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Star Wars KOTR 2

 

 

SCORE: 67

 

Star Wars KOTR 2

 

The Sith Lords is the sequel to the incredibly popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Picking up five years after the events of the first Knights game, the sequel begins with the Jedi on the run, and setting the confused protagonist up for the galaxy’s salvation (or doom) at a breakneck pace. The story will twist and turn based on player’s decisions and deliver many moral lessons along the way.

The development of the Knights series has changed hands from BioWare to Obsidian Entertainment in the Sith Lords. Thankfully, Obsidian improved upon the foundation that BioWare created without detracting from what made the original so good. Still based on Wizards of the Coast’s d20 ruleset, the character development (in terms of story and skills) is even deeper than before. New force powers, character classes, and the addition of lightsaber forms provide more depth to an already deep series. The game’s interface and control has seen some changes for the better. The voice acting, sound effects, and music are all still great. The graphics are still decent, and generally do the Star Wars license justice.

However, the Sith Lords still suffers from the same graphical slowdown as its predecessor. Also like its predecessor, players can feel as if they’re forced to continue in a linear fashion in spite of the freedom of choice that the game presents. Furthermore, players will likely feel the thirst for power and desire to walk the path of the dark side at least in part. Perhaps worse is the fact that this game makes good and evil much hard to distinguish.

As mentioned above, one of the game’s strongest feats (and biggest potential downfalls) is the ability to decide the fate of the galaxy. This means that players are frequently given the choice to do something noble or destructive. These choices include the option to lie, kill, steal, and otherwise do things that you would expect the dark side to do. The good part about this (aside from offering freedom to players) is that players who choose to follow the darkside usually pay for it later in the game. The bad thing, is that the line between good and evil (and when a minor evil is acceptable in light of the greater good) is blurred greatly. Violence is commonplace regardless of the player’s moral decisions. There is no gore, but there is an implied dismemberment of a hand. Profanity has come down from the first game, but is still semi-frequent (uses of d--- and h---). One small segment of the game requires that a female character wear the outfit of a dancer (similar to Leia in Return of the Jedi) to progress. There are a couple of references to (hypothetical) intercourse, but nothing sexually explicit is said. The force is as mystical as ever, and can be used for greatly destructive acts, but little comes across as a part of the occult.

In the end, The Sith Lords is what a sequel should be: an expansion of a great game with its own improvements and twists that surpasses the original. For adult gamers, especially Star Wars fans, this game should not be missed. This game could even be considered a teaching tool if it is played with a parent keeping track of, and discussing, the decisions made in the game. This is especially true since there are many virtuous lessons waiting to be gleaned from it. For those think that the good outweighs the bad of this game, it is well worth the cost of admission now that it is a budget title.
- Kenny

 

Graphics: 64%
Sound: 66%
Replay/Extras: 75%
Gameplay: 72%
Family Friendly Factor: 60%
System: Xbox
Publisher: LucasArts
ESRB Rating: 'T' for Teen
{Blood, Violence}

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