I'm just getting into Knights of the Old Republic 2, and boy is it great. A Star Wars RPG, sequel to the great KotOR of last year. Playing it is like being part of a really great, if long, movie.

You don't sit back and read the story, you are part of it, you influence it. Do you want to save the fledgling government of Dantooine, or do you want to overthrow it? Do you want to follow the light side and restore the Jedi order, or relish in the evil powers of the dark side and smash the Jedi forever? Given that the game really has a fixed, linear narrative, this feeling of choice is quite an acomplishment. It's a shame this narrative experience is missing from online games.

The big innovation in KotOR 2 is not only do you control your own destiny, but you can influence the fates of your companions, too. I find myself playing the dialog with my party members very carefully, trying to make them my friends while turning them to the dark side. The writing is good enough to make this quite compelling.

The best RPGs for the last few years have all been written by Bioware and Obsidian / Black Isle. Alas, even they fall prey to game industry demands. It's widely believed that content was cut from KotOR 2 to meet their very aggressive release schedule.

  2005-04-13 15:21 Z