Originally announced back in July 2000 for the PC and an unspecified next generation console, plans for an Xbox version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic have now been revealed, and dates have been set for each version's respective release. Being developed by Bioware, in conjunction with LucasArts as distributor, Star Wars: KOTOR will first debut on the Xbox this coming fall, while the PC version will follow later in spring 2002. Project producer Mike Gallo commented that the delayed release of the PC version of the game was such that it wouldn't compete with Star Wars Galaxies, Verant's upcoming PC MMORPG currently scheduled for a fall release.
Set in the wildly popular Star Wars universe during the Golden Age of the Republic, players are thrust into the heart of galactic warfare between the forces of light and darkness. 4000 years prior to the rise of the Empire and the dismantling of the Jedi Council, both Jedi and Sith alike are still strong in numbers, and the fate of the galaxy weighs in the balance of their raging conflict, as well as the actions of the player's small band of Jedi Knights.
Throughout Star Wars: KOTOR's engaging, action oriented gameplay experience, players will have the opportunity to control a party of as many as 3 characters from a growing list of playable races, currently including Humans, Twi'leks, Wookiees, and droids. The games sweeping story will find players travelling between 10 unique worlds, both old and new to long time Star Wars fans, with exciting locales including the Sith world of Korriban, the Jedi Academy on Dantooine, the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, and the ever popular Tatooine. Also, as a diversion from the games main role-playing thrust, Star Wars: KOTOR will include a number of mimi-games, a feature becoming increasingly common among RPGs of late. These mini-games will include swoop bike racing, turret gun shooting, and more.
Acknowledging the somewhat divergent nature of PC and console gaming, Bioware plans to tweak each version of Star Wars: KOTOR according to its respective platform. The interface and control scheme will be catered to best suit the strengths and weaknesses of each target platform, presumably such that PC keyboard shortcuts and the like will translate seamlessly to the Xbox's gamepad based control. Additionally, the game's engine will take advantage of each platform's hardware capabilities and graphics potential to its fullest. A giant technical leap forward from Bioware's trusty Infinity engine, and even that of Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: KOTOR will also feature a brand new combat system and interface on top of its new visual prowess.
For further information on the upcoming game, LucasArts has just opened their official Star Wars: KOTOR website here, while Bioware has launched 3 new forums dedicated to both the Xbox and PC versions of the game here.
While there's still a long wait before the game's release, especially for PC gamers, we have a small collection of the first screen shots and artwork revealed from the game to tide you over. Take a look at our PC and Xbox screen shot galleries here and here respectively, each featuring a trio of in game images, followed by 11 pieces of artwork here.