Sunday, January 28, 2007

The future of Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Star Wars video games have usually been some of the better efforts of their respecive genres. X-Wing and Tie-Fighter are beloved space-flight simulators, Battlegrounds and Empire At War are strong Real-Time-Strategy games, The Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series are welcome additions for First Person Shooter fans and many enjoy the MMO Star Wars: Galaxies daily. It was with Knights Of The Old Republic however that something entirely different was created for Star Wars fans- a Dungeons & Dragons style Role-Playing Game set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Bioware, veterans of D&D RPG's were tasked with creating Knight Of The Old Republic and they succeeded brilliantly. KOTOR became the hottest property on the X-Box, second only to Halo at the time and did more than considerably well on PC too. It was enevitable after that success that a sequel was announced and was in development by Obsidian.

However only after 12 months were we assured that KOTOR2 would be released albiet on X-Box in the US but that concluded that the game would have to be finished by then. This gave rise to speculation by the gaming press that if it were true and the game did not "slip", then it would be impossible for the sequel to live up to the expectations of the original which had a 3 year development cycle. Their fears were proved correct and once the US X-Box owners had finished the game- there was a lot of bewildered players flooding the internet forums asking questions.

The game got mixed reviews upon release, while overall the game was very good and there were some improvements of the RPG elements which were a staple of the original, there were an unnatural amount of bugs and plot holes left the player with dozens of questions left unanswered. This gave rise to several players delving into the game files on the installation discs in an effort to retreive answers to these questions and to their horror: discovered characters, cutscenes, voice files, plot twists, different endings and even an entire planet which had not appeared in the game.

It was later was revealed that LucasArts demanded that Obsidian complete and rush out the game for the lucrative holiday season in the US in '04. As the game was obviously not complete, Obsidian were forced to delete the planet and characters and snip the endings to the game among many other things.

While Obsidian and LucasArts have fixed many bugs and upgraded the quality of the music score and cut-scenes since the games release, they did not adress the missing content. However, a group of enterprising modders known as Team Bantha were hoping to restore the deleted planet and interaction with Jedi Master Vash but they appear to have failed. Team Gizka however are attempting what is known as The Sith Lords Restoration Project which will apparently attempt to restore the endings and much of the deleted content which didn't make it to the final game. Here's a youtube video of some of what you didn't experience (or experienced differently) in KOTOR2.

While it's planned that it will be completed this year, nothing in the 'mod' community is certain but I will keep you appraised.

An informative Wikipedia resource for KOTOR2 including an exhaustive list of deleted content can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for that, I'll certainly have to play it again.
Was it just me, or did most of the 'Sith Masters' and named opponents die a little easily?

...thinks this may have been due to the near God-like power my character had by the end...

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

No the earlier ones did die pretty easily too, even before the protagonist became a Jedi-God.