KOTOR remake PS5 release date, trailer, and story for the Star Wars RPG
Knights of the Old Republic is coming back.
The ancient Sith Lord Darth Revan returns in a remake of the best Star Wars video game ever made: Knights of the Old Republic. Sony graciously granted fans an early look at the character’s iconic Mandalorian helmet in the announcement trailer.
The story takes place roughly 4,000 years before the original Star Wars trilogy, during a very different Galactic Civil War. Will it count as Star Wars canon, or be relegated to the “Legends” of old? When will it be released?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Knights of the Old Republic remake.
Is there a KOTOR — Remake trailer?
Yes! But it’s barely more than a teaser.
Sony confirmed and revealed the remake in a minute-long trailer during the PlayStation Showcase 2021 held in September. It’s mostly smoke and shadows until a hooded figure ignites a red lightsaber. The figure whips the blade up to their face, and it illuminates Darth Revan’s helmet.
“Peace is a lie,” a female voice says over the scene. “That is what the Sith believe. They promise power. Now, they wield it. We face the greatest Sith in generations. They must be stopped.”
For fans of the original, they no doubt recognize that this is the voice of Bastila Shan. Actress Jennifer Hale voiced Bastila Shan, a unique talented Jedi who wields a yellow lightsaber, in the original game. She’s one of the major characters in the story and a close companion to the game’s protagonist. Darth Revan, of course, is the aforementioned “greatest Sith in generations.”
When is the KOTOR — Remake release date?
The reveal trailer did not indicate even a release window. It sure seems like it’ll be several years before the game is released.
In a PS Blog post, Lead Producer Ryan Treadwell says that the team is “still early in development” but also told StarWars.com that development has been active “for a little while.”
In a press release, the developer’s co-founder Ted Staloch said, “We’ve spent the past several years assembling the very best talent from across the industry to deliver a modern vision of this timeless Star Wars legend.” That corroborates that they’re early in development, but the project has been in the pre-production phase for quite some time.
said Aspyr co-founder Ted Staloch. “As lifelong Star Wars fans with extensive experience working with many of its best games, we have the deepest love and admiration for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and cannot wait to share this amazing remake with the rest of the galaxy.”
Who is the KOTOR — Remake developer?
Aspyr, a development studio that has previously specialized in producing ports for various games (including the original KOTOR), is producing the remake. A StarWars.com post describes Aspyr as a “Texas-based studio that has collaborated with Lucasfilm on various projects for over a decade, including a recent spate of well-received re-releases from the LucasArts era.” It also notes that most of the people working on the remake are “triple-A RPG developers.”
“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is a creative collaborator in the project, working closely on development with Aspyr and Lucasfilm Games, particularly on how to take full advantage of its newest, cutting-edge platform,” the post also notes. This gives the team special access to Sony’s technology.
A PS Blog post about the game notes that some members of the original KOTOR development team are on the project, but Treadwell lists quite a pedigree of talent in this lengthy quote on StarWars.com:
“We’ve assembled a prolific group of some of gaming’s top RPG developers, including those with direct experience working on Star Wars games and video game remakes. Many of us previously worked at BioWare, with credits going back to the original KOTOR. To further bolster that, we’ve added some amazing developers from games like Demon’s Souls Remake and Ghost of Tsushima. And our narrative team is fantastic, with years of storytelling experience across Star Wars games and comics. We also have Jason Minor and Brad Prince on the team, whose experience with the world, characters, and creatures of this universe is invaluable. And I’m excited to partner once again with Matt Berner, our lead gameplay designer. We worked together on Dragon Age: Inquisition, and we immediately fell back into our old rhythm.”
The original KOTOR was one of the games that put BioWare on the map, and its mechanics and approach to storytelling informed the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises. So for developers with experience on those more modern games to be involved is a good sign that the final product will work really well.
What is the KOTOR — Remake scope?
In an industry where full-on remakes like Demon’s Souls are released within a year of remasters like Mass Effect Legendary Edition — and Battletoads was rebooted in 2020 — it can be challenging to wrap your head around the scope of a project like this. Sure, “Remake” is right there in the name, but what is KOTOR — Remake going for? A faithful, updated remake with modern graphics? Or will the experience evolve?
“We’re rebuilding it from the ground up with the latest tech to match the groundbreaking standard of innovation established by the original, all while staying true to its revered story,” Lead Producer Ryan Treadwell wrote on a PS Blog. “We’re rebuilding one of the greatest RPGs of all time for a new generation with modern tech, features, visuals, and more while maintaining the integrity of the story and characters that we’ve come to cherish.”
Orion Kellogg from LucasFilm Games calls it “a cutting-edge experience,” which is a good indication that this will be a very next-gen game.
Expect something more on par with the Demon’s Souls remake — or even more thorough. Core gameplay systems probably won’t change, but everything else will be updated for the modern era.
What are the KOTOR — Remake platforms?
Lead Producer Ryan Treadwell confirmed in a PS Blog post that KOTOR — Remake will be “a console exclusive on PlayStation 5 at launch.” But it’s also being actively developed for PC. The specific language here does suggest that it’s a timed exclusive, so it’s possible that we’ll see ports of the game hit Xbox at some point in the future.
What is the KOTOR — Remake story?
A StarWars.com post offers the best summation of the game’s story:
KOTOR, which is part of Legends storytelling, dials the Star Wars clock back to over 4,000 years before the Skywalker saga. The Galactic Republic is at its height and has just been through a major war. Jedi are plentiful, but so are the Sith, and the evil Darth Malak leads a growing legion of dark warriors. Players will go on an epic adventure and, along the way, visit different worlds, amass a party of memorable beings, and uncover their own mysterious past.
Story spoilers for KOTOR follow.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic focuses on a Jedi turned Sith turned whatever-you-want who lived about 4,000 years before the events of the core Star Wars movie trilogies. It plays similarly to BioWare’s older Dragon Age games except in the ancient times of Star Wars. Instead of magic, you build up your skills with the Force and choose to follow either the Dark or Light Side.
The cast of characters is as interesting and varied as any Star Wars story, but the sprawling scope and depth to the narrative are only made better by dialogue trees that allow you to influence so much of the story. It was an engaging model that went on to become a key facet of many future BioWare games, including the Mass Effect trilogy.
Who is Darth Revan?
In many ways, Revan is a bit of a blank slate as the protagonist of KOTOR, but his rich, complex history in the extended universe of Star Wars has made him a fan favorite. Like Anakin Skywalker, he was something of a Lancelot-type figure within the Jedi Order, lauded as a hero and champion who fell to darkness.
“Revan’s is a heroic tale of succumbing to the dark side,” Lead Producer Ryan Treadwell told StarWars.com. “It is a deep and impactful story that has a ton of depth and interest.”
In the non-canon KOTOR continuity, he rebelled against the Jedi Council to join a war against Mandalore to bring peace to the galaxy. But after committing his fair share of atrocities, he fell to the Dark Side. Eventually, the Jedi Master Bastila Shan was able to subdue Revan, wipe his memory, and provide him with the fresh start he needed to become the player surrogate in KOTOR. He’s got some further storylines in the Star Wars: The Old Republic massively multiplayer online game, but
A Knights of the Old Republic remake is currently in development.
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