peteace's Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (PlayStation 3) review

Review: Star Wars the Force Unleashed 2

So let me ask you a question, do you like fighting and killing the exact same 6 enemies about a billion times over the course of about 6 or 7 hours? Cool, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is the perfect game for you then. Maybe 6 enemies is a little low, there is an enemy at the beginning of the game that shoots an ice spray at you, but when you encounter him later in the game, he shoots fire instead, so we’ll go with 6.5 enemies total.

The Force Unleashed 2 is a game that, to me, should have been what Godfather 2 was to the Godfather series, a fantastic followup to a pretty good entry. The first Force Unleashed game felt like it was so close to being one of the best games of 2008, definitely one of the best Star Wars game to date. It had a fantastic story, with gameplay that fell just a little bit short of the mark. Surely in 2 years the studio could improve on the last game and produce the Star Wars game that everyone so desperately wants. As I seemingly line up to bash this game, I’ll admit, the Force Unleashed 2 gave me the same feeling of getting so close, but still falling short of being considered a good game. This time around the story is extremely forgettable, but the combat has improved. It just seems like the developers needed a little more time with this game to really make it shine.

Overall, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is one of the most disappointing games I’ve played this year.

Semi-spoiler alert, but not really since it’s right on the cover of the game, you do play as Starkiller once again … or do you? Darth Vader has created a cloning facility to create a more subservient version of Starkiller to do his bidding. But one major mystery is propagated throughout the game, can you truly clone a Jedi? Are you really a Starkiller clone? Regardless, that storyline kind of falls to the wayside and you’re playing out the rather bland story of girl has been captured by bad guy, good guy goes to save girl, bad guy and good guy fight. There are some elements of the plot that I thought had a lot of potential if they had been fleshed out, but they chose to go the boring route for the main story. I also realized while playing this game that Juno — she’s the girl you’re trying to save — looks a lot like Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck plus Starkiller. It seemed a lot funnier at the time I thought of it.

Here’s more or less a list of complaints I had about this game. I had to turn the camera sensitivity all the way up because rotating the camera was too slow otherwise. On that same note, Starkiller just feels really slow when moving through the environment. In the first 30 – 45 minutes of the game, you’re constantly reminded with large prompts about how to use all of your different moves. I got it. Thanks for the reminder. You can get hit doing finishing move animations that you don’t really have much control over, I actually died a couple times when I’d get hit by a missile while in the middle of some animation where I couldn’t defend myself. The difficulty is really unbalanced throughout this game. As stated earlier, the game recycles the same enemies and the same environments throughout. About a quarter of the time you try and focus an attack on a particular enemy, it ends up going somewhere else. None of these complaints by themselves are all that bad, but add them all up, and this game can end up annoying you more than you actually enjoy it.

Next, I’ll move on to whatever the equivalent of nitpicky is in terms of complimenting the game. If the camera ever puts you in an awkward position behind an enemy, the enemy will turn transparent so you can still see what is going on in the game. The game looks absolutely fantastic. The cutscenes are extremely well done. There aren’t nearly as many technical glitches as the first game had. The combat has been improved from the first game and is a lot of fun, until it gets repetitive. Having two lightsabers is a really cool addition to the game and helps add to the feeling of being the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy, which is what I think Lucasarts is going for with Starkiller.

Looking back at my lists, I had a lot more complaints than compliments. A little more time in the tank creating different types of enemies and polishing the story might have really given this game the boost it needed. The game is by no means all bad. There were parts that I had a lot of fun with, it’s just that the parts that weren’t fun added up to a much larger percentage of my playtime. Once again, I’m left wanting and hoping that maybe next time we’ll get the Star Wars game we’re looking for. 


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