A worthy successor to one of the best RPG experiences
Knights of the Old Republic 2
The Sith Lords
Knights of the old republic 2 (or simply KOTOR 2) is the sequel to bioware's Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel. While taking place after the first game, KOTOR 2's story doesnt demand you to have played the first game to understand whats going on. KOTOR 2 unlike the original is developed by Obsidian insteas of Bioware.
The developer may have have changed but the game certainly hasn't. KOTOR 2 is a worthy sequel in any way possible. But in terms of gameplay, over the course of just one year, dont expect many things to have changed.You play as a Jedi from the start this time so you dont have to dig in FAQs to decide where to spend your skill points or what to do with your feats. Apart from that its still the same. You start off with a group of different people, each one of them with their own history and go on an epic quest to save the galaxy. But we will discuss the story in depth in another section.
To begin with the most basic part. The gameplay. KOTOR 2 features six different classes. 3 Jedi and 3 non-Jedi classes. The Jedi classes are: The Guardian, the Sentinel and the Consular. To break it down the guardian is the muscle, focusing on melee lightsaber damage, the consular is based on using force powers like the classic chain lightning, force push along with various buffs and healing. The Sentinel is a mix between the two but with more skill points to spend on skills.
But before i talk about the other three classes i should probably explain how the game works. You have 6 basic stats. Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Charisma, Constitution and Intelligence. They are mostly self explaneatory. Strength increases your melee damage and chance to hit with melee weapons and lightsabers, Dexterity increses your defense while wearing light or no armor, your chance to hit with blasters, the damage you do with blasters, and IF it is also the stat responsible for your chance to hit with lightsabers, although the damage from them would still depend on your Strength. Wisdom increases the damage of your Force powers and the chance the enemy will not resist them. Constitution increses your hit points. Your starting ones and also how many you gain when you level, and Charisma plays an important role on your Conversation skill and the effeciency of your force powers, although its not as important to your powers as Wisdom is. Finally Intelligence increses the skill points you get every level to spend.
Second to Stats come Feats. In the beginning and when you level up you'll get to spend a feat point to gain access to a feat. Feats are essentially what defines your character after the choice of your class. Guardians will opt for lightsaber damage and attack increasing feats along with Sentinels, Consulars for something that enhances their powers and so on. Guardians as more combat focused have access to an exclusive feat which increases damage.
After feats come skills. You spend points into the skill of your choice depending on the points you have. As told before the higher the inteligence the more points you have to spend. There is a total of skills. These are : Treat Injury, Sceurity, Repair, Awareness, Stealth, Persuade, Computer Use and Demolitions. It would be unessecary to explain what each of them does. The games itself sums it up pretty well. It should be noted that the Persuade skill is only available for the main character. In overall apart from the Persuade skill all other skill seem to be lacking in one way or another, coupled with the only use of the intelligence stat has will make youkeep your intelligent low in favor of the other stats.
After that it's Force Powers. Force Powers are essentially the spells of the game and of course only available to Jedi classes. Most useful to Consulars who an choose more of them from other Jedi Classes but also to other Jedi classes who can benefit from some basic powers that dont require a lot of Wisdom. The powers range from heals, to buffs, to stuns to pure damage powers.
That sums the explanation of the mechanics at core. The game features the 3 basic stats most prominent in CRPGs.
Attack which increases your chances to hit, damage which says the range of damage dealt with each hit and finally Defense. Simple here as well, the higher your defense the higher the chances youll evade an attack.
To move to the 3 other classes now. These are the Soldier, the Scout and the Scoundrel. Same as the first game. These classes either attack with melee wepaons and/or blasters.The scoundrel mostly emphasizes on stealth and is hands down the most underpowered class. The Soldier and Scout dont have many differences. Their main difference is that Soldiers get more feats over the course of the game, making them a bit better in battle, while Scouts get more skill points to spend. In game, Soldier companions tend to use melee weapons while Scouts and Scoundrels favor blasters.
In the game apart from your human or alien companions are also droid companions. Droids are either combat droids who focus on combat or expert droids who have an array of skills. Droids have their unique equipment system consisting of parts. However it should be noted that droids are underpowered in combat and i personally spend the whole game without playing as any of them. The decision is up to the player though.Also the game features 3 prestige classes. These are a kind of expansion upon your main Jedi classes and depend on your alignment. For example if you favor the light side you could become a Jedi weapon master, or a Jedi Master for example the first being the expansion of the Guardian class and the second fot the Consular. There are a total of 6 prestige classes to the game. It should be noted that you can choose whichever you want from the 3 available to you. For example instead of becoming a Jedi Master to augment their Force powers, a Consular could choose the path of the Jedi Weapon Master to gain a little bonus in lightsaber combat.
The game features an array of weapons like trademark lightsabers, blaster pistols, blaster rifles and melee weapons. Complared to other games of the genre its not a terrible lot but it gets the job done. Armorin KOTOR 2 is split into 4 categories. Robes, light, medium and heavy. Robes and light armor give you a dexterity bonus to defense, medium armor shields you better from damage than light but at the cost of no defense dexterity bonus. On the other end Heavy armor gives you a big damage reduction bonus but goes as far as to hurt your Dexterity.
The game also features personal shields that shield you for a period of time versus certain kinds of damage (melee, energy etc). It also features grenades which powers is determined mainly by the Explosives skill. Shields and Grenades are not essential to the game at all but are there to give a boost to weaker characters and give a variaty to the game.
Over the course of the game youll find yourself traveling worlds to save the galaxy from an eminent Sith threat. Of course if you'll be swayed yourself by the Dark Side depends from your own choices.There's a lot of battle and dialogue till the end but even the slightest bit of dialogue adds something to the game. The game also features an upgrade system, first seen in the original game, with a bit more twists. you can change the crystals of lightsabers, giving yourself certain bonuses. The same thing applieas to melee and blaster weapons. The game features an array of planets and characters with some returning, (tHK-47 is back!), some good some evil. The most neutral characters found in this game llike Atton and Bao-Dur will lean towards the light or dark side depending on your interactions in the game. A not here is needed. While the story originally seems shallow, a pure good versus evil battle, its not that simple. And a simple walkthrough through the game wont be enough. The story is unnaturally deep, making you question everything in the game. Good vs bad loses its sence really quick no matter which side you choose.
However, the game is not without flaws.Apart from the occasional bugs and glitches. During the game i only experienced three random crashes on a mediocre PC. The game's biggest flaw however is its own self. The game due to time constraints was missing some parts. And by some i mean a lot. A whole world, and some dialogue (mostly between your party members). It is nice to say that by now this problem has been fixed. How? The Restoration Project, a project started by a group of modders finished some months ago adding all the cotent the game was missing. Pretty cool, huh?
To sum up, Knights of the Old Republic 2 was one of the best RPG experiences one could have on the PC.