STAR WARS Knight of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was a game that I was highly anticipating! Since it is the sequel to my favorite game of all times, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, I had some really high expectations! This time around, you play a Jedi Exile on a journey to recover their memories and find out why you were separated from the force, all while trying to stop the rise of a new Sith threat.
YOU HAVE THE CHOICE of several Jedi classes at the start of the game, each with their own unique perks and play styles. The Jedi Guardian focuses on lightsaber combat, The Jedi Consular focuses on force powers, while the Jedi Sentinel is a balance between the two.
ONCE YOU CHOOSE YOUR FACE and name, you awaken in a restoration pod, on a mining planet devoid of sentient life. Your only source of information is an old Jedi, named Kreia, who, to your knowledge, had been lying in the medical bay, dead.
YOU EVENTUALLY LEARN that there are Sith Lords wiping out what remains of the Jedi. Three of them: Darth Treya, Darth Sion Lord of Pain, and Darth Nihilus Lord of Hunger. Darth Treya is the leader, a mysterious figure that lurks beyond the shadows. Darth Sion is a murderous, undead assassin, with a penchant for agony and violence. And Darth Nihilus is just bad ass wrapped in a black cloak. Seriously, this guy wiped out a whole planet from a galaxy away by feeling the force in its inhabitants.
YOU SPEND THE REMAINDER of the game searching for the lost Jedi Masters so that they can teach you how reconnect with the force. You have the choice of following a dark or light side path, choosing to either annihilate the rest of the Jedi, or stopping the Sith Lords and their quest to wipe out the galaxy.
YOU BEGIN THE GAME using standard weapons. Swords, grenades, and blasters will be your main choices until you learn to create your first lightsaber from your companion, Bao-Dur. Lightsabers come in a variety of colors, from blue, green, violet, silver, yellow, to of course, Sith red. They can be upgraded, used in two-handed, singe-handed, or duel wielded combat. Lightsabers may be single bladed, the standard lightsaber, or double bladed, like the one used by Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I. There’s also a short version of the normal lightsaber that acts as a dagger.
THE COMBAT IN SITH LORDS is almost identical to that of KotOR one, so if you’ve played through the first game, this one will feel like more of the same. To those new to the franchise, the combat is something you need to get used to. It isn’t really turned based, and it isn’t full on action. The game pauses and then you’re allowed to choose attacks from a menu. You select up to four. When you unpause the game, your character moves into combat. He/she will attack, or heal, every three seconds. So one, two, three, attack! One, two, three, attack.
IT SEEMS SLOW AT FIRST but it becomes less noticeable when you level up, learn new feats, skills, and force powers. Combat becomes second nature and starts to feel fast and fluid as the game progresses.
WITH EACH LEVEL you are granted a few points that you can then use to unlock new abilities. I spent most of my playthrough upgrading combat skills like Flurry and Critical Strike.
ONCE YOU BEGIN to awaken to the force, the choice between Jedi and Sith determines your use of force powers. You’re given a gauge which depletes every time you use the force. Whether light or dark, you can use any force power, but the cost goes up depending on your alignment. So dark force powers take up more of the gauge while light side force powers take up less for a character siding with the Jedi and vice versa for a Sith: light side powers taking more of the force gauge than dark side powers.
LIGHT SIDE CHARACTERS can use Force Speed to run faster, Heal to replenish lost health, and other force powers that raise your defense and immunity to dark side attacks. Dark side characters can call upon Force Crush, Destroy Droid, Force Storm, and a huge array of damage dealing powers.
YOU’LL EVENTUALLY BECOME a force wielding master, tearing through enemy hordes with force and lightaber ease. Jedi have the advantage of their immunity to the dark side and being able to heal, but lack the death dealing power of their evil counterparts. The Sith are simply death on two legs.
I FOUND A GLITCH ONLINE that allows you to max out your Sith well beyond the main level of the game. In one of the temples on Korriban there’s this creature that continually respawns every time you examine this Jedi corpse. I was able to level up to a point where the final bosses were nothing. I just used Force Crush a few times, and the game was over. Cheating, yes. Beyond epic because I literally Force Crushed the end boss to death? Of course.
THAT BEING SAID I love the Sith Lords! Darth Treya is freaking amazing. The final fight, while not all the impressive, is a standout moment for me specifically because of her use of the force and her ability to wield several lightsabers at the same time! She was the first character in Star Wars that I’ve seen using lightsabers that float around and fight for her.
AND I NEED TO MENTION Darth Nihilus again. I love how he wiped out an entire planet by feeling their force energy from a galaxy away. Was it a galaxy away? I can’t remember, but he Force Drained the life out of the whole planet! Are you freaking kidding me? That’s beyond epic! That, and his unique look make him one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars lore. You can never go wrong with a cape and mask!
WHEN I ORIGINALLY PLAYED the game on the original Xbox, you could tell Sith Lords was rushed, unfortunately. There were massive plot holes and the climax is less then satisfactory to everything that had been building up. KotOR 2 was pushed out, and a lot of the content was cut from the final product, leaving this sequel less than what it was meant to be.
HOWEVER, THERE IS AN HD release of the game that also includes a restoration mod. This mod is supposed to add more content, which was cut from the original game –filling in all the missing plot holes– finally allowing players to experience Sith Lords in all its glory! As of the writing of this review I have not played the restored version of KotOR II, but I plan to in the near future!
LASTLY, WHETHER YOU WALK the path of a Jedi or a Sith, you’re simply just too powerful by the time you get to the end. I know I cheated with the Sith, but even without the infinite experience on Korriban, you’re a death dealing powerhouse. It’s fun, but it takes away from the tension when every enemy, even the bosses, don’t pose any kind of serious threat.
ASIDE FROM THESE FLAWS Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II is still a great game. Yes, it could have been better. But the characters are still really well written, the combat is engaging but takes some getting use to, and the plot is interesting up until the forced ending. Also, the revealing moment doesn’t blow your mind the way the first Knights did, but it’s still an interesting story arc none the less.
IF YOU’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED either of these games, I’d suggest purchasing both and treating yourself to the most epic adventure in video game history. Start with the first Knights of the Old Republic, it’ll blow your mind. Then play the Sith Lords, be amazed, and then wish there was a KotOR 3. I still want Knights of the Old Republic 3.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading! I’ll be back with another entry next Monday. Keep that imagination kicking! Please take care all, you all rock. Cheers!