You find yourself joining the game in the heat of battle and being tutored on the controls at the same time. This may sound like too much to deal with at first– but it is actually a very quick interjection into the game-play and will have you well versed in controlling your character, using combat mode – editing the stats pages, adding extra characters to your clan and switching character in game to utilize their different skills when needed.
XBOX owners should be very glad of KOTOR’s release as a beefy RPG title has been sorely missed. Other than last years over complicated Morrowind this genre has been strangely over looked and with The Final Fantasy series being a huge success on other consoles it is only right that the Xbox should compete. KOTOR Competes dude!! Well this game even takes things a step further – with a more westernized out-look and the famously friendly backdrop of Star Wars this could be the most accessible and coherent RPG to date!
Many of the characters you know and love from The Star Wars Movies are loosely represented - although these guys are the long lost ancestors of the characters we know. The amount of differing aliens is great and like I said you are guaranteed to recognize quite a lot of faces.
Every character in the game is willing to talk. All conversation is accompanied with voice acting audio. The voice acting is what makes this game so involving and it is so good you could go through the whole game with the subtitles turned off. Engaging in conversation is the way to move forward. When you talk to a character you get lots of options per conversation and this is how you learn about the environments and politics of the area, pick up missions, gain clues, enter the mini games and meet your allies.
You will visit a number of key Star Wars locations, including the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk and Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in what will prove to be a colossal journey. The main mission is pretty standard stuff but when accompanied by the side-missions and subplots the story remains compelling to the end. You are required to work as a bounty hunter, investigate murders, settle disputes, cure a deadly disease, take sides or play sides off against each other in various uncertain situations, and experience how life really treats both citizens of the Republic as well as followers of the Sith. With over 40 hours of gaming from start to finish you will find yourself fully submerged in the Star Wars universe and due to the many options offered at every turn you will probably want to strike up again once completed to see where reacting differently takes you.
Combat is not in real time although at a glance you could mistake the fighting for real-time action. The fighting instead relies on an amount of statistical checks just like in Dungeons & Dragons. Your character's "to hit" rating, determined by their class, level, and weapon, is added to a random 1-20 dice roll and compared against the opponent's defense rating. If the to-hit roll is greater, you connect and inflict injury. Your characters will automatically attack any foes they see until either you or they are all dead, so in most cases, you can simply watch the fight unfold spending the majority of your time cueing up specialized attacks such as nasty grenades, sniper shots or power attacks.
Knights of the Old Republic; uses a simplified version of 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules both for combat and for character generation so fans of Dungeons & Dragons style game-play will be in fairly familiar territory. Your main character starts off as a male or female soldier, scout, or scoundrel. These three basic classes correspond to Dungeons & Dragons fighter, ranger, and rogue classes. The soldier is straightforward but very strong and is skilled in various types of weapons and armor and gains the most vitality points per experience level. The scout is not as tough as the soldier but gains more skill points per level, allowing them to do such things as repair droids, pick locks, and disarm land mines. The scoundrel is physically the weakest but can use a special cloaking device to creep up on unsuspecting enemies. The scoundrel is also the best at being persuasive in conversation which can save quite a lot of bloodshed along the way. Whether you are male or female also has a bearing on some situations.
The soundtrack is quite a subtle affair and takes a back seat for the majority of the game-play.
With so much Voice acting in the game and of such a high quality it would have almost been a sacrilege to overdo the background music. Although, when a boost of excitement is required the music kicks in and lifts the atmosphere nicely. Same goes for the sound effects really. Blasters sound good – same goes for the Light Sabers – but it’s the voice acting that steals the show.
Overall the union of a decent and - simplified for use- representation of Dungeons & Dragons game-play with a well loved and truly brilliant subject matter masterfully fulfilled makes for the most compelling and complete game on the Xbox to date.