Monday, May 25, 2015

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - 20/20 hours

I finished the first of the four main planets, Manaan. It was an ocean planet, with pleasant, but uninspiring architecture and some forgettable political intrigue between the Republic and the Sith. The aliens who control the planet, the Selkath, produce a kind of super-effective healing item and want to remain neutral in the galactic war. Representatives of both the Sith and the Republic are milling around the city, being aggressive towards each other and brusque towards me. Combined with the Selkath's cultural suspicion of outsiders, and it was a tense situation that had me wishing I was Darth Malak so I could show the locals just what I thought of their hospitality.

Or maybe I'm just being prickly for no reason. I knew, simply by the nature of the genre, that no one was going to just up and tell me where the Star Map is. I would, of course, have to do an unrelated favor for someone before I could get the location. Yet that doesn't quite erase the sting of going into the Republic embassy, being recognized as a Jedi on an important mission, and having the ambassador flat out hold the information hostage. Dude, I understand that you need someone to aid you with your cloak-and-dagger shenanigans aimed at controlling the kolto supply, but I'm kind of on an important mission to discover the secret of Darth Malak's mysterious super-weapon. It doesn't really help the Republic all that much to solve a regional problem by diverting resources from a galaxy-scale project.

Still, I did what I was asked. I broke into the Sith base, retrieved the data from a captured probe, and incidentally slaughtered the entire facility staff all the way up to the Sith master in charge. My reward was the opportunity to fix another Republic fuck-up, deep beneath the waves. Basically, the Republic and a rogue faction of the Selkath government built a secret harvesting facility on the ocean floor in order to produce some extra amounts of the super-healing substance and smuggle it into Republic hands. Seeing as how this involved huge off-the-books expenditures to cover up what must have been a massive construction and smuggling operation, it seems to me that it would have been easier just to fudge some numbers in the regular kolto distribution channels, but what do I know.

The most memorable part of the mission was the fact that you got to leave the undersea base proper and explore the ocean floor inside an environment suit - an experience that can best be described as "excruciatingly slow." Seriously, what is up with games giving you alternate modes of play that are just like the main game, but worse? As much as I liked the idea of going out into the ocean, the clunk, clunk, clunk of moving at a snail's pace through the water really turned me off.

But in the balance, I'm having fun. So much so that I plan on seeing this game out to the end. Next stop Tatooine!

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