A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a video game was born that would forever etch its name in the annals of gaming history. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic AKA KOTOR, released in 2003, captured the hearts of gamers and Star Wars enthusiasts alike, transcending the boundaries of time and remaining a beloved masterpiece to this day.
And now, with both KOTOR and KOTOR II available to purchase on Android and other mobile devices, we decided to embark on a journey to uncover why KOTOR continues to reign supreme as one of the finest Star Wars games ever created.
Need to Refresh Your Knowledge? Read Below.
Before we delve into the captivating realms KOTOR uncovers, PIA’s blog piece explores all elements of the Star Wars universe, new and old, so you can best understand some of the galaxies and references mentioned in this article.
Of course, with the Star Wars collection spanning almost 50 years, no one would blame you for needing a bit of a refresher and learning some fun facts along the way. Like, did you know that they originally pitched Al Pacino for Han Solo? And Princess Leia offered to Jodie Foster? A Star Wars world without Carrie or Harrison!? Nope. We don’t care to imagine it, either.
KOTOR: The Goat of Star Wars Games
There are several enchanting reasons why KOTOR has never lost its sparkle. Released 15 years ago and has thus gone on to be successfully replicated for mobile devices. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons game fans love it so much.
KOTOR features an incredibly well-crafted and immersive narrative set thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars movies. The game introduces players to a rich, diverse universe filled with memorable characters, complex moral choices, and unexpected plot twists. The game’s storyline, often praised for its depth, explores themes such as redemption, betrayal, and the nature of the Force.
Meaningful Player Choices
KOTOR offers players a significant amount of agency in shaping their character’s path and the overall outcome of the game. The choices players make throughout the story have consequences that can affect the relationships with other characters, the development of the protagonist’s morality (Light Side or Dark Side), and the overall ending. This aspect of player choice and consequence was revolutionary for its time and added a layer of depth to the game.
KOTOR successfully blended traditional role-playing game (RPG) mechanics with real-time combat, offering players a unique and engaging gameplay experience. The game’s turn-based combat system allowed players to strategically plan their actions while maintaining the excitement and intensity of real-time battles.
The customization options for character progression, abilities, and equipment added depth to the gameplay. CBR highlights how the title revolutionized game-playing by giving players the freedom to live out their intergalactic fantasies with a high level of personalization. If a video game makes you feel like you’re within the Star Wars universe yourself while playing, then we think that that’s a job well done.
Finally, KOTOR introduced a cast of memorable and well-developed characters who have become fan favourites. From the enigmatic Jedi Bastila Shan to the charismatic scoundrel Carth Onasi, the characters are diverse and complex, each with a compelling backstory. The player’s interactions with these characters and the relationships they form throughout the game contribute to the players’ emotional investment.
GamesRadar notes that not only do you get to explore memorable characters within the game, but you also get to traverse planets that are only mentioned in the films. There are plenty of references to the greater Star Wars universe lured to in the game. And if you play the game right, you might be lucky enough to unlock some.
A Lasting Impact in the Gaming World
Overall, KOTOR’s impact on the Star Wars franchise and the gaming industry cannot be overstated. After its success, the game showcased the potential for narrative-driven storytelling and inspired a string of future games and media adaptations. These factors, combined with the game’s technical achievements, solidified KOTOR’s status as one of the best Star Wars games ever.