When I heard they were making a turn-based Star Wars RPG set in the Old Republic days I said ‘pass’. After I finished Splinter Cell 2 and had nothing else to play, having cancelled my Star Wars: Galaxies subscription due to lameness, I installed Knights of the Old Republic and played it for a few minutes. I didn’t really like it all that much. I was used to Jedi Knight, jumping around wildly with my lightsaber and kicking ass in real time. My girlfriend Sabrina suggested I give it another shot when I told her how I felt about it, she said maybe it will take some getting used to, because I don’t play many RPGs. And she was right, I played it for another couple of hours and immediately got hooked on the storyline and even the gameplay. Much to Sabrina’s displeasure I spent a few hours a day before and after work playing until I finished it (light side.)
And then I found out they were already making a second one.
I was a little bit wary when I found out that Bioware wouldn’t be involved with Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Those fears were eliminated when I discovered that Obsidian Entertainment would be handling the job with many former Black Isle employees (you’ll remember Black Isle from such RPGs as Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.) That alone should tell you that they’re taking this sequel seriously.
The Sith Lords will take place four thousand years before Episode I, meesa so happy, and five years after the first game. If you played the first one I’m sure you remember the Jedi’s position wasn’t too hot at the end, even though you prevailed. From what I understand in the second installment the Jedi’s position is even worse and the Sith are wreaking havoc. Enter Darth Scion, a man you can barely call a man, every bone in his body was shattered and is now held together by the force of his will. His life is constant pain, only the Dark Side is keeping him alive. Looks like we’re going to have our work cut out for us.
Aiding us in our quest this time around will be more than thirty new force powers. I’m not sure how they’re pulling that off but some of the new powers will include force confusion, which you can use to turn weak-minded enemies against each other, and force sight, which will let you see through doors, and maybe clothes? Other than Darth Scion there will be a challenging cast of enemies and helping you on your way will be a new cast of characters, those of you who loved the old cast will be happy to learn that there will be some cameos. I haven’t been able to find any specific information on the cast but hopefully the homicidal robot made the cut.
Right away I can see KOTOR 2 having one problem, Obsidian is using the old Bioware engine to do the graphics and in the screenshots I’ve seen that next to no improvements have been made. I know it’s early yet but the in game graphics look almost identical to the first installment, cut scenes still look good though. It’s REALLY early to complain about character wardrobe but, once again, what I’ve seen so far doesn’t look all that different from what we saw in the last game. Obsidian has plenty of time to clean that up before release though, and even if they don’t if the plot and the side plots are new and fresh, and they keep the racing, then I’m sure The Sith Lords will be taking away its share of awards come December 2004.