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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Windows)

92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Marty Bonus (41)
Written on  :  Feb 04, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

Spectacular. One of my top 5 of all time.

The Good

The 3rd Edition D&D works flawlessly in this game. The developers clearly took their time considering all the amazing breadth available in 3e but selected that which would most augment how they wanted the game to work. It IS boiled down, probably to increase accessibility to multiple audiences, so D&D purists might have issues with only 3 character classes and 3 jedi "occupations", as well as only having a couple dozen feats and spells. That said, it is my opinion that the distillation of complex (and even confusing to me) D&D rules down only helps the game and never hinders it. Graphically it is excellent, though recent releases such as DX:IW or Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell look better.

Environments are unique, expansive, and immersive. Visual effects are extremely well done (a great example is the Jedi Guardian's "force jump" ability). Player models are reasonably well varied, though by the end of the game, you've seen them all...twice.

The sound is excellent throughout. I recommend playing it (as I do all games) on a good set of expensive stereo headphones and discarding speakers all together. The original score (thank you!) is compelling and suitable in all the environments, and the sound effects are great. Voice acting is superb, probably the best voice acting I've heard in any genre.

Plot is compelling, though I recommend playing the game for at least 1.5 hours at a time, or it can feel disjointed, simply because there are a multitude of tasks to complete, and each takes time. There are numerous, non-fetch sidequests to do. KOTOR really stands out in the quality of its sidequests, which are not numerous, but are well designed. Be prepared for puzzles in the main plot line and on the side. I had trouble with them, but they're likely only of average difficulty. What I'd say makes this game so much better than just about any game i've played in the past 5 years is the small things. Like how in cutscenes your facial features reflect your force alignment. Or the way fight-scenes look almost like action games, but are based on your basic die-roll. Or the relationships the NPC's in your party develop. Or the way you can customize your lightsabers. Or The moral flexibility that occurs throughout the entirety of the game (excluding certain key decisions). I could go on.

The game is fundamentally excellently designed and executed, yet it's the minor additions that really make it stand out. I can't stress this game enough.

The Bad

Blasters are underpowered, especially against jedi. Repetitive facial models for NPC's. Not enough lightsaber colors! Inability to engage in unprompted violence against NPC's.

The Bottom Line

A must play. I refer any people considering this game to read PC gamer's review or the one on gamespot.com.