“Review”: The KOTORs

As you might have spotted, I’m doing something a bit different this time – I’ve put two games to review in the same article. That might sound odd, but in this case it’s possible – the games are very similiar design-wise, yet I find the feeling of playing them vastly different from one another.

Let’s begin at the ground-level – KOTOR is an abbreviation for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a series of two RPGs (made by different devs, so I’ll avoid typing them out not to step on some random google-user’s toes). As with any RPG (that I’ve played, which counts out the Final Fantasies), the story can be played like a good book – you play a bit now and then and think abouthow the story may progress when not playing – that in itself is a good opinion. But unlike books, you have a bit more power of the story’s progression – you can often choose from a pool of replies to most comments, which gives different results.

For instance, they may push you on the Light-Dark scale, which only real effect is making some spells more expensive and others cheaper. But I didn’t notice any reply-options changed based on where on the scale I was (played Kotor 1 twice – once as light, once as dark), not any change in how I was met by Sith/Dark Jedi or Republic/Jedi NPCs, no change in what missions I could pick up and – this might be the biggest one – no change in how the story progressed (you may choose your ending about 90% into the story in either case). And it was very rare to affect the scale by actions rather then statements. So the light/dark stuff isn’t that central, really.

Anyway, what pulls you into the game is the setting of the planets, the characters and the combat system. I could write a paragraph about all there of this, but I won’t – this post doesn’t have to get longer then it will already become.

Now, to my point: I liked Kotor 1 really much, but not the sequel – which I find odd, as they share the mechanics of the combat-system, feats and powers, interface and that stuff. What they don’t share is the settings and characters, and that’s what makes all the difference. The first tends to have a warm and charming feeling to it, while the other is more cold and dark. The characters in the first all seem to have the same common goal as you, while they mostly have some agenda of their own in the second; something that means I connect better to the former game’s characters then the latter’s.

To sum up. They are both fun games to play, but I would recommend just playing the first one. I won’t do any “sentance”-stuff below, this one will do.

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