Adventure & RPG
|Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic|
September 1, 2004 | Gordon Hurd
Fans of Star Wars franchise titles should have plenty to rejoice with the announcement of Aspyrís upcoming release: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. While the Macintosh platform has had its share of classic Star Wars games, the best of the bunch have been primarily first-person shooters, including the well regarded Jedi Knight and Jedi Academy. KotOR, on the other hand, is primarily a role-playing adventure game and will offer a unique experience to fans of the Force.
Itís important to note that KotORís spice doesnít end with its genre. The game is different in that itís not set in the typical pre- or post-Empire timeline that most Star Wars fans (save maybe its hardcore adherents) are familiar with. The game is set some 4,000 years before the events weíre all familiar with in game titles, movies, books, and other pieces of the Lucas entertainment empire. Thankfully, this adds additional appeal to KotOR.
KotORís adventures center around a character that players can build from scratch at the beginning of the game. Here, immediately, one can dive into its role playing aspects. You can dive right into the divvying up of skills points with your new character or you can opt to have the game randomly set up a character for you. Either way you go youíll need to choose a class to begin with. Players can choose the familiar character classes found in other RPG titles, with slightly different names to match the universe of Star Wars: Scoundrels, Scouts, and Soldiers. Each class has its unique capabilities, called Skills and Feats in KotOR.
Soldiers, as the name hints, are geared towards fighting. Scouts offer a mix of fighting skills and less confrontational skills like repair and computer hacking. Scoundrels are armed with skills leaning toward the stealthy. Whichever way you choose, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the game to steer your character in a direction you see fit. With the variety of attributes (strength, dexterity, etc.), skills (demolition, persuade), and feats (more individualized skills like sniper shot, scoundrel luck, and the like), you have many possibilities for sculpting a unique character.
KotOR is based around the Bioware RPG system that players may be familiar with on games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Game play is sleek, the interface is minimal, and the mechanics of the game are unobtrusive. The overall effect is cinematic, taking the player deep into the story and atmosphere of the game. For any fan of the Star Wars universe KotOR offers a fun opportunity to step into the shoes of a fascinating character as he/she moves through adventures eventually becoming a Jedi.