For over 30 years, Star Wars is still a phenomenal hit. Following the conclusion of the last movie released back in 2005, an army of Star Wars fans were saddened as they thought the Star Wars saga had come to an end. In 2008, the very first HD Star Wars game entitled, The Force Unleashed, was released and it featured a new lead character named Starkiller who was the apprentice of Darth Vader. The first game became an instant hit and finally, the sequel to the highly anticipated The Force Unleashed is here.
As players continue the story in The Force Unleashed II, can players expect an immersive Star Wars storyline? Could players learn more about Starkiller’s death? Has the gameplay improved at all? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs.
Over the two year course since the release of the first Force Unleashed game, the presentation to the sequel has greatly improved. The graphics this time have become much smoother and the character models are crisp and well detailed. Throughout the game, there will be several cutscenes that will impress the fans. These cutscenes contains perfect motion capture and accurate lip syncing. The character Starkiller looks exactly like Sam Witwer and it’s amazing how Lucas Arts managed to improved the imperfection of the first game when it comes to the graphical department.
Impressive Boss Battles
While the improved presentation is one of the gems in The Force Unleashed II, the boss battles are another one that players will have to look out for. Similar to the first game, The Force Unleashed II offers some of the most intense boss battles featured in any Star Wars game. Players can expect a big boss battle that can take up the whole screen and spend roughly an hour trying to figure out the weakness of the bosses. To fully experience the intense boss battles of the game, playing on a harder difficulty is recommended.
When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, it is always backed up with a great storyline. The continuation of the story after the Star Wars Episode III with the Force Unleashed has become a hit. Now that the sequel is finally here, it is sad to report that the game suffers from a terrible storyline. From the deep political storyline that we are accustomed in a Star Wars saga, players will be introduced in a shallow love story of Starkiller and Juno. The Force Unleashed II starts off with Darth Vader ordering Starkiller’s clone to work for him after the original Starkiller in the first game was killed. With the memories of the original Starkiller plaguing the clone, the clone rebels once again to Darth Vader and attempts to find something that is missing from him, that is Captain Juno.
The plot of the game then becomes a rescue mission of the clone Starkiller to Juno. There is no political involvement that can be found in the game and everything has become shallow to the backstory of the Starkiller’s clone. It is expected for players to be confused if Starkiller’s clone is really a clone, or is he? Several returning characters such as General Kota will be making an appearance and his involvement in the whole Starkiller’s clone story is very minimal. Kota himself is convinced that the clone is Starkiller itself but the game never really talks about the whole clone issue. It is very disappointing that the game has gone downhill when it comes to the storyline.
Repetitive Level Design
Sure, the presentation of The Force Unleashed II has improved compared to its predecessor but the level design suffers due to its repetitiveness. There are as little as four areas that players will be exploring and the noticeable part about it is that at every hall way the player goes to, looks the same. The recycled palette that was used in the levels of the game will become get tiring and boring in the player’s eyes. The enemies are also the same ones that the players will be fighting throughout the game.
Compared to the first game, The Force Unleashed II is shorter. Veteran players of The Force Unleashed can finish the game in less than five hours under the normal difficulty. As mentioned earlier, there are a few levels in the game and each of these levels can be finished in less than half an hour. It is so short and disappointing that players will have to pay a full sixty dollars price for a game that is shorter than the first game.
Nothing in the combat system of the game has changed or improved from the first game. All levels that players will be going through will be a mindless hack and slash with a nifty force push. The customization of the light sabers and force powers have become limited. Similar to the first game, there will be some quick time events when fighting bosses but players can expect it frequently less than the first game. It will not be surprising if the player’s thumb will get sore after the repetitive pressing of the square button throughout the game.
The Force Unleashed II is a huge let down for the fans of the first game. It is very important for a Star Wars licensed title to have a deep enriching storyline but with The Force Unleashed II, fans shouldn’t count on it. With the repetitive combat, level design and short length, The Force Unleashed II is not the Star Wars game we were expecting. If the third game in the series is the same thing as the second game, LucasArts can forget about the loyal fans. Should fans buy it? Sure, it still has some Star Wars moments but I would avoid it as soon as possible and just wait for a price drop.
[Editor’s Note: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II was reviewed on a PlayStation 3 platform. Played through until completion.]Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Review,