Bad things happened in KOTOR, but your rag-tag bunch of space drop-outs and rogues always made it seem like a pretty jolly adventure - dark-side inclinations aside. What's more is that while you were falling back to inject yourself with some adrenal stimulant or plotting a nifty Force Kill, you always knew that you had two other jedis (unless you were mad and took Mission and Zaalbar) to rely on for healing and battle heroics.
No more! No longer! You're the last known jedi in the universe, you're all alone and you're almost dead. In addition, you've lost your memory, you won't be given a lightsaber until you're hours into the game, and pretty much everywhere you go you're relentlessly hunted by an insidious enemy. KOTOR 2 is dark, and specifically designed to make you feel mistrustful, uneasy and continually endangered - it's been said many times before, but this is KOTOR's Empire Strikes Back.
Not much has been changed bar a few (fairly considerable) engine tweaks and an upgraded system that means you can switch attack patterns without delving deep into menu screens. However, perhaps the biggest change will come in the depth and complexity that can be found in your interactions with the world around you. It's promised that this time around, your decisions will have far greater impact, will invariably be more gut-wrenching and should swing the opinions of your party to an extent that's likely to impact on your gameplay much more than they did before.
Aside from Carth's grumbling and Bastila's haughtiness, you knew you could invariably count on your sidekicks in the original game. This time round though, they've got their own agendas and are far more likely to act in self-serving ways and prompt disharmony in your ranks. Among the malcontents are a wise old woman with one hand, a sultry handmaiden, a technical fellow with a home-made repair droid and the re-appearing and perennially plucky security-breaking bot T3-M4. HK47 also turns up, although primarily sitting in a heap in the Ebon Hawk's cargo hold dishing out droll 'statements' until he's restored enough to tell you what terrible fate befell the ship's previous inhabitants.
Location-wise, you'll be revisiting Dantooine and Korriban (where you previously discovered the rival schools of the Jedi and Sith academies), Telos (the home planet of Carth Onasi), the Mining Planet of Onderon and its moon Dxum and the Mandalorian World (Boo! Hiss!) of Malachor V.
It'll be a strong PC gamer who manages to block out all the info from the Xbox release, but all the signs are pointing towards The Sith Lords being an RPG classic. It's a star-studded roster at Obsidian and we've every faith that when you're reunited with your lightsaber, you'll be taken on an action-packed journey that you'll probably end up telling your grandchildren about...