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Knights of the Old Republic 2...


dogbert
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Got the latest issue of Computer Gaming World through yesterday, and it has a nice big feature on the upcoming KOTOR2 for PC & XBox.

 

As expected, it's being developed by Obsidian and is due February 2005, simultaneous launch on both platforms. The game is set five years after KOTOR, and the player controls a brand new character. Revan will be back, but they're not revealing how/why/what. Title is "KOTOR: The Sith Lords", and the Jedi are scattered across the galaxy & are outcasts.

 

Six new "prestige" classes: three for light, three for dark, whole bunch of new force powers. Aiming to make the other characters in the party more useful, and plan on having more areas where the game "splits" the party, and they will "follow" your lead more when you make decisions that are light/dark, ie someone who idolises you would follow your path towards the dark side...

 

Interface will be largely the same but tweaked - one key addition is a "quick change" key for switching between different weapon combinations.

 

Essentially the same engine, more animations etc.

 

Looks very interesting. Apparently more in the next EGM too.

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Answered my own question.

 

From Ign:

What? Who's this Obsidian Entertainment? Never heard of them? Well, search back through the files in your skull and you may remember an announcement made by BioWare back in August. The company announced a commitment to collaborate on future PC and console titles with Obsidian. Here's a quick refresher:

 

"BioWare is currently in the fortunate position of having more attractive looking opportunities on the table than we're capable of implementing while staying true to our fans' expectations of a quality gaming experience. We think several of these opportunities have the potential for critical and commercial success and are interested in exploring ways in which BioWare can expand its capacity to bring these projects to market," said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Joint CEO, BioWare Corp.

"BioWare is interested in establishing relationships with credible development studios that have the desire and capability to implement projects consistent with our quality expectations. Obsidian represents a perfect example of this strategy. We're very pleased to have the chance to work with teams which have a demonstrated track record of developing world class titles," commented Dr. Ray Muzyka, Joint CEO, BioWare Corp.

 

"A collaboration with BioWare gives Obsidian the opportunity to explore development projects on established game franchises with proven technology and brand loyalty from the fan community. This is an excellent opportunity for a new studio looking to make an immediate impact in the market," said Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.

 

For BioWare - a company with a very respectable track record - to hand over the next KOTOR game to another company, it would have to trust them unquestionably. Fortunately for Obsidian, BioWare does. Founded by five industry veterans who've worked on a number of well-known games including Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Fallout, MDK 2 and Planescape: Torment, BioWare has every reason to trust them, especially considering the number of BioWare titles in the development studio's resume.

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Obsidian is the company founded by the ex-Black Isle Studios staff behind the likes of Fallout 1 &2, Planescape Torment, and the Icewind Dale games. Bioware have worked with them before, Bioware apparently reccomended them for the job, according to the article.

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Obsidian has been a source of concern online for a lot of folks since it was revealed they would be heading up development but there is little to worry about. The Obisidian development team is stock full of old school RPG talent responsible for some of the best CRPG's released (as mentioned above). Also with Feargus Urquhart overseeing development at Obsidian (much like he did in Black Isles' "golden age") they should pick up where Bioware left off nicely.

 

Now if only Interplay would show some semblance of clarity and look into allowing the guys at Obisidian to work on Fallout 3 (which they are apparently still releasing but still haven't decided on a development team for since Black Isles closure.)

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You never want to count your chickens before they hatch in the games biz (Fallout 3 anyone?), but in my mind KOTOR 2 is a slam dunk already. It might not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but between Bioware, Jedis, Lucasarts, Obsidian, and the great first game to build on -- I'll be buying this one on release day no questions asked.

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Originally posted by dogbert@Apr 21 2004, 08:16 AM

one key addition is a "quick change" key for switching between different weapon combinations.

That's the only gameplay element that I felt was missing from the game (a weapon quick-change), so I'm very glad it's in the next release. I know many won't agree with me, but I hope they consider giving the character a voice, such as in Neverwinter Nights.

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Originally posted by bickle@Apr 21 2004, 06:57 PM

That's the only gameplay element that I felt was missing ...

Well, there's also the Carth glitch. Clearly, he was meant to die. Yet I was unable to kill him.

 

I'm glad to see KOTOR2 is in good hands with Obsidian. I'm also interested in advances/additions to the game. I enjoyed the first one enough to play through it twice, so I'm with the other people who feel like $50 for "more of the same" would be good value.

 

-j

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News on the web today says the newest EGM says the following

 

- Title is Sith Lords

- Totally revamped graphics engine

- Enhanced item upgrading sytem

- You're the last known Jedi from the Jedi Order.

- You can influence party member Light/Dark alignment

- Swoop Racing, Pazaak, and the shooter mini-games are back

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- Totally revamped graphics engine

 

Pretty much incorrect on that one. The engine is not being revamped. Obsidian team comments from the article (which I hold in my hand) and I quote:

 

"Technically this is Knights of the Old Republic"

 

Th EGM article continues: But he promises that the visuals will be optimized and says the team has actually learned how to do more with same graphics engine-especially with lighting.

 

"We're trying to improve the graphics as much as possible but our focus is more content driven than technology driven"

 

Article: Weather effects and slicker attack animations are a couple of examples of the the type of visual example that Parker (lead designer) hopes will bring the environments to life.

 

I played the whole first game using the critical strike feat the whole way through. So by the end of the game I was pretty sick of that animation.

 

Article: Now as your character gets higher level feats the attack animation become more complex giving the player a more visually satisfying sense of progress.

 

Swoop Racing, Pazaak, and the shooter mini-games are back

 

Correct and being revamped fairly heavily as Parker and co felt the original swoop and turret games were very one dimensional.

 

There is more info in the EGM article about the updated weapon building system and more. Also you do not start the game out with a lightsaber, you have to find it. The first mission in the game involves repairing the Ebon Hawk which your character finds broke down and abandoned on one of the planets in the game. Also the developers say you will be able to visit Talos (Carths homeworld) as well as Dantooine again (which has not been ravaged and destroyed by the Sith Order).

 

Also the game will begin with a very subtle introduction that asks you various questions which will allow you to choose which ending you received in the last game. It does not take for granted whether you were good or bad, it lets you decide right at the outset so you can pick right where you left off which is really damned cool!

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Gentleman please do not post scans from the article. Scans fall under the same realm as posting full on articles and for copyright and legality reasons we need to make sure we respect these magazines exclusive property. I've posted my fair share of scans in the past but we need to make sure to watch out for LCVG's collective butts in the future. ;) Thank you as always for your cooperation and please continue to talk about the article and KOTOR at your liesure.

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Eurogamer posted a new article on KOTOR 2:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=55323

 

As such, you'll actually start out as a Jedi, although you obviously won't have all your powers to begin with. Due to your long-term exile, you also start without a lightsabre. Before long though things will start to liven up - you'll address the key plot points from your own version of the original game, and the narrative will integrate the decisions you made by having characters ask you how you believe things unfolded. Even at an early stage, the game clearly revolves around a similar degree of freedom in developing the story, and Obsidian has confirmed that it aims to deliver a similar experience overall, concentrating on the many possible threads of the story, characters and Star Wars universe, even if it probably will slip in a few KOTOR-flavoured cameos, with T3-M4 billed for another sizeable role.

 

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I've read the EGM Knights 2 article about three times already. :)

I loved the 1st one. IMHO it was the best RPG ever, but that is also coming from someone who doesn't really like RPGs. The new game sounds like a great sequel, and the new characters look awesome. Now, who wants to bet that this game doesn't meet its 1st three release dates? ;)

 

-Dean-

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Well I finally completed KOTOR so I am eager to take on the sequel now. I'd welcome more music cues from the films next time around I must admit. Whilst I understand their want to distance themselves in some way from the films, I didn?t think Soule's game music was amongst his best work, and I missed swinging a lightsaber to more familiar themes.

 

Daniel

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I've been hankering for another RPG and I haven't picked up City of Heroes yet, so I booted this up over the weekend and I'm currently playing through it again. And once again, I am amazed at how thoroughly and convincingly Bioware has translated the 3rd edition AD&D ruleset into the Star Wars universe. I couldn't be more excited for the sequel! Thanks for sharing the updates, everyone.

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