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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II review: Relive the classic

May the force be with you

Just when we all thought we had seen the last of a worthy Star Wars game on mobile with the release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic six years ago, Aspyr Media finally released Star Wars: KOTOR 2 on the mobile platform in late 2020. Considering the fact that many games take a while to port successfully to mobile, we figured a full hands-on should be in order. Star Wars: KOTOR was an AAA title back in the old days, it ran well even on low-end Android devices. However, as the Android versions have been updated over the years, there are many games that are no longer compatible with a lot of android devices. In this article, we shall see the review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II by rating various performance parameters of the game.

Explore the darkest sides of the galaxy

Starting off with the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II review, a lot of people won’t label the story as very intriguing, but compared to recent Star Wars films, it is quite incredible. So if you’re a fan of Star Wars and you’re yet to try out the KOTOR game, you’re in for a treat. The game also offers a nice setup, allowing you to face some of the most memorable and worst villains in the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II review

The likes of Darth Sion, who is a stone-skinned Sith Lord and is a functional immoral. Or Darth Nihilus, who is essentially a Sith ghost that feeds off planets – he has also become iconic for his mask. Compared to the first title, Star Wars: KOTOR 2 allows you to explore the darker parts of the galaxy from the crime moon of Nar Shaddaa to Telos IV.

For those who do not know, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II is an old game. It was first developed by Obsidian Entertainment and it was originally released on Xbox in 2004. The story is a sequel to Star Wars: KOTOR, delving deep into a scenario where the Jedi have almost been exterminated by the Sith.

Star Wars: KOTOR II offers an amazing gameplay experience

Following the events of its predecessor, the galaxy is saved from the Sith, but for some reason, your protagonist has chosen to run off beyond known space, leaving a dangerous power vacuum in their wake. And of course, the dark side seize this opportunity and once again take a hold, alongside a triumvirate of Sith Lords that have regained their power and have nothing in mind except to dismantle the Republic from the shadows.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II review

In terms of the game itself, it is very similar to the first. It still offers simple yet effective real-time combat, allowing you to pause at will, and queue up attacks. It also has the same great side quests and dialogue choices, allowing you to create a paragon of the light or a denizen of the dark side. Your appearance even alters depending on the choices you make – great stuff. You are at the liberty to choose your character.

You can play as one of the last Jedi, and be careful of how you approach the unpredictable and powerful Sith. Being an RPG, and a good one, combat is action-based, and it’s intuitive. You’ll also get to solve puzzles in order to advance, so there’s a nice mix of action and puzzle-based sections to keep everyone on their toes.

Players get to see the return of some of their favorite characters

Of all the characters, one of the ones to return from the first KOTOR game is the droid assassin HK-47. He remains a favorite character for many, and myself included. He is popular for his scary wit and tendency to refer to the entire human race as ‘meatbags.’ Another thing we admire in KOTOR 2 is its depiction of how conflict changes people. Most of the game’s relevant characters are veterans or had their lives – or as with Darth Nihilus, their identities – shattered by horrible warfare.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II review

The timeline is cool. You will get to see pieces and bits come up, including the new Mandalorian. You might even see the Hammerhead ship in Rogue One or any number of thinly veiled references to Revan. Just as with conflict and disparity across our own history, the resulting fallout is what allows these Sith Lords to rise to a position of power. But KOTOR 2 feels like the closest Star Wars ever to come to recognize the endless cycle of war that the Sith and Jedi have doomed the galaxy to.

With amazing gameplay, comes improved graphics and visuals

Just as we mentioned before, Star Wars: KOTOR 2 is an outdated game, so you shouldn’t expect the graphics to look badass. However, it is decent. Compared to the first KOTOR game, KOTOR 2 has improved visuals and better graphic scenes. Any old gamer will recognize old graphics when they see one, but in the case of KOTOR 2, they would be compelled to call it decent, instead of old.

Aspyr Media must be commended for optimizing the game to look pretty sharp despite how old it is. For a game of 2004 to arrive on mobile and still look like a game from 2018, they did well! Everything is looking clean and we might even say gorgeous. Indeed there are areas where textures could be improved, but for the most part, the game is great on most mid-range and high-end mobile devices.

Unlike KOTOR 1, graphics options are limited in the second game, but the settings are serviceable. Players can change a few things to their likeness. Things such as turning off Shadows, force effects, grass, and this will prove helpful for those who face lag or bugs as they play on their device. Additionally, Aspyr Media even offered a frame rate option that allows you to cap the game to as high as 60fps or unlock the frame rate entirely to your taste. This can come in handy for phones like the Oneplus 8. But as expected from its developers, the game is well optimized on mobile as a lot of devices are compatible.

The game comes with improved controller support

We believe Aspyr Media listened to the fans on this one and obeyed the player’s demand to update the first KOTOR game controls to be better. Well, even if they didn’t actually do that in the first game, they have done it in KOTOR 2. Controls have been improved and standardized for a better experience.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II review

Controller support works great right out of the box as well, something we wish we could say about all mobile games. I tested both a íPega controller and an Xbox controller, and they both worked as expected. Thankfully the entire game can be controlled this way, so you won’t have to touch your screen unless you want to, which is perfect if you use claw attachments to hold your phone to the controller, allowing you to keep your hands stationary and comfortable to use that lightsaber of yours.

Nothing good comes cheap right?

Similar to the original game, the second release isn’t free as well. It is a premium game on both iOS and Android. You’ll be able to grab it on both respective stores at $14.99 a pop. And while some might see it as overpriced, the game is actually worth it. It is more expensive on Mobile than it is on Steam.

There’s something about the probability a mobile title offers to the table, and on the bright side, once you purchase it once, you don’t have to worry about advertisements, or any type of in-app purchases to Interrupt your experience. Though the above may not be enough to convince you to buy this game, and compared to the first game, this is like a story continuation. There aren’t much improvements per se, but rest assured it’s one of the best RPGs of all time. And if you’re a big Star Wars and you want to dive into the Star Wars universe on your mobile phone, then KOTOR is a game for you.

One of the best ever RPGs on your mobile

As ports go, this is a damn good one. It isn’t a remaster, and doesn’t improve upon the original visually, but it does capture the feeling of playing KOTOR 2 on PC. You can tap your character portrait to get to the character menu, and the mini map to bring it up in full – it’s all pretty straightforward. There is also an extremely useful quick-save button on the UI, which of course makes up for the lack of a PC quick-save shortcut key.

At first, you start slow. In fact, you probably won’t even get your own lightsaber for several hours, but you get to learn a ton of stuff before then. You’ll eventually become a powerful Jedi and you will get to decide if you want to use your powers for good or take the dark path. The only major dislike we have about the controls is that you can’t use a dual stick. This means you can’t move and change the camera at the same time (speak of old games), so if you want to change the camera beyond what follows your movement, you have to stop moving and shift your camera to the direction you want to face.

Increasing touch sensitivity might help a bit, but it still feels a bit shabby at times. Still, it is a significant improvement compared to past Aspyr Media’s movement system in the first KOTOR game, in which you’d have to swipe up and down to control movement speed.

Final Verdict

We love the Star Wars universe, and because of that alone, it’s hard to actually ‘not like’ anything that comes from it. From our review perspective Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II is impressive. The game runs well on many devices, the frame rate is smooth, graphics are good looking and sharp, and to be honest, it’s great to have such an RPG on the palm of your hands that not only delivers a breathtaking story but one that doesn’t ask you to buy stuff to keep playing.

It is a game you can spend a lot of time on. And it’s a great time for the mobile version to get such a release considering the whole COVID-19 pandemic. So the bottom line is, Aspyr Media did great to finally bring this to mobile. We can’t say what took them so long, could be financial issues or something else. But it doesn’t matter now as you can grab it from the App Store or Google Play.

What are your opinions on the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!

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