Taa Taa ta ta ta daaa daa...the game opens with the familiar Star wars music and the lines of type dissappearing into the distance...You are launched into a galaxy far far away: 4000 years before the Galactic Empire. The Republic verges on collapse,, as Darth Malak's war of conquest has weakened and scattered the Jedi forces.
Your space ship, the Endar Spire, is attacked by Sith forces and you need to escape before it explodes!Yikes! You need to find the escape pod!Oh-Oh-better check the manual-easiest way to move your character is L mouse . Keyboard controls WSZ&C will work too, but not so well. Another task you need right now is picking things up-L plus R mouse for this. Finally you figure out enough to meet your first character (of nine): Carth Onasi.You will escape with him as your ship disintegrates and you are catapulted down to the Planet of Taris, which is occupied by the dark forces of the Sith.
And so begins this immersive, exciting game that I was caught up in for about 6 weeks. Like a good book, I couldn't "put it down" and it involved around 70 hours of game play.
Your ultimate quest is to find and destroy the Star Forge, an enormous destroyer of worlds hanging out somewhwere in space. Very soon in the game you find out that there are 5 Star Maps on 5 planets that you must find in order to do this. Easier said than done-hence, the 70+ hours of game play, which could have been even longer if I had spent more time trying to beat the 3 mini games: IE: Swoop car racing, the card game Pazaak, and the dueling rings. Winning these could gain more "credits" with which to buy weapons, armor, health, ect. But I found plenty of extra stuff to sell and had no trouble stocking up for the battles.
I found the many side quests a more interesting and fun way to earn credits and there were more than plenty of them, taking me to Taris, planet of tall city spires and space-age structures, but with a dark,dangerous underground for the outcasts.Once you finally leave Taris, you have got your very own space craft, the Ebon Hawk, which gives you the option of choosing to go
To Tatooine, a dry, desert world, home of the sand people and the Eastern Dune Sea.Here you must slay the huge Krayt Dragon, among other things.
To Dantooine, a world of green valleys and strange rocks.Stronghold of the Jedi council. You learn many things here to help you on your way.
To Kashyyyk, with enitre villages built in huge trees. Home planet of the Wookies.Here, the nefarious Czerka Corp. is trading arms for Wookie slaves. You'll encounter poachers and get caught up in a quest to help the Wookies.
To Korriban, planet home of the Sith Academy. A beautiful, but sinister mountain world with immense ruins from a bygone age to explore.
To Manaan, a water world with a floating city,home of the Selkath. These fish-people want to remain neutral so they can continue to sell he Kelto, a healing substance mined from the bottom of the sea-by the Czerka Corp. of course everyone wants the stuff-it comes in handy in wars.
Other locations: a space station, a Sith war ship, and the Unknown World, with palm fringed beaches, gargantuan ruins of crashed space ships and a mysterious temple.
One mild annoyance was whenever you're in the process of going to another planet, usually you will be attacked by Sith war ships. Then you have an arcade sequence where you need to shoot down a few of them by lining them up in crosshairs and blowing them up.Doing this with the keybord controls was awkward. More often than not It would take 2 or 3 trys, or sometimes no enemies would appear.
Along the way as you find out about more and more quests, you pick up 9 additional characters who can help you with battles, along with a whole array of weapons and equipment.
Carth Onassi, a republic soldier.expert fighter.
Mission Veo, sassy, hip young woman with blue skin and wrap-around head-good with demolitions.
Her loyal wookie guardian, Zaalbar.
T3M4, a droid-very good at hacking computers.
Bastila, former Sith, now turned Jedi.
Jolee Bindo, friend of the Wookies.
C842, a powerful robot
JUhani,a soldier who turned away from the Sith.
Canderous Ordo, powerful fighting mercenary.
You can choose 2 at a time to go on missions with you. The game can be played either on the Light Side(non-confrontational) or the Dark Side(violent and unforgiving) with the objective of acquiring force points by staying with whichever side you're on.You can play in easy, normal or difficult mode. I played in easy (light side) and found some battles quite challnging until I got the options and controls figured out(sort of) I'm not an experienced RPG player-enjoy the adventure and story more than the fighting.That being said, the battles are more or less on autopilot once you get the weapons,armor,adreneline stimulants, ect. all set up. There's more than enough stuff to find and sell to get all the supplys you need to win battles. I always make sure I have plenty of things that heal-and I did have a lot left at the end.
The game comes with a very thorough instruction book, which gives detailed explanations of the many display boxes that you can access. My only complaint about this is the fact that it is printed with white lettering on black background-hard to read in dim light or by monitor light.
Gameplay was quite smooth, with R mouse for charcter and weapon control. Also, L,R F & B can be controled by keyboard. Graphics were fairly decent, with some breathtaking views and some not so good in detail. There was good variety of environments to explore with very little backtracking. Many of the quests were related to the locating of the star maps and some were just for fun and to get credits(money) or XP(experience points) There is a journal to keep track of conversations and another notebook for quests uncovered or completed. By the last parts of the game, the inventory gets so huge it takes time just to locate things you need. I guess you could weed it out by "selling" the stuff you no longer use, but I didn't bother with that.
I played the game with 512 RAM, WINXP, which are the reccommended(not minimum) requirements listed on the box.The game did freeze up 2 or 3 times, but there were no other glitches.
All things considered, I had a great time with K.O.T.O.R. and am missing playing it. Well I guess I can go back to the Ebon Hawk and wander back to the planets again for awhile.
I give it an enthusiastic