Captain Packrat (captpackrat) wrote,
Captain Packrat

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Steam was having a sale on a bunch of stuff, including Knights of the Old Republic for just $5.  The KotOR engine is the basis for Mass Effect, a game I really enjoyed, so I grabbed it right away.

Bug City.

I don't know if it's Steam's implementation or if it's the game itself, but I had to do so many hacks and tweaks to make it work.  If the game had been more than $5, I'd have been fuming.  To make it work mostly correctly, you have to run it in XP compatibility mode, run as Administrator, disable visual themes, desktop composition and display scaling, edit the ini file to run the game in windowed mode, you have to disable some of the graphics elements in the game, and you have to change resolutions twice after starting the game, just to make it run without crashing.  And I'm far from being the only person having these problems, the Steam forums are FULL of complaint threads.

I finally managed to get the game to work, only to discover it's not anything like I expected.  I thought it would be a first person shooter, like Mass Effect, but it's not, it's a graphical RPG.  You use FPS-like movement (except it's third person) to get around in the game, but when you enter combat, everything becomes automated.  Just like a paper RPG, the action pauses, you issue your instructions and the computer acts as GM, rolling dice and determining what happens.

You ever laugh at the line, "only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise"?  That's exactly how this game is.  The majority of the characters (including my own) can't hit a target even at point blank range!  If you've got your blaster pointed square at someone's chest, how can you possibly miss?  REPEATEDLY?!  Fortunately healing is very easy (especially once you have a Jedi with the Cure power), and as long as at least one of your party is still standing at the end of a fight, everyone else gets up again with 1 HP.

It does have a lot of the game elements later used in Mass Effect, like zillions of side quests, upgradable weapons and armor, having to pick just two teammates out of a pool of several, running around in a city/space station just talking to people, even the good/neutral/evil dialog options.

Once you get the game to work, it's very engrossing (I played it for nearly 12 hours straight yesterday).  And at $5, it was an absolute bargain.
Tags: games

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