Monday, December 08, 2003

A Hard Day's Knight Of The Old Republic

It's been quite an intense weekend. Christmas shopping, fending off overdraft limits, saving the Known Universe,... There's no rest for the wicked, y'know?

The game I've been waiting for well over a year for has finally arrived.

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic.

Was it worth the wait? FUCK YES.

I barely know where to start in describing this game - it's simply wonderful. It's not hardcore roleplaying by any means, but it's Star Wars. Totally, utterly, incontrovertibly STAR WARS. Whilst this might not mean much to you poor, soulless creatures who've not embraced George Lucas's Space Opera with your entire corporeal being, for a life-long fan (read 'Geek') like myself, it makes *all* the difference.

Blasters. Lightsabers. Vibroblades. Body armour that makes absolutely no difference in a fight at all. Cannon fodder Sith Troopers. Dark Jedi. More aliens than you can shake a stick at. Everything you associate with Star Wars, bar greasy mop-haired farm boys and Jar-Jar Binks is in there. And it's wondrous, truly wondrous.

I've not been playing for very long, about six or seven hours, and I'm only now at the point where I can rescue Bastila (one of the lead characters in the game) from some vile criminal scum. Other than a few frame rate problems in the Upper City on Taris (where it's pushing an obscenely high number of polygons) and some teething troubles with the camera and control method, it's been great. The graphics are fantastic, and it plays more like a third person action game than a full-on RPG, though that's not entirely a bad thing.

For people who are stat-adverse, it's pretty much the perfect RPG, as it hides all the numbers if you want it to, and does all the dirty dice-rolling for you. On the other hand, if you really want to tailor your character to your each and every whim, the game allows you to do that too. The interface is absolutely inspired - simple, clean, and whilst it might take you a while to get used to the controls, once you do, it's the most natural thing in the world. KOTOR simply screams "PLAY ME NOW!". And you will. And you won't want to put it down.

Game of the Year? So far, *SO* GOOD.

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