Star Wars KotOR 2 for Switch is a broken but shiny mess

The power of the Jedi strangles his opponent.

Screenshot: Aspire / Nintendo / Obsidian Entertainment

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – Sith Lords this is a horror story. What happens when the Force no longer favors you? Can you survive when you walk away from being the chosen one? KOTOR 2 shows you the dead, unbeatable heart of an infinitely vast and indifferent galaxy. Instead of focusing entirely on space fantasy like its BioWare predecessor, KOTOR 2 is a razor-sharp question of whether star Wars The universe must exist at all. He holds back a slight nostalgia caused by latest lego star wars the gameand I respect him for demanding that I be skeptical about his story.

First released in 2004, KOTOR 2 it only had a year to develop, resulting in many content cuts and technical issues compared to its relatively stable predecessor. When I played the PC version you had to install content recovery mod just to watch tons of story-critical cutscenes. So it’s hard to get too mad at the just-released Nintendo Switch port of Aspyr for being full of bugs.

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the Switch port will randomly crash for no apparent reason or repeat the scene repeatedly until I give up and restart the game in the hope that it won’t repeat itself next time. Issues like this would give a lot of reasons to abandon most Switch games, but as a seasoned KOTOR 2 player I expect these mistakes to be the price of entry into the dull, dirty and broken galaxy of Obsidian. However, it seems a bit egregious that Aspir took two weeks to fix the bug that broke the game what prevented players from even beating the game.

I accidentally discovered the best feature of the Switch port: by double-tapping the left motion control stick, you can bring up the cheat menu. Here you can manually add skills, copy items, skip to specific cutscenes, or zoom in on freecam mode. I found it to be a great compromise between staying true to the original game and trying to offer a less frustrating buggy experience.

The Jedi fights several soldiers with a lightsaber.

Screenshot: Aspyr / Obsidian Entertainment / Nintendo

The freecam is definitely one of my favorite features: I explored the entire royal palace of Onderon and found the entire level floating in the air. Some games are content to just play pranks on themselves. Switch port KOTOR 2 fully acknowledges its shortcomings and invites you to explore them at your leisure. The Aspyr port also restores some story scenes that were cut from the original, but I had a hard time remembering which ones since I always played the PC version with the content restoration mod.

The Switch port crashes less frequently than the PC version, but you’re not playing this game to test technical excellence or monotonously navigate sparsely populated environments. you play because KOTOR 2A cynical, questioning view of the galaxy is what we need in an age when all our institutions are falling apart.

Original from BioWare KOTOR a former Sith Lord saves the Republic after an initial plot to destroy it. In the sequel to Obsidian, the Jedi Exile unearths the remnants of a failed war, a failed government, and a failed spiritual philosophy. KOTOR 2 far less hopeful about saving the Republic. It is important to note that it does not require you to feel loyalty to the Galactic Federation or the Jedi Order. What do you owe to the government that turned you into a weapon? Absolutely nothing. But you can take up your lightsaber for yourself, and you can teach others to do the same.

The game is different in that it tells several stories from the past and the present at the same time. The best example of this is the Peragus tutorial, in which the player escapes the mine. The killer trapped me in the asteroid belt, forcing me to piece together video footage to learn about his other victims and potential escape routes; it was all part of a larger conspiracy orchestrated by the droid’s attempts to “repair” the shattered Republic. As I explored the ruins of the Sith planet Korriban, I not only tried to find the Jedi Master in hiding, but also reconsidered the protagonist’s role in the brutal Mandalorian Wars that took place before KOTOR the series has even begun. And I felt horrified when I went to investigate some strange signals on the Nar Shadaa smugglers’ moon, only to find my quest giver’s severed limb upon my return. There were no clean answers, except for those I took out of context.

Like any good horror game, KOTOR 2 thrives on making you feel isolated and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, not every example of philosophical research leads to success. One such mistake happened when I decided to give money to a beggar on Nar Shaddaa. Instead of reacting like a normal person, your mentor says that you have weakened him by showing mercy. That in itself would be nice if the game didn’t show me a vision of a man being beaten up for small change. I laughed at the scene, which came out more awkward than thoughtful. KOTOR 2 may seem radical and liberating, but these moments coexist with moments like those of Nar Shaddaa, in which the game reproduces the cold, conservative logic of a dying empire.

KOTOR 2 is not a happy role-playing game in which everything can be decided by the power of friendship. The characters replicate the broken logic of the galaxy that completely failed them, and the game is relentless in letting them fall. Years later, female developers claimed that lead writer and designer Chris Avellone committed sexual misconduct while he was at Obsidian, to which he replied sue them for defamation. Avellone wasn’t the only writer on the team, but I still found it difficult to separate art from KOTOR 2leading designer. The game depicts the galaxy in grayscale, giving the game a sense of freedom from being a troubled college student. Now, as a more experienced adult, I am much more critical of how KOTOR 2 represents a moral ambiguity that can often be used as a weapon to serve the people in power.

However, the game always hits hard emotionally like no other game. star Wars The media has ever had. My favorite moment comes towards the end when your protagonist finally meets the Jedi Masters who expelled them from the order. The background music fades completely as the Exile’s tutors explain why they lost touch with the Force, but resumes triumphantly as they begin to denounce their apprentice’s existence as a danger to the galaxy.

“You were blinded,” the master accuses. In response, the camera cuts sharply to the Sith Lord Treya, who is lurking nearby: “And finally, you saw.” While these lines aren’t as ornate as in most scenarios, the dramatic irony of the performance leaves no one indifferent and makes this long-awaited encounter with Dantooine the most memorable scene in the game.

Bye KOTOR 2 almost never takes a concrete stance on the extreme perspectives of his traumatized cast, the cinematic techniques he employs on Dantooine make it clear that the Jedi teachings of separating oneself from worldly concerns are wrong. But the Jedi Masters hit the mark with one of their accusations – by killing hundreds of faceless enemies and soaking up all the experience points, your character has truly become the deadliest and most unaccountable rogue in the galaxy. I admired it KOTOR 2 not only acknowledges that RPG mechanics are in the game, but allows a character willing to talk about why BioWare’s protagonists are generally bad for the galaxy.

Even though your Jedi Exile was the most experienced of assassins, KOTOR 2 can also take away their free will by having their mentor manipulate events from behind the scenes. The Switch port saves scenes in which Darth Treya forcibly manipulates several characters to help the protagonist in his quest, all without their knowledge. Treya’s hatred of the Force stems from how the mystical phenomenon has actively manipulated history, yet she regularly uses it to dominate others. Watching her blackmail my friends while the Exile was out of earshot was terrifying.

However, I also liked that these events were completely out of the main character’s control. In BioWare games, the player is usually all-powerful. After enough time, the protags of the “chosen one” always become initiated into the darkest and most terrible secrets of the world. But in KOTOR 2, your lone Exile lacks a galactic mandate. When you are truly an ordinary person, you are subject to control by systems and people more powerful than you. It was fascinating to be privy to information about the Exile that was completely separated from the protagonist’s own mind. KOTOR 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed BioWare game. star Wars game, but undermines that studio’s protagonist-centric approach to storytelling. There are some secrets that the Exile will never know, and this is no injustice. It’s just the reality of life.

Towards the end of the game, I had a private conversation with one of my party members, Disciple. He was a former Jedi trainee who metaphorically worshiped the Exile. My character talked about how they are guilty of leading others into a galactic space war, and expressed doubts about whether the members of the group followed of their own free will. The Acolyte didn’t quite convince me that he was completely unaffected by the Exile’s Force sensitivity, but in 2004 that seemed unacceptable to KOTOR 2 question the ethics of the RPG protagonist. It still feels relevant in 2022, when even the most ambitious, story-heavy games can’t help centering around the player. What very important people they must be.

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