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Story

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2:The Sith Lords (KotOR2) takes place 5 years after the previous game. The Jedi have been hunted and nearly eliminated by the Sith. The republic is in shambles and is close to extinction. You are a Jedi exile, outcast by the Jedi counsel for following Revan in the Mandalorian wars. The Sith believe you are the last of the Jedi and are hunting you down. You must find out why the Jedi are being hunted and gather together any remaining Jedi Masters. As always you can choose to be light or dark side - and this time your choices affect your party around you.

So what has changed?

The game play is pretty much the same, but there are many additions that are worth noting. The mini games such as pazaak and swoop racing have changed a bit. Swoop racing is much harder now as there are more obstacles. Fortunately, you can now jump over them. Paazak is also much faster paced and there are new cards that negate the selected numbers; this is handy if you go over the 20 limit. There are a couple of turret sequences but they are not as common as they were in KotOR. You can now have up to ten party members available, but are limited to taking two with you at a time. I miss the interaction between party members while traveling on planets, but there are many cut-scenes on the Ebon Hawk when you are traveling to various places. You can gain and influence your party members by talking with them, or performing certain acts in their presence. Depending on your influence level you can get them to unlock other conversation topics. You can train certain members to use the force. Whatever path you take you can take them down the same path too. There are a lot of new feats and force powers you can train. There are even different light saber fighting styles that you learn throughout the game. They all have their advantages and disadvantages but in all honesty I kept the default one on at all times. Light sabers are not easy to come by; in fact you will have to build your own by collecting the necessary parts and using the workbench. There are lab stations too where you can turn chemicals into healing kits. Many items in this game can be created or broken down using workstations or lab stations.

Bugs

Like many games rushed out the door, this game has several bugs worth mentioning. Many levels have triggers or sequences that must be done in the right place or at the right time. Most of the time they work fine but many times they don?t. There have been several times where I was stuck and had to re-load because a sequence didn?t trigger. There are even glitches so bad that can make the game unbeatable! To be safe, make a new save on every planet. The AI can be frustrating at times too. Often they can get stuck or stay behind or even run away from you for no apparent reason. On the other hand, the AI is pretty good in battle, as they will use their force powers and heal if needed. There are subtitles for all the conversations that have voice acting. There was an instance where I was talking with Atton and the voice over did not match the subtitle at all. The game only crashed a couple of times on me, and it has an error-reporting feature that will hopefully help with the patch development.

Graphics

The graphics are pretty similar to the quality of the last game, though perhaps slightly better, as there seem to be more polygons etc. The worlds are nicely detailed and the alien species look pretty realistic. There are some recycled character models from KotOR but there are many new ones too. You?ll see some familiar faces throughout the story line. [Statement]: There is even a side quest where you can repair HK-47 and have him join you.

Sound

The voice acting and background music is very well done. Some of the voices sound familiar. Mandalore sounds like Canderous from the original game. The HK robots sound the same and are as witty as usual. The weapon and light saber sound effects are great. My only complaint in the sound department is that when I had an all female party, a male attack voice would sneak in occasionally. Other than that I was happy with the audio aspect of the game.

Appropriateness

This game is about as appropriate as the movies. There?s violence and minor cussing. The characters for the most part are dressed decently. As a female you start off in a bodysuit/underwear deal. But later in the game you can dance for a Hutt and wear a very skimpy outfit. If you are a male character, a character who joins you can also wear almost nothing. There are some sexual references/innuendos too. Being a Star Wars game you deal with the Force, meditation and Light/Dark side. One of the major characters does encourage you to regard others in less than noble ways, with the corresponding dark side points. It does make you take a stand for some loss of influence (and the consequences of that) or lose it and therefore gain light side points. It does require you to tread carefully and play more intentionally. I do like how you can choose how good or bad you want to be and see the consequences of your actions in return.

Overall Impressions

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a must have for any Star Wars or RPG fan. This game is just as good as the first and has an awesome storyline and great character development. This game however is not squeaky clean and has some patching issues that need to be addressed. Overall I would highly recommend this game to a mature gamer.

Game Ratings

Graphics 8/10 Sound 9/10 Game Play 20/20 Stability 3/5 Interface 5/5 Total 45/50

Appropriateness

Swearing 5/10 Sexual innuendos 5/10 Violence 6.5/10 Occult 5.5/10 Moral Issues 7/10 Total 29/50

Final Score 74%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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