yourself for more anti-social behavior as you eschew
human contact for untold weeks while engaged in Star
Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords.
It picks up where the original left off.
2 (as it will be referred to) is every bit as good
as the original and then some. It may not have the
same impact that the original did in terms of the
outcome but an all new storyline with new powers and
missions takes us further into a galaxy that's already
far away. I can spare you the details of reading the
rest of this review. If you liked the original just
go and buy this game. It's that simple. If you haven't
played it and you dabble in RPGs, then go and buy
it also. This is one of the best RPG series in history.
makes this series so popular is not entirely due to
the Star Wars connection. That's still one hell of
a bonus but it's the personality of the game and the
way in which it's structured to offer you complete
freedom of choice. There is so much detail and depth,
yet it's brilliantly disguised so as to appear natural.
There are other games that do this well including,
Fable, but once you mix in the mysterious storyline
with the incredible Star Wars franchise you have a
title that is powerful enough to knock a Jedi on his
take place a few years after the original with the
title character gaining consciousness in a sick bay.
Unlike most games that start with this hackneyed premise,
your character does not have amnesia but he's been
stripped of his Jedi powers. Compelled to regain his
powers and his former life, he hops aboard a spaceship
and sets out to explore the galaxy in search of answers.
abounds as you explore the various planets of the
galaxy. NPCs will offer you missions in which you
may gain important information, currency or other
interesting items. The Sith are in constant pursuit
of you as they believe that you are the last living
Jedi - their sworn enemies. Expect much combat.
every interaction you are given a choice of responses
which will ultimately affect your character. You can
choose the side of Light or you can join the Dark
side. Each side has its own unique powers. You will
lean toward one or the other. You may find yourself
in a situation where some poor soul has been robbed
of nearly all his money. You can try to track down
the thief or you can relieve the victim of what little
money he has left. The choice is always yours. Fortunately
the menus and interfaces don't jar you out of your
fantasy with an overabundance of selection options
at every juncture.
of the missions are fetch quests which are not particularly
unique or even of much interest but you have to get
some currency, information and experience points to
level-up your stats. Combat is the same as it was
in the original game. It's a combination of real-time
and turn-based which works exceptionally well bringing
you the best of both features.
can take a long, long time before you acquire your
Lightsaber but it's worth it once you have control
of it. There are lots of moves to learn which will
make combat less of a hack-and-slash affair and more
of a strategic discipline in the vein of martial arts.
There are some 60 new moves and powers to experience
but they're not all available to your character. Many
are exclusive to the Dark or Light side. You can also
choose to play as a female in which you will also
have different powers available to you. Choosing different
paths of good or evil will open different areas and
situations. If you want to discover all this game
has to offer the replay value is off the scale.
can have as many as 10 characters in your party, including
drones. There is always some underlying tension as
your party members cannot always be trusted. Some
of them have a reason to be suspicious of you while
others have their own agenda. To keep control you
have to learn to manipulate them. This is the power
of "influence" which plays a very significant
role throughout the game. Choosing answers that others
want to hear, while getting what you want from them,
will eventually give you more power over them. It's
a simple psychological phenomenon that is realty based.
It's not magic. Swaying others to your predilection
is done very convincingly. The fact that influence
becomes an important tool in the game cannot be overlooked.
is a smart game. It digs deep to examine the motives
and philosophies of the Star Wars characters and their
relationships. It raises questions that the movies
could only hint at in the shallowest of manner. There
are good reasons to be both good and evil depending
on your perspective. What's more is that the game
makes it fun to be evil.
of which path you choose you will be faced with various
inherent weaknesses which you must overcome. Leveling-up
is the standard way to increase your abilities but
there are other subtleties which can help you as long
as you're paying attention to all the information
that you acquire. It can be a slow grind to get your
character leveled-up but he'll be kicking ass and
taking names near the end of the game. It's a good
payoff for all the time invested to become so powerful
but you'll still have to deal with the bosses.
you can probably guess, the music, sound effects and
voiceacting is superb. The music is amazing. There
is more than one hour of music created specifically
for this game. It's sounds so perfect you would swear
that John Williams created it himself. The sound effects
are pure Star Wars, right from the vault of LucasArts.
Where else can you hear such an electronic bubbling
droid and the perilous hum of a Lightsaber? Not only
is the voiceacting great but they all have something
interesting to say. Not all of it relates to the story
but it's consistent within the Star War's realm.
there is a dark side. The framerate suffers badly
and the load times are so damn long. While the graphics
are incredible characters sometime move around in
a jittery fashion. The environments are huge and nicely
detailed. It's not difficult to imagine that you're
actually landing on alien planet.
original was considered by many as game of the year
for 2003. It looks as though the series is about to
go two for two. Countless hours of adventure await
ye who acquire the disk.