This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was originally released in 2003 for the Xbox and PC. And in May 2013 was released for the iPad, but will a complex game such as KOTOR be a success on the Ipad or will it be a flop.
For anyone who has not played the original Knights of the Old Republic, GO OUT AND PLAY IT. But seriously, Knights of the Old Republic is one of the games from my early teens that I rented from Blockbuster and it was the find of a life time. This game was and still is one of my favourite games of all time and started my love affair with Bioware.
Please note: This review will focus on the iPad port.
Knights of the Old Republic is a prequel to the Star Wars Saga and takes place when the Sith Empire has only just started, so you should not expect to see any recognisable characters from the film to be here. You start off as a Republic Crew member on the Endar Spire when your ship is being attacked by the Sith, you escape with Carth (Han Solo type character) to a small planet where you must rescue a young Jedi Bastila (voiced by the talented Jennifer Hale). What follows is an epic quest travelling around the Galaxy to try and stop Darth Malak.
KOTOR was the game I played on where the story-line just blew me away. Your choices will affect the narrative as you play, with character interactions playing a big part in how the story unfolds. Character relations can affect the plot later on in the game and, since you choose to follow the dark side or light side, this is one of this games strong points making you come back for more.
The characters in KOTOR are some of the most memorable you will ever encounter they range from a killer assassin Robot, a Mandolorian war vet, to a grumpy old Jedi. All characters have so much depth to them and you do feel really attached to them as you get to know them and their back stories, with you really caring if they survive the game or not. Planets are also very well excicuted, they are so varied that you are very rarely doing the same thing twice, for example: on Korriban you must undertake Sith training and then missions on Tattoine are very different where you have to handle the Sand People problem and other planet appropriate missions.
KOTOR has so many plot turns and twists to it, the game will keep you guessing until the end what will happen next. It has one of the most memorable major plot twists I have ever encountered and I believe is the game equivalent to The Sixth Sense. What KOTOR does well is that you control the story-line at all times, you decide if you want to be the hero or succumb to the dark side. I still believe the plot of this game holds up to today’s standard and even surpasses them to some extent.
Controlling KOTOR on the iPad works extremely well in places. The MMO RPG style combat systems is a dream on this device, with combat pausing before a fight or even after you defeat an enemy. With a easy to use quick key set at the bottom of the screen you can chose with type attack to use and then select which special move you wish to use if a basic attack will not do. With the action queue you can also plan your attack ahead and watch the battle take place with a quick tap of the screen you can pause the game and select new tactics if the tide of battle changes against you. This control system really works well for the iPad and I actually prefer it to the controls of any other iPad game I have played on.
One downfall though is the space battles; I really hate these on the iPad as they just don’t work. To fire you have to touch the screen and to move the cannon you also have to touch the screen. With the fighters coming at you from all angles you have to continuously fire as you move because of the speed they move at. So you end up moving the gun in sort of a clunky way which feels very stiff and at times is unplayable. There is a trick where if you keep tapping the screen as the game is loading you might get lucky and take out half of the fighters on the first path but I have found a lot of the time successfully completing this is down to luck a lot of the time. And if you die you have to restart from your previous save point… frustrating.
Another bad thing about this game being on the iPad is how dark the game is at times. If you go into a cave its pitch black so you have to quit the game and mess around with your iPad settings to turn the brightness all the way up which is a pain. The darkness also really affects the space battles I previously mentioned. You are shooting tiny grey ships on a dark space back ground which at times makes it impossible to see anything.
The save feature for KOTOR seems to have changed from what I remember. Quick Save is still there but never seems to save frequently enough so please remember to save every hour or so because you will loose at of data, trust me, I lost 3 hours of my progress because I thought autosave was working when it wasn’t. The new saving feature they have introduced though is excellent, where if you leave the app or if it unexpectedly closes it will create a new save file where you can just jump straight back into the action even if you are in the middle of a fight.
In general, KOTOR has your standard MMO RPG style of game play where you and the enemy take turns attacking each other, success depending on your stats and skills for example you will start off being next to useless with the Lightsaber until you improve your dexterity and add the dueling feats. This adds more difficulty to the game but with the right party members selected you will be fine. There are a vast number force powers to choose from ranging from Lightning, Force Choke and even the classic Jedi Mind Trick. One thing to be aware of is to prepare for what’s ahead, the wrong choice of party members will lead to disaster, one fight you will get your a**e handed to you and have to reload to try again but after choosing a different party you will wipe the floor with the enemy that was causing you a lot of trouble.
As for what you can do in KOTOR the list is phenomenal, as well as battles on foot and in space you can; Solve Crimes, Collect Bounties, Enter Swoop Races, enter diplomatic negotiations, use your force powers for good or evil, the list is almost endless. A very varied game but will not appeal to those who prefer a lot of action, KOTOR is a very slow game that takes a lot of patience.
KOTOR can take around 20-30hrs to complete if you don’t listen to all the dialogue. If you want to complete all the side missions(I still haven’t managed that in 11 years) and hear everything all the characters have to say I would guess you have to add at least 10 hours to that at least.
KOTOR will keep you coming back for more with the multiple endings and different choices to be made throughout the story it has plenty of replay value which will have any RPG or Star Wars fan coming back for more.
Knights of the Old Republic is the best iPad game I have ever played. I would defiantly say it is a must buy for anyone who has an iPad. The game is also available for iPhone but I would not recommend it as the screen would be miles to small and the game eats through Battery life like crazy.
I played this game of the iPad mini and apart from the game crashing once I have had no issues with it. The size required is just over 2gb and for the price of £5.99 you have yourself a real bargain. If you have never played the game or if you are feeling a bit nostalgic or even if you just want a game for your holiday then I would strongly recommend you go out and buy this game today.
If you do decide to buy this game, take your time with it, turn off the subtitles and prepare for best Star Wars story there has been to date.