If nothing else, I’ve learned that the Restored Content Mod is happy to make you kill a hell of a lot more HK-50 droids and, well, just about everything else when it comes to Nar Shaddaa. Unsurprisingly, that was indeed the planet I chose to do first because Mira is a delight and I needed her on my crew sooner rather than later. (Every time I play this game as dark side and have to kill her and take Hanharr with me instead, a little part of me dies with her.)
The premise of Nar Shaddaa is that you have to run around and make a lot of noise supposedly because you’re looking for a Jedi Master but actually so you can piss Goto and the Exchange off and get their attention so you can lay down the hurt. It’s both fun and frustrating because towards the end of phase 1, I was basically running in circles talking to anyone and everyone in hopes that I could do that one last thing to get their attention.
This is when the game makes it very clear that you’ve got to walk very delicately when talking with your companions. Some of them are easy to sway while others are far more tied to their own beliefs and you’ll lose Influence with them if you say the wrong thing. (Ebon Hawk chats just aren’t that relaxing anymore.) Kreia in particular can be tricky as she disapproves whenever you perform acts of charity or help others. There’s a lesson that goes poorly either way (if I remember correctly) regarding a refugee who asks you for a few credits. If you give them to him, Kreia tells you that even small acts can have huge ramifications and that now he’ll probably get beat up for getting a handful of credits that he didn’t earn. Way to go you for being nice! (But seriously though: Kreia is messed up and disturbing.)
Speaking of disturbing! I unlocked Atton’s tragic backstory. It gives me chills every time and I LOVE IT. He fought in the war but was on the Sith side and killed Jedi (and he was really good at it.) He learned how to keep Jedi out of his thoughts by projecting strong emotions that would make most turn away and not look beneath the surface. It’s something that really helps add another dimension to what could have easily been yet another roguish smuggler type. I’ll always love and appreciate how this game will take the typical tropes and turn them on their head. Atton’s put all of his cards on the table and now the Exile’s trained him to be a Jedi. While I’m playing this game through as a light-sider, I think it’s worth noting that the game is incredibly tragic when you’re a dark sider because Atton was initially shown another way by a Jedi before she died and then you drag him back down into the darkness with you. It makes playing this game as a dark-sider rough.
Happily, I also got to meet Visas Marr who I adore the heck out of even though she was definitely trying to kill me and it wasn’t an easy fight. (When in doubt, the Bria method of video game fighting is to run away, hide, and heal. Hashtag why I’ll never be a Jedi.) It’s totally worth it though especially once you’re able to bring her over to your side with kindness. (But no cookies.) I do find it interesting how easy it is to essentially not only redeem her but also up her influence almost immediately. After only half a planet, her alignment completely mirrors the Exile. It’s made quite clear how horrible Darth Nihilus is.
While the assorted bounty groups felt a little repetitive at times, I did really like what the Restored Content Mod did for the story. You get to actually see a lot more of your crew fighting their way to the Jekk’Jekk Tarr to try and help rescue you. It doesn’t necessarily work until later but it helps make the story complete and like your crew are real people who exist even when the Exile isn’t there. So far, I’m definitely a huge fan of using the mod. We’ll see how the rest of the game plays out. Which planet I head to next remains to be seen but I have a feeling it’s going to be Dantooine. Because they’re on Dantooine.