|While taking a
look at some of the goods being offered up by LucasArts, who are no
doubt hoping to make up for that hideous pod-racer game, a PR person
approached and told me I could slip next door and see a sneak-peak at
an up coming title. Being an adventurer by trade, I sallied forth.
Sitting down in a cramped room, a large
screen in front of me, a few programmers, after telling me not to tape
anything or shoot pictures, said they were debuting a new RPG title
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This game, teaming the
Star Wars name with the RPG guys over at Bioware, will make tons of
money, regardless of the quality of play.
I say this because after a short demo
and four questions from the audience, three of them asked by me, I
still know very little. But I do know the power of the Star Wars
trademark. Here is what I was able to glean about the game itself.
- The action takes place in the Star
Wars universe 4000 years prior to the films. This allows for more
Jedi Knights and Sith Warriors and hence more lightsaber combat.
Also, none of the main film storylines need to be compromised.
- An in-house developed 3D engine
featuring real-time combat and a fixed third-person perspective
(although the demo did allow the camera to zoom). This was an
early E3 build and so the graphics and tile sets looked pretty
plain. I expect it will look better by its 2003 release.
- Three playable races and six
classes, including the Han Solo styled Scoundrel (a smooth-talking
jack-of-all-trades), Bounty Hunter, and Jedi Knight. Unclear was
what type of RPG system was to be used, but they did say to expect
over 100 different types of skills/feats and 50+ force powers.
- Mini-games like speeder racing and
space combat. I did not see any of this however.
There really isnt much more to say
as I didnt get to ask many questions. They did tell me that they
were into level creation, but that sounds odd with at 2003 release. Its
too early for high hopes about this new Star Wars installment, and Id
get ready for a more serious peek at next years E3.