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Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II Review - Page 6
GRAPHICS: Graphics aren't exactly one of the strong points of KOTR2. Obsidian used the same engine Bioware did for the first KOTR. Although there are some improvements some new visual effects during combats, especially when you use spells the graphics which were good in 2003 now showing their age. The portraits of the main characters are consisting from many polygons and there are well designed but you can't say the same for the majority of the non player characters (NPC). The same stands for the graphical representation of the enemies you encounter during your adventures (mining druids, mercenaries, sith assassins etc). The external and the interior locations you will visit during you travels also lack graphical detail. While some of the places are beautifully designed, most of them fail to give the feeling of a living world. Although the increase of the screen resolution (the game supports resolutions up to 1600x1200) with the aid of anti aliasing and anisotropy improves the visual result, the bottom line is that the graphics without being bad, don't match with today's high standards.
SOUND: The sound of KOTR2 is simply amazing. LucasArts assumed responsibility for the creation of music, sound effects and speech of the characters based upon the experience they gained both from Star Wars games and movies and the result should satisfy the even most exigent user. Music takes many different tones, from epic during combats to soft melodies after the completion of a quest. The sound effects are also in a high level with the sounds of the blasters, light sabers and especially the Force spells to distinguish. But the strongest part of sound is the incredible speech of the characters. While someone may not be impressed from the speech of the humans which is very good but not unfamiliar since many state-of-art games have offered us at least the same speech quality he certainly can leave unnoticed the ascription of the voices of aliens. Every race has its own distinct speech that adds more to the game's sound perfection.
GAMEPLAY: The gameplay of KOTR2 will magnetize you to your screen. There are a numerous of features which consist to this result: first of all the outstanding scenario of the game with the many inversions keep the adrenaline in high levels. The many quests and sub-quests (which can be completed with different ways) make the game even more interesting. Moreover the game is far from linear. After your escape from Peragus you have to do specific things in order to succeed that the following quests will put in dilemma about the path you will follow (it will lead you either to Light or to the Dark side of the Force). This choice will affect not only your character but also the other members of your party. Generally the game is very good in this part but it isn't flawless. It has two problems, one concerning the poor AI of the enemies (there is more about that in the part of this review which concerns combat) and the other the problems during movement. That last one can frustrate many users (the handling of the characters is quite odd and takes time to get familiarize with it) but if they used to it, they won't stop playing the game until the end.
SUMMARY: Star Wars KOTR2 is a very good role playing game and a worthy sequel of the 2003 PRG of the year. In an arid year for PRGs, so far is the only bright exception (we wait the upcoming Dungeon Lords with great anticipation). Despite its deficits (problems in movement, poor enemy AI), the very good scenario and the many quests will keep you on screen until you finish the game. Obsidian's first task was a successful one despite the predecessor's heavy legacy. Its next task again a sequel will be considerably more difficult since it has to do will the creation of NeverWinter Nights 2! We can only wish good luck to Obsidian. It proves that it can develop high quality role playing games.
Some Star Wars KOTR2 screenshots