copyright © Jedo Dre 2011
Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Impact: Most memorable
So many fans have been pulled into the never ending battle between good and evil, creating generations of Skywalkers Darth Vaders and Bobba Fetts. This battle has been engraved by the Force into the magnetic surfaces of tapes, CDs and DVDs. After several movies, several games have risen from the ashes in the true Sith style. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 The Sith Lords (to which from now on I will imply as KOTOR2 if I am to finish this review in my lifetime) is one of those games. It is actually a sequel to a prequel. The events of KOTOR 2 happen after the forming of the Sith (the Jedi civil war), after the Mandalorian wars, but before the events of the Episode 1.
For the veterans of the first KOTOR, all you probably need to know is that KOTOR
2 is an expansion pack to the first game with a new-
In KOTOR 2 you are an ex-
Yet the storyline has a few weird things the player might stumble upon. A few events at its turning points are…unexpected. One example would be (warning: a potential spoiler!) that an evil little organization hunts you all over the galaxy, and its hunters mostly want to deliver you dead rather than alive. You take half of the total playing time to find and kill this organization's leaders and when you finally meet the mastermind, to your surprise, the guy politely tells you that all he wanted from you is some help in doing something that you were already doing to begin with. Also the game sometimes seems to follow the Matrix movie logic: if we use spooky language they will not realize that we have no idea what we’re talking about. The narration often gets too complicated for its own good.
As most RPGs, KOTOR 2 has several side quests besides the main quest, and there are
also a few mini-
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, however. At the beginning of the game you create
your own custom character. The character creator does not go particularly deep in
its customization, but it is still a nice touch. Along your path you will also find
other allied characters, of which you can have up to 2 in your party, controlling
KOTOR2 however blends a few action-
When fighting, you can rely on your weapons and your force powers. Weapons, just like all items, can be bought, made or found. They range from swords to mines. Weapons can be upgraded in different ways and light sabers even change color depending on what crystal they use. Guns in KOTOR 2 are somewhat underpowered though. It’s hard to imagine a group of riflemen who are firing from far, lose to a guy with a steel sword but it happens. It’s that Star Wars logic at work. Another problem with the fighting system is the difficulty of the enemies in general. After being really easy for the most of the campaign, they started to get real hard real fast at the very end. Bosses, were a little too easy throughout the campaign.
You can also choose not to fight most enemies and instead sneak pass them using an optic camouflage belt. Although stealth is a pretty and well integrated thing, it might create a problem when it comes to leveling. If you’re not fighting each of the enemies you meet then you’re missing a lot of experience points, and when you find yourselves in a situation where stealth is impossible you are in trouble
Besides weapons, there are tons of items for player to use, and they can all be selected through the menu at any point by any of the characters. This is rather strange. The amount of items you find and carry at any given time would realistically barely fit your spaceship, and yet there no maximum on how much you can carry.
Throughout the game you will have many conversations with NPCs and you will have
to make many choices during those conversations. There’s a dark-
The AI could have been better. You would think that because AI in an RPG does not need to decide whether to flank the enemy or to hide behind cover it should be hard to screw up, and yet KOTOR2 manages to do it. I would suddenly notice that the characters in my party got stuck somewhere in the back, and they would then respawn next to me (which, by the way, is at least a solution for this problem). If I ran in one direction and then would suddenly run back, I would see my party members follow my entire path as if I was leaving a spaghetti trail they were following. You can however dictate what tactic each of your characters uses during battle. So in a way, you can control the AI a little.
It seems the cries about the glitches of KOTOR 2 can be heard from different corners of the galaxy. Just as you start thinking highly of the game…click...the game crashes. Never in my life have I played a game that crashed so often. At certain times crashes would be about 2 minutes apart. And it doesn’t just crash to the desktop but restarts Windows completely. This greatly reduces the value of the game, value that otherwise would be really high. The game’s performance does vary from PC to PC so your version might just play ok.
I also experienced a very strange problem when on one of the maps. Suddenly the game would start to run very slow (1 fps kind of slow) and the character would become stuck in one place. Changing something big in the video options to “restart” the graphics would fix the problem for a short while, but it would soon return.
As for the system requirements, I was able to run the game with full graphics on my weaker Radeon 9600, 2 GHz Pentium machine with only a slight delay.
Besides a simple reflection effect on some metal surfaces, there isn’t much of the latest graphic technology incorporated in the KOTOR 2 visuals. Most of its beauty is in its detailed environment. On faces, for example, you can distinguish moles, scars and individual teeth. Environments are diverse. From an urban jungle to grassy fields, you get to see a little bit of everything and it’s all well presented and well detailed. Nevertheless, you do expect more out of a game made in 2005.
There are a lot of animations and some look nice, like the effects when two sword
wielders fight, but most of the animations look odd. This is most evident during
the many cut-
The music in KOTOR 2 follows the orchestral Star Wars trend and fits well. The music is probably the best thing about the sound. The “wheauw” when wielding the light saber and blaster sounds are here as well. With other words, everything you might expect from a Star Wars theme is present. There’s a lot of talking in the game, and the voice work is very well done. A nice touch is that in many conversations the voicing has been done for each character, so your voice (when you're actually heard speaking) varies depending on which character you control. It’s a shame the sound corresponds feebly with the visual depiction.
KOTOR 2 should appeal to fans of Star Wars and to those who liked the first game. The story is interesting and sucks you in. If not for its terrible performance glitches and some of the poor animations, the game would surely kick some of the best RPGs out there aside. Although if you favor RPGs then this game is unquestionably the one you must crave.
It’s against my rules to be too subjective in a review, so I decided to create a
new category where I can be just that. Here you can see how my personality affects
me liking and hating the game. To start, I can’t stand Star Wars. I can’t stand it
because it had dumb looking art and mechanics (bloody storm troopers and their white
plastic suits with frowny faces) that was created because people did not know any
better and in the 21st century all that stuff has been kept instead of being updated,
with more sci-
I am not into the whole dark-
Ultimately, walking around with optic camouflage like in the movie Predator is really fun. Sneaking up to enemies, placing mines to damage them and then finish them off with dual katanas is even more fun.
I also can’t say that I liked the small levels of this game. An RPG only works for
me when the maps are huge. For some reason I really hate the Diablo-
I found it laughable that swords were actually more effective than guns in the game. I’m sorry, but no matter where I stand, if I have a buffed up sniper rifle, the enemy in a robe with a light saber gets his insides painted on the objects behind him.
Also, as I said before, the story is interesting. I now actually remember some of the history about the Sith and the Jedi, about the two civil wars etc etc. Shame on me! It’s ok, I will forget it soon enough.
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