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XBox Reviews: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic Screenshots


The Final Say!

Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic
 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: October
Review Score: 9.5/10 
Distributed By: EA

The Star Wars franchise has always been a hit and miss in the console world but fortunately Lucasarts have wisely decided to allow software developers BioWare to tackle this impressive universe. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is set four thousands years before the first Star Wars movie and tells the tale of battle between good versus evil, a war between the Dark Lords of the Sith and the Jedi.


Star Wars: Knights of the Republic (now known as Knights for this review) is a true role-playing game (RPG) that allows you to decide the fate of your main character. As with all good RPG's, you must create your very own personalised character. Knights gives the gamer a variety of different characters that includes the Soldier (master of combat), Scout (the space explorer) or the Scoundrel (the master thief).


Gamers that are unsure of creating characters can also allow the program to "pre-role" characters that takes much of the guess work out of character generation. Characters also have attributes that include Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma that will all effect the outcome of your game. For instance, a high wisdom will allow your character to successfully use their force powers against another character. Whereas a high a charisma allows you to persuade other characters and adds modifiers to your force powers.


Knights also contains a variety of skills in the game such as computer use (ideal for hacking into computers) and stealth that allows you use stealth field generators or sneak. As you progress through the game, your skills will slowly increase as your character becomes more powerful, thus giving you access to a variety of different combat modes, depending on which character class you have selected at the start of the game. Once you have connected with the force, you are awarded force points that can be used to perform a variety of actions such as persuasion, Jedi choke and of course heal that are a few of the powers which are available to you.


Once you have created your very own Star Wars character, the game starts with the traditional Star Wars introduction that helps set the atmosphere of the game. The story nicely moves along with some beautifully created pre-generated CGI and of course some impressive in-game graphics. Your character starts aboard a Republic ship that has just been attacked by the Sith. The first level of the game is a basic tutorial and teaches you the ins and outs of the game without it becoming too complicated. For some strange reason, you were hired by a young Jedi called Bastila who without spoiling the storyline, hired you for some hidden Jedi motive. As you battle the Sith on the doomed Republic ship, you eventually meet your first non-player character (NPC) who helps you aboard an escape pod before the ship is destroyed the Sith.  

As with all good RPG's, the gaming environment varies greatly and you even visit some familiar Star Wars places such as Tatooine to some not so familiar places like Kashyyk, the Wookie home world. Every gaming environment contains a variety of different quests that you must complete that eventually link up to the main storyline which is the destruction of the Sith. The beauty of the storyline within Knights is that depending on how you play, the ending will vary because you either become a noble Jedi or a dark lord of the Sith. Rescuing allies, discovering cures for alien viruses or becoming a deadly Bounty hunter, this game is so entertaining and varied that you won't become bored. The replay value of the game is extraordinary and even though it takes the average gamer around 50 hours to complete, the game still has hundreds of other secrets and missions that can only be accomplished with other character classes.


As you progress through the game, you encounter various NPC characters that join your power Jedi party from bots (HK-47) to Republican soldiers. The combat of Knights is extremely strange to say the least. As the game view is basically third person, you feel like you need to control the battle manually when you engage the enemy. As Knights is a true RPG game, the combat system is automatic but you can give your character and your team orders. From visiting the BioWare web site, I discovered that the RPG rules used for the game are actually based on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition that has been beautifully incorporated into the Star Wars universe. A nifty little fun fact!


Graphically, Stars Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the nicest games to have ever graced the XBox and uses a variety of realistic effects such as bump mapping and textual lighting. The gaming environments resemble the Star Wars universe perfectly and when you are walking through the streets, you can almost be forgiven in thinking that you are walking in part of the movies itself. The character models contain a fairly high polygon count with extremely realistic textures and facial expressions that go hand in hand with the gaming environment. The unfortunate aspect of the graphics engine is that sometimes the frame rate drops to some unacceptable levels but I found forgiveness in how detailed the graphics were. The game also contains some beautiful pre-rendered cutscenes that are used to progress the storyline.


The musical score of the game is brilliant and uses a combination of the different soundtracks from the Star Wars movies by John Williams. Apart from the Hollywood type musical score, the game also contains some of the most professional voice acting that I have ever heard in a game and no matter if it is human or alien, the voices are simply perfect. The game also features a variety of sounds from the movies that contain the drone of the trade mark lightsabre sound to the powerful handheld blasters that were wielded by Han Solo. BioWare have professionally incorporated the sound into the game that truly heightens the experience of the game.


Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic is an amazing game and there hasn't been such a good game as this since the Jedi Knight series. The developers have done an amazing job at recreating the Star Wars universe with its amazing graphics, the in-depth storyline and the perfect audio that make this game one of the best Star Wars games of all time. Highly Recommended!


- Andrew B


Also available on PC

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