It's finally happening, Knights of the Old Republic is finally getting an official remake. The team behind the game's various ports to modern PCs and various mobile platforms has been confirmed to be working on a brand-new version of the game with updated visuals and, hopefully, features too. KOTOR is one of the all-time classics of RPG history and is also generally considered to be one of the best Star Wars games of all time. So if they're updating the game, what exactly will that entail? Below are just some of the things that we would love to see come out of this new version.
Add Action, But Don't Lose RPG
There have been a fair few rumors floating around about the KOTOR remake since it was officially confirmed, and one of them is that the game is apparently going to see some pretty big fundamental changes to the gameplay. It makes sense in a lot of ways. The game industry is a different place from what it once was, and since the game was initially released, millions more people are actively playing video games. Having a more modern style of gameplay with an action focus is a great way of making the game more accessible to these new gamers.
However, I think it would be a mistake to completely change the way that the game works. The system used by KOTOR was pretty unique. If you don't know, each time you get into combat, the game automatically pauses. You can then cycle through your party, pre-selecting actions that they'll then automatically perform. While this style of gameplay meant that your direct control on events was a little loose, it also gave the player the opportunity to approach each challenge carefully and thoughtfully.
Considering how well Aspyr know the game—they've been porting it for god-knows how long, after all—it shouldn't be too difficult to work the methodical gameplay alongside the action gameplay. Giving players who have fond memories of the original a mode that perfectly emulates the original style seems like a no-brainer. That way, sad gits like myself that abhor any sort of change can still get the same experience, then play through the game again with more action-oriented gameplay and discover what they've been missing without having to throw up a rant on Twitter about how everything has been ruined.
Some New KOTOR Content
While it's clear that almost any amount of change is liable to upset the game's fans, seeing some new content in KOTOR would be a dream for many. Many fans of the game have almost certainly replayed the game over and over again since we never got a chance to play the canceled third game in the series. Of course, there's also the fact that KOTOR II was only ported to mobile platforms last year which hasn't helped. The point is, that a lot of the game's hardcore fans know these games in and out at this stage.
With a new version of the game, we're given the chance to expand on the game's already considerable universe. We know of at least one planet that was cut from KOTOR pretty early on in production, that was later restored by fan-made mods. It would be great to see this sort of thing brought back into the game with a professional development team behind it. Plus, there are various other famous planets from the Star Wars canon that were never in the game which could make for some interesting new adventures.
For The Love Of God, Do Something About Pazaak
As is the case with many RPGs, KOTOR features a few different mini-games scattered throughout the storyline. A few of them, such as the swoop-racing game, should be pretty easy to translate into modern graphics and controls without losing too much in translation. There's also a turret game that sometimes happens as you fly between planets, which could probably stand to be adjusted to make it more engaging, but the biggest target in the crosshair of updating really needs to be that sodding card game: Pazaak.
While there are probably some people out there that probably enjoyed it, Pazaak is a complete mess of a game that most consider a boring chore at best, and a total friggin' nightmare at worst. In a round of Pazaak, each player has two decks and has to use their cards to add up to a total of 20, or as close to it as possible. It's basically Star Wars blackjack (21 if you know what you're talking about) but without the good graces to have illustrated cards to at least try and keep things interesting. All of this dullness is made even worse by the fact that the game seems to go out of its way to cheat the player at every turn.
If you're a fan of the game, you'd probably be upset if it's removed, but at the very least, can we have two games in the cantinas that dot the universe? Considering that this is the universe that gave us Dejarik (holo-monster chess), it seems completely baffling that the only option for bar-side entertainment is watching the same dance over and over again or playing "math: the card game." For the love of all that is good, can we get a more dynamic and interesting side game to gamble over? I'll even settle for space checkers if it means I don't have to pretend I care whenever I pick up a +1 Pazaak card from a dead thug.
So, there you have it. Some of the things that we'd like to see when the KOTOR remake finally drops. With any luck, our memories aren't playing tricks on us, and when the game does release, it'll be just as popular and fun to play as it ever was.
What do you think about the upcoming KOTOR remake? Are there any changes or extras you'd like to see in the game when it comes out? Let us know in the comments below.