Makes great improvements from its predecessor and overall a classic title but a few minor faults set it back a few
I don't have any gripes with how similar KOTORII is to KOTOR. The only downsides are the graphics, which look outdated and the clunky framerate, which appear worse than the first. Despite these, the load times remain yawningly slow too.
There are some new technical shortcomings as well. Due to time constraints, KOTORII was rushed and huge game content had to be cut or shortened, which impacted the game significantly with lost sidequests and background story.
To offset all those faults are new gameplay elements, which further improve on what I thought KOTOR could've used. The most important is the "Influence" system, where the protagonist's actions impact his or her teammate's and turn them to the light or dark side depending on which path is taken. The companions' appearances change to suit their respective alignment as well.
Appearances aren't the only things to change. Depending how the players plays, certain party members can be trained to become Jedi (or Sith). There are more options to give to party members, which is what sorely lacked in the first. The level cap has been bumped to 50 from 20 and there is a plethora of new weapons, items, abilities and Force Powers including Force Forms, passive support skills and Lightsaber Forms, different methods of fighting with the glow stick.
What remains the same is the dialogue-driven story telling. Players continue to unlock more of the mysterious albeit confusing plot through speaking with their party members, who, apart from three returning members, are a totally different cast. While still interesting, the majority of them are a grim bunch. There won't be a lot to laugh about speaking with them unless it's HK-47.
Sidequests remain aplenty and even Pazzak has improved slightly however there's less focus on Swoop Racing. A few planets from the original make a return and the voice acting and sound remain topnotch.
What really impressed me apart from the advancements in gameplay is the take on the morality system. KOTOR portrayed the stereotypical light side and dark side traits but KOTORII attempted to explain a more neutral aspect to it although not as clearly as many players would know. It definitely is a great way to add more depth in the Star Wars universe especially since the mainstream media has shown pretty much just either side.
KOTORII would've been my pick for the best game of its generation had it not been for a few lingering glitches and faults but otherwise it's definitely a top ten title and arguably better than its predecessor.