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Lucas Part 3: Knights of the Old Republic II preview

Ben Zackheim

Fans of the first Knights of the Old Republic will be thrilled. The sequel captures quite a bit of the feel of the original, with deep RPG gameplay, team action and an intriguing story. This time around you go up against a Sith of the most disgusting kind. He's held together by sheer (Dark) force of will. His body is made up of ribbons of flesh and most of his extremities are painfully exposed. Suffice it to say, he's a worthy follow-up to the baddies of the past.

We were taken through a couple of levels that showed off the outdoor environs and some of the best saber action you�ve ever seen. The game looks good on Xbox, as expected � even better than the original. Waterfalls are actually convincing, weather and vegetation are detailed. The few scrambles were a joy to watch, with even more intense fight choreography than the first title. Did Jackie Chan work on the game? Yeah, it�s that good.

The story takes place five years after the last game, and you are the last known Jedi in the Galaxy. That makes you a target. Lucas is playing up the team effort aspect of the game, taking the immersive feel of the original and running with it. You get a team of adventurers to accompany you, but (here�s the interesting part) they have no qualms leaving you if you start to dabble a little too heavily in the Dark Side. Speaking of which, we got a good look at Force Crush, which is gleefully disgusting and will be used many times to gross out girlfriends and little sisters.

Overall, as expected, the game looks like it will be a smash. The Xbox version will be out in time for the holidays, while the PC version should see the light in February. One interesting tidbit: a reporter asked what the chances of online play were. �Not this time around,� was the coy answer.

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