May the Force be with You

Aug 17, 2010 | Video Games


Ah, Star Wars. The writer in me wants to slam it for being a rehash of the same old quest stories, except with lasers and star ships and more aliens than Roswell. If I’m being honest, though, I just can’t stay mad at the grandaddy of all space operas – my first big story idea was influenced by it, after all.

After I quit World of Warcraft, I was left with little enough to do with my game time. A friend told me to download Steam and come play Team Fortress with him, at which point I told him to get stuffed because Gears of War is my FPS of choice, but boredom is a harsh and unforgiving mistress. A week later, I got Steam and signed up. It was that or lose my mind (again).

But Team Fortress? No, not for me. I went looking at the RPGs, and wouldn’t you know it, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was on sale! One quick flash of the credit card, one download later, and I was rocking the universe of George Lucas’ deranged imagination.

KOTOR is a game and a half. I started off with a dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks soldier, and they did a surprisingly good job of giving her a personality despite my best efforts to mimic a cardboard cutout. I then proceeded to play the ultimate good guy who just happened to have a big-ass sword. It was funny – nay, hilarious – at the end when I went up against the next-to-last boss, who was scripted to say something pithy when they hit 20% life and then come at you again with a full health bar. They did this a few times, presumeably to do the whole epic fight scene whatsit. My encounter, however, went something like this:

Them: Haha! You shall never defeat me!


Them: No really, you shall never defeat me!


Them: You’ve fallen into my trap, haha! You shall never defeat me!


Me: lol?

I was giggling like a lunatic for at least ten minutes afterwards. Seriously though, once I got a pair of lightsabers and all the dual wielding feats, I became an unstoppable death machine. I did try to talk people around if I got the chance, but it never worked. By the end of the game, I was thinking of my little toon as the world’s most idiotic and heavily armed diplomat – she couldn’t negotiate her way out of a paper bag, but when the natives inevitably took offence and attacked, she opened up a can of whup ass that knocked them back to the Stone Ages.

Too easy? Probably. But ohmigod was it satisfying! There was a plot there somewhere that guided me to new locations where I could find more aliens to offend and extinct-ify, and it was pretty epic. The big reveal was a complete surprise to me and it was AWESOME. I did every quest I could find, and I talked to random party members for giggles, so I think I did 90% of what KOTOR had to offer. At the end, I was so far into the Light Side that I had a glowing column around my character picture, and I was wearing some random Jedi Master robes because armour didn’t matter a damn anymore when I could one-shot anything in my way.

KOTOR is such a great game, I’m recommending that anyone with a computer and a taste for RPGs buy it RIGHT THIS MINUTE. No really. Like right now.

What the hell are you still doing reading this? Go go go!