By Sapphire Warlock 13 Comments
One thing I love about games is that it puts you into another world. Let's you escape reality for just a moment and be someone or something else for just a moment in time. I love movies for the same reason as well. They let you escape for just a moment and enjoy a storyline. I believe that one of the best stories that I have encountered in my lifetime is Star Wars. The films are adventurous as well as insightful to many prospects we all face in life, even if it takes place in a galaxy far, far away.
Now before you start saying, "oh this is just another fan wanker bashing" post, let me just say that this is not it. I thoroughly enjoyed the game for the short time I played it. My review of this game is not a happy one but it's not a bashing one. I will try to look on the light side of things and enjoy what little LucasArts has given us here as well as illuminate what they managed to not do for us.
The Force Unleashed, the first game, was a big event for me. After having finished the prequel trilogy with an air of sadness, I always wondered, "hey, what happened in between those 20 some odd years of time?". We Star Wars fans rarely got a look at what happened in between Episode 3 and 4. This game was suppose to show you some of what happened and for me, that's what it did. It lightened the road and made connections to the movies that I thoroughly loved. Granted, at some points the game was glitch-y but I overlooked that for what I really bought it for: The story.
In my opinion, the story of a game or even a movie is the heart of it all. It's what makes you keep playing or watching; Wondering, what's going to happen. That being said, The Force Unleashed's story was amazing. From the moment I played it in my Xbox 360, I was captivated by these characters and what was their purpose in the end. The story made the game better. As for the controls and graphics, that shit was legit. It was some of the best stuff I had seen on a video game. Felt very real and very "textured".
Back to the story. The thing the Force Unleashed accomplished was showing you, a Star Wars fan, how the Rebel Alliance was officially created. Galen Marek/Starkiller sacrificed himself to save these people and his sacrifice inspired a whole rebellion to keep pushing forward. In my opinion, that is something of near "epicness", if you will.
When that game ended, I felt happy and relieved to know. When they announced The Force Unleashed II, I started to wonder how that would work. And with the first trailer, it certainly sparked my interest as to how Galen Marek survived. I watched more and more trailers as they came out and got a basic plot outline: He was a clone struggling with the memories of his original host...or was he a clone? That was something the creators tried to touch on, but missed touching base on with this story.
The game finally came out and like I always do, I rented it before buying. To get a feel for it. I finished the game within 1 day and a couple hours. When it ended (canonical light side, F.Y.I.) I literally said, "That's it? Those 4 levels were all?" I felt played with myself. They never answered my big question: Was he a clone? The entire time, he (Marek) ran around the game yelling "Where is she!?!" And when he found her, nothing happened. Rahm Kota was brought back but for reasons, unbeknown to me other than to serve as a light side mentor. His presence didn't feel needed within the game and his introduction had little effect.
The good aspects of this game were, once more the graphics and controls. We really got a good look at the worlds in which we visit and the character designs seem very well kept from the last game.
I feel this game could have been a real contender for one of the best written games (as the first one received an award for it's storyline) but instead we received they equivalent of a 2 page, short story sequel to a 300 page novel. I feel that LucasArts owes the fans of the series an apology for letting us down. The people over at LucasArts seems to always ignore what works best for them and how to use that. As with Lego Star Wars and Star Wars: Battlefront. And, of course, Kyle Katarn's adventures in the Jedi Knight series. Very good games, never really expanded upon.
All in all, I would say, if you're considering buying this game, wait until it goes down significantly in price and then buy it. For now, I'd say rent it. The force is definitely leashed with this game.