I'm Glad the KOTOR Remake Didn't Happen Sooner

Rebuilding from the ground up

Key Takeaways

  • Originally released in 2003, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has garnered a lot of love from fans of Star Wars and role-playing games alike.
  • Despite its success and beloved status, almost 20 years have passed without a remake or remaster.
  • While the developers could have done a graphical remaster, waiting to do a full remake ultimately will give them more room to improve the new release.
Jedi characters fighting in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

BioWare

It’s been almost 20 years since the release of the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) role-playing game. While the title was extremely successful and beloved by the Star Wars community, I’m glad they waited so long to do a proper remake.

I can still remember the first time I booted up KOTOR and dove into the story BioWare created. It was a fantastical time, and one that brought me even closer to a world I’d grown to adore thanks to movies and other video games of the time. But it was also the first time such a deep look had been given to that universe. The first time I truly felt I could do something to impact that world. I expect many others felt similarly in this situation, and that over the years, KOTOR has meant a lot to many out there who call RPGs home. 

Despite all the love that I have for the game—and all the times I’ve dreamed of a remake—I’m glad it has taken as long as it has. Sure, having to play a clunky and outdated version isn’t the greatest, but the fact that the original hasn’t aged well also means we’re less likely to receive a lazy remake that leaves both long-time and new fans wishing it hadn’t happened.

Right Place, Right Time

With almost 20 years behind it now, KOTOR is perhaps one of the most beloved RPGs available. However, in its current state, the game plays very clunkily compared to more modern RPGs. The graphics also just don’t hold up well, and neither does the general gameplay. This makes it extremely difficult to replay or to recommend to RPG lovers who might want to experience its story. 

characters talking in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

BioWare

Now that Star Wars has managed to gain a foothold in gaming again—thanks to games like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order—and with the latest Star Wars films and television shows helping to stoke the fire, now is the perfect time for people to experience the classic Star Wars RPG in a new light. Had they tried to remake KOTOR before, when Star Wars’ hold on the gaming world only was tied to the minuscule success of Electronic Arts’ Battlefront reboots, it may not have gone as well.

There’s also the success of BioWare’s massive multiplayer RPG (MMORPG), Star Wars: The Old Republic to take into account as well. The story from KOTOR has always played a large part in some of the campaigns found within that game, and there are likely a lot of players who still haven’t experienced that story themselves just yet. 

Remake or Remaster

Remakes have become more and more common in recent years, especially as developers work to bring classic games to newer generations. We’ve seen remakes of beloved classics like Grim Fandango and Resident Evil 2, as well as remakes of less adored games. However, remakes often tend to steer in one of a few directions. 

Fans either end up with a solid remake that blends changes to both gameplay and graphics, or they end up with a remake that only offers some graphical changes like HD textures. Usually, these secondary types of remakes are referred to as remasters by most people,but that isn’t always the case, and sometimes developers consider them remakes because of other small changes everyday players may not pick up on.

While remasters definitely have a place in the gaming world, remakes are one of the best ways to bring a classic title to a new generation. By waiting so long to create a remake of KOTOR, the developers don't have much of a choice. The combat and gameplay are just too clunky to throw another layer of paint on and ship it out the door. This classic needs a complete reworking from the ground up.

Sure, it’s taken longer than a lot of us probably wanted, but there’s never been a better time for someone to remake Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic than right now.

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