Knights of the Old Republic II: Restored Content Review

If you’re going to pick up KOTOR 2 from Steam, however, you absolutely should get the Restored Content mod. It fixes a number of bugs that shipped with the game back in 2005, but more importantly, it adds back a lot of the content that didn’t make it into the game. Conversations are often deeper and more revealing, and there are some major portions of the game added back in that were formerly decaying on the cutting-room floor. There’s a whole new mission for HK-47 that wraps up the subplot driven by repeated attacks on the Exile by assassination droids, and the endgame makes a helluva lot more sense with the mod than without it.

It’s not perfect, though, and it’s important to know that going in. KOTOR 2 will last you 40 or 50 hours, but it’ll still be a somewhat buggy experience, especially as the game switches into and out of cutscenes. The game just isn’t inherently all that stable, and while I didn’t experience too much in the way of game-breaking issues in my latest playthrough, you’re still going to want to save really frequently, just in case.

And while the Restored Content mod is great, it still leaves a few things to be desired in terms of story. Again, this isn’t necessarily the fault of the mod, and in fact probably isn’t at all — but some subplots never really come to fruition, there are a few weird story moments that don’t amount to anything, and a number of bits are still really jarring. This is a much more complete picture of KOTOR 2, to be sure, but the game will never feel satisfyingly polished, or even finished; it’s just as close as it’s likely to get.

Still, KOTOR 2 is a worthwhile experience, and the turn-based dice-heavy Dungeons & Dragons-style combat ages better than you might thing. The game remains challenging and engaging without being impossible. More than that, though, the narrative remains among some of the best things both in the Star Wars universe and in video games at large, especially now that the mod has put more of it together. You should get this.

Get KOTOR 2 on Steam here. The Restored Content mod is available right here.

Pros:

  • Great Star Wars story that challenges the core notions of the franchise.
  • Solid voice performances throughout
  • Still a lot of interesting, meaningful choices
  • Restored Content adds big new areas, like the HK factory, and lots more dialog
  • Game feels much more complete, and the story is much more meaningful

Cons

  • Still buggy in places, especially in the migration into and out of cutscenes
  • Even though lots of content is restored, the game still feels incomplete in places
  • Original issues persist — crafting system is fun but there are too many items that aren’t that useful
  • The “Influence” system with your ally characters is still very opaque.
  • Final Score: 90/100


    Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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2 Comments on Knights of the Old Republic II: Restored Content Review

Kevin

On September 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

While not really pertintent to the review, what would the author say their favorite moment of added content is?

Me I loved the additional little bits on the Ebon Hawk. The cut scenes were hillarious, the chance for training was greater, etc.

Now if only they could’ve made lightsaber fighting styles different and useful, it probably would’ve helped being able to train others in those arts. As it is now, its useless and cosmetic mainly.

Phil Hornshaw

On September 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

@Kevin

I have to agree with you — the little character moments were great, and really satisfying, especially in the endgame. My first playthrough on KOTOR 2 waaaay back when it first came out was just not really that enjoyable or memorable, and I honestly think it was because the final moments just wrapped up badly — I wondered what happened to all my friends, I was annoyed that I didn’t know, and so the game resonated a lot less. Those final few moments with everybody aren’t the greatest, but something is definitely better than nothing at all.