Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (2022)
By Joey Thurmond,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sequel has stellar story with odd glitches and dated design.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players can choose to be good or evil. This means players can mistreat and hurt innocent people for selfish gain by pursuing the Dark side, but the game also presents wonderful opportunities for kindness by healing the sick, helping families and refugees, being altruistic with money, and more. This game has unusually thought-provoking writing that engages your sense of morality by considering the motives and consequences of your actions.
Positive Role Models
Unlike this game's predecessor, the player's entourage is mostly morally ambiguous or leaning toward the Dark side. But many of them have tragic and complicated backstories that will make you think twice before you judge them, as some are unsure of their paths or seeking redemption from deeply troubling pasts. The main characters are believable in their flaws and life experiences, and the same goes for your own character's past that players must wrestle with.
There's a balanced presence of ethnic groups with humans among loads of alien species. There are over a dozen male and female character models to choose from that include (presumably) African-American, Asian, and Hispanic options. Disputes involving cultural differences and racism between aliens and humans prompt the player to investigate each side of these stories, along with the sources of these conflicts.
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Ease of Play
This game builds upon its predecessor but is largely the same in terms of gameplay. Moving around environments is simple and uneventful. Players can take their time in dialogue with what they choose to say. But the nitty-gritty of the leveling systems can be overwhelming with complicated stats to decipher with character builds, weapons, and Force powers. Combat also takes some time to figure out with how best to manage your party by switching between characters and choosing what moves and items to use. Even still, you don't have to be an expert with stats and items, and can choose to experiment with these loosely. Helpful features like "auto-leveling" and combat behaviors for characters streamline some of these things.
Violence & Scariness
Players use lightsabers, swords, blasters, explosives, and substances (poisonous and paralytic) to kill enemies, who simply fall down upon death and show no signs of bodily damage. Nonetheless, there are particular moments in the story where players will come across pools of blood or severed arms on the ground. Half-rotted corpses and skeletons are present in some areas, too. The main villains are somewhat unnerving with Dark side powers that feed on pain and life. One has a damaged eye and cracked skin, and the other has no face with a shrieking, unintelligible voice. Since this game is nearly two decades old, these violent elements are limited with dated graphics.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Players will encounter several female characters wearing revealing clothing (like short tops) with notable cleavage, sometimes with tight pants that accentuate their butts. These characters are usually found in cantinas with some that dance to entertain guests. One of the main male characters attempts to flirt with you (if you play as a woman) by making euphemistic remarks about your body a few times in the first level.
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"Damn" and "hell" are used somewhat frequently throughout dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
This is a re-release of a game that's two decades old, and a sequel to a classic role-playing game. The title's also based off content pulled from the Star Wars Universe, which has inspired TV shows, movies, games, toys, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players will visit a few bars. Some characters drink fictional alcoholic beverages, which are shown or described as acting drunk or passing out. The player and other characters are knocked out with some sedative drugs on occasion by antagonists, and can use similar substances (that poison or paralyze) against foes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II -- The Sith Lords is a downloadable role-playing game that debuted in 2003, and has now been re-released for the Nintendo Switch. The title takes some influence and content from the vast Star Wars universe as well. It's a sequel to Knights of the Old Republic where you play as an exiled Jedi who defied the wishes of the Jedi Council by going to war against the marauding Mandalorian race. But you have forgotten your role in the conflict, along with your connection to the Force. Even still, powerful Sith Lords and other mysterious antagonists constantly pursue you. What could they want with you? You must find the Jedi Masters who exiled you to uncover your true past. This game has strategic real-time combat and a character-driven story where players can say and act in ways aligned with the Light or Dark side. "Damn" and "hell" are somewhat frequent in dialogue. Violence is commonplace, carried out with lightsabers, blades, blasters, and explosives, but characters simply collapse when they die. Some areas contain pools of blood, severed arms, decomposing corpses, and skeletons; but this 19-year-old title's visuals make these elements considerably less graphic. There are several female characters with considerable cleavage and outlined butts with short, tight clothing. If you play as a woman, one of the main male characters is euphemistically depicted as ogling and fantasizing over you. The player will visit some cantinas where fictional alcoholic drinks are shown and mentioned, with one character passing out in front of you, and others being described as losing self-control over their speech while drunk.
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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (2022)
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What’s It About?
STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II -- THE SITH LORDS is set thousands of years before the stories of the Skywalkers, when a civil war between the Jedi tore their order apart. The Mandalorian people were conquering planet after planet in their brutal crusade for glory, and while some Jedi believed they couldn't intervene, others didn't stand idly by while thousands of innocents perished. You play as one such Jedi who commanded a fleet, but despite achieving victory, you left a trail of casualties and were exiled from the Jedi Order. Years later, you find yourself having forgotten much of what happened; your skills and powers are shadows of their formal selves. Despite this, the galaxy has seemingly painted a target on your back with Sith Lords, bounty hunters, and more unsavory characters coming for you. Why are you so important? There must be more to your story than you remember, so you set out on a journey to find the original Jedi Masters who exiled you to find out what they know about your past ... and the secrets they keep about the Jedi Civil War.
Is It Any Good?
This role playing game has wit, humor, and weight that define the constant conversation you'll have with countless characters. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II -- The Sith Lords deeply explores the history and universe of the Star Wars universe, using it as a foundation for exploring the complex realities of when causes, ideologies, and cultures clash. Amid those challenging yet compelling scenarios, you'll not only influence the fates of the people and worlds you visit with your words and deeds, but also affect the characters in your party, who will turn to the Light or Dark side depending on your decisions. You have total control over who to bring on your adventures, along with what kinds of gear, stats, and abilities they have as you level up and build up your inventory. You can get up close with lightsabers or fire blaster bolts at a distance in combat, which requires more strategy later on to efficiently take down enemies, but commonly frustrating moments include your characters ignoring your inputs. Managing them in (and outside) fights can prove overwhelming, but the game has convenient features like automatically leveling up characters. The sequel has nice tweaks that improve on the original game with mechanics like switching weapons mid-combat, setting specific behaviors for each character in combat, adopting various lightsaber forms against blaster fire, groups, and more.
Performance on the Switch is adequate, but moving the camera makes the game look choppy. There are significant glitches as well like characters' weapons disappearing, pop-ins with environmental objects, and enemies not loading into a scripted encounter. There's currently one major glitch that makes progress impossible for some players, so this re-release involves reloading save files to fix problems or reaching dead ends more frequently than should be acceptable. Dated design also holds the game back with mission structures that involve tedious back-and-forth walks between areas with long, empty areas. Combat can also drag on with repetitive encounters with hordes of weak enemies that are best skipped where possible. But despite some antiquated game design elements and unusual glitches in need of remedies, Knights of the Old Republic II, at its core, holds up with incredible characters and storytelling that build on the original game's events in meaningful and fascinating ways.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about considerable philosophical and moral questions with dialogue and events. For example, Why does one character challenge you to think about being carelessly generous, showing how someone gets robbed and hurt right after you give them money? Even though your intentions may be good, when might someone's situation call for a different way to help them? How can you be wise in how you practice being good?
Why do people look for all sorts of qualities in leaders, but sometimes excuse their flaws as long as they're getting results in other ways? What do you look for in a leader? How do you balance your perception of someone's character, charisma, and accomplishments?
When we devote so much of our time and energy into a cause or group, it can be hard to see its shortcomings, so how can you be impartial in order to address and act on solving these? What are some ways you can practice reflection to notice problems before they take root?
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Pricing structure: Paid ($14.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Aspyr
- Release date: June 8, 2022
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Space and Aliens
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Courage, Empathy, Humility, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-control, Teamwork
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
- Last updated: July 19, 2022
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