Feels like it’s far too soon to be remaking Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic but a) they’ve rebooted the Spider-Man movies 48 times in 18 months and b) KOTOR is, in fact, 13 years old oh god I’m so ancient how did this happen help help. So maybe the time isn’t too un-wrong for someone to take a crack at making one of the most beloved 3D-accelerated Star Wars games look a whole lot more modern. Waitaminnit: isn’t this just like George Lucas and his bloody Special Editions? SHUT IT DOWN SHUT IT DOWN SHUT IT DOWN.
The fans making Apeiron carefully classify it as a mod rather than a standalone project, in the hope that Ian Disney won’t force-choke it to death. It’s a remake of KOTOR in the Unreal 4 engine, and while it’s a million parsecs away from completion, or even from showing how it will function as a game (including an apparent move from third- to first-person blasting), we do get a look at some extremely pretty and really quite Star Warsy environments.
This first-look footage comes via YouTuber MrMattyPlays, who sounds jolly excited about what he’s seeing. Very early days, hence jerkiness, and video compression takes a bit of the shine off it too, but even so, looking good.
The cynic in me – i.e. every fibre of my bitter and twisted being – can’t help but worry that this is just a pipe dream, due to the sheer scale of what unpaid enthusiasts will have to recreate. I guess the Black Mesa guys pulled it off, but it took ’em a long time and they wound up getting Valve’s approval to sell it. I can’t see the house of mouse going in for that, somehow. Apeiron’s certainly got some talented modellers on board, though.
As for the legality (and therefore shutdownability), the Apeiron gang are hopeful, inspiredy by the successes of Black Mesa and Renegade X. They add:
“This is a full conversion refresh, that being said you will have to own a copy of the original game in order to play Apeiron since we are using the original audio and music. At its core Apeiron is the most intense KotOR modification ever.”
They’re looking for additional recruits to make the thing, if you want to chance your arm and your time. They may also open up donations further down the line, in the lawyers permit it.
In the meantime, there’s a steady stream of new screenshots and updates on the devs’ Twitter page.