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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Arcade archive

Star Wars. We all know and love it. Well, not so much now as evidenced by the dismal failure of the last two movies, but that’s in the past. Now, “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” by famed RPG makers Bioware is expected to redeem the franchise.
Set 4,000 years before Episode One, the Republic is under assault from a massive Sith armada with seemingly limitless resources. Amidst all this, players take the role of skilled Republic soldiers who appear to be little more than that. As players advance through more of the game, engaging in missions and seeing events unfold, they will discover there is more to the Republic soldiers than meets the eye, and the fate of the galaxy rests on their shoulders.
Players travel across several planets seeking the legendary Star Forge, which the fate of everything is tied to and the choices that they make along the way will determine if they become heroes of the light side or leaders of the dark side.
Of course, all this would be meaningless if there was nothing to draw players in and hold them, but “Knights of the Republic” has more to offer than battles. With a story and plot that soars above the drivel that was exhibited in the saga’s last two films, it is easy to become wrapped up in the game for hours at a time. But the real meat of this “Star Wars” game is its light saber battles, blaster duels and large space dogfights.
The fighting of the game is all in real time, but it uses RPG rules. This means that while players fight, the computer is rolling dice to determine the outcomes of your moves, such as if you hit, how much damage was done or if the enemy is dead or alive. While this may seem a bit confusing, it works surprisingly well and will force players to make good use of their teammates and Jedi powers. It’s not just a hack-and-slash game; it requires strategy to beat most of the bosses which, in the end, makes the entire game more worthwhile.
Players are joined by nine other characters, each with his own unique and memorable personality. This is brought about by the extensive dialogue tree that each character has and the conversations players have with them during the game. Their extensive biographies help move the supplementing characters up from tag-along grunts to true companions.
All characters are fully customizable, so as they advance in levels, players can give them all sorts of powers such as master’s speed, throw light saber, force jump and the simple, yet effective force kill. Customization nuts will have a ball going through the process while those who just want to play can make use of the handy auto upgrade feature.
To add more depth to the game, there are several mini-games for players to have fun with, ranging from racing to dueling, bounty hunting and being an errand boy. Most of them are fun and usually result in gaining more money, experience points and items. There is also an abundance of side-quests for players to complete that will help them get to know their teammates and get them goodies as well.
The sound and voice acting are top-notch, with a cast of more than 50 actors reading every single line of dialogue. The acting is some of the best since “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” was released and helps bring out each individual character. The sound effects are the standard “Star Wars” sounds from the swinging and clashing of the light sabers to the shrill pitch of the blasters. Each sound affect is authentic and sounds completely natural.
Even with all of these features, there are a few things that pull the game down. The graphics, while very good, do not make good use of the XBOX’s power which is capable of pushing photo realistic effects. There is also a small frame rate issue when players get into some of the larger battle scenes with lots of people running around on the screen. The pacing of the game is also uneven at times. But once players get off planet, the game really takes off, though it does tend to slow down in a few places and players will run around and backtrack a lot. Finally there is the loading issue. Nearly every time players go to a building or into another area of the planet there is a load screen. This becomes tiresome since the areas are fairly small and in the past, “Metriod Prime” proved that games don’t need load times for a huge game world.
Those minor issues are minor compared to everything the game offers. The gameplay, story and sound will grab players and pull them into the fantasy world. Bioware has produced great console RPG and is a must have for any XBOX owner.

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