Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords Switch Review

When it comes to Star Wars games, few are as impressive as these two single-player titles, Knights of the Old Republic. Revan the Jedi, Fallen or Redeemed essentially defined the Star Wars gaming era of the early 2000s, and his popularity hasn’t been replicated since. Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lord reaches almost the same heights as it carries the torch of the first game.

Not surprisingly, KOTOR 2 will follow after the original Knights of the Old Republic was ported to the Switch. This Obsidian Entertainment title has been ported by Aspyr, the company responsible for the original KOTOR Switch port, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Wanderer port, and the in-development Knights of the Old Republic remake.

Everything that fans loved about the original is present in this Switch port, and when it works, it’s a great example of how a Switch port should be. Players of Knights of the Old Republic 2 will take on the role of Jedi exiles to explore the galaxy, gather new companions, restore ties to the Force, and come face to face with the Sith Lords who hunted them down. The story was great in its original version, so it’s obviously just as good here.

kotor  screenshot  party Players will complete side quests, talk to their KOTOR 2 partners, and engage in turn-based combat. Indeed, KOTOR 2’s gameplay is where this Switch port shines the most. Whether it’s cycling abilities like Flurry and Power Attack, swapping Force abilities like Push or Force Lightning, deploying shields, changing targets, and more, it all feels fluid on the Switch. The age of this 2004 game doesn’t really show, it appears to be a game designed for the Switch.

In both handheld and docked modes, the game’s graphics quality is unaffected. On every Star Wars planet and every game clip, everything loaded fine and was sharp, only some of the cinematic animations were a bit fuzzy. It’s a fun, beautiful, and relaxing experience whether on the road or on TV, and it’s easy to get lost in a galaxy far, far away for hours.

In the narrative and ever-changing gameplay, fans will find a lot of substance, maybe even more than they remember. Each planet is unique, each companion is alive with energy, and the choice of light and dark sides has a big impact on the narrative, companions, and gameplay. KOTOR 2, as far as instant play goes, translates well to the Switch, but while it’s great in its moments of engaging players, it has one huge, fatal flaw. The immersion is perfect while it lasts, but it keeps crashing.

In short, KOTOR 2 on Switch is a technological nightmare. Sometimes, Switch ports fail because no matter how good the base game is, the game never really feels like it was made for the Switch. This is the case with Aspyr’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Switch port. In this case, just because it can be done doesn’t mean it makes sense to do so. This time, though, KOTOR 2 is a good port at runtime, but players will have a hard time getting it to work.

kotor  2 screenshot  atton There are undoubtedly many smaller bugs that players can fix. At times the AI will stand aside, the audio will flicker in and out, invisible walls will force the player to power themselves through an open door, and enemies and allies will bounce around the screen. In most games, that’s par. During our gameplay, however, it crashed frequently — at least once an hour. The game even seems to be aware of this, as its seemingly most common loading screen prompt is “Save often and save in multiple slots”. A game has to work, and functionally, that puts demands on many players.

However, if that’s the worst case scenario, some fans will no doubt have a hard time wading through because of how rewarding it can be when it does work. But there are plenty of game-breaking bugs beyond that. During our time playing KOTOR 2, we encountered two major game-breaking bugs, the last of which prevented us from completing the game.

The first will cause the game to crash when boarding an Ebon Hawk. There’s no workaround other than loading an older save and trying to finish the planet again, but it’s possible to work around it. Fortunately, it seems to be related to the completion of certain missions and events triggered on board the Black Hawk, and the game can’t handle it all at the same time. However, the second one was worse.

kotor  2 hk47 An inevitable moment in the KOTOR 2 story is when the player returns from a solo party to the main party. There is a cinematic when the player transitions from the first party to the second. For us, the game crashes every time at the end of this movie. Reloading all the way to the beginning didn’t do the trick, neither did skipping or playing the entire cutscene, and ultimately everything we tried didn’t do the trick. The game is unmatched in its current incarnation. This is something Aspyr hopes to fix in a post-launch patch, but so far it’s heartbreaking to have a perfect party and build and then hit such an impenetrable wall.

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a great and beloved game, and its gameplay, mechanics, and systems port over well to the Switch. It’s great when it works, but the frustrating problem is getting it to work.

Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords will release for Switch on June 8.

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