Despite massive demand for a Knights of the Old Republic 3, it’s a game that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
With the Renaissance of Star Wars games in the ’90s and 2000s, the franchise introduced us to some fantastic, innovative titles. From classic space sims like the X-Wing series, FPS blockbusters like Dark Forces and even underrated games such as Rebellion, Lucasarts made it clear that they were — for the most part — on the right track. Sure, we had a few flops here and there, but you can’t hit the nail on the head every time, right?
But until Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic came about in 2003, this epic sci-fi niche was sorely lacking in the RPG department. Yet despite this being their first try on such a large scale, they knocked it out of the park. Sporting an incredible story, rich characters and complex relationships, it’s frankly too bad that its sequel wasn’t as impressive.
Of course, with only two stories in the series, gamers expected Lucasarts to go down the trilogy route. After all, KOTOR and even KOTOR 2 were well-loved. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to see it happen, as BioWare and EA decided to take KOTOR into a new direction as an MMO, crushing many of our dreams in the process.
However, not all is lost. The fact is that there’s nothing to stop Knights of the Old Republic 3 from being made. If anything, EA should see this as a massive money-making opportunity (which frankly should be enough motivation for them). But if we ever need to lay out some arguments, there are solid points to put forth.
5. SWTOR Was Disappointing
Don’t be mad, as this is just an opinion, but we can’t deny that Star Wars: The Old Republic didn’t live up to its hype, despite being one of the most expensive video games ever developed, at over $300 million.
Despite breaking a record for having over one million subscribers within three days of launching, it soon dwindled and has yet to jump to its former glory, despite several new expansion packs.
So what made Star Wars: The Old Republic so underwhelming for many gamers? Well, the biggest problem was its gameplay. Despite having an amazing story, interesting stylized graphics, a great soundtrack and good cinematics, all of this was overshadowed by the obsolete MMO fighting style. In a time where MMOs were trying to reinvigorate the standard “one click, one action” combat style with things like active combat and other innovations, SWTOR felt like World of Warcraft.
Compare that to the gameplay in Knights of the Old Republic, where you could pause the combat, select a series of moves, then sit back and watch it unfold, stopping to switch your strategy as needed. Obviously, an MMO can’t accommodate this…which is why it shouldn’t have been one in the first place.
4. We Have More Power
Yes, it was stated earlier that graphics and audio don’t save a game, but this still deserves a mention. A major criticism of Knights of the Old Republic 2 was the fact that it sounded and looked exactly the same, despite an increase in computing power since its predecessor.
There were also issues regarding sound limits. When KOTOR was first released, it contained some great music, but technical limitations at the time prevented the full-blown orchestral score that’s always been a staple for Star Wars.
Just imagine for a second seeing Bastila, Carth and other classic KOTOR or KOTOR 2 characters rendered in modern, PS4 and Xbox One graphics. The realism would be so immersive, not to mention we’d have greater options for character customization.
Again, graphics and sound do not a good game make, but they do a great job at complementing the content, when applicable.
3. Unanswered Questions
Nobody likes a plot gap, but it seems that fact went right over EA’s head when they made KOTOR 2. At the notoriously unsatisfying ending clip on the Light Side, we see the Ebon Hawk jump into hyperspace, its crew hoping to find Revan. Canonically, good triumphs over evil in this series, so what on Earth happens to our characters? Do they find Revan and embark on a journey to prevent yet another Sith uprising? Will they have a part to play in potentially shaping the events leading up to SWTOR?
There’s such a huge missed opportunity here that it’s frankly mind-boggling. It might be forgivable if KOTOR 2 was an independent story from its predecessor, but it wasn’t. It left on a cliffhanger, so it only makes sense to expect some sort of satisfying conclusion. To date, we don’t have one, but there’s nothing to stop that from changing.
2. There’s a Strong Chance It’ll Be Good
One thing EA and BioWare did was take the gameplay from Knights of the Old Republic and apply it to the first installment of their iconic series, Dragon Age, and it worked extremely well. Granted, the combat changed significantly after that, but it was arguably better than the original.
Either way, Dragon Age is a tried-and-true formula, so it shouldn’t be hard for its developers to transfer everything that made the franchise good — specifically the active combat introduced in Dragon Age 2 — and apply it to the final act of an epic sci-fi series.
Although EA has a reputation for dropping the ball, BioWare still seems to have remained consistent with its ability to tell a good story, even in SWTOR. If they can use that momentum to wrap things up in KOTOR 3, there’s a good chance we’ll be in for a treat.
For the first time, a new generation of gamers and a new generation of viewers collided with Star Wars in an unprecedented way, with many games bleeding into the expanded universe of books and comics (until it was greatly cut off at the knees in The Force Awakens, but let’s leave that for another time). Although the classic Star Wars game legacy attempts to live on in today’s era of DLC and lifelike graphics, these releases simply don’t carry the same appeal and charming simplicity of the late 20th and early 21st century. In fact, their tendency to fall flat makes many of us pre-Millenials [Click here to read more…]
1. It’s Just Plain Awesome
If we want to scrap all of the other arguments for creating Knights of the Old Republic 3, there’s still the undeniable fact that we’d love to see a new game for the sake of just having it. The KOTOR games were monumentally successful for all kinds of reasons. What’s the harm in reviving them? It might just generate interest for new gamers, leading them to examine the first two titles as well.
Final Thoughts on KOTOR 3
Despite the massive demand for a Knights of the Old Republic 3, it’s a game that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. EA and BioWare are apparently content with letting their lukewarm MMO take over to cover the future of the KOTOR series. While it’s nice to at least have something to work with, it’s sad that they passed up such a great opportunity. But for a company so profit-driven, monthly subscription fees will always be preferable to selling a standalone game that players only have to pay for once (with the occasional gauging of paid DLC). Maybe things will change, but odds are we’ll need new management.