on 22 February 2005
The original Knights of the Old Republic was a fine game and much beloved by fans. Following up such a title was never going to be easy. New developer Obsidian has clearly taken this task very seriously and has gone to town on producing a sequel which adresses the few flaws of the first title.
The companions accompanying you this time around are a more diverse and interesting bunch of personalities, often with agendas of their own. Weapons, upgrades and supplies can all be created with the new workbench facility and lightsabers are infinitely more customisable than before. The ability to influence your companions Force orientation is very welcome (something that FELT like it should have been in the first game, but wasnt). The music is also excellent. The plot is excellent, deeper than before but drawing on the previous story. The new Sith lords are an intriguing bunch, mysterious and rather chilling (unlike Malak who was imposing but relatively unscary).
There are, however, some downsides to this game. The same game engine is used as before which is a pity as I can't help but think that the xbox is capable of more. It is also a very buggy game, characters fail to attack enemies right in front of them and sometimes run off in the opposite direction! Unlike Kotor 1 the game rarely autosaves which can make unexpected deaths VERY galling.
Although I was very keen on the plot, events towards the end snowball together very quickly which curtails your options in terms of partnering various characters together. I have played the game through twice as both a sith and a jedi and have not managed to get the full story out of all the character's in my team by the end of play. This is fine if you have bags of time to play through again but seeing as it takes around 30 hours from beginning to end it is rather frustrating.
There are relatively few sith artificats or new suits of armour and Obsidian seem to be reluctant to add new ones in, very dissapointing. Anyone who got a kick out of creating good/bad star forge robes in the orifginal kotor will find no such surprises here.
Weapon selection is now much faster thanks to the handy option of a second selectable weapon set. The downside being that it gets in the way of selecting you which type of attack you pick on occasion. Another button on the panel, just for that, would have been helpful. More force powers new moves would have been great. How about an escape move e.g escaping backflips, light saber speed draws (iai-jutsu style for the martial artisits out there!) lightsaber feints (Obi Wan in Episode 4 against Vader).
It would be great if you could travel between locations on a hover bike (think darth maul in episode 1 - it would need a better game engine, maybe on xbox 2!) There is still a lot of tooing and froing on foot, despite Obsidian cutting down on journey time.
Overall a very good game but also something of a missed opportunity. The next Kotor will need to have a new graphics engine, more variety in opponents (just how many sith assasins can anyone really take?) and a freer third act. It is also qwuestionable how often you can have a jedi losing their memories and/or their powers only to build them up again.
Perhaps kotor 3 should take a leaf out of fable's book and mature a character from birth and adolescence to adulthood Anakin style. The mysterious jedi routine will lose its allure in a third Kotor. That said if they make the above changes I would be more than happy to get a copy.
on 29 December 2004
I've played an imported US copy of this game and I'm happy to report that it is better than the already great original! After a brief prologue where you control T3-M4 you start with your own character, an exiled Jedi whose link with the force was severed.
You start with no real idea of where you are and what's going on, leaving you to explore a seemingly deserted space station. You slowly rebuild your force powers but its quite a while till you build a new lightsaber.
You build a party of up to 10 npcs (3 of whom were in the first game) who are quite important as there will be times when your main character isn't in play.
The locations you visit are mostly new and when you visit old ones it's good to see how they have changed with time.
Combat works the same as before although there are some new features (eg you can quickly toggle between 2 different weapon configurations and use different lightsaber stances). It also felt quite easy in some parts of the game (when played on the standard settings).
Most force powers and feats are the same as the original but there are some good new ones. One particularly useful feat allows you to use your dexterity rather that strength in combat, essential for all non-jedi guardians.
The dialogue and voice acting is all superb (apart from the anoying repetitiveness of some alien dialogue).
One of my favourite features in this game is the interaction between yourself and your fellow party members. How you can gain and lose favour with them through you actions is great and even better is when you can start to instruct some of the non-jedi in the ways of the force.
Overall an excelllent sequel that surpasses the original.
on 13 July 2005
I wanted a Star Wars game, and was not sure whether to get this or Revenge of the Sith... I'd say I definately made the right choice. Even if you are not a fan of RPGs, this game still has a great amount to offer, and longevity; I've ammased over 40 Hours of gameplay so far, and still not completed it. The story mode is excellent, the drama does build up during the battles (Though I've found most battles are very easy so far...Perhaps I should have started on the Difficult level).
The cutscenes are brilliant, I really did get engrossed in the game, to the point of addiction.... Beware, you will experience sleep deprivation when you play this game.
If you're after a replication of the Star Wars movies then you'd probably prefer Revenge of the Sith (or even Lego Star Wars), but if you want to become engrossed in a completely new take on Star Wars, then this one is for you - Top Notch...
on 1 September 2005
Having heard that the kotor game had changed developers, i held out little hope for a decent sequel to a superb original. I was relieved to find that kotor 2 is every bit as exciting as the first. I really liked the 'influence' factor when talking to characters, and pleased to find that the characters were generally more interesting than the first.There are hundreds of subplots in this to keep you interested and, unlike the first game, being good doesn't mean you're too poor to buy good stuff. I missed the in game debates between characters but given the quality of this game i let it go. Its a shame that your character from the first game is now generally considered evil and that there are only slight glimpses through holocrons of older characters such as Bastilla and Carth, but all in all this is a great game.
Five years after 'Knights Of The Old Republic', the Jedi have been brought to the brink of extinction by the new Sith Lords Darth Nihilus and Darth Sion. One of the last Jedi, exiled from the Order a decade earlier, begins to piece together the events plaguing the galaxy. This quest takes the exile to the mines of Peragus, devastated Telos, Nar Shaddaa the Smuggler's Moon, Dxun the Demon Moon, Onderon, Dantooine, Korriban and finally to the dark world of Malachor V.
This game gives you everything it's phenomenal predecessor gave you and a little bit more. Elements of the gameplay have been tweaked slightly so that small changes (like a caption telling you if you've already emptied a box) make the game a lot smoother to play. The new worlds are excellently diverse, allowing for a wide variety of sidequests including preparing a settler compound for a siege, helping overthrow a planetary ruler and gaining the respect of the Mandalorian warriors. Of course, part of this game's charm is that each of these missions is different depending on whose side you choose to be on and whether or not you walk the dark path. The additional characters available are more interesting than before as each has their own agenda and secrets to be unlocked. This game takes a more mature approach to the Star Wars galaxy, with sexual tension, the ability to see the dangers of even kind acts and two genuinely sinister Sith Lords out to hunt you down (well, four really - but they're for you to uncover). For fans of the first game there's new revelations about Revan and the Mandalorian Wars, as well as appearances by T3-M4, Canderous (although you might not recognise him at first), Carth, Bastila and (best of all, meatbag) HK-47.
Because it's more complex and adult, it lacks some of the Star Wars feel that so deeply pervaded it's predecessor. Also, lightsabers are REALLY hard to come by, which is a shame because let's face it, they're what we want to see!
on 10 May 2015
Knights of the Old Republic 2 had an extremely hard act to follow (Bioware's original is damn near perfect) and very little time to do it in. That a game this good was written and put together in only a year speaks volumes about Obsidian's skill with role-playing and story.
Gameplay, graphics, sound and pesentation are near identical to KotOR. Though little improvements have been added everywhere from the voice acting to the design of the Jedi robes, it almost feels like a very compehensive mod more than a game of its own. But KotOR's strength is the immersive, rich adventure it adds to the Star Wars mythology, and this sequel wisely puts all of its effort into the same area, with impressive results.
The plot follows immediately from the original (playing the sequel first is not recommended) and follows a similar structure and creates a similar lead character, but the much darker, more thoughtful tone becomes apparent immediately and just keeps growing. The great strength of KotOR 2 is its cast of characters - especially your mysterious mentor Kreia and sidekick-with-a-past Atton. These two (and a few others) are written and played with a subtlety and depth that the first game lacks even in its best moments, and manage to create a rivalry between the two games. KotOR is consistently fantastic, but KotOR 2 has moments of something better. It's a more cerebral, more thematic, sober affair than almost any other Star Wars story out there, and all the better for it. Where the first game apes the films to a fault, the sequel is compellingly unique.
It can't be denied that the game is buggy, inconsistent in its difficulty, tone and plot, very linear in places and has a very flawed ending (developers have admitted having to cut large sections to meet unreasonable deadlines) to the point of its alst half hour being barely compehensible. The first 90% of the game is solid, but newcomers should expect some headscratching during the endgame. It's not a gamebreaker, but it does mar the overall product.
Its confusing cliffhanger ending was eventually resolved in a disappointing novel from Del Rey, but the game itself may leave you frustrated. That said, the not-quite-finished product is packed with exceptional characters, moments of brilliant dialogue and world-building, and the overall gameplay remains great fun. The game experiments a little too, helping to develop the Bioware-style RPG model: you are able to train followers to become Jedi knights, for example, strongly effecting their character arc and role in gameplay. Some missions require you to play without your party, or without your player character. Puzzles often require creativity and thought and can have multiple outcomes.
For fans of quality RPG writing and those looking for a darker, more pensive Star Wars - and especially for those who enjoyed KotOR - it's an easy recommend. For a year's work, it's amazing.
on 10 September 2007
This game is excellent in many ways. It emulates the first as far as gameplay and storyline go and there are a few additions to the gameplay which add to the overall game experience. For example, new force powers, weapons, and the ability to bash open doors/boxes with a lightsaber or other melee weapon. However, for me, there are a few disappointing elements to this sequal. Firstly, I found that the characters were not as likable as those in the first, such as Bastilla and Mission in particular, who notably elicited empathy from the player. Secondly, the game is quite glitchy in some parts, a shock compared with the first which I played glitch free. Thirdly, the conclusion of the game seems to come very suddenly, and there is no real progression as far as your part as the protagonist goes, as opposed to the first KOTOR, where the end is very fitting. My only criticism which spans both games is the poorly constructed "choose your own path" element to the narrative. The conversational options for the light and dark side paths are EXTREMELY obvious, in my opinion, making it too easy to choose either path. For example, if you need to acquire a power generator from a civilian, the choices can be as simple as "I'll help you out in exchange for the power generator" or "I'm going to kill you and your family". However, both games are extremely playable and very very compelling.
The KOTOR series are my favourite games, and I look forward to the rumoured KOTOR 3. I recommend this game to anybody, Star Wars fan or not. It is RPG at it's very, very best.
on 17 January 2006
KOTOR 2 is a vast improvement on the first game in almost all areas. Things are more streamlined and a lot more user freindly, for example a system to quickly changed weapons rather than having to go the menu and look through you huge list of weapons for the sword you want. Unequiping items is also a lot easier simply go to the character screen or invetory screen whilst in the Ebon Hawk and you can select to remove other characters items speeding thins up. The major let down however is the story is slightly more of a let down, with it being confusing or somewhat tedious at times and the ending, the ending leaves much to be desired. Luckily though there are new feats and force powers to enjoy and the items are different each time you play making it hard to do everything the same each time. It has quite a lot of long term appeal with new dialogue being unlocked when you complete it as a light and a dark character, ive still yet to mention the new character classes and the option to turn your characters to jedi or sith. Its an improvement but the story is not as compelling or as full of shocks and the last boss can be killed in two moves if your evil. Well worth bying regardless of whether you have played the first game.
on 12 June 2005
This game is excellent, it beats the first one by a lot...why?
1)Your dialogue with your team now affects how much they like you. In the first one they got annoyed or please with you in the convo's but this didn't change their opinion of you.
2)Having your team liking you makes them go to the same side of the force as you, on the first game they just turned against you.
3)Everything you say now gives you light or Dark side points so it is easier and more fun to choose a side. On the original you could only become a proper Dark Jedi near the very end.
4)More moves are available as well as force powers, you get different fighting styles with your lightsaber and different colours such as silver.
5) A superb plot keeps you playing this game non-stop, excellent storyline.
6)Your team have their own background which you can find out, and you can now train people in your party to become Jedi, rather than having to stick with those you are given.
7)If you are a Light Side Jedi then using light side force powers cost less force energy, and if you are Dark Side then Dark powers cost less.
8)Every Teammate is interesting to talk to and they all have their own ways of fighting.
What is bad about it???
I don't think there is anything wrong with it but heres what some people may not like...
1) the way the game played is almost the same, the way you fight and the controls etc (i think this is a good thing)
2)The ending is not quite as good as it could have been, but it allows a space for a sequel.
3) It does take a while until you get a lightsaber but it is definitely worth it.
Please do not waste your money on SW Revenge Of The Sith, it is too easy and is nothing compared to this game.
Warning! this game is excellent but if you did not like the first you probably won't like this one, though if you didn't like the first you must have a problem. lol only joking :) everyone has their own opinion.
on 11 June 2005
Many of you may have enjoyed KOTOR back in 2003 and was then the best star wars game released....until now. KOTOR 2: the Sith Lords takes place 5 years after the original and the Jedi are on the brink of extinction. You are the last known Jedi Knight known to the sith, dispite the fact you are an exile, and they are hunting you down. Once again you build a team of followers and must chose whether to follow either the light or dark side.
The isn't alot of difference between this and KOTOR. The graphics are the same, the gameplay has undergone minor changes and there is still lots of conversation to sit through. This time though you must build your lightsaber from various different parts, your motley crew aren't the getalong gang from KOTOR and you must go on a quest to find the members of the Jedi council who exiled you and either unite them, or kill them.
Of course you are not the only Jedi left. You meet Kreia, a mysterious old woman who you share a bond with and Visas, whose master just happens to be one of the two sith lords that are hunting you down. Both of these characters command the force and can wield a lightsaber. Other characters include Atton, a scoundrel and pilot with a troubled past, Bao Dur, a tech specialist who makes your lightsaber once you have aquired all of the parts and Mandalore, the leader of the Mandalorians who you might recognize from the first game. Your ship, the Ebon Hawk also makes a return in KOTOR 2.
Overall this game is better than it's predasessor because it has a more involving storyline, more force powers and more planets to explore. If you like star wars you will love this, and it will keep you entertained for hours!