Revan’s journey in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remains, nearly two decades later, one of the most iconic Star Wars stories out there. Many consider it among the best in BioWare’s catalog, with KOTOR 3 rumors still appearing off and on every few months or so. If not that, then many have been hoping for a remake of the first game.
When Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake was announced last September, those fans applauded. Not much was shown outside a short CGI clip, as well as the confirmation of Aspyr as its developer. Still, nothing else has been said since then, and it’s likely to be awhile before it’s done too. The hype has lasted for some time, but with recent developments from Aspyr, it’s worth questioning if it is indeed the best hands for the title.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake – Causes for Concern
Some fans have shared concerns over the KOTOR Remake since the initial announcement, but recent events make it even more worrisome. Aspyr got its start porting games to Mac, and over time, became known as a porting developer. It has released original IP before like Stubbs the Zombie and remasters, but ports have always been its bread and butter. It has ported a ton of Star Wars games, including recently The Force Unleashed and KOTOR 2 to Switch.
The problem is that neither of its latest games is a great port. The first one does not translate well to the Switch and is something that, perhaps, the world didn’t need, but KOTOR 2 is a different story. It translates well to the Switch when it does work, but Knights of the Old Republic 2 has tons of bugs, including one big game-breaking one. It was released in an unbeatable state, and so this isn’t exactly a vote of confidence.
Beyond that, Aspyr has never made anything to the level of a Knights of the Old Republic Remake. It’s worth noting if there are KOTOR Remake combat changes or anything like that remains to be seen, but a remake has to do a lot of work from the ground up, rewrite or revise certain elements, and all of that to really be a remade with high detail. If nothing else, all of that goes doubly so for such a high-profile project. It’s bold, and it’s a proving ground for Aspyr—that’s a good thing—but that’s also a concern.
History isn’t necessarily on its side either. If looking at Aspyr’s profile page on Metacritic (as seen above), there are a few pauses worth making. Its history has only ever resulted in one game reviewed higher than a 90+ average, and out of 77 titles on Metacritic, only 13 of its ports have an average higher than 80. Four of these are its various ports of Civilization 6. Ultimately, its average on Metacritic is 68—games in the 70s are not bad. A KOTOR Remake in the 70s could be lackluster though, given the love and attention paid to the original by fans.
It should be noted that Aspyr may very well be the developer best suited for the subject material—it knows Star Wars games after years of repeated exposure—but the sheer technical need for such a remake is a big question.
Aspyr May Be a Gamble Worth Taking With the KOTOR Remake
With the return of Lucasfilm Games, several new titles have been announced across a cacophony of game studios, and it’s clear that Lucasfilm and Disney are quite picky. The House of Mouse only trusted Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment with a still undisclosed open-world Star Wars RPG after seeing Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, which has been largely impressive so far. Fans should wait for its release for a final judgment, but it must also mean that Aspyr has to have impressed the higher-ups with something. That’s a point for it.
Furthermore, Aspyr is bigger and stronger than ever (even if it released a broken Knights of the Old Republic 2 port). Aspyr was acquired by Embracer Group in February 2021, providing it with more resources for the necessary legwork of a full-blown remake. It cannot be a coincidence, notably, that the KOTOR Remake was announced just months after this, and it is still years away. Early announcements are a double-edged sword, but with this happening, Aspyr must take all the time it needs.
Indeed, Aspyr knows it has something to prove. The KOTOR Remake is the biggest project it has ever undertaken, and it’s likely to have a huge impact on its reputation. If Aspyr fails, then fans may never trust it with other Star Wars projects. Companies do, but that loss of faith would be incredibly damaging. If it succeeds, Aspyr could catapult to a high-quality port and remake developer akin to Bluepoint Games. It has that possibility. It’s the underdog here, but people love an underdog. It has to prove a lot of naysayers wrong, which can be a good motivator.
There are reasons to be concerned about the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake. This is true. But there are also reasons to be hopeful, and until Aspyr shows more about it, cautious optimism may be the best thing for Star Wars fans.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake is in development for PC and PS5.
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