Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
|Platforms:||Xbox 360, PC, Android|
There are hopefully just a few RPG fans who doesn't love stories from a "galaxy far far away..." and who haven't at least once imagined how it would be to live in that world. Because who wouldn't like to be a valiant Jedi or insidious Sith, right? Who wouldn't want to explore distant parts of the universe aboard of Millenium Falcon spaceship, with Han Solo and Chewbacca at your side?
Whole Star Wars saga had come a long way since it's beginning in 1977, when George Lucas showed it the to the world for the very first time. Since then, there has been great number of related content, including books, television adaptations, comic books, promotional items and toys and last but not least role-playing games. One of those is a 2003 RPG from BioWare studio, which took us 4000 years back into to a time where there was no Galactic Empire and no rebel resistance to fight it. Welcome to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic or just KOTOR.
There is a war raging across whole galaxy. Revan and Malak, former Jedi heroes of the Republic, are now in command of Sith fleet and are conquering one solar system after another. In a desperate attempt to reverse an outcome of entire conflict, Jedies prepare a trap for both of the Sith lords. They board Revan's flag ship, which results in Revan's betrayal by Malak and consequently in Revan's death. You, as a member of a Republic's army, are attending ambush onto Sith lords during this secret mission on the edge of galaxy, accompanying another Jedi called Bastila. When your ship is attacked and destroyed, you manage to survive using an escape pods. After arriving to a planet Taris, you need to reunite with Bastila and put an end to spree of Malak's forces.
"Four thousand years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Republic verges on collapse. DARTH MALAK, last surviving apprentice of the DARK LORD REVAN, has unleashed an invincible Sith armada upon an unsuspecting galaxy. Crushing all resistance, Malak's war of conquest has left the Jedi Order scattered and vulnerable as countless Knights fall in battle, and many more swear allegiance to the new Sith Master. In the skies above the Outer Rim world of Taris, a Jedi battle fleet engages the forces of Darth Malak in a desperate effort to halt the Sith's galactic domination…"
Altough this doesn't sound terribly original, story itself has plenty of amazing surprises hidden in its sleeves. We don't want to spoil anything, but if you are not familiar with the story, you are definitely going to enjoy it.
At the start of the game you are presented with 3 basic character classes to choose from, each of those can be developed into one of the subclasses later in the game. Probability of success of everything you do depends on your stats (strength, intelligence, charisma...) which limits number of experience points you can invest in certain skill. Skills itself can then allow you to do things like persuasion, terminal hacking or mine disposal. Additionally you earn feats and force powers every time you level up.
Combat system is turn-based and number of actions that any character can perform during one turn is limited. Individual actions can succeed or fail depending on multiple factors. Knights of the Old Republic uses a slightly edited Dungeon and Dragon's rules system, same one used by Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale games. Which means that for example your attacks are affected by things like your weapon expertise and the kind of attack you use.
You will have to solve many moral dilemmas during your travels and your decisions will affect on what side of The Force you will adhere. Your moral choices affects other members of your party and have significant influence on their behavior. There are nine characters that you can acquire in the course of the game but only two can stay in your active party and with them you will visit many well known worlds like Dantooine, Kashyyyk or Korriban.
Game itself does not contain many bugs, but because of the outdated game engine you may have problems when running it on new version of Windows. Running in compatibility mode is usually required if you don't want to experience sudden game crashes or black screen.
All in all, journey through one of the most important conflicts of the Old Republic feels amazing and it's a great choice if you want to spend dozens of hours inside a Star Wars world.
Game is highly addicted and won't let you go until you finally behold the ending credits. It's righfully called the best RPG game by many of RPG fans and it's just sad that it's no longer easily available to players with new PC machines.