Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Update
We take an advance look at the PC version of BioWare's acclaimed Xbox role-playing game.
We recently had the opportunity to take a look at the PC version of BioWare's popular Xbox role-playing game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The PC version of the game is very far along and looks quite good, especially since the game has been tweaked and optimized to take advantage of the graphical power of higher-end PCs. Knights of the Old Republic will let you turn on varying degrees of antialiasing and will also let you toggle features like anisotropic texture filtering and soft shadows on and off. According to LucasArts producer Mike Gallo, the game's cinematic sequences have also been recompressed to take advantage of higher-resolution displays on PCs. The PC version of the game will also feature enhanced audio with support for 5.1 digital sound.
In addition, the PC version of the game will make various tweaks and additions to the original Xbox version of the game, including a few new interface options. You can use your mouse's scrollwheel to examine your character's inventory, and you'll also be able to keep better track of your enemies in combat with a floating contextual menu above their heads that will let you immediately choose which sorts of attacks and tactics you plan to use against them, rather than always looking back at the iconic menu at the bottom-right corner of the screen. The PC version of the game will also feature about 30 new high-level items, including new kinds of armor and a new lightsaber crystal, that weren't featured in the Xbox version of the game. These powerful items will be extremely pricey, much like the "bonus merchant" items from Baldur's Gate II that could be installed from a bonus CD included with preorders. But unlike that game, Knights of the Old Republic's new items will be available to anyone who buys the PC version of the game, not just those who preorder it--though LucasArts may include some other extras to eager players who do order the game in advance.
The PC version of the game will also fix a few technical issues from the original game, such as the bug that occasionally caused your character's list of upcoming combat actions to freeze up if you added too many skills to the queue. Since Knights of the Old Republic will be a huge, fully 3D game, its minimum system requirements will include a 1GHz processor and 128MB of RAM for Windows 98 users, and a hefty 256MB of RAM for Windows XP users (512MB is recommended). Knights of the Old Republic is scheduled for release this November.
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