Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (iOS) Review

By Lex Firth 23.05.2015

Review for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on iOS

The arrival of a new trilogy in the Star Wars franchise (now helmed by Disney) has split opinion since its announcement, but there's no denying the worldwide hype generated by April's unveiling of a new trailer for the upcoming The Force Awakens. It's clear that despite pushing 40, Star Wars remains a cultural icon - and what better way for Cubed3 to celebrate its comeback than by taking a look at the series' (and perhaps even developer BioWare's) arguably most revered game?

Most Star Wars fans will probably know what made Knights of the Old Republic such a success upon its original release in 2003. It was a formula bound for success - to take the company known for making Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate, some of the most critically lauded RPGs of their time, and attach George Lucas' rich lore was never going to turn out for the worse. KotOR is suitably massive, with a story weighing in at over 30 hours, taking players to Tatooine, Kashyyyk, and a wealth of other planets.

Some of these areas aren't seen in the films and instead stem from the comic books or even are unique to the game itself, providing adequate stomping ground for BioWare's masterful storytelling. The planet of Manaan, for example, is a brand new aquatic planet with its own fascinating history involving its native species of the Selkath, also unique to KotOR. It's sure to satisfy and excite Star Wars fans, expanding the overall universe with a number of complex subplots.

Speaking of the plot, KotOR is rather removed from the mainline Star Wars continuity, taking place 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, thus giving BioWare free reign to create complex, powerful characters without running the risk of affecting the original plot, such as Darth Malak, a powerful Dark Lord mounting a furious assault on the Republic. The story also uses an alignment system similar to many of BioWare's other releases, allowing the player to decide whether their character will ultimately defeat or join the Sith through a series of dialogue options.

Screenshot for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on iOS

It's a mesmerisingly deep experience and it's not hard to see where all the praise came from back in 2003 - but the question remains of whether it's still as amazing in 2015. The answer is, to put it simply, no - it's still a great game, but one that has suffered over the years. Graphics that would have been acceptable ten years ago now look out of place today - the environments remain as gorgeous as they ever were, but the character models are ugly and animations are incredibly stiff.

The conversion to mobile devices is not without its faults, either. The fact of the matter is that touch screen controls simply aren't a good fit for Knights of the Old Republic - even simple movement is difficult without a tangible controller, while menus are cluttered and hard to navigate on smaller screens. This is a lot more manageable on an iPad, but iPhone users are in for a rough time and it may be enough to put some players off within the first few minutes.

Similarly, the game's more intricate mechanics can often seem impenetrable to newer players who aren't as used to RPGs, explained through lengthy tutorial windows rather than being introduced naturally through the course of gameplay. Even combat uses a somewhat convoluted icon system to explain what's going on, which could make it hard for some to keep up with the action.

These are just minor issues, however, that only prevent KotOR from reaching the near-perfect status it once held. It may be one of BioWare's first, but it remains one of their greatest and is well worth playing. It certainly is worth noting, however, that those with a smaller screen will get a lot less out of it, with control and navigation issues being far amplified on such devices.

Screenshot for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Knights of the Old Republic's excellence is unquestioned - this is a fantastic game for Star Wars fans or indeed anyone looking to get sucked into a lengthy and complex RPG. However, this is far from the best version, and those looking for the best KotOR experience should consider picking up one of the original console versions or even the recent PC rerelease.

Developer

Aspyr

Publisher

Aspyr

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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