02/02/2016

KotFE Chapter by Chapter - Chapter 3: Outlander

Time to continue my detailed discussion of Knights of the Fallen Empire's individual chapters! Unsurprisingly, this post will contain spoilers for the chapter in the title and may contain spoilers for previous chapters as well.



You awake from your carbonite-induced dreams, blinded and in pain, just to immediately get injected with something to counter the carbonite poisoning... by a very different looking Lana Beniko, who managed to stop her nose from looking perpetually runny and looks like she about quadrupled the amount of muscle in her body. It feels only appropriate that one of the options is to say that you don't recognise her, though I suspect the main reason it's there is that a player jumping into the game at level 60 really wouldn't know her.

She briefly re-introduces herself if necessary, as well as astromech droid T7-01, formerly a companion of the Jedi knight and now also part of this rescue mission, though he mainly stays in the background to hack into things and manipulate various systems for you. Lana confirms that at least the part of your dream about Arcann ruling the galaxy now is true and that you better run for your lives... now. She becomes your companion from here on out, which I'm sure pleased a lot of people who romanced her in Forged Alliances and Shadow of Revan.

You fight your way through corridors with doors closing off escape routes and stuff randomly exploding while skytroopers keep attacking you. As you get stalled by a heavy door, Lana gets contacted by her pilot waiting outside, Koth Vortena, who gets a brief introduction. Through a security camera you see Vaylin, who is revealed to hold the rank of "High Justice", being informed of your escape, then taking her anger out on the messenger and clearly sensing your location through the Force. Lana emphasises that you're not ready to face her as your character is still very weak from the carbonite poisoning.

Lana summons up the strength to temporarily open the heavy door with the Force so you can both run through. You fight more skytroopers, but just as you seem to be approaching an exit, Koth radios you that he's under fire and can't meet you yet. He advises you to continue to another tower. Vaylin is shown ripping the door to pieces that Lana could barely open, adding a sense of urgency.

You ride a nice and clean elevator downwards, which makes for a somewhat amusing image as Lana and your character stare at each other awkwardly while doing so. After some more fighting (so many skytroopers...) you manage to make your way across a bridge into another building. Vaylin arrives just in time to see you disappear into it and decides to unleash her inner psycho by using the Force to grab bits of a nearby "sun reactor" and smash it into the building... which turns out to be a skytrooper factory by the way. (In case you hadn't noticed by this point, they are all droids, not people.) Guess what? The factory contains even more of them!


Inside the building you see people panicking about the damaged reactor growing increasingly unstable and Lana encourages you to get the hell out of dodge. Koth however, who has been staying in touch via comms and has been revealed to be a native Zakuulan, insists that you still have time to shut the reactor down and potentially save thousands of civilians. So... your choice! You can follow Lana's advice and piss off Koth with your selfishness. Or you can stay to shut down the reactor and have Lana yell at you the entire time about how you're insane (though you eventually succeed), showing early on that it will be impossible to please all of your new companions at the same time.

Eventually you finally reach a potential extraction point, just as the sun begins to set. However, Koth contacts you to say that he's run into a "maintenance issue" - while you see his shuttle having crashed behind him. (Humour created by cinematic storytelling letting you see the discrepancy between what's actually going on and what your character is being told!) Enemies approach from all sides but he gets out his blaster rifle, eyes an enemy shuttle parked closeby and assures you that he'll just need three more minutes.

You run across some maintenance catwalks, fighting off more skytroopers (yawn...) until you run into two Knights of Zakuul that want to arrest you. Finally a different type of opponent! Lana explains that they are "a policing body under Vaylin's charge", consisting of Force sensitives. You beat them up until one of them, Novo, decides to run for it. Lana has Tanek, the other one, in her grip and is about to kill him, though you can stop her.

After the fight, Vaylin catches up with you, but just before she can get to you, Koth's new ship rises up from below in a heroic rescue shot and shoots at her above your heads. She deflects the shots with a piece of catwalk that she rips up with the Force, but the distraction gives you enough time to escape. Vaylin throws her "shield" at the ship though and damages it.


Your character gets pulled inside by HK-55, Koth's droid and you make your escape, with the ship flying off into the sunset. Vaylin is shown reporting to Arcann that you got away, and he is still keen to have you found. If you allowed Tanek to live, Vaylin strangles him for his failure.

Conclusion

After the introspection of chapter two, it's time to get back to something more action-packed. Your escape from the carbonite prison is fast-paced and exciting, as Vaylin and her troops are always shown to be right behind you. It's also a bit confusing as you're kind of thrown in at the deep end, meeting "new Lana", Koth and HK-55 in quick succession, but get very little time to actually talk about what's going on, other than the briefest of introductions and confirmation that five years have passed since you were frozen.

Vaylin, who came as a bit of surprise in chapter one if you'd been avoiding spoilers, as the trailer was completely focused on Valkorion's sons, gets established as a frighteningly powerful and not entirely sane opponent.

I quite enjoyed this chapter. It features some very cool shots, such as Lana's opening of the heavy door or Koth's last minute rescue, as well as showing the first signs of the kind of roguish humour that we'll see from these characters as time goes on. It's a bit of a bummer that your character is repeatedly suffering from weakness and pain and therefore has to rely on the supporting cast to get anything done, however it also makes sense that this is the way it is, considering that you just spent five years frozen in a block of carbonite. The only annoying thing is that fighting the endless stream of skytroopers gets boring quickly as they're not even remotely challenging.

2 comments :

  1. The entire chapter is completely and utterly "Star Wars". The look and feel, the emotion and cutscenes, and even the dialogue nailed Star Wars completely.

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    1. Well, if you think about it, escaping from imprisonment is a tried and tested Star Wars theme, from the first Death Star to Cloud City and Jabba's Palace.

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