Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is the game that brought in a new wave of RPGs. Jade Empire, as well as all the Mass Effect games owe their conception to KOTOR, and its as yet unreleased (for the Mac) sequel. The trouble is, this game is almost a decade old. It originally launched on the Xbox, and was available for Mac just over a year later. The decision to release this in the Mac App Store therefore seems a bit dubious, especially at such a high price.
If you can get over the dated visuals and interface, the gameplay and storyline are excellent. You won’t need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy it (and if you are, it’s a bit of a long ride before you get your hands on a lightsaber), although it lacks the drama found in Mass Effect (which is also unreleased on the Mac so far). One of the main aspects of the gameplay is the ability to choose between following the light or dark sides of the force (in other words, whether you’re nice to people or not). Ultimately, the storyline follows the same path regardless of your choices, but it certainly adds to the role-playing aspect of the game.
It really does show its age. The maximum playable resolution is 1280×1024, so forget about taking advantage of that cinema display (or even the MacBook Pro’s screen for that matter). On the other hand, you’ll probably be able to max out the anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing so at least that goes some way to making it look better. Because the game is old, the original recommended specification is rather low, and as a result it should play very smoothly on all new Macs.
However, it does have a tendency to crash to desktop, so saving often is recommended (it does autosave, but not very often).