Of The Old Republic - Xbox
"A long time
ago in a galaxy far, far away..." scrolls up and into the
screen. It’s yellow, as is the exposition that follows…
Set 4000 years before the abomination that is Jar Jar Binks existed,
Sith are running amok in the galaxy. As the last hope of the Jedi,
you are part of a band of freedom fighters embroiled in a battle
to save the Republic or become its nemesis.
There is a big ol’ thick manual that comes
with this game. Don't bother reading it. The initially bewildering
menu system soon becomes second nature, and everything you need
to know is covered in the training session on the 'Endar Spire'
which forms the first set piece.
There’s a delightful mix of game styles.
Battle is true to the original spotty-geek, turn-based, Dungeons
& Dragons heritage – although juggling stats and lining
up actions in a nice, orderly queue might be a wrench for hardened
But the great thing about KOTOR is you don’t
even have to get into the fights in the first place. If the FPS
twitch gets too strong, you can go in with all guns blazing and
get down to some serious mutha-icing, but if that isn’t
your style, there’s also the option of sneaking around the
enemy or reparing a droid and sending it in to do the dirty work.
Hello and welcome to this issue’s
Pretty much everyone wandering around the KOTOR
planets has something to say. Some are just off-the-cuff, atmosphere-enhancing
remarks, while others will actively engage you in conversation.
You can select from a number of responses which range from being
sugary-sweet to downright mercenary. Most satisfyingly, it’s
these interactions - and the choices you make in a number of subquests
available on each planet - that push your character to the light
side or the dark side of The Force.
The remainder of KOTOR plays out like an old-school
adventure game. You must solve a series of puzzle-like scenarios
in order to move on. This might sound a bit linear, but there
are plenty of subquests which work well as a break from the main
Bioware have done the much-battered Star Wars
license proud. I can’t describe how much of a thrill I got
from talking to a droid and getting the traditional bleeping-/whistling
R2-D2 response. Bad stuff – dodgy character modelling in
the cut-scenes, dubious lighting effects, occasional slowdown…
”Tsch. I’m not falling
for that old: ‘Look behind you!’ trick”.
I’ve duelled and won money, I’ve
lost money at the card game ‘Pazaak’, and I’m
looking forward to Swoop Bike racing, modifying and upgrading
weapons, beefing up my ship (whenever I find the damned thing)
and, naturally, making progress on my ascent to Jedi-hood. I’ve
only been playing for four hours, but I know this is gonna grip
me for weeks. I just hope Darth Malak doesn’t pop up in
RODENT CASH RATING
here to comment on this review