Knights of the Old Republic still evokes feelings of nostalgia from fans, but relatively little is known about how the game itself had been made. Here’s our spoiler-free review about a new book on the topic. (Disclaimer: this book is not canonizing KotOR, but it is talking about the game itself.)
Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) was one of, if not the most popular Star Wars video games of all time. Many gamers still replay the RPG, released 16 years ago, back in the summer of 2003.
And the fact that EA is currently struggling with video games set in a galaxy far, far away, only strengthens the nostalgy feelings of the fans.
However, relatively little was known about how the game had been made, how the developers had seen the development process. But only until now. Journalist Alex Kane (frequently publishing on StarWars.com, Polygon, Rolling Stone and Variety) takes a look at the topic in his first book,
resulting in a piece of work that has a reader-friendly length, and still contains a huge amount of info.
Books about video games usually have one of two flaws: the authors either write what they think about the game, or they walk readers through the development phases drily and with too much detail, making the book long and dull. Kane however, avoids both „flaws”. As a journalist, he most likely understands that he can’t place himself above the topic he writes about. The total lack of personal opinion can be missed at some points, though one suspects that he chose the subject because he loves it. However, he has achieved a perfect job of deciding what information is and isn’t worth adding to the book – thanks either to his experience as an editor or his editors. These have resulted in a book without boring parts to be skipped, all details hide exciting novelties, that are all important to understand how KotOR had been made.
Set an even longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away, BioWare’s 2003 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic wowed players with its compelling characters, lightsaber customization, complex morality choices, and one of the greatest plot twists in both video game and Star Wars history.
Titled not too creatively as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, it is published by Boss Fights Books, a company focusing on publishing books about video games and pieces of software.
Creators of KotOR tell us how they had seen the development with their own words.
The work of Alex Kane can only be applauded, for he contacted lots of former employees of developer BioWare as well as Lucasfilms. He organized his information carefully so that he can present at least two of three personal views for each topic.
We can find out what had inspired the creators, what had enabled the game to become extraordinary, making it a must for KotOR fans. It also reveals what parts of the game were made canon following Disney’s 2014 purchase of Lucasfilms, that had caused most parts of the game to be Legends. (We will soon write about the most exciting parts!)
But Alex Kane’s book is not only for fans of KotOR. The author shows his readers the heroic age of video game making, allowing us to see how these games had been made back in the 2000s. Perhaps the most surprising part is, that none of the creators had anticipated the success of the game – we wish the same to Alex Kane!
Opening picture: Darth Malak and Darth Revan on a Knights of the Old Republic artwork (WindowsCentral.com)
Translated by: Bence Magos.