When people talk about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, they tend to overlook or undervalue its sequel, KOTOR 2, in spite of the fact that it still stands out as a truly memorable Star Wars RPG. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment rather than BioWare, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords still follows the basic formula of the first game and combines it with a strong original story. Although it received generally favorable reviews, its legacy hasn’t been remembered quite as fondly as that of the original KOTOR. Fans of the first game should consider giving KOTOR 2 a second chance. They may find out it’s better than they remember.
Initially released in 2003, KOTOR has received a fair bit of attention of late thanks to a Star Wars: KOTOR remake, originally teased by PlayStation, being confirmed to be in the works. Both long-time players of the original and Star Wars fans who had yet to play through it properly rushed to give KOTOR another try ahead of the remake, though no news has yet to be given in terms of a concrete release date. It doesn’t seem like it will be any time soon, given the delays and production shake-ups the game is going through. The KOTOR remake has reportedly been transferred over to another studio entirely, making it all the more likely that it will be years before it sees the light of day.
Despite the delays, Star Wars: KOTOR fans shouldn’t be worried about the state of the game itself, which will hopefully serve primarily to improve KOTOR‘s admittedly outdated visuals and restore the bulk of its cut content. Additionally, Saber Interactive’s other video game adaptations of media like The Evil Dead have been well-received recently. The prospect of seeing a fully-realized version of the first game has led many to look towards its sequel, as well, which arguably suffered even more in terms of leaving things behind on the cutting room floor. Knights of the Old Republic 2‘s development was rushed significantly when the game first released, which is largely attributed to Obsidian Entertainment trying to meet a holiday deadline. A KOTOR 2 remake could improve The Sith Lords by giving it the time it deserves and prove to Star Wars fans that it deserves just as much praise as its predecessor.
Knights Of The Old Republic 2’s Story Is Worth Remembering
Rather than continuing the story of Revan, the protagonist of the first Knights of the Old Republic game, KOTOR 2 players are put into the shoes of an exiled Jedi Knight simply referred to as “the Exile”. Much of the game involves the player character attempting to restore their connection to the Force, all while players slowly learn of the Exile’s backstory and the events leading up to their banishment from the Jedi Order as the characters actively try to combat the growing Sith threat. Given that Darth Revan is supposedly now Star Wars canon, one wonders if the Exile might follow suit eventually. The Sith Lords is an expansive story that takes place across multiple planets, much like the original Knights of the Old Republic, allowing players to make choices that not only lead the Exile further into either the dark or light side of the Force but also change the narrative of the game entirely.
Knights of the Old Republic 2 delves deep into the mysterious nature of the Force, as the Sith and the Jedi – what few remain after their near-genocide at the hands of the Sith years earlier – fight to take advantage of and understand a massive wound in the Force itself. With plot twists that rival those of the original game, an impressive feat given that Star Wars: KOTOR‘s hidden story secrets are among its most well-known features, KOTOR 2 stands on its own while still paying adequate tribute to the events of the first entry in the franchise. Likewise, while there are quite a few returning characters and even companions from the previous Knights of the Old Republic title, the game’s new characters have compelling narratives of their own.
KOTOR 2 Has Some Of Star Wars’ Best Characters
Much like KOTOR 1, Knights of the Old Republic – The Sith Lords introduces players to companions of varying alignments, each of whom has a deep backstory and compelling personal goals that become apparent the more time The Exile spends with them. In fact, some fans of the franchise believe that players can meet the best Star Wars character ever in KOTOR 2, as Kreia in particular stands out as a fascinatingly nuanced individual with a complex view of the Force that ties in perfectly with the game’s main story. Each member of The Exile’s crew can also develop in different ways throughout the course of The Sith Lords thanks to players exerting either light side or dark side influence over them. Some can even be trained as Jedi, with enough effort.
Knights of the Old Republic 2 also has characters that are locked by gender or alignment, meaning that multiple playthroughs would be required to meet all of them. The sheer amount of dialogue choices, player freedom, and companion combinations demonstrate why KOTOR‘s best features make it infinitely replayable. Although The Sith Lords disappointingly doesn’t properly wrap up the story of each companion, as the game’s ending particularly suffers from the multitude of cuts made throughout development, the journey alongside them through the rest of KOTOR 2 is worth playing at least once. Returning players who enjoyed fan-favorite companion HK-47 or Canderous Ordo should enjoy the continuation of their stories from the first game, as well.
Ultimately, and regardless of any struggles during the game’s production, Obsidian Entertainment manages to do a commendable job of continuing the legacy of Knights of the Old Republic while still creating a game with a distinctive identity. KOTOR 2 is remembered fondly for many of the same reasons as to why fans of Fallout like New Vegas better than Bethesda’s games from the same series. It manages to feel consistently expansive and full of depth despite the rushed latter half of the game and the many cut subplots. For all of its shortcomings, KOTOR 2 is worth experiencing, especially for true Star Wars fans, and deserves a second chance. This is particularly true ahead of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake. Players might just be pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy it.