Before Disney bought the Star Wars IP and cut nearly everything that wasn’t the main film series out of the canon, there were tons of expanded Star Wars universe games, books, and shows that were technically all canon. Some games obviously attempted to retell the stories from the films, while others tried to fill in gaps between them. When BioWare got the chance to make a Star Wars game, they decided to set it where they had the most creative freedom possible: The distant past.
Knights of the Old Republic was originally released on PC and Xbox in 2003. Taking the experience BioWare had for writing deep, complex, and layered RPG stories and mixing it with the setting of the Star Wars universe, this original tale of hunting down Darth Revan became an instant classic. Even nearly two decades later, many consider it to be one of the best Star Wars stories ever told, films included. However, two decades will make even the best game show its age, which was why rumors about a Knights of the Old Republic remake were so exciting. Thankfully, those rumors turned out to be true. We’ve only got a short teaser and some articles for information so far, but here’s everything we know about the Knights of the Old Republic remake.
Neither the teaser nor any following details about the Knights of the Old Republic remake gave us a release date or even a window. However, the lead producer on the game, Ryan Readwell, is quoted as saying that development on the game has been active “for a little while.” That is hardly a concrete measurement, and game development takes a very long time in the best cases anyway. Based on that, plus the fact that the only footage of the game they had to show was a very brief CGI trailer, we think this game is at least a year away, if not more. It all depends on just how substantial of a remake it is.
As one of the reveals at the PlayStation showcase in September, we knew there would be some kind of exclusivity deal with this game from the start. Looking at the details given in the official PlayStation blog after the conference, it was confirmed that the Knights of the Old Republic remake will be coming to PC as well as be a PlayStation 5 console exclusive at launch. Apparently, Sony Interactive Entertainment is even helping out the team at Aspyr to fully utilize the PS5 hardware.
The wording there does indicate that the game will come to other consoles later on once the exclusivity deal ends, but for now, we have no idea how long that will be. Deals like that can range from six months to multiple years, so it’s hard to say when Xbox fans will see Knights of the Old Republic back on their systems.
The only trailer we have so far is barely a minute long and fully CGI with no gameplay. We open with narration from the familiar voice of Bastila Shan, once again played by Jennifer Hale, describing the Sith ideology as a cloaked figure walks through the mist. They fire up their red lightsaber as Bastila remarks that they “face the greatest Sith in generations,” and the iconic mask of Revan is lit up by the glowing blade. The trailer ends with the line, “They must be stopped.”
Being a remake, the story of Knights of the Old Republic is already well-known and won’t be touched. Or, rather, it shouldn’t be touched much if Aspyr knows what’s good for them. The tale of Darth Revan and Darth Malak, the Sith and Jedi war, and your custom character’s journey through it all are considered near-perfect to fans. Having Jennifer Hale return as Bastila was a great way to indicate that they intend to honor the original, and Treadwell stated, “I do think that you’re going to see some other familiar voices return, but that’s probably as deep as we’re gonna go on that one right now.” He also wants to incorporate “modern tech, features, visuals, and more while maintaining the integrity of the story and characters that we’ve come to cherish.”
All of that sounds like fans won’t have to worry about much meddling with Knights of the Old Republic’s story.
If there’s one thing that most people could agree with, except for die-hard fans, it’s that Knights of the Old Republic could certainly use some updating in the gameplay department. The original used a sort of turn-based system that translated the D20 system of Dungeons and Dragons into RPG mechanics. While we do still want this to be an RPG at heart, the moment-to-moment action probably will be overhauled to some extent. Whether or not it will remain turn-based is up in the air — it could work either way, but we doubt it will still follow the D20 systems so closely. At the very least, they will display it in a way that casual gamers not familiar with pen-and-paper RPGs will be able to grasp.
The same is likely true for the menus, which were kind of a mess. Items were disorganized; equipping and managing weapons, armor, and other items on all your characters was a chore; and even tracking quests was a pain. These are easy quality-of-life improvements that Aspyr can make that will easily make Knights of the Old Republic feel more modern.
Maybe the most important part, though, is the actual role-playing. Knights of the Old Republic offered way more dialogue options, meaningful choices, and dynamic quests than most games today. Even BioWare streamlined their games over time to only offer a few lines to choose from and didn’t even write them out. In order to really understand what you’re saying, especially since your main character wasn’t voiced, having the full line written out was essential. But for all we know, your character will be voiced in this remake.
Orion Kellogg, executive producer at Lucasfilm Games, again tries to ease potential concerns:
“We’ve been working really, really closely with Aspyr for a long time now to deconstruct what made KOTOR so great and bring that back to new audiences because we want this game to be an incredible RPG. We want this game to be just as beloved as it was before. Some of my favorite meetings to have in my week right now are to get into the nitty-gritty with Aspyr and talk about, ‘Why did we make that choice in the original game, and how does that play today? How do we expand that choice and make it even more meaningful and impactful?’ We think about, literally, every word of dialogue and [other choices] down to the clothes that the character is wearing.”
Finally, Aspyr does seem like the best team to know how best to take Knights of the Old Republic and improve it while keeping what made it so special intact. They have already ported the original game, so they are quite familiar with working with the game’s code already.
If this is a true remake, there will be no form of multiplayer whatsoever. Based on what the developers have been saying about trying to remain as true to the original as possible, adding in something like multiplayer would be a major departure that would go against everything said so far.
Knights of the Old Republic never had any DLC, though it did eventually get a sequel. A project of this scope, at least to us, doesn’t seem like one they’d want to add any DLC to, but maybe go on to either remake the sequel itself, which needs it way more than the original, or move on to make a new game in this style. For now, they haven’t said there are plans for DLC, so we will just wait on news before jumping to any conclusions.
This galactic adventure won’t be here any time soon, so pre-orders are certainly not in the cards. If our estimates are right, we have plenty of time to wait before a date is given. Once the Knights of the Old Republic remake is on the horizon and pre-order details are up, we’ll have all the information on where and how you can reserve your copy right here.