KOTOR is a thing again. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which showed up in 2003, snatched the Game of the Year Award in the eyes of IGN and GDC. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, which came out just a year later, disappointed some, but made others fall in love with the franchise even more. But a third game was never announced. It was rumored. Talked about. There were whispers. Even shut down attempts of fans remaking the first game as reported by Eurogamer. Seventeen years later, fans still haven’t had the opportunity to revisit the galaxy far, far away and an even longer a time ago. But it seems they’re about to.
A New Hope?
As we know, a new Knights of the Old Republic game is in the works. We’re still speculating on who is actually working on the game. But that’s not all that important. What matters more than who is responsible for bringing this game to life is: how they are going to go about doing it. Furthermore, it’s very important that Disney shows consideration for this IP’s history and heritage. Here are a couple of ways they can do that.
Re-Canonize the Old KOTOR Games
KOTOR games are probably the most beloved Star Wars games in the history of Star Wars games. And there were quite a few of those. It’s also not canon, at least acording to starwarscanontimeline.com. While I do agree with the host of our The Nerd Stash Show Brandon Stephenson saying how we’ll probably just see a new KOTOR title built on the back of previous games without them necessarily being considered canon, it would be nice if the next KOTOR game had a “III” in its title, so we can pick up right where we left off with the previous one.
There’s a reason why these games are so loved. The narrative, the characters, the adventures… All of it set within the Star Wars universe. That’s what made KOTOR so great. Not combat, not the animations. Not the repetitive models of NPC’s. But the writing. To lose all of these cherished characters would be a big blow to all of the fans, not to mention the confusion around the disconnect in the franchise. We need The Old Republic back. We may have Star Wars: The High Republic now, but we know about a now forgotten past. A republic older than the “high” one. The Sith Lords of old. The Mandalorian War. The Exile. Are they to be forgotten altogether?
Remake the Old KOTOR Games
Sean Cocca already pointed out we need the old games remastered. And I couldn’t agree more. After all, it would be nice if everybody got to chance to play the game on new platforms, while not having to worry about technical issues. If the next game follows the story of the first two, this is even more important. But it might be hard to spark the newcomers interest if the game remains the same. It definitely needs a gameplay overhaul and a complete graphical revamp to get with the times. And that requires a remake, preferably by the same studio making the next KOTOR game.
Not to mention how satisfying it would be if all of the games were at the same level of graphical fidelity as well as visual identity. It’s highly unlikey it will ever happen. Even if it does, we probably won’t see those remakes any time soon.
Stay True to the Aesthetic of the Source Material
We probably won’t see the old games brought back into canon. However, I can’t imagine that the development of the new game won’t start with the close examination of the blueprints of the first two. I also imagine a lot will be scrapped.
Even if we had a narrative follow up to the second game, I can’t imagine that the gameplay will be so heavily D&D based. Even as a kid, I always fantasized about an action RGP KOTOR title. Be that as it may, the game, even if it reimagines what “The Old Republic” is, has to incorporate how The Old Republic “felt”. Looked. Sounded. Otherwise, they might as well come up with an entirely new IP.
A Less Restrictive KOTOR “Moral System”
Play any KOTOR title enough times, and you’ll want to be a Jedi that Vader-chokes Sith, and a Sith that brings allies from the verge of their death amidst battle. What’s more, maybe you want to play outside of this clear-cut Jedi/Sith dichotomy, and the game shouldn’t punish you for that. Maybe you want to be something entirely different. Even if you are force-sensitive, which is clearly a must.
There still needs to be a bit more complexity around the idea of the Light and the Dark side of the force. Morality aside, as an added bonus, did you ever want to use all of the force powers you acquired in a KOTOR game even though you’re heavily armored? I know I did. Robes are cool. But Mandalorian armor can’t be beat
Actual Lightsaber Fights
Lightsabers are iconic. They are also immensely powerful. That beam of concentrated light cuts through everything with ease. It’s odd to me how sticky it feels in games. And by that I mean, try swinging a lightsaber in any recent Star Wars game and you’ll feel like you’re clubbing someone to death rather than slashing them into bits. They just can’t seem to get it right. Not even the latest action oriented Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order satisfied me in this regard.
Now, there are obvious problems with this idea of course. We risk a game being too graphic from the visual perspective and too easy from a gameplay one. But I’m pretty sure that there are ways around all this. Very slashy, satisfying ways. Feel free to reach out, Lucasfilm Games. I have a few suggestions for this secret studio of yours.
A Fully Voiced, Highly Customizable Player Character
Our protagonists were mutes so far. That should also be an option in the character creation segment. But there also needs to be a more “talkative” option in the here implied “Voice” section. It was fun roleplaying KOTOR in the olden days. I even caught myself reading response options out loud, voice acting, pretending my character’s mouth were moving as I did. I still want to be able to do that. But I also want to be able not to have to do that and hear a professional actor or actress give life to my character.
Moreover, preset faces in the character creation were convenient for development back in 2003, even 2004, but seeing as how this is an RPG (or at least I hope it is), and we did see character creation evolve over the years, it would be nice to make our Jedi, Sith and everything in between, truly our own. I would be fine with an already established protagonist as well, so this isn’t a demand. But if that’s not the direction the studio in charge will be going in, then I want to be able to make decisions about eye color and ear size of somebody I’ll probably be spending hundreds of hours with. Not to mention whether or not I wanna be human. Don’t tell me you never wanted to play as a Twi’lek or a Zabrak in a KOTOR game.
Do you agree with our list of ideas? What else do you think the next KOTOR game should feature? Let us know in the comments below!