Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series
Released: 2003, 2004
Publisher: Bioware/LucasArts (KotOR), Obsidian Entertainment/LucasArts (the Sith Lords)
Truth be known: I am a huge Star Wars fan
Truth be told: there aren’t very many good Star Wars video games
I love pretty much anything to do with Star Wars, but up until 2003 there weren’t that many good Star Wars games. The Super Nintendo trilogy was good but there are a lot of better games out there. And for every one of those rare good games there were two shits like Star Wars: Knights of Terra Kasi, Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Star Wars: the Phantom Menace – the Game (barf). Even the much-lauded Shadows of the Empire (on Nintendo 64) really only had one good level: the first stage on Hoth. But in 2003 Bioware unleashed Knights of the Old Republic and changed EVERYTHING. Every Star Wars game that came after this has had to live up to this and the quality of games since then has greatly increased (Force Unleashed, Battlefront, Lego: Star Wars).
Set four thousand years before the movies Knights of the Old Republic was able to do something with the Star Wars license that I love seeing; that is use the lore, technology and history of the Star Wars universe without being tied down by the same characters and scenarios we’ve all seen so much of. I love Luke and Chewie but it was so nice to see something new yet so familiar. I won’t get into the story too much because I’m trying to keep these under a few paragraphs but it’s your typical tale of redemption. But it’s fucking well done. Drew Karpyshyn (who also wrote for Mass Effect) really knows how to touch a nerve with me. Everything he’s written (including the wonderful Darth Bane trilogy of books) is absolute gold. There are great characters in this game, great locations and great visuals. It’s truly a dream come true for a Star Wars fan. I always loved Star Wars but when I first played this in summer of 2007 it reinvigorated that love. If there are any problems it’s that the game hasn’t aged well. It looks eleven years old. And the combat isn’t that great. It's very similar to Final Fantasy XII but a little more interactive. Another little quip I've had with this game is that once you finish an area you can go back to it (except a few important storyline areas). The only problem is the items are all gone (obvious) and there are no enemies. So you're left with a huge, empty area. I would've preferred they either a) made areas completely inaccessible ala Mass Effect or b) (I prefer this one) have enemies respawn. Either would've been better. But the game makes up for all that with sheer awesomeness.
Its sequel is probably a better game. You can customize your characters with a lot more depth and that made for a more fulfilling experience for me. And you can get a silver lightsaber, which is fucking awesome. But what holds it back (and I mean really
holds it back) is that it’s completely incomplete. The story was that the developers had two or three years after the first game to do a sequel. So they happily went about their work until a year into the project when Lucasarts said they wanted the game in four months, for Christmas. So they pretty much had to wrap up everything they had and release it “as it”. What was left was a buggy, incomplete mess with a shit-ton of loose ends and dead ends.
There was a sort-of sequel released in the MMORPG the Old Republic but it was set some five hundred years later and doesn’t answer any of the direct questions like “what happened to this character”
or “how did this end up”
. Mind you I haven't played the Old Republic or read any of the books tied into it so I may be completely wrong. But these characters deserve another game, not a paragraph in a book. There have been rumors of a third proper game for almost ten years. Who knows if we’ll ever get to see it, but I seriously doubt it.
Favorite Moment (Knights of the Old Republic): just being in Ahto City on Manaan
, the music, the water, the sun, so relaxing
Favorite Moment (Knights of the Old Republic II: the Sith Lords): when you finally get your fucking lightsaber
. It only took nine goddamn hours.
Favorite Musical Piece (Knights of the Old Republic): Ahto City
EDIT: I should also mention that my youngest sons name is Logan REVAN
Clark, after the legendary protagonist in these games.