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Knights of the Old Republic 2 Ships 59

The sequel to the hit console/PC game Knights of the Old Republic shipped to retailers on Tuesday. KOTOR II: The Sith Lords has been surrounded by trepidation as original developer Bioware was replaced by relative newcomer, Obsidian Entertainment. Gamespot has a review available. From the review: "you might have a much tougher time settling into The Sith Lords, since chances are you'll feel like you've played this game before, only you'll swear it looked better the first time. But, on the other hand, so what? It's just as important to note that no other game since Knights of the Old Republic has managed to deliver this excellent style of role-playing. If you're a Knights of the Old Republic fan, then you should find a certain satisfaction in knowing almost exactly what you're in for going into The Sith Lords."
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Knights of the Old Republic 2 Ships

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  • The first game left me a bit cold (not flaming or trolling so calm down :) ) because I just couldnt get into the battle system - Im a typical FPS shooter and tried a different genre. I am tempted to try this again but is it a case of more of the same which I know a hell of alot of people are waiting would be happy with, or is it another refinement and a step to once again try the rpg format? Comments please from anyone who has played. Thanks
    • If you felt that way, I wouldn't try this game, it says that it is almost exactly the same game. Bioware has a new game they are working on right now, you may have heard of it, called Jade Empire. They are calling it a Action RPG, bioware just came and gave a presentation at my school, we got to see all the new demos, it looks just incredible, you actually get to fight people instead of choosing moves to do.
      • Yeah, that was a good presentation. Jade Empire trailers made the game look like it is going to be something to play when it comes out. It was also interesting to learn why BioWare didn't try to get the contract for Knights of the Old Republic 2.
      • They come in and advertise in your schools???

        Dayum, im not sure if thats a good thing or not.

        The gamer in me thinks "cooooool!"

        yet the other part of me that believes in the sanctity of education from commercial pressures is not so sure
        • Officially it was a presentation for our IT management class, their was a some information related to the class presented. The teacher new that most of it would be almost like a commercial, but it was interesting to hear about some of their coporate strategies. It is not like the Bioware guy had far to go either, the time of day the presentation happened it can't be more than a 15 - 20 minute drive from their office to our school. By the way I am not in a mangement program, for our Computer Engineering prog
    • It is a great update, but most of the changes merely add depth to rpg aspects of the game. It's d20, still, but you've got a better DM this time.

      If you were distant the first time, you'll still feel distant on this one. It's worth it, if you can get past that, but if you can't, then it isn't the game for you.
    • Everything is a matter of taste. Maybe RPGs are not for you? I loved KOTR, and I like RPGs in general. But I am not a fan of FPS. I did not buy Doom 3, but I might pick it up when it is $5 in the bargain bin. Everybody has different tastes.

      The problem (from your perspective, I would imagine) is that many RPGs tend to have a strange real-time/turn-based hybrid combat system. In a FPS, you hit the mouse and a shot goes ringing out immediately. In many RPGs (including this one) you give a command, and
      • I agree with with pretty much everything you wrote.

        The two things that disappointed me with KOTOR was that: [1] (given my experience with Fallout 1 & 2) you could not attack just anybody and [2] the queuing system and mechanics for battle were somewhat incomplete.

        For [1], the storyline requires that you speak to certain characters before you can proceed, so having the option to kill those characters prior to speaking to them would completely stop story progression. The devs could have built a game th
    • It'll be the same thing over again.

      Have you tried the Jedi Knights II FPS games? They're not bad. Light saber and lots of naughty stuff you can do with your force powers.

  • by landimal_adurotune ( 824425 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @10:08AM (#11031419) Homepage
    But the plot twist in KoTR made my jaw drop. I had not been so wrapped up in a plot in a game for ages. I loved the combat system and the good/evil path in it.

    Here's crossing my fingers the plot is as good this time around, too bad my wife is impervious to the old Jedi mind trick when it comes to liberating the $50 bucks for a game.
    • You mean the "+5, Obvious" plot?
      That said, it was carried out pretty nicely - but it was as predictable as the plotline in Mysteries of the Sith IMO.
      -r
      • If there is a "OMG TEH MAJOR PLOT TWIST!!111", could we try to restrain ourselves? I didn't get the original KotOR right away, so I read a hundred times that there would be an "amazing plot twist". Needless to say, I was looking for a plot twist so I saw it coming a mile away. Boo.
        • Aside from FFVII I really had not played a ton of RPGs. I saw KoTR for $20 as a greatest hits title, and fired it up without reading reviews/previews/faqs. If you know a twist is coming, ala M. Knight Shamalan movies, you are prepared and looking towards it. Me it caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting the situation at all. I was pleasantly surprised. The whole Cloud is a clone thing in FFVII just kind of irked me, the KoTR twist was much more fufilling for me I guess. Since beating KoTR (light side)
    • by Shihar ( 153932 )
      I agree with everything you said, except for the quality of the good/evil system. If I had one complaint against KoTR it was that they did a horrible job on the dark side. Basically, I saw KoTR has always presenting three options. Good, cautiously pragmatic, stupidly evil. If in KoTR you ran across an orphanage while on the run from the law, you would have three options.

      Good: Hide in the orphanage and try and help them in their plight to raise money. Cautiously pragmatic: Hide in the orphanage, but
      • There were actually some nuanced places, like the old Sith guy in the cave that tortures you and the other cadet. And the options you have with Mission at the very end if you choose the dark path. (Won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, but it's so evil it's good.)

        And I disagree that the game gets harder when you make dark side choices; there's just as many times it's easier. For example, at the beginning when you can threaten the droid shop owner instead of forking over $2k.
    • the good/evil path in it.

      That was an interesting element in the first one, but it wasn't as good as it could have been. The choices were blindingly obvious for whether you wanted to be light or dark side. It was either "save the old man being mugged give him money to pay off his debt to the crime lord" or "Kill the muggers, take their stuff, kill the old man, take his stuff". Being on the dark side of the force does not mean you're supposed to be a dick all the time. The dark side is supposed to be
      • Just take a look at the force powers for instance.

        Cure a light side power at 6th level, drain life as a dark side power wasn't available until about 9th. Heal at 12th, and death field at 18th.

        This seems about the same for most of the dark side powers.

        Of course it doesn't help that I'm practically a paladin irl and the dialogue options for dark side made me sick in some places.
    • As always, Penny Arcade has an appropriate [penny-arcade.com] comic on the subject.

      Sure, some of it was blindingly obvious, but some of it was pretty subtle.

  • PC Release (Score:4, Informative)

    by shamowfski ( 808477 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @10:33AM (#11031605)
    FYI, the PC release is supposedly in February [gamespy.com].
    • Does anyone know if the PC release will be optimized for all graphics cards, unlike the original?

      I remember playing the original, through on my old Ge3 machine, and it looked fantastic. Recently I played it through again on my newer radeon 9800 machine, and it looked a lot poorer (esp when I compared screenshots).

      Nice effects such as glows,and even specularity/gloss effects looked a lot poorer on the radeon or were totally absent.

      I think this was down to the original game using Nvidia specific GL extens
  • At some point I'll actually get round to finishing the first one.

    I keep on playing it, thinking that I should like it (mostly because everyone else seems to love it, and bits of it seem good), but loosing intrest and playing other games instead.

    I got it for Christmas last year as well, so I'llve probably spend over a year on it as well. Then again, the game isn't out in the UK for a while (seems to be Febuary[1]), so I have another couple of months to try and get through it.

    Then again I might just pass o
  • Will this title be available for PS2 anytime soon?
  • According to Gamers.com [gamers.com],

    "The PC version of the game is on schedule for a release in February of 2005."
  • "Relative Newcomer"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superultra ( 670002 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @11:16AM (#11031999) Homepage
    Obsidian is not a "relative newcomer." They've been around for over 6 years. Ok, so they changed their name, but by and large Obsidian consists of Black Isle [mobygames.com] refugees from Interplay. They've been making games nearly as long as Bioware, and have always had a very fruitful relationship with them. Bioware starts a franchise and engine, and Black Isle/Obsidian come along and do more of the same quality. I have no doubt KOTOR II will be the same way. I love how the reviews of KOTOR II keep referring to the "unproven" Obsidian. These guys made Planescape. Need I say any more?
    • You said it. I think that you can really feel the Obsidian influence. The dialogue was one of the things that made Planescape: Torment so great, and even in the few hours I've played this one, that feeling is there.

      Planescape was a great game that was remarkably underrated. Perhaps it is the same issue here?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @11:17AM (#11032008)
    It's basically Kotor I with another "I" in the title.

    I'm on the first planet now (the third "stage") and it's a nearly reskinned duplicate of the first planet in the original.

    My party consists of the T3 droid from the first one, some guy who thinks he's Han Solo, and my mentor.

    Who is a bitch. I hate her. While the rest of us are all headed light side, she's on her way into the red because everytime I talk to her I have to pick the "STFU, bitch" conversation option. Because I really want her to.

    If I find out the Dark Siders can kill her at any point, I'm switching.

    The HK droid from the priginal is sitting disabled on my Ebon Hawk. Also, my force powers and memory are gone (again)!

    Aside from all these complaints (and the fact that the framerate is poor, with noticable slowdowns in large areas), it's still an awesome game. Pure Star Wars.

    Go buy it.
    • I also played for about 4 hours last night, and I disagree. Yes, there are quite a bit that is the same, however the interface is better, and the dialogue is better. The skills sytem is better, with a broader range of uses for your skills. It's also got a different style. Then again, perhaps you are one of the players who played a Soldier/Guardian combo last game, and are playing a Guardian this game. If so, I can see how you'd miss quite a few of the changes. They improved the depth of the game, and yo

  • Don't want to troll, but after reading the review the games seems less than exciting...
    It's like: very similar, but not as good as the first part. And the graphics are not so good, too.

    Excuse meee?
    • The review isn't very accurate. It lacks an appreciation for the little changes that really make the game shine.

      The interface has been improved in a variety of little ways, subtle stuff, but good, like two sets of weapons that you can easily swap between. It's subtle, but it makes it much easier to swap between short range and long range, something that was missing in the first game.

      The influence system that has been added is great, it makes dialogue with your party actually matter. Instead of just b

  • by ssand ( 702570 )
    Saying that is kind of general. Not so good as in on par to KOTOR, or a little worse, or alot worse? Some people feel that graphics is everything, but nothing is worse than a pretty game with nothing too it. As for it being similar, it is a sequal, so many will expect the same controlls and what not.
    • Slightly better, in my opinion, but certainly not a big change. Other games have changed quite a bit in a year, and this one hasn't changed since the first. Not a big deal, in my mind.
      • To me, this is a good thing. KOTOR was not perfect, but it was pretty darned good. The old saying "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it" comes to mind.
        • Which is pretty much what they did. Aside from my minor annoyance about how they changed the implants, which I can see as a change for the better, I can't see anything in the game that wasn't changed for the better.

          The cost for using implants is fairly high, but it gives a good reason to put your con at 12 or above. Normally, I leave mine at 10, because I don't want the penalty, but I don't need the boost too much.

          It is balanced though, which is nice. Rather than spending a feat to get each level of impl
    • In my opinion (as someone who owns it and has played for 5-6 hours), they're not as good in the sense of 'They're just about the same, some beautiful views, some dull grey corridors, but given that it's two years later, you will probably be disappointed that it's not better'.

      So basically there's no reason at all to complain about the graphics, unless you're looking for something to complain about.
  • Is it me or does the overlay seem quite intrusive on the screen this time around.

    When I played the prologue the text boxes + command box + map etc seems to take up 40% of the screen at some points?
  • Perhaps the future? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:32PM (#11033580) Journal
    I am talking about a game that uses nearly the same tech and just adds a new story re-using a lot of the material.

    Games are very expensive to develop. Basically you got the following areas to cover.

    • The engine (not just graphics but also things like collesion detection, basic ai, scripting capabilty in short what you get when you license quake or source or unreal).
    • Artwork. All the models and textures and sounds that make a game and of course the levels themselves. This only seems to increase.
    • The game. This is hardest to define but is basically that wich makes a level be a game and not just a static set for you to noclip through. Basically the story.

    Kotor seems to have basically used the same engine and re-used a lot of the artwork. Only the story has changed. Considering typical development time of Kotor 1 and Kotor 2 it seems that it has saved them a huge amount of time == money.

    I have been thinking that this must ultimately be the way for the game industry to get better. Hollywood has long since stopped making custom sets for each movie. During the golden age they had a few stock sets wich were slightly remoddelled or just short from different angles between different movies. A lot of the b&w westerns have exactly the same street.

    Say that sometime in the future it becomes possible to make big enough levels so that you do have a realistic city (and not just 1 short street). You could then make a series of episodes all set in the same city but following different stories. In the first episode the barber beneath your apartment would just be empty but another episode wich needs it adds the graphics but reuses the ones from your apartment. It would reduce the cost for each episode and each episode could be produced much faster.

    At the moment the game industry is reinventing the camera and sound equipment and the basic tech of set building for each and every game. It usually gives us huge improvements but it also takes 2-3 years between games wich have to recoup all their investments in one sale. Expansion packs are sometimes a way to get some extra money but expansion packs are rare on non-hd game systems for obvious reasons.

    Would there be a market for shorter games costing less wich you can buy new chapters/stories for?

    The Sims 1 sold for years with the same engine. Half-Life mods have a following long after the engine had been surpassed. And these are PC games where the hardware gets better a lot faster and more often then on consoles. Yet kotor 2 for the x-box (a really crap piece of hardware by PC standards) gets slagged for not improving the visuals.

    Is the reviewer just whining or is the industry doomed to have to rebuild the engine for each story?

    • I know some people are going to violently disagree, but I personally like it when a good game quickly gets another good game out under the same engine. KoTOR is a good example of a game I have no problem offering up seconds. So long as the story is solid and they don't lose depth, I am okay with passing up the latest technology for a second helping of something good.

      I don't know about anyone else, but after I beat Half Life 2 for the second time, I was itching to play unamed rebel # 5. Nothing would mak
    • Is the reviewer just whining or is the industry doomed to have to rebuild the engine for each story?

      Actually, usually they do not build a new engine, but adapt an older one.

      KotOR is a case in point. In many places you see Neverwinter Nights shine through.

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