Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Everyone knows that between the three first Star Wars movies and the new trilogy some questions remained unanswered. According to George Lucas himself those would be answered in a trilogy of games, the Force Unleashed title. Stars Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 again immerses us in a world of lightsabers, Stormtroopers and Whookies. Time to clean our swords.
Just as in the previous game it’s all about Starkiller, Darth Vader’s apprentice. I hear you thinking: didn’t Starkiller die at the end of part 1? Indeed, that’s what we thought as well, but LucasArts has added a hilarious plat twist. Listen carefully, Starkiller is back as a clone! Stronger than ever and with more abilities he fights his way through the thousands of troopers.
You start with quite a lot of powers and some more get added as you go through the game. Along with the accompanying button combinations this can be quite overwhelming for those that don’t game so often. The Force Unleashed introduces two original powers, Mind Trick and Force Fury. In the first you take control over your enemy, making him fight for you, while the second comes with a seperate bar that fills gradually and once it’s full, you activate it to then smash things to pieces like a madman on steroids.
Gameplay-wise the game is again well set up. The combat is smooth and there’s a decent speed in the story. Maybe even a bit too much speed as after only five hours of playing, with nothing really important happening, the end credits appear on your screen. Starkiller escapes from Darth Vader, arrives in some places where he slashes all hostiles, has a chat with Yoda and then again heads off towards Vader. After which you’re finished with the game.
Still some things really splash from your screen during that time. Not only thanks to the pretty decent graphics, but most of all due to everything that happens around you. You throw Stormtroopers against the wall, run away from a shooting ship, catch rockets with your Force Power and push them towards enemies, or you fall into an abyss while evading objects, splicing metal in pieces and pushing away heavy objects. The Force Unleashed 2 has quite some action for sale, luckily.
Unfortunately something is really wrong with this game. You’ll quickly notice how repetitive and inspirationless the interiors are. All doors, all corridors and hallways, all boxes, … they all look identical. The first game already lacked inspiration, but this sequel takes it to the next level. Only five hours of gameplay and already the level design gets repetitive? Outrageous!
For the rest the game is certainly not bad in the audiovisual department. The combat is very cinematic and the cut-scenes are of high quality. Starkiller this time has two blade, which comes down to twice the fun!
The Force Unleashed II has a decent lead character, a world with plenty of possibilities (which don’t get used) and great Force powers, but there’s more necessary to make for a great game. It’s not enough to have the Star Wars label on the box and think it will score and sell well. That you can finish a game in five hours may be acceptable in certain cases, but in a game like this where really nothing happens, this isn’t an option. I think the devs should really take their time when making part 3 as otherwise there won’t be many questions answered after all. Shame on you, LucasArts