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GameInformer's Joe Juba has penned a brief article for the magazine's website to explain why fans still clamor for a Knights of the Old Republic threequel 10 years after the release of Knights of the Old Republic II, why The Old Republic failed to fill that void, and how a hypothetical new Knights of the Old Republic title could play in 2015. A couple of brief excerpts:
As RPGs, the KOTOR games give players an unprecedented opportunity to explore and interact with the Star Wars universe; you aren't stuck in a cockpit, or platforming through strange 2D adaptations of the movies. You speak with strange aliens, travel to distinct worlds, make decisions between good and evil, and (of course) wield a lightsaber and Force powers. The games capture the look and feel that Star Wars fans are already familiar with, but throw in enough unexpected surprises to keep things fresh and exciting.
KOTOR first released on Xbox in 2003, and its sequel followed in 2004. KOTOR II had some significant technical and pacing issues (likely due, in part, to its short development cycle), but both games were well received by fans and critics. After years of dormancy, BioWare and LucasArts revived the property in 2011 with an MMO called Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Gaming has changed a lot in 10 years, and no new sequel should follow such an old blueprint. Though pause-and-play combat can be fun, BioWare should move away from the strict rules-based approach. The KOTOR games were governed by the D&D ruleset, but it would be possible to retain the tactical RPG flavor without having to juggle multiple action queues. After all, the most memorable Star Wars battles are fast and kinetic affairs. Having to pause too much would kill the flair and momentum of combat.
That doesn't mean that battles should be entirely action-based. BioWare's success with Dragon Age: Inquisition demonstrates that the studio knows how to blend style and strategy in order to create encounters that are fluid and challenging. A direct clone probably wouldn't be a great idea, but it isn't hard to imagine Jedi and smugglers taking the place of mages and rogues in the general format of Inquisition's combat.