Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - Page 1 of 1
By Brian Cochran - May 25, 2005
It's that time again. Time for some lightsaber dueling. Oh, and other equally impressive gameplay from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II:
The Sith Lords (KOTOR 2). This game was published by LucasArts and developed by Obsidian Entertainment. For fans of RPG games, this one has quite
a bit of bang for the buck.
Do you want to play a hero or villain? You can play both. Do you want to have a lightsaber duel while wearing only your
underpants? You can do that. How about playing some cards or racing some Swoop Bikes? Oh yeah, it's all in here. But is it fun? I would
describe it as Intriguing, Frustrating, Fun, and Lightsaber-iscious.
The game starts off a little slow, with the player piloting a droid around a seemingly abandoned craft. Your character is the only one on the craft,
and the droid has to get you out of the medical bay. Sounds pretty boring, right? It is. Things don't get any more interesting once you land on a
mining colony which also feels abandoned. It is here that you meet a mysterious woman that seems to share a very strong bond with you through the
force. You also meet up with a dirty scoundrel who becomes the pilot of your craft. He doesn't seem to be a very good pilot, as he cannot outmaneuver
anyone, and he seems to crash a lot. Both though are instrumental in helping you on your way through the story.
A little bit of back story is useful. The galaxy is running low on Jedi. The dirty rotten Sith are hunting them down in an attempt to wipe out the
remaining few. That's where you come in. The Sith think you're a Jedi, and so they're after you. Come to find out, you used to be, but you have
been exiled from the Jedi order and have lost your connection to the force. You must find out why you've been exiled, and find a way to stop the Sith.
Pondering The Future
As in the original KOTOR, you choose the light or dark side of the force by the actions you take. If you don't help someone out in need, or you
help out the wrong person, you get some dark side points. If you help out those truly in need, or trust the right people, you get some light side
points. When I played the original KOTOR, I decided to go light side. For KOTOR 2, I chose the dark side. I chose to be a total ass (not much of
a stretch for me...or so I'm told) and let a lot of characters (and a certain mining colony) fall by the wayside. Now that's what I call evil.
The party system works in much the same way as KOTOR 1. You potentially have a lot of people to choose from, but only 3 can be in your party outside
of the ship. This is quite fun when you have characters you like. Sometimes, when your main character is off doing something else, you get stuck
controlling one or more of the other characters. At times those characters might not be equipped with items you would choose, and this essentially
makes the sequence not a whole lot of fun. Actually, I didn't like this feature any time it occurred (regardless of what characters were equipped
with), although it did provide more plot information through cut scenes.
V. Slayer Missing In Action
Speaking of cut scenes, there were too many for my taste, but other players might enjoy them. They seemed to come up too often, and you have to
read subtitles to understand what the heck the Wookies, Droids, and other aliens are saying, or you can just listen to their grunts and beeps if
you're into that sort of thing. Some of the cut scenes lasted for upwards of 5 minutes. After just playing some fast action, those scenes were
way too long for me.
Cut Scenes Galore
I hadn't enjoyed myself this much in a long time. There were people to murder, mining colonies to blow up and more people to murder. I also
did my share of Jedi slaying. Some even teach you stuff before you utterly destroy them. Learning new Jedi skills and gaining the prestige
classes were an excellent bonus to this game. You can choose from six different prestige classes at one point during the game. Upgrading
armor and equipment added to the game but be careful who you put it on. If you put that it on someone you don't select for the party, you'll
have to wait to unequip it from them until later in the game.
Depending on how good or evil you are, your party members will start to take on similar characteristics--something like force peer pressure.
If you are turning evil, you will notice other members of you party turning to the dark side as well. Your facial features become grimmer
and more menacing the darker you get. Veins start to stick out from your face and scars become more pronounced and visible. You really turn evil.
Good V. Slayer
Evil V. Slayer
You gain skill points when you level up, and you can use those points to increase individual skills. Improving skills in various areas allows
you to specialize in doing certain things in the game world. For instance, if you improve you Demolitions skill, you can disable mines easier.
If you improve your Security skill, you can more easily pick locks to open doors and containers. Also, with improved skills, you potentially
get more options when talking to other characters in the game. You can persuade them more skillfully, and you can tell if someone is lying
to you by using your Awareness skill.
It's not until about 10 hours into the game that you acquire enough pieces of lightsabers to have a buddy of yours assemble one for you. Once
you have one, though, you really start to kick ass. Actually, I was practically invulnerable after I got mine. Changing the crystals in it
changes the blade color and gives the lightsaber different powers. I went for a double-bladed, and had to wait for a while until I found a red
crystal to solidify my Sith-ness.
V. Slayer Kicking Ass
Fighting your enemies is done in turn-based fashion, and you can queue up the next 3 actions that you wish to take. There's also a combat-stance
system to help the player in certain combat situations, like against many enemies, or a one-on-one stance that helps you to defeat individual
opponents. While this is not extremely important, it allows for many different ways to face a challenging fight.
V. Slayer Kicking More Ass
As an avid RPG fan, this game provided me with hours and hours of entertainment. I enjoyed almost every aspect of the game
except the numerous cut scenes and inability to get some of my good items back from wandering party members. Other than that,
this game will be a lot of fun to any RPG fan, and especially those who enjoy the Star Wars universe. Excuse me while I go
smack my Wookie around.