Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on April 15, 2015

kotoriiKnights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is the follow-up to BioWare’s original, but this one by Obsidian Entertainment, and there is a pretty dramatic dropoff in quality. The game is bigger, the advancements in technology let them do fancier graphics and bigger areas and more of them and more cutscenes and all. But while the main plot is fine, a lot of the side plots are pretty lame, and despite a lot more interaction with them, the characters aren’t really as well developed.

You play a former Jedi who joined Revan and Malak in the Mandalorian wars, but returned to Dantooine to face punishment when that war ended. You end up cut off from the force and exiled from the Jedi. A creepy old lady helps you start to reconnect with the force, and as typical for these sorts of things, you hook up with a bunch of companions to save the universe.

I played as a Consular/Master, the physically wussy but full of force powers type, which was a bit of a struggle early on, but by about 1/3 of the way in, I unlocked a thing that made me almost unkillable, and then 2/3 of the way in, I unlocked another thing that let me use one force power before combat and I’d one shot most anyone (and made my defense even stronger). So that probably could have used some balancing. Also, they force you to play as other characters on a number of occasions, and if you have to solo as someone who’s not a Jedi, it’s a serious struggle. Like, I used more health packs in the two missions where I was forced to use Mira solo than in the entire rest of the game. And one time I was forced to solo as Atton, who I hadn’t made a Jedi yet, and I died almost instantly three times before discovering I could hide behind a bar where the enemies wouldn’t follow, and I could shoot them from a distance.

The game is full of bugs. There was one cantina that crashed the game about half the time when I entered it. I ran into two bugs where a plot-critical event wouldn’t trigger, and I had to go back to hours-old save games to re-do things. Which made some of the unskippable cutscenes really annoying. But then I also had some cutscenes that I think never happened? Or something. Like, towards the end, you send a robot to do a thing, but then another robot shows up to foil the plan and the first robot wasn’t going to be able to do the thing. And then I never saw either robot again, and the plan went off without a hitch.

And the main Sith antagonists, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus, were basically non-characters. I swear I never even heard Nihilus’ name until I was facing him at the end. And both, other than being bad guys wanting to destroy the Jedi/the Republic, I felt like I didn’t know a thing about them. Nihilus looked cool though. Which is probably why he is featured on the box art. Maybe if you take the dark side, they aren’t just pointless mustache-twirling villains? I dunno.

I should say, other than the bugs, the game is perfectly fine. The “surprise” villain who really any idiot could see coming a mile away


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