The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchise has a lot of going for it. The defacto canon story, the interest in what happens between the Mandalorian wars and the actual films, and overall Star Wars goodness. However, the game has not aged well over time, although the writing and the game itself have. What is most notable here, is the difference between a remaster, a remake, or just a simple port. This is not anything but a simple port.
Bioware’s claim to fame is their character interaction. This completely stands out in this game. Your first squadmate, Carth, distrusts you from the very beginning, and it details the running of one of the greatest stories of Star Wars lore to date. The characters have true depth, and it carries the story. While you are trying to figure out a way off a very unknown world called Taris, you run into a vagabond crew of people who dislike both the Sith and the Republic. Simply put, you are thrown into an interaction between the hard right and the hard left of the Star Wars world.
This seems silly at the forefront, but being placed between the Mandalorian wars, and the setting of the original Star Wars trilogy gives ample subject matter. The player is inserted into the eyes of a Republic Soldier/Scout/Scoundrel in the universe. This allows for robust character creation (at the time) and allows for the player to be one with the universe. Nowadays, there are many flaws to overcome, the game has aged and so has the user.
I remember my first time on Taris—the first world you contact—as a broad experience. However, it has aged into an ‘on rails’ type RPG that gives side quests but gives low reward. You are forced to continue down the path you are given, your decisions literally mean nothing until later. This entire part of the game could possibly be skipped over, considering Carth (your main ally) distrusts you, and your new characters Mission and Zalbaar join the squad. Zalbaar declares a life oath with the player after rescuing him from slavery, and you get to learn more about the Wookie culture.
This is where Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic truly shines, they highlight the Star Wars lore, and you get to choose most actions. While on Taris, your choices don’t mean much, but then you become a Jedi (spoiler alert) and begin to really make a mess of things. There is a true ending, which I can’t spoil. I have played this game many times, but it truly is BioWare at its finest. After Taris, the player has many interactions that allow the changing of the entire storyline.
That is the beauty of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic universe, the allowance of the player to basically bastardize the universe or be a shining light, but it is a rail-based game. BioWare is known for their depth and details on whether the player would like to explore storylines. You are basically forced into these. You can ignore them, but Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is still going to remind you they are there. There are amazing characters like the HK-47 droid that remembers more than the titular character, and the writing there is superb.
“The best thing about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the astounding writing…”
The best thing about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the astounding writing. Even Carth comes around, Mission’s story is met with a climax, Zalbaar doesn’t get his teeth brushed, and the execution follows well. The story is what a masterclass was before a storyline could be considered as such, and it stands.
Without spoiling the amazing narrative, that is the title’s strongest point. The writing stands the test of time, a canonical Star Wars story that the player can control? Sign me up. However, back to the first paragraph, this is a simple port. When the player becomes a Jedi, the narrative is almost at its conclusion, which is a tease for the second title… not included in this purchase.
Every single issue that this title had is still prominently featured. There are issues with squad commands, walls and AI movement—there are just a huge abundance of issues. A lot remains to be fixed in this port. However, that is what it is, a port of the original title.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic leaves a lot to be desired. Glitches and problems appear at every turn, but, this is an old title. It doesn’t pretend to be a remaster, nor a remake. It is simply a port of the original 2003 release, and it really shows. The game truly brings some heart to the Star Wars universe, unlike Disney, but it hits home where no one would think. I love this game, but not as it was.