modest or cocky, all of these, and the big one that everyone wanted, if you follow the true Jedi 'light side', or if you fall to the Dark Side of the force,each side having it's pros and cons in terms of special abilites you gain. These are all determined by how you react to those you meet in the game, and what you choose to do. While this freedom isn't as great as it is occasionally made out to be, it is there, and I wouldn't at all call the game linear.

            As well as your Jedi powers, your character, and party, has a wide array of weapons,armours and items at their disposal, something that adds another level of customisation, with you being able to choose what colour and style of lightsabre you wield, as well as the armour altering your appearance.

            While the game is an RPG, and therefore very story based, it does have it's action elements, and you will be fighting a vast array of wonderful enemies that fit right into the Star Wars universe. From the ninja like Dark Jedi to the crazy aliens, you cannot claim the enemies in the game get repetitive, not quickly anyway.

            As I say, I normally despise RPG games, but I have to admit that I fell for KOTOR hook,line and sinker. The gameplay has enough action elements to keep someone like myself's adrenaline requirements sufficed, but also isn't an all action strumash that will make RPG fans balk. Also aiding the game in it's success over me is it's story, which actually got me very interested, and coupling it with the gameplay made for a game I absolutely hated having to turn off. Hours would fly by as I played KOTOR, and before I knew it, the 'couple of hours' in the afternoon of playing this would end at 3am.

            Speaking of the story, there are thousands of years between the ending of this game and The Phantom Menace, so nothing contradicts the movies story, and can actually be seen as a competant extension of the story(probably better than anything from the prequels).
            The galatic Republic was just won a war of many years with the fearsome mandalorian warriors, but a new threat has emerged in the form of renegades from the Republic's own guardians, the Jedi. This group call themselves the Sith, and were lead by Darth Revan and Darth Malak. Revan was killed in a battle with the Jedi Bastilla, and Malak has assumed control of their colossal fleet, a fleet that nobody knows the origin of.

            You awake as a member of the crew on a ship under attack from Sith forces, stationed here at the insistance of Bastila, whom it is your job to aid in her battle against the Sith. However, the ship is badly damaged, and you must evacuate to the closest planet, to try and find Bastila and escape the Sith occupied planet. This begins your quest to learn the truth of the Sith's army, a quest that will take you from Tatooine to Kashykk and the Sith's planet of Korriban.

            As I say, the story is actually pretty cool, if the major plot twist was seen coming, but I didn't want to go very in-depth with it, because I think that everyone should actually play this game and experience it unfold before them, for the maximum effect and enjoyment.

            The controls did take a little adjustment to from me, but once they are learned, they become second nature to the player.

            L+R - Cycle through targets, all of the face buttons actions vary depending upon the situation, but are used to talk to people and so on, the D-Pad controls the combat mode attacks, black alternates which character in your party you control and the start button enters a menu.
            This is a very rough outline to the controls, but to be honest, the game actually has me in a state when I play it that I actually forget what buttons are what, and only the game's controls apply. "that's not the Black button!it's the change character you idiot". As I say, they do require a little learning, but within about half an hour I was completely comfortable with them.

            The response of these all seemed ok to me, although the targeting system and it's inconsistency did get on my nerves at points.


            Graphically, the game isn't anywhere near the best game on the XBox, but it certainly never veers towards bad. The stages are pretty spectacular, and well detailed, and the lack of detail on the character models probably comes down to how many are on screen at once. This makes it sound like they are bad, which isn't true, they just aren't the games selling point. The models all look good enough that you don't think "that looks dumb" while playing, but I was never taken aback by them either.

            The sound in the game is pretty awesome. The blaster and lightsabre sounds are lifted straight from the movies, which may sound lazy, as would the inclusion of some of John Williams score, but trying to change these would probably take the sheer Star Wars atmosphere away from the game, and I feel that that is actually one of the games strongest points, just how much it feels like Star Wars.
            The voices are provided by a cast that may not be household names, but they all do their jobs brilliantly, with no laughable voices or lacks of emotion blatant, as with in a lot of games. Included in the voice cast include Jennifer Hale as Bastila, and while you may never have heard of her, she voiced the Black Cat in the excellent Spiderman cartoon, and Spider Woman in Iron Man's short lived series. Raphael Sbarge,an actor whose career has went from big-buget movies like Risky Business and Independance Day to Roger Corman B-Movie staples like Carnosaur, here he is voicing Carth, your companion for most of the game,and provides a voice I actually thought was perfect for the character. Kevin Michael Richardson, who has provided voices for countless games, including Halo 2 and Enter the Matrix, as well as playing Goro in the live action Mortal Kombat movie, provides the voice for Jedi warrior Jolee Bindo. All the voices suit, and they actually sound like conversations, instead of just lines of dialogue being played, which is something that I usually get a chuckle at in games, but not KOTOR.

            On the whole, while RPGs aint my thing, I have to admit that I absolutely loved KOTOR, and didn't stop playing it until I completed it. The game just oozes the Star Wars atmosphere, not just in the music, but in the character and level design and everything. This doesn't feel like the two-bit games associated with Movie-tie ins, and it simply isn't. This is just as good, if not better, in relation to the masterful original Star Wars trilogy than the prequels.
            It also has replay value, in the form of a couple of alternate endings, depending on how you behave in the game.
            I would recommend KOTOR to anyone, providing they at least see some of the glory in the original Star Wars movies. Even those who don't would probably still enjoy it as a great game, but for someone who grew up with the movies, KOTOR is more than a great game, it's a must own, and accordingly, I feel required to give it full marks. It may have some faults, the camera isn't perfect for one, but KOTOR grabs you and just doesn't allow you to stop playing, and you enjoy it so much that even trying to fault it hurts. RPG fans seem to like it as much as me, so I suppose that would indicate just how awesome the game is, that it appeals to RPG fans, and those who hate them.

            I truly am just babbling now, so I'll cut myself short and just say, KOTOR is not only one of the best games on the XBox, but in my eyes definitely up there as one of the best games I've ever played, and an absolute must own for all XBox owners, RPG fans and Star Wars fans.

            Review also posted on Epinions.com

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              26.11.2005 14:33
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              KOTOR is the best Star Wars game out there.

              This is, for me, the best Star Wars game that has ever been released (although I have to admit I haven't played them all). And I'm sure that if you like Star Wars and/or RPGs, then you'll absolutley love this game.

              Let's begin with the story behind the game. Every solid RPG has a good story behind it, and KOTOR delivers a great one. Set some 4000 years before The Phantom Menace, it tells the tale of two Jedi Knights, Revan and Malak. After defeating the Mandalorians in the Mandalorian war, Revan and Malak mysteriously disappear for some time with the Republic fleet that they commanded. After more than 2 years, the two appear again with seemingly unlimited resources, ready to wage war against the Republic they once served. The two former Jedi, now Sith Lords, have fallen to the Dark Side. The Jedi managed to defeat Revan, and the story begins with Malak in command. Its up to you to defeat him in a quest that has you racing against time to discover ancient secrets of an ultimate weapon of conquest known as the Starforge.

              The game begins with you choosing and customizing a character. Choosing either the female or male version of one of three classes: Soldier, Scout, or Scoundrel. There's a complex "experience" system that is to be expected of an RPG like KOTOR, where the characters of your party can learn new feats, improve their skills, and (if they're Jedi) learn new Force powers. You will have the chance to visit and see more than 6 worlds, including Tatooine (the desert planet, where Luke came from!), Korriban, Dantooine, Kashyyk (home to the Wookies,) and Taris.

              Most of your other party members will have side quests for you to complete, and one of them will be your “love interest” side quest. If you chose a male main character, then your love interest will be Bastila, a sexy Jedi knight with a british accent. If you’re female, then its Carth Onasi, a republican war hero (yay for you).

              During the game, you will make choices which will either move you to the Light side of the Force, or the Dark side. While this provides the basic foundation for the two ending of the game, you can actually decide which ending to see by what you do in the last hour or so of the game (this is one of the very few letdowns in the game). Your other characters also have their own alignments with respect to the Force, but you have no control over that aspect of them.

              (Another thing about Light and Dark side is that your other party members react differently to you, but its not such a big difference either way. Also, being closer to the light side of the Force makes Light Force Powers easier to use, and Dark Force Powers harder. And vice versa).

              The game's graphics are not perfect, but great nonetheless. The environments seem realistic in some areas, and there are places where you can stand and gaze off into an endless horizon with an amazing view. Its something that has to be seen to be experienced. But in some places the graphics can get grainy, and the level of detail is too low. In terms of the characters seen throughout the game, they are animated well enough and look good and true to their part.

              The music and soundeffects is what you'd expect: Star Wars music same as the movies, lightsaber "zzzznnn"s, and blasters "soomsoom" all over the place. Not the first time most of us would hear this stuff, but still excellent and fitting to the game. Another thing to point out is that the voice acting in KOTOR is pretty amazing, and the dialogue is well written.

              The battle system is turn-based, but cleverly made to seem real-time. There is some strategy involved in them, like pre-battle preparation such as equipping weapons that deals the most damage to certain enemies, or putting on armor that deflects the enemies’ attacks best. During a battle you also have control over what feats/Jedi powers each party member performs each turn, or else any items they should use - and you can also leave it to the A.I to control your characters. Overall, however, it just depends on the level of your characters and the feats or powers that they have learned so far.

              You will be able to switch any of your three active party members during play, in order to use their special skills. One might be an expert in security, another in droid repair or computers, yet a third in demolitions, and so on.

              Still, every game has its down sides, and the following are Kotor’s:

              The game starts out as being slightly difficult, but as you progress through the game it becomes easier and easier until it becomes a little too easy. The enemies need to be tougher in general, and I had expected the last battle(s) in the game to be more difficult.

              There are three minigames in Kotor, and none of them are exciting. Pazaak is a card game similar to blackjack, where you bust if you go over 20 and can add cards to your hand from a side deck of four. Cards can either add or subtract to the total you have on hand. The problem with this game is that it involves too much luck, and for some reason you have to be the one who draws first – which means that you’ll end up with a bust first more often than not.

              Swoop racing is another minigame, and its basically the same thing we see in the Phantom Menace, except that you unfortunately don’t race against other opponents. You just try to get to the finish line under a time constraint while avoiding obstacles and aiming for booster pads. You are usually given three times to beat to become the champion in each planet where races exist. A lot of people of people found beating the third time very difficult. Either refer to the guides that deal with this minigame, or you can simply ignore it and move on.

              And lastly, you have the shooting game, which occurs randomly between flights from one planet to another. This is a mandatory game, unlike the other two – the game doesn’t advance unless you complete it. You act as the gunner as your ship stands in one place, while you aim at several fighters swarming around you. Boring, but at least its over quick.

              The thing that people complaing the most about KOTOR are the bugs. For me (and this concerns the Xbox version) I only encountered one, involving a Pazaak player in Tatooine. The bug is not serious, and easily avoidable. Maybe I was just lucky - quality control over at BioWare must have been sleep during the development of this game.

              Also, party members A.I. need improvement: sometimes they do the stupidest things during battle, which gets them killed. During the last stage in the game, you will notice this more and more.

              Among your 9 party members, there are three Jedi (other than yourself). They make the other part members obsolete in terms of combat ability. That might be “realistic”, but it would be nice if at least some of others could be as effective in battle as the Jedi. You will find yourself using your other party members only to pursue their side quests or to use their specialization in certain skills.

              Last of all: the game only allows your characters to level up to level 20 (which anyone can easily reach by the last stage in the game). This doesn’t allow you to fully develop your characters and have any of them cover even 50% of the feats (and Force powers if they are Jedi) by the end of the game. This seems like a waste to me. What BioWare should have done is set the maximum level to forty and quadrupled the amount of experience players get after completing each quest or defeating enemies.

              In conclusion: KOTOR is one of the best RPGs released this year, and one of the best, period. What makes it so special is its clever storyline and dialogue, great graphics, excellent soundtrack, and of course: it’s a Star Wars game. You gotta love it. If you can overlook those quite minor flaws, KOTOR will keep you up nights until you complete it.

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                05.07.2005 21:07
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                play as a jedi knight

                A game I've spent days and days worth of time playing (when I say days, I mean the hours added up become whole days!). A very gripping story line and massive diversity of EVERYthing make this game ridiculously addictive, and I'm not even a Starwars fan.

                The constant ability to upgrade, alter and build objects enthralled me. This along with the whole light and dark side system, where your individual characters are affected depending on every action you do - from being rude to a shopkeeper or flirting with a member of crew to killing someone who annoys you - made for a gaming experience that's completely unique to every player. It was comforting to know that whatever I'm doing in the game will never be quite the same as anyone else playing it, as I was a story unfold that's been dictated only by my own actions.

                And the chance to build your very own lightsaber, with a range of sought after crystals and other special parts that can be unique to your character, was brilliant!

                A beautifully written game, superb voice acting and gameplay with suitable learning curve. I'm glad it's in my collection.

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                  03.07.2005 12:02
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                  A very gripping story line and massive diversity of EVERYthing make this game ridiculously addictive

                  A game I've spent days and days worth of time playing (when I say days, I mean the hours added up become whole days!). A very gripping story line and massive diversity of EVERYthing make this game ridiculously addictive, and I'm not even a Starwars fan.

                  The constant ability to upgrade, alter and build objects enthralled me. This along with the whole light and dark side system, where your individual characters are affected depending on every action you do - from being rude to a shopkeeper or flirting with a member of crew to killing someone who annoys you - made for a gaming experience that's completely unique to every player. It was comforting to know that whatever I'm doing in the game will never be quite the same as anyone else playing it, as I was a story unfold that's been dictated only by my own actions.

                  And the chance to build your very own lightsaber, with a range of sought after crystals and other special parts that can be unique to your character, was brilliant!

                  A beautifully written game, superb voice acting and gameplay with suitable learning curve. I'm glad it's in my collection.

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                    02.07.2004 19:23
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                    Over the year we have seen many a star wars games, from the excellent platform style snes games, to the modern rouge squadron, starfighter to name but a few, but there?s loads, it probably the biggest games series ever and its getting bigger and bigger, and it will probably never stop. I purchased this game via my lovely dooyoo reward voucher I received via e-mail not so long ago, as I needed an rpg for my x-box, as really there isn't that many of them, decent ones at least, not until fable comes out, that?s what I?m waiting for like about 99% of x-box rpg fans. Specifically I bought my x-box for that game, a few others to doom 3, half life 2 you know the score the big hitters. Well if your sick of waiting for fable or you just need a rpg then this game is probably for you, if you like star wars you must have this game and if you like rpg's then you must own this game. To the game, it starts with a lovely classic yellow scrolling text typical star wars. the story though is you woken up on a republic ship that?s under attack from the sith, you thrown in at the deep end, know character info, know memory your just a bloke who's woke up on a ship, you'll find out later. your confronted by a republic officer who joins your team and basically gives you a little run down of the basics, he tells you the story and gives a basic tuition at the same time, also when you perform a certain task or command for the 1st time a text box appears on the screen telling you what you've done. back to this bit then, so you need to escape from this republic ship, you have to find your way through the ships corridors encounter a number of enemies on your way until you finally meet up with Carth the first real member of your party who stays with you through the game, there?s nine in all but you can only have 3 in your party at once. You then jump into an escape pod and you?re away. You land on Taris where you begin your large quest through the
                    galaxy, from planet to planet trying to save the GALAXY, yes yes typical star wars lol, no this games fantastic. To the actual game, this game is a RPG with a little difference, its a very mixed game that throws a nice amount of action in there although you do not physically fight enemies, you give commands to your party members i.e. attack, use medpac, use special powers and so on. It?s a very easy system which involves a little command bar that has around 5 - 6 slots I think each one for a different kind of command depending on whether your in battle or not. For example when in battle you have the basic attack command in one box, then the special attacks in another you can scroll up and down between the commands for example all of the item are in the last box, want a medpac, go to the last box, and scroll up or down till you find medpac then hit a, its a very simple system that?s can only let you down when you need a quick change and one of your characters is near death. Most of the time its fine though and you can always pause the game to stop things whilst you use your items, although you can only use one item per battle turn. But wait its not totally Final Fantasy turn based 'oh no no no no no' (in the words of the Churchill dog). People who have ever plated neverwinter nights will be totally familiar with the system it uses, its like you select which enemy to attack and the computer fights for you, but it all looks great, well light sabres fights look brillo, but the computer will basically repeatedly attack the enemy until its down, you can step in and make your character use there special abilities or so on, but the core and execution of these commands is by the computer. In terms of adventure in this game there?s allot, your talking 7 planets all of which have a number or quest and mission for you to full fill, some good honest work that?s will reward you with light side points, some which are illegal and nasty jobs which will g
                    et you dark side points and some which will be neutral up until a point when you a forced to make a choice most likely verbal in a conversation with a NPC, you will be given a number of choices in terms of hat you say and do through out the game. Sometimes there?s funny responses sometimes there very evil responses you get the pick. For example one hilarious bit, or at least I though it was brilliant, is where there?s a dancing women who supposed to be audition for a dancing job and she doesn't have a partner to dance which, step in you in your dancing shoes, and you basically pick an option of the screen, dance away from her, dance quite close or dance really close sort of thing, you do 3 dances and then the judge decides, to be nice I helped her get the gig on my first time through playing as I was trying to be a proper Jedi light side and all. 2nd time of playing through the game were talking all out evil, kill anyone who you get the chance to, be nasty to the little kiddies and stuff, so one of the options on the last dance was, take a dive and ruin her audition so I though YEAH why not, I picked that option and hang on, he started dancing yeah ok, then all of a sudden your man just falls over on the floor spoiling it for everyone, its was very funny the 1st time you see it. The layout and the system of the quest that?s this game has to some extent reminds me of that of Deus ex, multiple ways to do some quests, missions where you can back stab people and change side mid way through your mission and so on. The system of picking items up and attack enemies is quite simple its like a lock on system that you can change easily from one enemy to another or from one item to another, for example if you run up to a footlocker and its useable a blue ring will appear around it, the name of that thing will pop up on screen and you can then open the footlocker and scavenge, nothing to hard. Movement in the game is straight forward your runni
                    ng around all the time from A to B like most RPGs, to one point to another, hence the sort of deus ex fell, go hear kill this guy, go to him for a reward sort of thing, it feels very similar. You control the character at all times in terms of movements you can run away from fights at any time but enemies will follow you to some extent, the only thing like I say that you don?t control is the actual execution of battle moves, but this does make a great system as you characters get in there and just fight for there life, it does look good to when there?s a big mass of bodies scrapping on screen, but you have to check out the lightsaber fights, there what this game was made for. Whilst I was mention movement and controls, the actually animation of the way people run is pretty terrible, they look very up right and rigid, almost very robotic, but this can be forgiven. The story of this game is great, its huge and it does involve allot of your input, or well at least having conversations with lots of people, if you sat and totally read and listened to all of the dialect this game would be huge, its gets a bit boring and you will skip little bits, or read the text but not listen, that?s a great thing to, all of the speak and dialogue, is actually speech and the aliens talk in there real languages, wookies speak in wookie, and luckily enough for you the main character can speak a number of languages so when aliens are talking you get the real language then you get English subtitles so you always have to read some of the dialogue. But you will anyway if you want to make the right choices when it comes to your replies to people, accidentally pick the wrong return and you may gain darkside points when you want light and visa versa. Graphics I want to quickly mention graphics, now the graphics in someplace of this game area little basic, a little rough and or blocky, but sometime if you stop for a second and put the first person view on, which you can only lo
                    ok around in, you can't move with the first person view, you realise how nice some of the environments look, and how detailed parts of this game are. Like for example some of the planets have fantastic long grass that blows in the wind and moves when you run through it, on the last planet, there a fantastic point where you get a nice look f the beach you landed on and your lovely space ship the Ebon Hawk, there?s just the odd little bit that will make you think this games got fantastic graphics but in the long run there nothing special. There a few little mini games to, 3 in total, Pazaak, which is a card game somewhat similar to black jack, but you have a hand of cards that either add or take away from your total and you get dealt cards that add to your total, don't want to go into full detail, really this ones the worst of the mini games its boring, but a good way to make money as you find there always somebody somewhere on each planet who plays the game. Then there the swoop racing, its pod racing really, well its supposed to be on bikes, but you basically have a long straight track, with a number of speed boosting pads which you have to hit if you want to win the races and earn cash, there?s also a number of obstacles like rocks and so on that don't make you totally crash but slow you down so you still keep going forward but allot of the time if you crash you probably won't win. Then there the good old space shoot em up, gun turret game where, sometime when you leave planets to journey to another you encounter some enemy fighters and you must man the gun turret and blast them away, basically just point and shoot but hey its make a little change from the norm. This game has everything you would want from an RPG, greatly huge story, excellent story telling, brilliant character development, loads of items, armour and weapons that change your characters appearance, the ability to go the way of the lightside or dark side. Its got a
                    very strange plot twist at the end that will make you deliberately want to play through and see what happened when your totally evil, or good depending on how you want to do it first time around. I could sit and go on for ages about each little part of this game but I would be hear for a long time so I?m going to sum up very quickly, I don't want to give away hardly any of the story buts its good, the game itself good, its got 9 characters to choose from in there to join your party, you can only have 3 at a time but each has there own abilities and unique uses, although I always used the Jedi character or the wookie as I liked light sabers duels and the wookie was general quite a nasty piece of work (i.e. quite a hard nut). I?m going to give it some score just to give you u a rough idea what its going for: Gameplay: 9/10 (as you don?t fight yourself you know it take that edge away its still fantastic though) Graphics: 7/10 (Some parts are great, some other parts aren't so great) Sound: 10/10 (real sound bites from the films, full scale dialogue soundtrack, brilliant sound) Lifespan: 9/10 (talking around maybe 25 - 30 something hours pretty good) Overall: 9.4/10 If you really need a RPG for you X-box I think this will be the best thing till Fable so if you want a quality game you'll have to become a Jedi for sometime. I paid £30 for it and I'm very please although I did hammer the game and finish it in a few days but that?s was because I seriously put the hours in and played on nothing else typical me :) WINSY!!

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                      23.06.2004 19:16
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                      STAR WARS NIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC Ok to start off with the game is very well presented with an amazing opening sequence that gets you right in the mood from the start, you see those big yellow letters rolling off in to the back ground and you know your back on familiar territory and it feels GOOD!. It takes a few minuets to set up and get in to the action but from this point you know the game is a bit of a hi-brid, not action by any means but also not quite RPG and this as with a lot of console games is not a bad thing. You do not at any time get in to the aiming side of things while shooting, it's put into a kind of D&D turn based affair with you instructing what you want your character to do, at some points you have a fair amount of people clambering around on screen in your party it can take some thought in telling them exactly what you want them to do, this in it's self brings me to a couple of points 1. when you get more than 2-3 people on screen at once it can start to slow the graphics rate down a few notches and when you get a whole bunch of characters on the screen it can go in to jerk-vision and this can be a little annoying. Gripe No.2 is the game can be more than a little repetitive and dull in places. Last but not least gripe 3. the control system can be fiddly and a little annoying in places but stick with it and you will overcome!. This said the game is huge, I mean for a console game its huge and has some visually stunning effects in it along with a dosing of good humor. If you can stick at it you will get your just reward and if you like all things Star Wars and you can put up with the cumbersome handling then you will love this just for the sheer size and scale and the feeling of emersion you will get from this title. 40 pounds No! but if you can pick it up for 20 pounds (you can from most sites and shops) its a YES!. One of the only true Star Wars titles out there. The game technical
                      ly is an all round strong package niggles aside but the force is strong with this one. Graphics: 7/10 Sound: 7/10 Game play: 7/10 (mainly due to the driving section) Value: 8/10 (based on going shop price) last-ability: 9/10 Overall: % 76

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                        27.04.2004 07:06
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                        Having been disappointed with some of the Star Wars games I have played in the past, I was sceptical about all of the good reviews that KOTOR received. After playing the game, any doubts I had about ever seeing a good star wars game were gone. The game is absolutely amazing, and the fact that it is set thousands of years before Luke and Anakin Skywalker came onto the scene means that it doesn't interfere with the plot of any of the films, and leaves the game completely open ended. In short, you get to determine the fate of the galaxy through your decisions. At the start of the game, you can choose between three different types of character - soldier, scoundrel or scout - your strategies throughout the game will depend on which one you choose. Your character wakes up on a spaceship while it is being attacked by the sith and that's where the adventure starts. After getting off the spaceship, the adventure begins as you set off on a quest that takes you to a lot of different worlds. The game has so many good points about it that it is hard to know what to start describing first. One of the most appealing parts of the game, in my opinion, was the way you get to explore some of the worlds in the star wars films. I eventually figured out that if you click the right joystick you can examine your surroundings from a first person perspective, and some of the scenery is a joy to look at. The worlds are extremely varied, from the deserts of Tatooine to the sith home planet. The characters you meet are as varied as the planets themselves. They include most of the extraterrestrial races that you meet in the films, as well as others that are completely different. As an RPG, KOTOR is the best I have ever played. In fact, it is the only RPG I have ever bothered playing right to the end, and as soon as I finished it, I started it again. The game is huge, and in addition to the main plot of the game, there are a multitude of other little adventur
                        es that you can get involved in. As well as the actual game itself, there are several other intergalactic pastimes that you can become involved in to earn extra money including a card game called pazaak and swoop racing. I am convinced that I hav only managed to come across about half of the puzzles that you can help people solve. In fact, when I completed the game I had still only uncovered 7 of the possible 9 characters that you can have with you in your party. The main thing about the game that was used in the advertising was, of course, the opportunity to choose either the dark side or the good side. This in itself is reason enough to play the game through twice. I have completed it once as a dark jedi and immediately restarted the game playing as a good guy. I haven't finished it a second time yet, but I have already seen some big differences. The gameplay on KOTOR is also very well balanced. It involves the usual RPG characteristic of having to talk to every character that you come across, and getting the same responses from many of them. Its not quite as annoying in KOTOR though because you can usually tell if someone is important to talk to or not. Your abilities of persuasion and the statements and questions you choose affect the outcome of any conversation. The combat gameplay is good as well. It is turnbased, but it is done in suck a way that you can interfere with your character's default attacks only if you need to. In the past I have found turnbased combat quite frustrating in some games, but it flows extremely well in KOTOR and never gets repetitive because of the huge arsenal of weapons you can choose from and the multitude of other ways you can attack and defend, including using the force. The plot of the game is also amazing, and includes some twists that I genuinely didn't see coming. No computer game would be complete without the storyline video sequences, and the story in KOTOR is intertwined perfectly with th
                        e gameplay. I am looking forward to completing the game again to see if the twists are the same while playing as a nice jedi as they are when playing as an evil dark jedi. I only had one minor complaint about the game - and when looking at the game as a whole, it is very minor. I thought that the final battle in the game was a little bit too easy. I was killed quite a few times trying to figure out how to win the last battle, but after you have all the right items equipped its actually very easy. The only other thing that I didn't like about the game was the fact that in ended. Despite all the worlds that you can go to, it leaves you wishing that you could fly off and explore the rest of the galaxy. Considering the amount that there is to do though, I suppose it is very greedy of me to say that. Roll on the sequel!!

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                          11.10.2003 00:34
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                          • "Loss of job"

                          As someone who generally shies away from RPG's, and having only a casual interest in Star Wars, even I found the hype surrounding this game to be irresistible, and parted with my £40 on the day of its release. As a 'first timer' I kept my receipt safer than usual, in case the plethora of XP's, DC's, and HP's etc got too overpowering for my usually action-thirsty gaming taste. Fortunately, my faith in word of mouth proved to be deserved. It's superb. Quality and polish are evident from the intro, in the form of some stunning cinematic sequences. Although set millennia before Episodes I & III of the films, the official licence is used to good effect, with the familiar musical score and sound effects providing a suitable Star Wars atmosphere to whet your appetite. So far, this will be familiar to long suffering fans, who have shelled out in the past looking for an experience to rival the motion pictures, only to be served a cold plate of derivative bile once they start playing. Mercifully, BioWare has shown respect rather than neglect to a licence cynically exploited in the past, and resisted all temptation to milk the Lucas cash cow. The level of effort applied to this game is apparent from start to finish. You are in complete control from the outset. Initially, you need to create a team leader, who will conduct all of the main dialogue, and will be an ever present fixture in your party. You can customise gender, appearance, skill sets, and strengths; pretty much every attribute you could think of has been included, and applied with a great measure of depth and aptitude. Initially you are on your own, attempting to escape your besieged ship, (Halo anyone?) but the first sequences gently introduce you to team play and resource management, and also guide you through some battle sequences. The learning curve is pitched just right, to allow plodding novices to get to grips with turn based combat, whilst no
                          t interfering with the more proficient players' enjoyment. It is a finely tuned balancing act, which has been perfected and consistently applied throughout. As your character progresses and acquires other party members, you have the option to either get your hands dirty with the stats, or let the CPU do the brain work for you. To be honest, I'd anticipated succumbing to the latter early on, but the interface works so well I hardly noticed myself getting entwined in the makeup of my characters. As your party grows up to a maximum of nine, you'd imagine catering for them all would become tiresome, but clever use of the Xbox controller allows you to sweep through the nitty-gritty with ease. Limiting exploration to any three members from your total party also staggers the brainwork into bite size portions. Alongside the technical development of your characters, you also have the opportunity to converse with them, discovering more about their background and personas. This often leads to side-quests and opportunities that are entirely of your own creation, increasing the feeling that you are in control of your own destiny and path through the game. In addition, some amusing dialogue, reinforced by good voice acting, gives you the chance to interact with your group the way you want. Do you sympathise with the Wookie, or call him an eight-foot walking carpet? It's up to you. General conversation is also brightened up by some occasionally hilarious one-liners, which you should use sparingly if you want to avoid making too many enemies. This feeling of freedom doesn't just cover dialogue. The core of the game is your choice between the dark and light side of the force. Almost every scenario in the game is geared towards decisions that contribute to your standing as a force for Dark or Light. Example: - You need something from a store to progress, but you don't have enough credits. Do you threaten to relieve the shopkeepe
                          r of his head(s), or go and earn the credits in a swoop bike race, solving a dispute in the process? Your decisions will add weight to a gauge that works like a seesaw, constantly reacting to your decisions, and reflecting the struggle between dark and light. Even more intelligent is the way that your dark/light decisions impact other areas of gameplay. In combat, Light side skills are less of a drain to use for a Jedi, and the dirtier, (more entertaining) dark side skills work the same way for a Sith. Also, using the dark side in conversation may grant you a short-term advantage, although this may backfire later on. This feature keeps you listening intently to conversations (generally speaking - see minor criticisms), that in other games you would be tempted to skip. More importantly, there is a real 'what if?' factor, which increases believability, as well as the replay value once you have completed it. The main plus point of KOTOR however, is that it's Star Wars. Despite the fact that none of the characters names will be recognisable in the context of the films, their appearance, dialect and traits are instantly familiar. The numerous different locations and their inhabitants will also feel familiar, with some lifted straight from the films. Any omissions or liberties taken by BioWare can be forgiven, in light of the level of realism achieved. On the downside, I feel obliged to mention the frame rate, which becomes so choppy at times it feels like you're teleporting from one area to another. Other minor glitches could be considered, such as your teammates' infrequent but appalling stupidity when controlled by the CPU. Like their frustrating habit of following you into a corner and just standing there, idiotically blocking your path, or getting hopelessly stuck in a crowded street, which you only notice after running the entire length of an area. More general problems are the standard RPG fare, such as the
                          relatively small areas that can be explored before you?re confronted with the dreaded 'loading' screen; or approaching somebody for a quick chat, and being bombarded with reams of unwanted peripheral information. But at least you get the option to insult their tedious ranting once they've finished. In summary, these minor problems are completely irrelevant when held against an achievement of this magnitude. A resounding victory for honest and thoughtful games design.

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                        • Product Details

                          Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a immersive, action-packed Star Wars role playing experience with customizable and evolving playable characters.