The Star wars gaming franchise has taken another step forward with their latest addition, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 which sees the continuation of Starkiller’s quest as Darth Vader’s apprentice. The game is set snug between the new and original trilogy, so about seven months after the first game.
Lucas arts have promised that the sequel will offer a marked improvement on the original game, this is a bold claim seeing as the original was well received despite its short comings. They say movement and fight sequences have been greatly tightened up with the graphics appearing more fluid and powerful than in the first game.
One thing that quickly becomes apparent is that this game is a sequel (the clue is in the title), basically if you have not played the first game and want to understand the storyline then you are going to struggle – that said if you love slash em ups don’t let this deter you as the action draws you in practically straight away.
The most noticeable and perhaps best part of the game is the huge combos and force powers you can use to kick the crap out of Storm Troopers and other enemies (I don’t want to give too much away but look out for Boba Fett). Force powers have been upgraded including the fan favourites force lightening and force push. The powers are the same as the first game but pack a lot more punch, a great example is the Jedi Mind trick, before it simply encouraged enemies to think you were friends but now you can convince them to jump headfirst into fatal energy force fields –neat.
For me the most disappointing power has to be the force grab, this has the potential to be the coolest of all the powers. Everyone would love to be able to accurately throw bins and furniture with their minds, however the poor targeting has been inherited from the previous game – meaning this if you land a good shot it will be more down to luck than judgement.
The overall game play is action packed but often lacks substance. For me the overall experience is too similar, lots of action following a linear path – there are choices to be made but they all seem to lead down the same path. Another problem is the lack of variety; unlike the original game the bad guys all seem pretty similar.
One thing people have come to expect from Lucas arts is good casting and production, this game does not disappoint in this aspect. The voice over’s, acting and movie sequences are excellent and help you transition through the story in a typical George Lucas-esk way.
If action and fighting without much thought is your type of game then the force unleashed 2 is the game for you. We certainly enjoyed smashing the bits out of Storm Troopers and bad guys, Lucas arts has put the third instalment of this game on hold for now but we think with a few tweaks they will put it back in to production pretty soon. May the force be with you.