The force is strong with this galaxy from far, far away.
The most satisfying element to Knights of the Old Republic would be the morality system. You have an opportunity to choose to be one with the light(good/friendly) or dark(evil/wicked). With tons of thousands of dialogue, the possible are almost endless forcing you to be a conversation-ness. Being a bully and pushing others around will earn you points that will bring you closer to the path of the darkside. Standing up for others and helping will do the exact opposite and earn you points closer to the light. There is so many way to play this game. Choosing your gender will also affect the story slightly so this is certainly a game you most likely will want to take another trip back.
There is also a neutral barrier in all of the dialog that do not obtain neither points. For instance, there is a scenario where some guy is surrounded by some detonation droids. You may choose try and free him (lightside) - trigger the detonation (darkside) or not get involved at all (neutral). Basically, the decision is based on the gamer's though playing neutral is not a recommended option because there is no ending for it. You will end up with either good or evil ending at the end.
There are classes in KOTOR that you are able to start with. A soldier who depends on offense to survive, a scoundrel who depends on intelligence and diligence - a scout is a bit of both offense and brains. You are able to choose the one that fits you most. Although, must be mentioned - Soldiers are the easiest to play as for novice. Upgradable classes will be available at some point of the game.
Like a traditional role playing, by slaying enemies, you earn experience points. The level up system is somewhat unique. Once you have gained a level - you don't instantly increase in stat. You get the chance to decide on whether which traits you want to increase. This allow characters to be very customizable. Speaking of customizable, you can also customize your equipments such as helmets, gloves, armor and weapons. It is sometime many strategics would definitely enjoy and take advantage.
The combat system is fairly simple in KOTOR. It is a turn base game - you pick your three actions and wait for the enemies to make it's move. You are allow to pause at any given moment in battle to choose your move. There's is many actions to choose such as item, force power, saber skill, mines, grenades, etc. You won't get all of the force powers and lightsaber skills until to level up to the required level. Temporarily stats increasing items are also available. With all of the options, the battles shouldn't feel tedious from start to finish.
The Ebon Hawk is your typical Millennium Falcon for KOTOR. This ship is your transportation from planet to planet. Every time you travel, a cinematic movie will play for your guilty pleasure. The Ebon Hawk itself is a mini area where you can interact with you companions. You may ask for their back stories if you want and even items such as grenade. There really isn't a world map traveling as one button brings you to your destination.
KOTOR does provides mini games like Pazaak (card game) and swoop racing but nothing to distracting that will keep you away from the main game itself. Feels unnecessary but didn't hurt the overall game a bit. Still something to do if you ever get tired of exploring the galaxy and it gives you a break once in awhile because these mini games are located almost everywhere.
When I first saw the trailer for Knights of the Old Republic, I was thinking that it was an adventure game - but that was the visual style of the game. The character models, lip synching and environment effects are impressive. We get area like Kashyyk which is a forest planet, Sith battleground in Tatooine, Ocean environment in Manaan and a rocky area in Korriban. Each on feeling like area that Lucas would of have wanted in his third trilogy.
It is very impressive how Bioware crafted such beautiful environments that shelter equally impressive creatures in such a big opened world. You really feel like you are living in the actual the amazing sci-fi universe. It is very authentic looking to say the least. Some lighting have lag issues but not many that are very noticeable. There is very few flaws in the KOTOR graphically except the lags from time to time. The conversations are in letterbox format cut scenes which is pretty cool if you are a movie goer. I personanlly liked it.
The soundtracks here are top notch. Not really John Williams quality but are still good and matches the Star Wars atmosphere very well. Voice acting is also top notch here. You can even say they are "movie" qualities. Aliens language sounds unique and authentic from the sagas. Droids, Wookies, Jawas, all sounds great. The voice acting with the characters in this game is one of the best I have ever heard, maybe even top movie quality. The lightsaber sound that we all know and came to love is sounding less cool as the ones you hear from George Lucas's trilogies. Also here with many other original Star Wars sound affects like a blaster and the R2-D2 beeps.
Overall, the game will last you awhile. The main game itself already takes up 20-35 hours alone so just add with side-quests, mini games and completing the game a second and even a third may takes up months. It is worth mentioning that several play through may be necessary, something usually necessary in many traditional western RPG's. Bioware did a great job to bring role playing and Star Wars together. You don't really need even need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy this title but if you are, all the better. It is one of the best Xbox title to ever come out. KOTOR is nothing short of greatness. Do yourself a favor as a gamer and play this game. You don't want to miss out on one of an all-time classic. Get it if you have an Xbox. Don't have an Xbox? Get an Xbox along with a copy of KOTOR. It is that damn good.
*Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is backward compatible with the 360 but is not recommended. This review is based on the game being played on the original Xbox.*
Positives: Great use of Star Wars elements from lightsabers to Wookies and Jawas, Excellent original soundtracks/voice acting and much of it as-well, Story telling is top notch, Satisfying game play, Option to choose your destiny is a astounding mechanic to the overall game itself
Negatives: Graphical lag issues are noticeable, Load times can get annoying as it is frequent and lengthy, a other few annoying technical issues