Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Wersja PL
Dear reader, if you have read this text, you probably have some idea what Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is. However, if you haven't heard anything about one of the best, if not the best, role-playing games of recent years, then on the following pages you will find an extensive review that should more than satisfy your hunger for knowledge on this subject. For my part, I would like to concentrate on one, very important aspect of the game, omitted by my editorial colleague - the Polish language version. This issue was not mentioned in the review, not because of an error or neglect, but for another prosaic reason - just at the time it was written, that is in December 2003, only the English language version was available on our market. It is necessary to do justice to the Polish publisher, LEM, because thanks to its launch then Polish players had the opportunity to buy it a few weeks after the American premiere. However, we have nothing to cheat - people who know English fluently enough to be able to play KoTOR freely and with pleasure, there are not many in Poland. CRPG is not a shooter in which translating (or not) the subtitles in the menu basically ends the topic of polonization, basically without affecting the reception and ability to play the game by a person who does not know the language. In the case of KoTOR, there are thousands of pages (exactly around 2000) of descriptions, dialogues, choices and other texts, without which it is difficult to talk about the pleasure of playing.
I must admit that I sat down before the Polish version with a bit of anxiety. First of all, because such a huge project is an extremely difficult task. The development of the Star Wars terminology dictionary is a challenge in itself - those interested in the subject know that even translations present on the Polish market (books, comics, films) use slightly different Polish terminology. Add to this the non-English gender distinction - our hero can be both a woman and a man, which makes a significant difference ("I shot" vs "I shot") - game engines built with English in mind do not provide such a distinction due to on sex (you can find more on these topics in Rysław's excellent article). In addition, LEM has relatively little experience in Polish locations, and its previous work in this field, to put it mildly, did not impress (with the glorious exception of the recently released great adventure Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon). Already the first moments spent on the game meant that I forgot about anxiety, and his place was replaced first by surprise, and after a while, I'm not afraid to use this word, admiration! The location is simply perfect - the atmosphere, the sense of participation in the story, the accuracy of dialogue issues - all this adds up to a really great impression. The praise for the authors of Polonization is even greater because the pace of work was truly expressive - the whole thing lasted only two months. This is largely due to both a professional team of 18 people in total and good cooperation with the producer and publisher, Bioware and LucasArts. The close cooperation between LEM and Polish Star Wars fans is also invaluable - they were the originators of many phrases, testers and the first, sometimes strict, reviewers. I would like to emphasize that the translation is very faithful, which, contrary to appearances, does not mean that it is always literal. This, among other things, lies in the charm of a good location, that some texts need to be modified so that they can be picked up by the player in accordance with the intentions of the game developers. I especially recommend dialogues with the HK-47 robot to everyone - his attitude towards the world, and in particular memories of former owners, made me laugh almost to tears (to be able to activate them, you need to have a high Repair skill, but for them it is even worth lowering and using it for this purpose) codes). I admit at this point that I do not like to write laurels, so I put a lot of work into finding something, anything that I could "stick to" in the Polish location - without any noticeable effect. Even the fact that no voices were made, but left in the original version (with Polish subtitles) can hardly be considered an accusation, since most of the "spoken" issues are not in English, but in "Rodian" and other strange languages in the world. Star Wars. To sum up, thanks to the huge work done by the KoTOR locating team, this excellent game has become, if at all possible, even more attractive to the Polish player. I highly recommend!
Lord Sith also called Kiciuś aka Dominator
I like to write reviews of good games. Normally, when the game is weak (no matter what the word "weak" does not mean), when you write a review, you will bored playing, and then you still have to get tired of writing so that it doesn't come out that the title is completely hopeless.
In the case of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in the PC version, after about 70 hours of fun and completing all side quests and completing two alternative endings, I didn't feel like writing at all. I wanted to play again from scratch.
And now I have to bother and think about what to write so that it does not seem that it was probably the best role-playing game I have ever played.
The review is written based on the American version of the game, which is the same version that is currently sold in our country. All dialogues included in the game are in English. At the end of March 2004, the full Polish SW: KotOR edition is planned, prepared by LEM - as promised, it will be a professional cinema version.
The answer to this question only seems to be simple.
Certainly it is a game for lovers of the Star Wars world, but only those among them who expect more than just arcade shooting of "storm troopers" after the game.
It is a product for cRPG fans, but not only for them, because the intuitiveness of the game allows even people unfamiliar with the secrets of cRPG to have a lot of fun. The whole first stage is a kind of tutorial, which allows even a completely "green" player to learn the mechanisms of the game.
Amazingly, it seems to me that the game will go great in the tastes of lovers of "magic and the sword", feeling a normal strong aversion to laser blasters, because despite the technological climate, I still had the irresistible impression that the Light Sword is basically my "magic sword on dragons ”, the power of Jedi knights is Magic, and opponents could very well be hosts of orcs.
KotOR, partly with the help of graphic design and partly thanks to the incredible gameplay, in an interesting way tries to break free from the canons of cRPG, from the myth of people dressed as medieval warriors throwing 20 wall cubes in some dark basement. The game tries to go out to players who like a simpler form of entertainment, while still remaining a very good and expanded role-playing role.
To sum up, KotOR is designed for every lover of computer games who expects something more than arcade fun. The game contains elements of adventure, tactical and classic role-playing game. Do not be discouraged by the myth that cRPG must be difficult and unplayable, KotOR is simply a well-balanced game to play for anyone from 14 to 100 years old. The only problem may be the language barrier, which will disappear when the Polish edition of the game is released.
To avoid direct references to the Star Wars movie series, the game was set in the world of Star Wars 4000 years before the events known to us from the film saga. The gameplay takes place at a time when the Republic (title Old Republic) is flourishing after winning the war with the warlike Mandalorian clans, Jedi knights are quite a lot and they are guarding peace and stability, and the planets are flourishing. And at that moment, unexpectedly from the depths of space, a great and deadly fleet of Sith, Jedi renegades, arrives who have gone to the dark side of the force. It is commanded by Darth Malak, the Lord of the Sith. The Republic was on the brink of collapse again ...
As an unknown (unknown?) Soldier of the Republic, you have the chance to make a permanent mark on the pages of the galaxy's history.
The answer to this question is, in part, the huge success this title had in 2003 on the Xbox. Often, players bought the console specifically to play this one game, although cRPG is not an Xbox specific genre.
To answer this question to the end, it's a good idea to look around the history of the game. And here my "loose" version of SW's success story: KotOR:
Long ago, Bioware Corp, known for such excellent cRPG productions as the Baldur's Gate series and the Neverwinter Nights series, worked on an unspecified game project set in the world of Star Wars. Apparently everything was going as it should, but there was still someone missing "penny". At the same time, our beloved Microsoft was preparing for the great promotional campaign ($ 500 million) of its Xbox. One of the main messages of the "Xbox - the best gaming machine" campaign was the slogan "Best games only on Xbox". Then, smiling men from MS bypassed all known programming companies suspected of being able to create a good game with the information: "We give a great sack of thalers to anyone who can do an above-average game on XBox."
Bioware thought: "We have a nice game, but if we get a sack of thalers, it will be more than a short, standard game that many on the market recently." LucasArts joined this duo and the "Skills, Money and Ideas" trio resulted in a game that will remain in the players' memory for a long time, distinguished by refining details, expanded content and solid rethinking of game mechanisms.
The current version on the PC differs from its Xbox prototype in a nicer, PeCet visuals, support for higher graphics modes, full use of the mouse and keyboard to control the characters and partly made new cutscenes. In the story zone, both versions are practically the same with few exceptions in favor of PC.
So I will answer this question myself: Yes, in my opinion SW: KotOR is a game extremely interesting and worth the attention of every mature player. It stands out for me personally because it did not take me 2 days to finish it, as in the case of many new productions, and at the same time it did not bore me to death. I will try to elaborate on this claim later in this text.
Let's try, as befits a real review, to break down SW: KotOR into the first parts.
Embedding the action in the realities of the SW gave the authors the opportunity to draw handfuls of a large box of star-war "stuff". And very good, because thanks to this the game world is complete and coherent. Even if something is not shown directly, we are able to imagine what it could look like, remembering the images remembered from movies.
We have several planets, space stations, an undersea base, desert and jungle, which gives a great variety of scenery and thanks to this the next stage of the game has a different scenery and opponents. Each of the locations also has a fairly reasonable story and story envelope, which makes the plot of the game real.
In my opinion, the only thing that KotOR lacked when it comes to the game world is larger open spaces. The spectrum of Xbox and its limited hardware resources resulted in the lack of extensive maps, because everything that is large is divided into smaller pieces, because only relatively small areas are able to load simultaneously into the console's memory. However, this does not bother specifically in the game and does not spoil the overall very good impression.
The story of SW: KotOR is worthy of the script for the next part of the Star Wars movie. Oh no, don't expect me to tell you the ending, because let's book it for those daredevils who will gain the strength to face the powers that rule the universe.
The plot of the game, as befits a real epic story, includes: galactic war, escape, hiding, searching for your past, love and betrayal, revenge or forgiveness, criminal intrigue and unraveling secrets, and fighting in quite a large dose - no wonder in finally the war goes on.
During the entire game, during virtually all conversations with encountered characters and performing tasks, we decide on which side of the Force we will stand, whether we become "good" or "bad". If we do it consistently to the end, we can lead the story in a variety of ways and apart from two different main endings, we also have an impact on many smaller episodes. It is a big plus for the game, however, because we can finally be either a positive hero or a good hero, a treacherous villain, a cold killer from the very beginning. And it's really cool. You want, you can help someone, save him or betray him and kill him. For example, one of the side stories, i.e. the main character's romance, can end in at least three different ways.
The important thing in the game is to fine-tune the extensive dialogues, and not only those related to the main plot, but also quite extensive side quests.
We can follow the straight path to the end from the start of the game, but the developers have also given us the opportunity to deviate from a fairly large number of additional threads. Some of them are like mini games in themselves, such as the entire trial, including the hearing of witnesses, in which we act as a lawyer guilty of defending him against charges.
I will not say a bad word about the creation and development of characters in KotOR. Everything is as it should be, because the system was based on the proven principles of Wizards of the Coast Star Wars D20, describing the world of Star Wars. You are a hardcore player and you 'like' or 'don't like' this system, it's your business, but for a normal player the rules described in the D20 work very well in this case.
In the game, we directly control only one character and that is our hero. The team can have three characters at the same time, two of which, in addition to our main character, are selected from the pool of nine available companions, whom we meet as the story unfolds. They represent all the main classes in the game (including Droids), which, combined with the fact that we can freely configure the team at any time, gives a lot of variety of gameplay.
If there is such a need, we can switch to control another character from the team or even disconnect it to perform a solo task.
Character development is divided into two main parts. The first of these is the development of the "non-magical" form, i.e. powerless - we have three classes to choose from. Soldier - standard "physical" character, Scoundrel - equivalent to "magician", and intermediate character - Scout. After gaining access to the "Force", the second part of the hero's promotion follows in one of the three possible Jedi classes, which are like a continuation of the three "non-magical" classes.
We can equip our character and other team members with a variety of weapons and equipment. It is nice that in the game we will find items that can be modified with special upgrades.
Together with gained experience points, we develop various skills, fighting styles and, in the case of Jedi, Powers that are equivalent to "spells".
The whole character development is logical and intuitive, it is undoubtedly an interesting and addictive element of the game, firmly embedding it in the cRPG category.
It is also worth mentioning that a large amount of equipment is available, including unique items.
You can really feel that we have some freedom of action, and we are not following a rigid path of development.
"Autopause" (automatic pause of the game) is the element of the game that sets the border between "arcade logic" and turn-based role-playing game. The whole game in KotOR takes place in real time, which seems natural and normal, but this information for an old-fashioned cRPG fan would destroy this title once and for all, because the need for agility to operate the hero during a fight is an unacceptable variant for many people. So we can, in a way known from other good productions, set the degree to which the game is to be arcade and turn-based. If we so wish, the game will stop with every move of our character, if we want - it will never stop and we will have to give orders on a regular basis. Between these two states there are many intermediate options so that each player can adjust the pace of the game to their liking.
Adding to this the possibility of smooth switching during the game between the characters in the team and the fact that when we so wish the computer can automatically control our companions, the whole makes KotOR's playability excellent.
With items in this class as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you can not miss such an important element as the "regrivality" of the game. Strange is a word, because it is strange, but it means that you can finish the game multiple times while maintaining the player's same or similar level of satisfaction.
At KotOR, "regrivality" is at least very good.
Due to the fact that with our decisions in the game (choosing the Dark or Light Side of the Force) we set one of two possible endings, thanks to many side quests that have many solutions, as well as the ability to partially manage the fate of our companions, the game can be played in many different ways and the game will look a little different every time.
An additional element is the fact that each of the three available classes is played differently, both in terms of fighting methods and character development.
Even taking into account the fact that we experience the same adventures with each game, it seems quite likely that each player will be able to play at least twice the whole game, without any signs of boredom. And that's quite a lot. Who knows, maybe he will play more times and he will also enjoy it ...
Writing about graphics, I would like to separate the issue of technology and graphic design from my visual experience from the game.
While this "what we see" is simply nice and well presented, the technology did not fully satisfy my tastes. Unfortunately, it is clear that this game was originally created for the console with its small hardware resources. Small open locations end with bitmaps showing the sky or what should happen next if the locations were spacious and the objects stretched to the "horizon". It is a bit reminiscent of the pioneering times of the cinema, where photos were shot in the studio with a few real objects, and the rest were painted on canvas outstretched behind the stage. This is not something that really disturbs the game, but I personally changed to KotOR from Star Wars Galaxies, where the city is a city, every house can be bypassed around and there is no impression that you are standing on a stage surrounded by flat cardboard decorations . Of course, I'm exaggerating, because probably many of the players busy admiring the beautiful and diverse scenery will not notice this fact, but I would like to express my dissatisfaction with this technical shortcoming.
Unfortunately, KotOR pays very nice graphics for a lot of hardware requirements, especially if we want to display everything "best". Fortunately, we can choose the details and graphic effects so that our older worn-out PC does not freeze shocked by the number of objects to display. Despite this, the 1.6 GHz Processor kit, minimum ATI Radeon 9200 or NVidia GeForce4 and 512 MB RAM seems what we should have to be able to fully enjoy the game.
A small objection, indirectly related to the graphics and partly the game engine itself, is the problem with the "path finding" characters accompanying our hero, that is, humanly speaking, our companions sometimes get stuck in the door and other background objects and do not keep up with us when we run somewhere in a hurry . This is not a big problem, although it is sometimes difficult not to notice.
It would not be a fun game in the world of SW, if not for a large number of "cool" movie cutscenes. Perhaps they are not as visually attractive as the movies from Blizzard games, but they still look very good in my opinion. Almost all movies were re-generated for the PC to avoid a lower Xbox resolution. Unfortunately, the more offensive is the view of the few remaining from the original version.
Despite earlier allegations, it is difficult to say that KotOR has poor graphics. If you compare it to other cRPG games, it looks very good against them, almost like "not cRPG" :).
Well, I have no objections here. Both the sounds accompanying the fight, as well as the sounds of the surroundings and the background music itself are made very well. The actors who put the voices under the characters were chosen correctly and sound convincing.
I am not a special lover of listening to music in games, because the melody line repeats over and over and simple sounds become exhausting after a while. In the case of KotOR, the music was on all the time, which at least for me is the argument that it was prepared carefully enough to support the atmosphere, not spoil it.
When I started my first game in SW: KotOR, I was very positive about this game. I overcame the first few locations and ... suddenly a shiver went through my back and it felt quite nice. Recently, I felt something like that when I played Planescape Torment. What was the reason for these positive fluids flowing through my body of a bored player? I discovered that I would not have to kill thousands of opponents wholesale, but there are other methods of gameplay.
And this is very, very cool at KotOR. I am glad that producers wanted to construct locations in such a way that we are able to overcome them in different ways. You can enter the enemy's area with fire and iron, leaving only the smell of burning and scattered parts of our enemies' bodies, but you can also go through the same location by sneaking in the shadows, hacking into computers and security systems, eliminating enemies using assassin methods.
Of course, the use or resignation of Force is also important. For example, we can bribe a guard blocking access to a locked room, kill him, stun him or have a Vader-style dialogue with him, using the power: "You are tired ...", "I am terribly tired ..." "You don't want to become on guard ... "," What am I doing here, I don't want to be on guard ... "," You will go to starport and get on the ship ... "," Well, hello, I'm going to starport because I got a ship will run away ... ".
In addition, there is the option of improving items, weapons and armor, repairing found machines and droids, and even improving mechanical companions in our team.
The game leaves us a lot of freedom of action and this is its very strong asset.
KotOR's class is also evidenced by what we get in it, in addition to the content of the game itself. In this case, it is a simple but extremely addictive card game that we can play with selected NPCs, arcade but fairly easy sled racing where you can win prizes, and the arcade defense of our spaceship against attacking enemy fighters. These elements are woven into the plot of the game and are compulsory only at the basic level, while if you feel like it, you can additionally have fun.
For me personally, a good addition is a delicate, intelligent dose of humor that intertwines with most dialogues, sometimes exploding with really funny situations.
Like all games, also SW: KotOR did not avoid flaws and shortcomings. However, a lot of the charges against this game hit the ball in the fence.
The basic "flaw" is the lack of multiplayer mode. I have read this plea many, many times in many different places and do not agree with it. Is it really difficult to understand that this game was intended to be only a single player and was exactly how it was produced? It should be remembered that for fans of action in the world of SW and lightsaber fighting in multiplayer, a whole series of very good games Star Wars Jedi Knight has been created. And if someone wants to play multiplayer cRPG in the world of Star Wars, then there is Star Wars Galaxies - nothing better in these climates will not rise for a long time.
Another argument for "no" is the lack of localized language version for sale in our country. Fortunately, this is the past, as we already know that in the coming months there will be a Polish cinema version of KotOR, released by LEM. Anyway, many players prefer the original version, so that selling the English version first and then the Polish one should satisfy everyone.
The price and form of release are also not impressive. While the recommended price, i.e. PLN 169 is not a major problem, because it is known that, e.g. in Empik or MediaMarkt it will be cheaper, the fact that with such a price from four CDs put in a box, only three were in plastic packaging, and one in paper envelope, made me laugh to tears. Well, but apparently the packaging is not the most important thing and what counts is the game that compensates for these shortcomings with a vengeance. Of course, I believe that the Polish edition will be published more carefully.
There is another significant problem. The game is not fully compatible with some models of Radeon cards - the appropriate patch can be downloaded via the Internet using the automatic patcher built into the game, but there are cases that it does not solve all problems. Then, apparently, you need to disable advanced visual effects in the graphics options.
In every game with a greater degree of complexity there are elements that are difficult to measure with a slide and an eye. In KotOR it is something that makes this game "cool". Maybe it's the "charisma" of the characters, maybe the landscapes combined with a good soundtrack, maybe the "vibes" of individual locations ... I don't know, it's hard to specify, but with this game you can forget and feel for a moment transferred to the world of Star Wars. And this is what games are all about - great fun that SW: KotOR should provide to most of you. I admit that this is one of the best cRPG games I've played in my life (and I've been playing cRPG since Commodore 64) and I think many of you will agree with my opinion.
Already today, work is underway to continue KotOR. It may not necessarily be a game with the title KotOR 2, but it will definitely be the same producer, climate and genre. Most likely, it will appear first on the Xbox platform, and in 2005 on the PC. I admit I can't wait.
My assessment of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is quite clear-cut, because the game, despite some minor flaws, is very, very good. It should fully satisfy every cRPG lover, regardless of whether he is a fan of the SW world or not. The real assessment will come with time, but now I will venture to say that this game will enter the canon of cRPG on the PC and to a high position.
Let the force be with you...
Wojciech "Soulcatcher" Antonowicz