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How Star Wars: KOTOR Remake Could Incorporate Action Elements

Editor’s Note: A lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard, developer and publisher of Diablo 2: Resurrected (mentioned in this article), by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges the company has engaged in abuse, discrimination, and retaliation against its female employees. Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. The full details of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit (content warning: rape, suicide, abuse, harassment) are being updated as new information becomes available.

The upcoming Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Remake could benefit from replacing the original's turn-based, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired combat system for a more approachable, action-oriented one. There are numerous recent titles developer Aspyr Media could draw from, including Star Wars' own Jedi: Fallen Order.

The full extent of what Star Wars: KOTOR - Remake is changing is unknown. Besides improved graphical fidelity, it could very well tweak the original's story and perhaps add extra length to the game. However, one of the best ways Aspyr could bring in new players would be to update the combat. In the original KOTOR, attacks and abilities are selected in a menu, sending them into a small queue at the bottom of the screen. While combat can be paused at any time, the queue makes changing actions on the fly cumbersome. New players will likely expect a more streamlined system.

Related: Star Wars: KOTOR Remake Can Fix The Original's First Mistake

A recent and particularly relevant example of engaging third-person combat is Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Its fast lightsaber combat and Uncharted-like environmental traversal would fit particularly well in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Remake; many Star Wars games don't get lightsaber combat right, but Jedi: Fallen Order managed to make its lightsabers move smoothly, without feeling clunky or with routine animations. The focus is also less on whittling down enemy health bars (apart from tougher combatants) than timing strikes well to take them out quickly. Its Force powers are handled well, too, with different abilities simply assigned to controller face and shoulder buttons.

The prospect of mapping all of KOTOR's various attacks and abilities to the buttons on a controller for real-time combat is daunting, but it's possible. Players could simply assign their favored moves to the face buttons or shoulder buttons themselves, customizing their moveset as part of their RPG character build. Alternatively, in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Square Enix opted for a hybrid of the original game's turn-based combat and the action-oriented system of Kingdom Hearts, allowing players to select magic abilities from a menu as combat is put into slow motion but also giving them access to simple light and heavy melee attacks. The KOTOR remake could borrow this from FF7 Remake, giving the game a more active feel.

A more modern combat system would be a welcome addition to the beloved classic, but veteran players could be catered to as well. Many remakes have included a multitude of options to let players adjust the experience between the original and the new version. For instance, Diablo 2: Resurrected will provide a toggle between old and modern graphics and includes a number of quality-of-life improvements that should allow players to choose their personal favorite mixture of old and new. Hopefully, Aspyr will include something akin to this in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Remake, though entirely separate modern and retro combat styles may be too much to ask.

Next: KOTOR Remake Should Let Players Continue After Credits

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Remake will launch for PC and PS5 on an unspecified date.

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