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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Star Wars Knights game shines
by Darren Waters
BBC News Online reviewers

Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is one of the few Star Wars games that do real justice to the movies and universe created by George Lucas.

Use the force, but for good or ill?
Developed by Bioware, it is a role-playing game based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules of the hugely-popular Baldur's Gate computer game.

If none of the above makes any sense, don't worry. KOTOR, as it is known, is quite simply the most immersive Star Wars experience ever reproduced on a games console or PC.

Set 4,000 years before the action seen in the two trilogies, the game nevertheless has that distinctive Star Wars feel.

The sounds and sights of the game have been designed with such loving attention that the Star Wars universe is unmistakeable.

Patience and exploration

After creating your character class from a disappointingly limited set of options, you are thrust into the game at the centre of a fight between the Republic and the Sith lords.

You can interact with characters
Following a crash landing on a planet, you have to search for the rebel leader, exploring the world and interacting with the hundreds of characters in the game.

Your character has the potential to become a Jedi or a dark agent of evil and the decisions you take in the game shape how you will develop.

KOTOR is a game which rewards patience and exploration.

Most of the game will be spent questioning characters, while the combat is standard RPG fare.

You can choose for the combat to be handled automatically or slow it down to turn-based fighting.

The overarching story is every bit as good as any Star Wars film, while there are numerous sub quests and games to keep you occupied.

Graphically it is very good without being outstanding but the cut video sequences have been done well and add to a cinematic feel.

Knights of the Old Republic is out now for the Xbox

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