Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

The Sith Lords is a role-playing video game

The Sith Lords is a role-playing video game

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Review game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, The Sith Lords is a role-playing video game

In essence, Knights of the Old Republic asks you to do two things: (1) direct the plot through dialogue and choice, and (2) use the hybrid turn-based combat system to deal massive damage to anyone who needs it. Once you understand the game and what’s going on, both elements are incredibly rich and rewarding.

The astute conversationalist can elicit thousands of lines of dialogue, but you won’t hear everything the first time around. By the things you say to people and the choices you make, you can already be leaning towards the light or dark side of the force before you even become a Jedi. Since each NPC you interact with is different, you can never be sure of their reaction. A heroic, upright figure may be readily intimidated by threats of violence, just as a merciless underworld figure may react unexpectedly to your words of kindness and encouragement. The dialogue in the game has a hook wherein you have multiple options to veer off topic during a conversation. You could receive five types of responses after starting a conversation: impolite, polite, neutral, and inquiries for further information. You can then use a few completely new responses that the NPC responds to with a few different responses. Therefore, you can deviate from the topic of good and evil even within a single conversation.

Occasionally, you actually decide how to act based on the conversations you have with NPCs. You have to work with the Sand People to solve a problem on Tattoine. If you say something inappropriate while standing in front of the chief, a fight will break out right away, cutting off the conversation. The Twi’lek survivor of the underwater catastrophe is comparable. If you belittle him before he completes his story—you have the choice to support or refute him multiple times throughout his speech—he will brandish a weapon, and the argument will begin. You’ve just committed a wicked deed by assuming you will prevail in the battle. Once you’ve done enough good or evil deeds to merit one, you can earn a single Dark Side or Light Side point. Experience points, obtained through mission completion, are distinct from these points and follow the traditional RPG method. Of course, sometimes you can follow a conversation in a particular direction just because you’re tired of listening to a character complain about you at this or that. Make your own judgements there.

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Because of its unusual application and design, the combat system in KOTOR doesn’t seem very intuitive. While the system is turn-based, you can still exert some control over when those turns begin. A typical sequence will go like this: the game abruptly pauses and switches to combat mode as you and your two party members are following you around a corner. When the game is paused, you can move the camera around to assess the situation, change your character’s armour, weapons, and accessories, choose which target or targets to attack, and give each character a set of five commands. Thus, before you unpause the game to use them, you have a total of fifteen possible moves at your disposal. Furthermore, “moves” refers to more than just swinging a sword or lightsaber or firing a blaster. In this scenario, combat manoeuvres include throwing grenades, activating your personal forcefield, using Jedi powers, using medpacs, and using adrenaline boosters. This is where the tricky part comes in. When the game pauses automatically, you don’t need to input any moves at all—in fact, you can disable this feature—and you can keep adding new moves for your party members as their move queue fills up. Players dedicate a significant portion of the game, one-third to be exact, to mastering the highly valuable skill of stacking new moves during a fight. If your characters do not have an excessive number of moves, they can select good ones based on their abilities and skills.

Knights of the Old Republic simplifies tasks to avoid forcing you to engage in tiresome activities if you choose not to. For instance, you can take control of any party member at any time, and the other two players perform a fantastic job of keeping an eye on each other’s backs during combat, engaging enemies automatically, and trailing behind. Since you have to make all of the decisions in the game, any interactions with NPCs will always be between your created character and the NPC. You can activate solo mode and get your creep on if you only need to control one character—for example, in a stealth mission where you have to turn invisible. You can quickly add new party members and switch between your current location and your ship, the Ebon Hawk, in the majority of non-combat scenarios. When you choose to instantly transport after leaving the Ebon Hawk’s location on foot, the transit points between the Hawk and your current location reset.

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Not only is the Ebon Hawk the Millennium Falcon’s design ancestor, but it’s also one of the game’s most brilliant features. In the game, your ship is how you get from planet to planet. Every journey involves a cool movie showing your ship taking off, travelling through hyperspace, and landing. After the Hawk docks, it transforms into a mini-level where you can interact with your crew members, learn more about them (as they all have issues that need to be resolved), and ask some of them to make things for you. On board your ship, you can get free grenades, computer hacking spikes, medpacs, adrenal boosts, and security spikes to use however you please and even sell. The inability to manage your global inventory while aboard the Ebon Hawk is really the only complaint we have for the entire game. Once you equip an item, it disappears from the global inventory until you retrieve it, even though every piece of apparel, accessory, and equipment that your crew members own is under your control. It can be a hassle to have to leave the ship, find a character who has the item in question, take it from them, and give it to a new character if you want to transfer a specific pistol or implant from one character who isn’t in your party to another. This is not a very sensible system for an otherwise excellent game.
If you ever tire of exploring the galaxy as a fierce Jedi, the minigames in KOTOR provide a fun distraction, with the majority of them introduced early on. You will need to master the card game Pazaak, swoop racing, and turret battles because they are all part of the plot, but I see them more as a means of enhancing the already excessively strong Star Wars credential that Knights of the Old Republic already possesses.

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It’s worth noting that the interface has changed for those who are familiar with the Xbox version of the game. The interface has been redesigned with those controls in mind and works incredibly well, as opposed to being a direct port from the console like many games are, which typically forget to take advantage of the mouse almost entirely. The best part is that you can use the keyboard alone to play the entire game or just the mouse because the player can move forward by using the left mouse button and enter mouse-look mode by holding down the right mouse button. When the cursor is over a player who can be spoken to, a smart talking head icon will appear. Additionally, players can use hotkeys or the mouse button to select from a variety of attacks and actions during combat. Similar to how the Xbox controller triggers functions, you can also cycle through objects with the keyboard. However, you can also use the mouse, though occasionally it will be simpler to do so. All things considered, they did a pretty great job optimising the PC’s interface, and their effort is greatly valued.


Knights of the Old Republic appears more like an action game than your typical 3/4-view PC role-playing game. Surprisingly, it will share more visual similarities than you might think with this autumn’s Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. The game’s strengths outweigh its framerate issues, thanks to its superb environmental effects, lip-synching and combat animations, and intricate character models. Although Dan was going to test the game on his subpar PC at home, it just crapped out. We were still using a high-end PC to run it, and the game ran smoothly at 1280×960 with 4x AA enabled. Enabling AA caused a slight slowdown in performance at 1600×1200, but disabling it restored flawless functionality.


Knights of the Old Republic is a fantastic game because it addresses every possible expectation from the audience. It has just enough Star Wars to please fans while still being entertaining enough to entice non-role-playing gamers. This will soon enough be at the top of many Game of the Year nomination lists, if not the top one.

Beginning with some fun toys for your character to play with and some well-known Star Wars characters greeting you back, it immediately grabs your attention. Before you know it, you’ve got a spaceship, a light sabre, a wookie, and a droid. The galaxy is yours with Knights of the Old Republic, so go grab some.


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