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Q1 2005



- Wide Variety of Problem Solving

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Review: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II - Sith Lords

Review: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)

Review: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XB)



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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords

Score: 8/10


I absolutely adored the first Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). The variation in gameplay elements and their optional nature was almost more than I could believe. This was complemented with a top notch storyline and excellent production values and as such made it probably one of my favorite RPG's of all time. With this in mind, I was in great anticipation of The Sith Lords and had high hopes for it. While still an excellent game in its own right, it does have a few things that hold it back from being the progression that it should have been, and that hamper it from being the classic that the first installment will no doubt become.


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The storyline takes place after the first game, and although there is quite a bit of history in terms of events that are reflected in the sequel, knowledge of the events of the first game is not required to fully enjoy the complex storyline of the Sith Lords. In classic RPG style, you awaken with little knowledge of who you are and why you are in the circumstances you are in, however you need to escape what appears to be an abandoned star freighter. As the storyline progresses, more and more is revealed, and it is impressive how the first storyline ties in without actually having you play as the character of the first game. Without revealing anything, there are however a few aspects of the story that were dissatisfactory. While the story is interesting, the supporting cast of characters that make up your party aren't as fleshed out and interesting as the characters from the first game. Although they do each have their own background which is revealed to you based on your dialogue choices when speaking with them, their stories somehow feel less sympathetic and involving. As the game progresses, some of the characters that you meet later in the game have less and less to offer in terms of attachment value. In the first game, based on where you were and which characters were in your party, you could be offered a character specific side quest that would further develop the background story of that character. This time around, there seem to be no character specific side quests, or if there are I did not encounter any from start to finish.


As in the first game, your main base of operations is the Ebon Hawk; your space craft. From there, you can travel to different worlds, where on each you will have a series of quests to complete to attain your main goal as well as a myriad of side quests which you can perform. As in the first game, based on your actions and how you complete these quests, you will attain light side, or dark side points which affect the cost of your Force Points for your Force Powers. Through gaining experience points, you will increase your character's and your party characters' levels. When leveling up, you get to upgrade your characters, primary attributes, their skills, 




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their feats and for your character, and party characters that are Jediís, their Force Powers. This aspect of the game is near identical to that of the first game. Feats are abilities that allow your character to use certain weapons and armor, or perform certain actions in combat.  Skills are a character's abilities and their proficiencies in those abilities, which include their ability to hack a computer terminal, or repair a damaged droid.



As for the Force Powers, these are available only to Jedi Characters, and you have the choice of selecting one or more new Force Powers, or improving an existing Force Power when leveling up in most cases. Using a Force Power costs Force Points however, Force Points do regenerate over time. Lean toward the Dark Side, and it will cost very few force points to fire electricity from your fingertips but it will cost you more Force Points to use a Defensive Light Side force power. The reverse is also true. The way in which you use your powers can affect the outcome of some of the harder battles. In the Sith Lords, your decisions and leaning toward the Dark or Light side can also affect your companions. You can gain or lose Influence over a character by having them present in your party and performing actions based on how they would like to see you behave. The more Influence you gain over a character, the more chance you have to affect their alignment towards the Dark or Light side. Also, this can affect how much you learn about their character as they can decline to speak to you about something based on the amount of Influence you have over them. While this aspect of the new Influence rating has a tangible effect on the game, affecting your party characters' alignment does not.


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