Have you ever played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic? Oh, I shouldn’t probably ask. Of course you did. Wait, you didn’t? How did you miss that? Alright, alright. I understand. It’s been a long time. Let me introduce you then.
Knights of the Old Republic (or KOTOR for short) was a RPG published in 2003 by Bioware. Aside from being a nice game to play, with interesting characters, quests, and system reminiscent of Dungeons and Dragons, it had the most fantastic story. I am not exaggerating if I say that it had one of the best stories among all the games out there (that was written by Drew Karpyshyn, the author of the novels about Darth Bane, for example). It very successful and later a sequel was made, and then the whole, currently running, MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic is kind of a spinoff of that as well.
You can still get the game and play it if you haven’t. The only thing that might disappoint a current player is, of course, the graphics. They are from 2003, after all. But the team centered around Poem Studios, an indie group of programmers and gamers, has decided to give KOTOR a new, shiny coat, under the project name “Apeiron”.
Using Unreal Engine 4, the team, ably aided by fans and volunteers, has started its journey to remake the game in terms of graphics and overall gameplay. For instance, one new feature Apeiron promised is the ability to switch between third- and first-person view, something the old KOTOR didn’t allow. They are also supposedly aiming at adding some new content.
The game, once completed, will be free – since this is a fan-based project – but you will have to own the original KOTOR to be able to play it (since the project uses sounds and music from the game, for example). That is also a way for the project to stay legal.
The project is still underway and based only on volunteers’ initiative, but already making fairly good progress (see the screenshots). They are not taking money donations for the time being, but always looking for more people to help – which means, even you might lend your skills. At this moment, they are calling chiefly for animators and character builders. Static environment is currently the main focus, as the screenshots testify.
Like all indie creations, the journey of Apeiron towards its completion won’t surely be easy. But I have high hopes for it, not just because it is a reboot of one of the best RPGs out there, but because such an endeavor deserves to be finished and appreciated.