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A retrospective article on the official Star Wars website looks back at Obsidian Entertainment's first project - Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and spends some time reminiscing about the game's story, its troubled development, and some of the design principles behind it. If you're interested in Star Wars, D20-based RPGs, or Obsidian's games, you may want to check it out. An excerpt:
Most of the features players loved most in the first KotOR return in the sequel (sometimes in new-and-improved form, but always intact). It’s still got a robust character-creation system; it still has plenty of amazing Star Wars loot to discover and carry into battle against the Sith, including lightsabers; and it’s still got Pazaak, the ingenious card game invented by Drew Karpyshyn, author of the fan-favorite Legends novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction.
“We decided to build upon the proven success of the first game’s design, and were careful to not fix aspects of the game that had already proved their worth,” designer Kevin Saunders recalled in an article for Game Developer magazine. “Instead, we identified areas of KotOR that we could expand upon to create a better experience in a flavor similar to that of the first game. Almost without exception, every game-design enhancement to KotOR II was a natural extension from the original.”
As the subtitle implies, a lot of the game’s lasting appeal comes from its memorable, sometimes terrifying Sith Lords, who are veiled in mystery for much of the story. KotOR II had to jettison a large amount of narrative content near the end of its tight production schedule — which was amazingly restored in 2015 and is available on Steam — but that didn’t stop it from delivering one of the best-written, most original tales of the entire Legends era. Its dialogue, in particular, would impress audiences in any medium. And the story’s biggest surprises will haunt players long after the game is over.