Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II - The Sith Lords Switch Review
It was only eight short months ago that developer Aspyr surprised everyone and dropped the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on Nintendo Switch. It was only a matter of time until they brought the acclaimed sequel to Nintendo’s money maker, and now Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords, is now available on Switch. And much like the first game, KOTOR2 feels pretty damn good on it.
Set five years after the conclusion of the first game, in KOTOR 2 you play as the Exile, a former Jedi soldier of Revan’s who was cut off from the Force and stripped of their Jedi title. You awaken on a mining station, with no memory of how you got there, being told that you were the lone survivor of a highly-damaged familiar freighter. What comes next is a wild adventure filled with twists and surprises as you struggle to reclaim your connection with the Force and work to rebuild the destroyed Jedi Council after the Jedi Civil War all but ended the order.
The gameplay in the sequel largely remains unchanged from the first game, adopting a modified Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition ruleset. The biggest change comes from the fact that from the outset, you will have access to Force abilities. At the start, you create your Exile from a choice of different Jedi types, like the Counselor and Sentinel that start you off with different powers and feats available. From there you are open to developing your Jedi as you see fit.
Combat is real-time with pause, similar to other classic Infinity Engine games like Baldur’s Gate, where invisible dice roll in the background to determine whether your attacks hit and if you dodge attacks. At any time, you can pause the action to assign commands to your party members, and then resume, or you can let the AI take control of the party members you aren’t controlling. If you feel like it, you can swap between your controlled character whenever you feel!
Performance-wise, the KOTOR 2 Switch port performs well and runs smoothly. The resolution of the textures has been improved, but it still very much looks like an Xbox-era title. I had the best time playing in handheld mode, lounging in bed or on the couch.
The only “issues” I ran into during my time with KOTOR 2 were the same graphical hiccups I had with the first game's port and some rare compression issues with old pre-rendered cutscenes. When coming out of sleep mode, if you had been looking at a character or in a conversation, some of the 3d models can appear almost blacked out, or heavily in shadow. This doesn’t impact performance or gameplay at all, and goes away just by moving around, but is still common enough to point out. In one cutscene, I did also encounter a strange compression and color issue with one of the pre-rendered cutscenes. Only happened once, so I'm not sure if it was just a random one-off occurrence or not, but still thought I would mention it.
Also, it should be mentioned that putting your system into sleep mode does NOT stop the in-game timer, so if you are a stickler for accurate time keeping for your playthroughs, you will need to close out the game between play sessions.
Perhaps the coolest aspect of this port is one that we can’t cover just yet. Announced alongside the game’s release, it was revealed that KOTOR 2 is going to get the incredibly popular Restored Content update through a free DLC patch. This special patch, having been available on the PC versions for years, will reimplement a number of scrapped storylines and content, and is the first time it will be available on consoles! I’m very excited to check it out when it releases.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords feels and plays (mostly) great on the Switch. After revisiting the first game last year, being able to continue on with the nostalgia here was a pleasure. Aspyr has once again done a good job reintroducing classic Star Wars games to brand new audiences with these ports, and honestly, this has become my preferred way to play Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2.