Developed by Obsidian and published by LucasArts in 2004, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is a fitting sequel to one of the best Star Wars games of all time.
The game has gone proper high definition this time and the interface and HUD have been been enhanced for higher resolutions. It looks different to before, but better, and the interface is just as good as previously (ie. as good you could probably get in a game like this).
Gameplay is essentially the same as before, although the prologue is a cool little vignette where you control a small droid who must save the ship you are travelling in (you’re unconscious and in a medical bay somewhere). It’s a skippable introductory sequence designed as a tutorial, but it’s so good it’s worth playing through. The droid, coincidentally, keeps popping up throughout the game and turns out to be a significant character.
The game takes place five years after the events of the first KOTOR. This time you’re a Jedi, known as “The Exile”, trying to restore their connection to The Force and of course trying to stop The Sith from taking over the galaxy (which galaxy is never explained in Star Wars). The choices you make as you play the game determine the Force alignment of The Exile – light side for doing good deeds and dark side for doing bad ones. Character attributes, skills and Feats are set separately when levelling up.
If I had to recommend just one KOTOR game I would probably choose this sequel over the first game because it is more refined. The way the game is structured is more interesting too – switching characters and situations to help each other out creates a good feeling of teamwork.
The only real criticism I have of KOTOR2 is that some of the cut scenes are a bit pathetic – in terms of their dramatic staging. Video game developers don’t often have the ability to create cinematic sequences as well as film-makers do and the cut scenes in this game demonstrate that…
That said: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords really is an excellent tactical action game. Whether you like Star Wars or not.
It might be over ten years old now, but it’s still worth playing.