It’s actually happening. We’ve waited for years and years, and we’re finally getting a new Knights of the Old Republic game. But it won’t be like the series you remember.
A few years ago, Cinelinx leaked the news that a KotOR remake was in the works. That remake was later canceled. But now it’s back! Although we’re not really getting a remake, we’re getting a re-imagining… Oh.
This could end poorly.
The original Knights of the Old Republic games weren’t just the best duo of Star Wars games. They were two of the best sci-fi RPGs ever made.
No games before or since have so perfectly blended Star Wars canon with action-RPG and strategy elements. The decision to let you pause the game and line up attack commands was pure brilliance.
Not only that, but KotOR presented genuinely interesting stories. Rather than re-hash the tales from Star Wars that we already knew, the team at BioWare created new characters and new stories.
That’s why this “re-imagining” should concern you.
Details about Knights of the Old Republic’s new direction remain thin. The leak just states that a new game exists and will “integrate elements from the first two games.”
The most important missing puzzle piece is which of EA’s developers will handle it. It makes sense that BioWare would get the nod, but they’re not the same company they were when KotOR came out in 2003.
Most of the key BioWare figures involved in the original KotOR have left. And if you look at the games they’ve produced over the past six years, you’ll grow even more worried.
There’s always Obsidian, which developed Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. But Obsidian belongs to Xbox Game Studios now, so EA isn’t likely to hand them the reins this time.
Even if BioWare does take the lead on the new KotOR and the developer returns to its early-2000s form, EA’s well-documented fetish for microtransactions could still screw the game up.
EA won’t just have to masterfully blend elements from two vastly different – but equally outstanding – games. They must resist the urge to pump the long-awaited title full of micropayments.
I can already see it: $0.99 for a new shield here; $1.99 for an orange lightsaber crystal there. The thought of something so perfect being corrupted makes me shudder.