Sunday, June 7, 2015

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - 10/20 hours

After fleeing Peragus, I find myself on the planet Telos. The story of this planet is pretty straightforward. It was destroyed in the Jedi Civil War. Now there are two factions. One wants to restore its natural beauty. The other wants to strip-mine its remains. Light side and Dark side. Pick a faction, do missions for it, affect the planet's future. Nothing that I haven't seen a dozen times before (in Bioware games, actually, now that I come to think about it - they really have their formula down pat).

The most notable part of Telos is the extreme incompetence of the administration and law enforcement. As soon as I arrived, I was arrested in connection with the explosion at Peragus, and while under the custody of the station security, I had to fight off an assassination attempt and my ship, the Ebon Hawk, was stolen. You can be really sarcastic about it, which is satisfying in its way, but the feeling of being jerked around is not a pleasant one. 

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I'm having trouble getting into this game (berating the TCS notwithstanding). I don't think it's anything specific to Knights of the Old Republic II. The main plot is a little vague and meandering thus far, but the characters are more interesting. Kreia is a cranky and vaguely sinister mentor-type figure who's antagonistic while still feeling like she's basically on your side. Atton is a wise-cracking rogue with a mysterious past. Every so often, they'll weigh in on what you're doing or start a random conversation, and it usually feels pretty good, as if you're actually on a team. I think later Bioware games really perfect this mechanic, but it's use here is still fun.

I think I may just be experiencing genre fatigue. For the most part, I've been playing really story-heavy and slow-paced games this year. Which is fine. Story games are great. It's just that I also really enjoy strategy, simulation, and creative games, and it's been awhile since I've sunk my teeth into one. It's not really fair to KOTOR2 that this is coming over me just now, but I feel how I feel.

I will, of course, stick with this game for the next ten hours, and it's possible that something may flip in my brain and it'll start feeling fresh and compelling again, but I predict that before long I'll need a change of pace.

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