Star Wars Knights of the Old Republicby Chad Sapieha
The new Star Wars movies might not have lived up to the impossibly high expectations placed upon them, but Knights of the Old Republic, the new Star Wars role-playing videogame, is everything gamers could have hoped for.
No other movie franchise has spawned as many videogames as Star Wars. Sadly, with only a few notable exceptions like Racer and Rogue Squadron, most Star Wars games have been stinkers.
So it came as good news to most gamers when LucasArts announced that Bioware would be developing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the first true Star Wars role-playing game. Bioware is a powerhouse in the role-playing game genre, best known for its critically acclaimed Nerverwinter Nights series.
"Knights of the Old Republic" is set millennia before the events of Episode I. The Republic is threatened by an ancient technology that nearly destroyed its alien creators and is now in the hands of the Sith. Players control a motley band of characters who journey from planet to planet in an attempt to unlock the secret of the Sith's power and to put a stop to the menace before it consumes the galaxy. Bioware has crafted a beautiful and authentic Star Wars adventure full of fantasy and romance, good and evil. I'd even go so far as to say that Knights of the Old Republic is perhaps even more Star Wars in theme and nature than the last couple of Star Wars movies.
"Knights of the Old Republic" is an extremely open-ended game, allowing players to go where they want and control their own fates. We can choose our own character type and appearance. We have the freedom to make decisions that lead our characters to the dark or light sides of the Force. We get to explore a variety of planets, talking to whomever we choose and embarking on all manner of side quests. In short, players aren't locked into a series of events that will inevitably lead to a particular finale.
Knights of the Old Republic also has strong production values, featuring plenty of impressive movies to help further the story, a powerful John Williams-like score, and an excellent cast of voice actors. Unfortunately, the in-game graphics start to chug a bit when too many moving characters are on screen at the same time.
Whether you're a Star Wars fan or just a role-playing game lover, Knights of the Old Republic should prove a terrific gaming experience. Don't miss it.