Published on January 11th, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
The Force Unleashed 2 Review
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
Release Date: October 26, 2010
ESRB Rating: T
Platforms: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC, Wii, DS
The Force has been strong with the Force Unleashed series until Force Unleashed II fell to the will of the dark side. Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice from the first game, is back, but you are told at the beginning of the game that you are a clone of that protagonist. When failing to complete Vader’s tasks you are forced to escape before being killed by storm troopers and Vader himself. Your main objective is to find Juno, which was Starkillers love interest from the first Force Unleashed.
Force Unleashed II has a very forgettable story line. It felt like an addition to a story that already had closure. Tacked on, pointless and bland. Although cloning is not far from Star Wars lore, it does not however lead to a good story premise. It seems almost like a cheap way to shoehorn in a story line that just is not there. Force Unleashed 1 was a brilliant storyline that fit well into the Star War universe. It filled some gaps in the timeline, whereas TFU2 felt contrived. The game’s environments and levels are beautiful to look at, and look just as you would expect out of any environment in the Star Wars universe, but they did become very similar the further you get into the game. Time after time I felt like I was repeating the same level over and over again, killing the same enemies, and fighting bosses of similar virtue.
TFU2 is a hack and slash game, much like the first one was. You still possess your main force powers, that you will semi relearn at the very beginning of the game. You will also learn a few new powers as well, such as Mind Power which can be used to trick your enemies into attacking each other or killing themselves. It turns out to be a neat trick to use, but becomes useless in a room full of storm troopers. You also earn the ability for “Force Fury” which turns Starkiller into a complete badass. The general controls feel very generic and get old very fast. Repetition is an understatement when describing the games controls. Dismemberment has been added when performing combos which was a very cool feature to see. Nothing makes you happier than to perform a series of light saber attacks and see a storm troopers head roll on the ground in front of you. Finishing off bosses is the same as the first game. Wear them down, and then perform QTE’s to finish them off.
Animations are very smooth. I noticed no lag, or snags in the game when there were multiple enemies on screen. LucasArts wanted to cut down on the amount of enemies on screen at once to develop differences in the enemies themselves. For example, when entering in a combat room, you will fight multiple storm troopers, AT-ST’s, and jet packed bounty hunters, instead of a different arrangement of one enemy type. Combat animations are very fluid and collision detection is much better than the previous release.
TFU2 is very limited on character progression. A lot of the force powers you unlocked through progression in the first game, you start off with in this game. Sure you can unlock more attack moves for those powers, but Starkiller is so powerful as it is, leveling up force powers becomes an after thought. It is not game changing, and does not feel important enough to pause the game to do. Normal difficulty is very easy to get through, as Starkiller can kill and dismember anything at will, and with ease. The short lived story doesn’t help matters either as I completed the game on normal difficulty in under five hours.
The Final Truth:
The Force Unleashed 2 is not what fans of the Star Wars series were looking for. We saw a little bit of promise in the trailers prior to the games release, but were hurt when playing the actual game itself. A short, shoehorned in story leaves fans wanting so much more. I knows fans will go that extra mile to get more Star Wars, any way they can get it, but it becomes a huge pill to swallow when asking $60 for a game that will take you 4 – 5 hours to complete and leave you wondering what the hell just took place. TFU2 felt more of a game than a timeline extension. You do get to meet some classic Star Wars character in this release from Yoda to Boba Fett, but meeting Yoda is a 2 minute event and that is it. I’m glad they addressed some of the technical problems that the first game had, but TFU2 was not groundbreaking. It is just another hack and slash title that sits on stores shelves donning the Star Wars name.
[xrr label=”Rating: 5/10″ rating=5/10]
+ Starkiller is a complete Badass
+ Fixed first games technical hiccups
– Weak Storyline
– Way too short
– Repetitive gameplay
– Similar environments