Bioware's original Knight's of the Old Republic
(KOTOR) was a smash hit on both the XBox and PC when it launched back in 2003. Anxious to mint fresh cash from its Star Wars
IP, LucasArts commissioned the second title: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
Obsidian Entertainment was tapped for the task and given just a year to develop a sequel to what was considered one of the best (if not the best) games of 2003. KOTOR II began promisingly; early stages of the game offered at least as much immersion and character development as the original. As players progressed, however, the unfinished nature of the product became increasingly apparent. KOTOR II doesn't reach a climatic finale so much as it just stops.
I'm not happy, Bob. Not. Happy.
That cheesed some Star Wars
fans off. Once modders realized that Obsidian had actually shipped a tremendous amount of half-completed content, characters, storylines, and even revisions to the game's ending, the chase was on to bring these goodies back into the game and "restore" KOTOR II to what its designers originally envisioned. Nine times out of 10, these ambitious mod projects go nowhere, but KOTOR II is an exception. As of a week ago, the Restoration Content Mod (maintained and headed by DeadlyStream forum member Stoney) entered open beta.
Ars Technica has details on the mod's full contents, but this is no dialog tree update with a few animations tossed in; the changes introduced into the game are themselves significant. On a related note, the Restoration Content Mod is not the same thing as the Sith Lords Restoration Project
that's headquartered over at Team-Gizka
. That particular mod is still under development (the team lead has sworn to finish it, though he gives no time frame). Team-Gizka's restoration is rumored to be even more complete than the open beta of RCM that's now available—hopefully gamers will have the chance to download both flavors and compare them. KOTOR II was a good game that could've been great—hopefully the RCM pushes the title over the wall.