RPGFan got a double dose of the new D20 Star Wars RPG, Knights of the Old Republic. Shown by both LucasArts and Bioware behind closed doors, KotOR is shaping up to be quite the game. As it is taking place 4,000 years before the events in A New Hope, Bioware had nearly free reign with the lore in their universe.
There are three classes to choose from when you create your character in KotOR, available in both male and female: the Scout, the Scoundrel, and the Soldier. When you create a character, you have the option to do either a quick create or a full-out D20 creation of your character. Those whom are not familiar with Wizards of the Coast's D20 system may want to choose to quick-create, whereas those whom play D&D or the SWRPG may want to customize their character to the teeth. Unlike the Baldur's Gate games, attributes are automatically assigned instead of rolled, as are the additional stats gained with levels.
Knights of the Old Republic allows players to become either good or evil, but characters cannot stray in between as the game only has two endings. The battle system is real time but can be paused to input up to three commands per character. Your allies will argue your actions but will not abandon you until late in the game.
RPGFan was able to see both the Xbox and PC version of KotOR, and the PC version is the better looking of the two, due to the higher resolution. The Xbox version looks good, and pushes the Xbox to the limits. Lightsaber effects are excellent, and it is quite obvious that Bioware put a great deal of time into the creation of these lightsabers. Characters are also able to modify the colour of their sabers.
There are 9 full-size worlds in KotOR, 7 of which are planets. The 8th is a ship that belongs to Darth Malak, the main antagonist. The 9th locale has yet to be revealed. Characters also have the Ebon Hawk, which functions like the Strongholds from Baldur's Gate II. One bug that RPGFan did find with the early version of the game was that Vibroblades made lightsaber noises. Bioware assured us that this would be fixed before the game went to press.
Bioware also included three minigames with KotOR. The Swoop minigame was the most talked about and was a simple little race against time game. There is also a turret minigame when the Ebon Hawk is attacked in space. The third is a card game that will be playable in cantinas.
Knights of the Old Republic is slated for a July 1 release on the Xbox and Q4 for the PC.