Angry Robot

Hope For The Future

This will probably sound like heresy to some Halo fans, but ‘Knights’ was THE reason I bought my Xbox. Even before its release date, KOTOR was my game. I carefully followed its development in the Bioware forums and upon its release I was completely satisfied with what I got. An all-encompassing Star Wars experience in ONE game… (can we get a moment of silence for awesome gaming goodness………..annnnd we’re done)

A sequel was an undeniable must, but Bioware turned down the offer due to the quick turn around that Lucasarts wanted. In the end the job was passed to Obsidian entertainment. On December 2004, Knights of The Old Republic: Sith Lords was released. Yes, it still got high marks and yes, even many game of the year awards. Financially it was a success, but for me it was barley playable.

First off was the story. It’s not that it was bad… it’s just that it wasn’t Star Wars (to me at least). From the opening text crawl to that non-ending at the end of the game, Sith Lords never really created any of the Star Wars moments for me. That was the key to the original’s success The worst was near the end of the game when a main character theorizes about how all the current and past Sith Lords like Darth Malak might be just pretenders and the real Sith live somewhere beyond the galaxy (WHAT THE $@#!%???!!! Did Lucas co-sign this!!?).

My second problem was with the good ole spit and polish. In layman’s terms, the game was rushed. Missing planets, unresolved characters and plotlines – even the graphics seemed toned down in comparison to the original Kotor. Many reviewers and starwars fans have commented on these problems since the game’s release. And even Obsidian has gone on record about how the deadline affected the finale product.

Why would Lucasarts allow such a great game to be rushed? Well it wouldn’t have surprised me if they wanted it out by Christmas 2004. This way it wouldn’t cannibalize the sales of their own “Revenge of the Sith” game, which released simultaneously with the movie in 2005. It’s a move that may have gotten them more profit, but it tarnished what could have been another classic title. Another game looked upon with more admiration then even some of the prequel trilogy of films.

So now that the original Kotor collaborators are back together I know that whatever they put out is guaranteed to be impressive. But I hope they would show appreciation to their gamers and gaming quality and allow developers enough time deliver the best.

One comment on "Hope For The Future"

  1. D says:

    When I heard that Mass Effect was delayed (it was originally supposed to be released in spring 07), once I got past selfish and shortsighted disappointment, I was happy since it indicated they weren’t rushing it. Which is like you say a good thing.

    Again Nigel, I bow my head in shame… having never played the original KOTOR, only the sequel. I got an Xbox late. Mags and Nadine both told me that KOTOR was great, but all I could find was the sequel and have played maybe half of that. I definitely enjoyed it, but I get the impression that the things I loved about it were but mere shadows of great things in the original.

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