Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords is the sequel to the popular star wars RPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC on the Xbox and PC platforms.
KOTOR II maintains all of the core gameplay of KOTOR, while making subtle alterations and improvement to the UI, such as the ability to see whether a container is empty without having to open it, as you did in the first KOTOR. Another major addition was the inclusion of a party influence system which made your companions react to your decisions according to their personal moral codes. For example, if a player ran around killing people with a goody-two shoes in their party, they would lose influence with them, while they would gain influence with the sadistic warrior. However KOTOR II was shipped early and before being completed fully, and while this fact isn't entirely evident in the beginning and ending, it shows towards the ending. Overall, KOTOR II's gameplay was much improved over the first, although it has considerably more bugs and glitches, likely as a result of it's already rushed production. Some of the cut content was restored with "The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod".
Gameplay in KOTOR II remains mostly unchanged from the original Knights of the Old Republic, although the process and controls were streamlined to be more efficient. Additions such as a shortcut button to automatically switch from ranged to melee weapons and the ability to see if a container was empty without having to open it were natural additions to the game, along with several other minor improvements. The one major addition to the gameplay was the party influence system, which directly tied into the dialogue system. Whereas in the original Knights of the Old Republic, any dialogue tree could be entered into with your party members as long as you had sufficient experience, in KOTOR II you needed to have enough influence with that party member to access some dialogue trees. If the player character performs actions or says things that a party member agrees with, then the player will gain influence with that party member. If the player character acts in a way that irks their party members, then the player will lose influence. Party influence was vital to fully learn the back-stories of your companions, and a high influence was also necessary to train certain companions as Jedi. Although the influence system was touted as a major feature, it was not implemented into the final game heavily. Another addition to KOTOR II's features is the crafting system which involves breaking down item into components to turn them into other or improved items, the amount of components and the types of items available were dependent on the crafter's level in the craft's respective skill.
It is a perilous time for the
galaxy. A brutal civil war has
all but destroyed the Jedi
Order, leaving the ailing
Republic on the verge of
Amid the turmoil, the evil
Sith have spread across the
galaxy, hunting down and
destroying the remaining
Narrowly escaping a deadly
Sith ambush, the last known
Jedi clings to life aboard a
battered freighter near the
ravaged world of Peragus....
5 years after the story of the original KOTOR, the story of KOTOR II follows the adventures of the Jedi Exile (canonically a female, and will henceforth be referred to as such), a Jedi who was punished for her part in the Mandalorian Wars with excommunication from the Jedi Order. After escaping from a ruthless assassin droid on the mining station of Peragus with her companions Kreia, Atton Rand and T3-M4, the Exile sets about finding a way to stop the hidden Sith menace and recovering her connection to the force--which was seemingly cut off by the Jedi Council after her excommunication.
Mentored by the uncompromisingly pragmatic Kreia, the Exile gathers more and more companions (including a Sith Lord's former apprentice and the leader of the tattered remains of the Mandalorians) and travels to a wide variety of planets in her search for the last remaining Jedi Masters. As she travels about the galaxy, the Exile gains insights into the nature of the force, the flaws inherent in its black-and-white morality, and the dark pasts of her companions. Depending on her interactions, the Exile may begin a romance with either Atton Rand or the Disciple (if male, then the Exile can romance the Handmaiden or Visas Marr).
After gathering the remaining Jedi Masters at the ruined Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, it is revealed that it was not the Council that cut off the Exile from the force at all. In fact, she severed her connection as a defence mechanism following the destruction of Malachor V--the sheer scale of which should have killed most force sensitives outright. The Council also reveal that the Exile has not recovered her connection to the force at all, but is rather acting as a leech, draining the force from those around her. Given her status as a "wound in the force", the Council resolve to actually sever the Exile's connection to the force, and nearly succeed but for the intervention of Kreia. Kreia berates the Council for their ignorance, and severs their connection to the force, killing them instantly. It is here that Kreia is revealed to be the Sith Lord Darth Traya, Lord of Betrayal. Following her recovery from the ordeal, the Exile tracks down Darth Traya to the ruins of Malachor V, where they confront one another, student and master, for the final time.
On a dark-sided playthrough, the Jedi Council scene is decidedly less crowded--as the Exile has already killed most or all of the Jedi Council. If this is the case, Kreia instead berates the player for her brutality and foolishness, branding her a failure. The confrontation on Malachor V still occurs, but rather than it being the end result of the Exile's quest for insight and harmony, it is the end result of the Exile's lust for power.
Two popular characters from the original game make cameos in KOTOR 2. Carth Onasi will appear and inquire to the Exile if she knows of Revan's current whereabouts. When it turns out the Exile does not know what happened to Revan, a short scene of a conversation between Carth and Bastila Shan plays, discussing why Revan left, and where he/she might be. If the player played the original KOTOR as a dark side character, Bastila will appear in a Sith Holocron on Korriban. Also on Korriban, there is a cave that the Exile must be an extremely high level to enter. Upon entering this cave, the Exile is shown Force apparitions of Revan and Malak, in addition to another appearance by Bastilla. Revan wears his/her mask however, so the player does not see his/her face. In addition to these, HK-47 and T3-M4 both return as party members in this edition. Also returning is Canderous Ordo, but he goes only by the name Mandalore, and never removes his helmet. It is only towards the end of the game that the player discovers that Mandalore is in fact Canderous. No other party members from the original KOTOR appear in KOTOR II.
KOTOR II Included a comparable amount of planets to the original KOTOR, all of them fully explorable:
- Peragus II - A mining facility on an asteroid, the game begins in this mostly abandoned area, with the Exile having to gain access to the Hangar bay and escape.
- Telos IV - A planet ravaged by Sith orbital bombardment during the Jedi Civil War, it is now the subject of a massive restoration effort, with the surface being terraformed back to a habitable environment, and the massive Citadel Station orbiting overheard.
- Dantooine - A returning planet from the original KOTOR, Dantooine is in the middle of a rebuilding effort, after the Sith attack on the Jedi enclave near the end of the original KOTOR. A group of mercenaries wishes to overthrow the fledgling government on this planet, and they launch a full assault while the Exile is on-planet.
- Korriban - Another returning planet from the original KOTOR, Korriban, the former seat of Sith power, has fallen into ruin. After Revan left known space, the remaining Sith turned against each other, and their empire collapsed. Nothing remains now but ruins and tombs.
- Onderon - A planet in the throes of a civil war between it's monarchy and it's military. Onderon is also considering seceding form the Republic.
- Dxun - A moon orbiting Onderon, Dxun is covered in jungles and ruins, including the tomb of ancient Sith Freedon Nadd. A secret Mandalorian conclave calls this moon home, led by Canderous Ordo, who has assumed the title of Mandalore.
- Nar Shaada - A seedy industrial world, stuffed with refugees from the Jedi Civil War, and crawling with crime bosses and bounty hunters.
- Malachor V - The planet where the final battles of the Mandalorian war took place. The hulks of ships destroyed in the final battle between Republic and Mandalorian forces clutter the planet's orbit.
KOTOR II was regarded rather highly by critics at its time of release, and continues to hold a high score of 85/100 (with KOTOR I holding a score of 93/100) on review aggregator Metacritic. Its fresh take on the Star Wars universe, along with its characters and story were especially well reviewed. Kreia, the player character's mentor in the game, won GameSpy's Best Character award for 2005, and the game is often compared to Planescape: Torment in regards to its depth and quality of writing. It did, however, suffer critically for its rushed ending, technical issues and similarity (in terms of gameplay) to its predecessor.
The PC version of Knights of the Old Republic 2, does not work with Windows Vista. No patch has been released by Windows or Obsidian Entertainment to fix this problem. However a community fix for this problem can be found here. There is however an online petitionrunning to try and convince Bioware to develop a compatibility patch.
Due to time constraints during the development of the game a lot of almost-finished content was cut from the final release, though it remained locked away on the game disc. The list of cut content is extensive and includes a lost Droid Factory, resolutions to the character arcs of many of your party members, and a more cohesive ending. After release, players noticed gaps in the storyline (particularly toward the end of the game) and investigation of the install data turned up a significant amount of unimplemented, but near-complete content. Several projects' made efforts to complete and implement this content. The most popular of these is Zbyl2, DarthStoney, Hassat Hunter, and VarsityPuppet's The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM)which restores large amounts of content that was previously inaccessible to players.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Pentium 3 1GHz or AMD Athlon 1GHz
- Memory: 256MB RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 5 GB
- Video Card: 32MB with Hardware T&L
- DirectX®: DirectX 9.0b compatible
- Sound: DirectX 9.0b compatible