Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Star Wars: The Old Republic Knights Review (Switch eShop)

The world of Star Wars was much richer and more interesting than the little slices shown in the popular movie, but shortly after Disney got the IP, most of this extended folklore was “decanonized.” rice field. One of the most notable parts of this legacy content was Star Wars: The Old Republic of the Knights (or KOTOR if sensitive to syllables). It was released on Xbox and PC in 2003 and will soon receive a full-fledged latest version. Remake with the latest console. Performed almost unexplored in the distant past on the Star Wars timeline, this Bioware RPG was a very impressive achievement at the time and continues to be a fascinating experience. KOTOR has some elements that absolutely indicate age, but this is a solid and nostalgic title, and I’m happy to be able to use it on the go.

Since KOTOR takes place about 4,000 years before the first movie, there is no skywalker or confused and resurrected emperor seen here. The game began shortly after the Galactic Republic barely ended the war with the Mandalorians, and now finds itself invaded by a fleet led by the Sith, who turned to the two Jedi who led the first war effort. One of the Siths, Darth Revan, was murdered, but their apprentice Darth Malak is still keen to complete their mission to eliminate the Republic. In all of this, you play a simple “nobody” character who gets involved in the struggle and ultimately changes the outcome of the conflict.

This wartime background ghost is very close to everything you do, but KOTOR is primarily defined by a smaller ground-level story that draws you in as you slowly assemble your party through the stars. increase. For example, Talis, the first world to start, is defined by the struggle to track down the location of the critical Jedi where the escape pod crashed and find a reliable means of transportation to reach the offworld.

However, even these small goals are often placed in the back burner because they involve many steps to accomplish them. For example, if you want to get a walkway to an important part of the city, you must first help party members release Wookiee’s friends from prisoners. But these little rabbit trails don’t feel too damaging to the overall experience, as they all somehow improve the understanding of the world and its social systems.

The story may sound a bit winding (and … yes, it may), but KOTOR does the epic task of creating a world that feels “living” properly. This is a phrase often used in great RPGs, but I feel it’s doubly true here. Most of this is due to a detailed dialogue system that allows you to do more with a one-time conversation with an NPC. To them than just one or two lines. Not only does this add more flavor to the moving community, but all this additional dialogue is important to understanding what to do next. KOTOR has a quest log to keep track of your goals, but it certainly doesn’t show where to go or what to do. Talking to NPCs usually gives you a lot of tips, but you can put together enough information from what they say and generally understand where to go next.

Beyond this, at the heart of your interaction is a fairly simple moral system. How you respond to an event affects whether you lean on the light or dark side of the Force. This affects the journey and what ending you see in the end. The way you talk to someone at the bar can affect whether you will participate in the fight later. Therefore, if you can afford to choose between Boy Scouts and Bullies, you can make the story feel more personal and at the same time increase its reproducibility. Down if you say something else. It’s far from adopting the game’s moral system in the most detail (or realistically), but there are still some good examples of how “correct” feels properly grayed out.

There’s a fair amount of exploration in the world itself, but this is probably where KOTOR feels like a game almost 20 years ago. The environment is all arranged in a somewhat maze-like manner, littered with treasures, enemies, and NPCs, but KOTOR is final, whether or not you’re walking in places like the Tatooine dunes or Kashyyyk forest. It feels like a series of very flat rooms connected to each other. There is not much diversity seen here at the basic level. Having more interesting environmental hazards and gimmicks to distinguish the planets helped greatly to break this sense of homogeneity. Well, you can’t expect much from games of this era, but be prepared for a level and world design that’s clearly less interesting than you’d expect from a similar release today.

Whenever you get involved in a battle, things seem to unfold in a fast-paced live-action style, but this is just an illusion. In fact, all numbers are calculated using the old-fashioned d20 statistical system, and actions are actually performed in a simple turn-based way. So for simpler encounters with enemies, you don’t have to do more than just walk within range and sort out the numbers. However, for more challenging encounters, you will need to use more combat skills and (later) force power to tilt your odds to your advantage. So, in reality, you’ll find that fighting in KOTOR, if any, isn’t much different from what you’d see in an old school Final Fantasy game. feel It is fundamentally different because of the way the information is communicated to you.

Once you have enough experience in exploring and killing enemies, you can level up your character in a slightly more practical way than usual. You can always choose Auto Level Up to have the game handle it automatically, but it’s a good idea to distribute the statistics points yourself. For example, adding points to a “computer” makes it easier to hack, and adding points to demolition makes it easier to dismantle or heal live mines. Only a few points are distributed each time, but on the contrary, only one statistical point can make a difference in the world.

In addition, there is a tree of “features” that manages the proficiency of different types of weapons and new abilities used in combat. As with your statistics, you need to identify your limited points quite a bit here, and things get more and more stressful due to the fact that you don’t have the option to redesignate your character. Therefore, you may have to “ruin” your build and start over from the beginning, or it can be quite difficult to play the rest of the journey. In this regard, KOTOR again indicates its age. Not only is this opportunity to ruin the build always present, but the overall process through this leveling feels unnecessarily opaque and confusing. It can be difficult to understand exactly what a particular statistic actually does, and the in-game information can be frustratingly thin.

In addition to all the expected RPG traps, KOTOR also features a variety of mini-games that offer great breaks from normal action. These include simple drag racing challenges, first-person shooters from the ship’s turret, and card games like blackjack. None of these are just a little distracting along your long journey, but add just the right amount of gameplay versatility to prevent otherwise stiff gameplay loops from becoming too old.

One of the little annoyances we feel we still need to mention is that it’s clear enough that KOTOR isn’t designed to play on a controller. The original may have been released on Xbox along with the PC release, but the world itself feels ideally mouse-navigating. There are many interactable elements in every part of the world, and in the past you could just point and click on a menu or NPC, but here you use the shoulder buttons to circulate the target unnaturally. It’s far from breaking a deal, and we claim that the novelty of having a KOTOR on the go outweighs this shortcoming, but always prepared for controls that feel a bit awkward. please.

From a presentation point of view, KOTOR works much the same, given the limited nature of this port. The lights get great bumps, the frame rate is high, and the textures are very detailed, but you can’t mistake this for a modern game. A simple environment, a chunky character model, and a stiff animation are equivalent to the course here. This probably looked pretty good at the time, but it can’t hold up anymore. The soundtrack, on the other hand, works much better with an identity that closely matches the spectacular tones of the score that John Williams composed for the film.

Conclusion

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic may have lost some of its brilliance over the years, but the foundation of a well-written and fun RPG is less than a day old. If you can overcome awkward controls, half-hearted presentations, and a complete lack of possession, the 30-hour campaign offers a compelling game through the world of your beloved Star Wars. KOTOR on Switch is highly recommended for fans of Star Wars and RPGs in general, but there are warnings that if you get angry with the old-fashioned game design elements, you can take advantage of them.