Star Wars KOTOR: What Fans Want to See in the Remake – CBR – Comic Book Resources


Last year, it was announced that a KOTOR remake is in development. Here are some changes that would modernize the classic Star Wars RPG.
When the Knights of the Old Republic remake was announced last year, fans were ecstatic to hear that one of the best games in the Star Wars franchise was going to get a modern update. Since the announcement, though, there have been very few updates on the development of the game. This has left fans to speculate and wonder about what Aspyr is going to change or add for the remake.
The first KOTOR game was groundbreaking in its storytelling and gameplay, layng the groundwork for many future RPGs. However, the game is now 19 years old, and while it is still a great game, it's starting to show its age. With the remake being built from the ground up, Aspyr has the opportunity to build and improve on the original. There are so many mechanics that could be changed or added to bring KOTOR in line with modern RPGs while still maintaining the story and spirit of the original.
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KOTOR's light side-dark side morality system was a huge innovation in game design, and countless games have been inspired by it for better or for worse. While this system captures the feel of Star Wars' morality, the original game left few options for nuance. Dark side choices were obviously evil, and the opposite applied to light side choices. With the story of Darth Revan being so focused on how the path to hell is often paved with good intentions, Aspyr should lean into that message with adjustments to the morality system.
Decisions the player makes should have greater consequences later in the game that impact more than just game balance. Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords could serve as some inspiration in this aspect. Moral choices in the sequel were rarely what they seemed to be, with seemingly good actions causing more suffering later. KOTOR II got players to critically think about their choices and what the consequences might be. To make the KOTOR remake shine, Aspyr should ensure that the player's moral choices matter by making them affect companions, quests, and dialogue throughout the story, opening some paths while closing others.
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There are very few options in the original KOTOR for character customization. Like an old-school CRPG, there's no option for customizing the look of the player's character. Instead, the player can choose from one of 30 portraits: 15 male and 15 female. While this worked fine for 2003, almost all modern RPGs have options to heavily customize the appearance of the player character. More armor options, equipment slots, and a cosmetic armor option would also allow players to customize their character's look in-game, allowing them to use the best armor possible while still looking their best.
While the original KOTOR gave players ways to get around problems without direct confrontation, there is a lot of room for improvement. Even if the player is not directly engaging enemies in direct combat, they are usually still killing an entire room of enemies. Hacking terminals and setting off poison, combat droids, or electric overcharges look cool, but they are all fundamentally the same thing. One of the biggest advantages RPGs have over other genres is letting players find solutions that avoid combat entirely and minimize death, and the original KOTOR doesn't take advantage of that potential.
More skill-based solutions also open the door for fresh builds. Currently, the most viable builds all focus on melee combat, and while role-playing a classic Jedi is always fun, the ability to mix things up would increase the game's appeal and replay value. Expanding the number of skills to make KOTOR more similar to a TTRPG or a CRPG would likely be necessary to fully realize build diversity and skill-based problem-solving, but it would also give players more agency with how they play and explore the world.
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Time has not been kind to KOTOR's combat. At the time, it was an innovative evolution of the "real-time with pause" of BioWare's earlier games, but by modern standards, it is barely serviceable and best left in ports. The game gets interrupted every time the player sees an enemy, and most of the game can be played by just spamming a handful of abilities and waiting for them to happen. Still, KOTOR is still an evolution of the CRPG genre, and those roots should be respected. Aspyr should look to modernize the combat, not replace it wholesale with a new system.
Dragon Age: Inquisition could provide some guidance on how to modernize KOTOR's combat. Combat would happen in real-time, and players could control any of their party members individually right in the heat and action of battle. Additionally, players should be able to pause combat at any time to give orders and plan out their strategy for fights. Adding this tactical depth to combat would make the times players do fight more interesting, and lead to thought-provoking puzzles rather than just button mashing and waiting.
While the KOTOR remake is still a ways away, there is still plenty to get excited about. Aspyr has ported so many classic Star Wars games to modern systems, and it's clear the studio is full of passionate developers who love Star Wars. With changes such as these, the next evolution of the classic Star Wars RPG could be just as much of a masterpiece as the original.
Jayden is a proud trans writer and gamer from Utah. S’he loves all things nerdy with a special love for Star Wars, Warhammer, League of Legends, and anime. For a few years, hir passion has been Tabletop RPGs, and has played in and run many different games. S’he has aspirations to one day become a game designer produceing hir own boardgames and RPGs.


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