Star Wars – Force Unleashed 2

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is a third person action-adventure platform game developed by LucasArts and released in 2010.

I really enjoyed Force Unleashed, despite some major bugs with the game so I decided to give the sequel a shot regardless of all the bad reviews it’s gotten.  I think most of the bad press is due to it’s short length, even for me 6.5 hours is a short game of this type.  It really seems as if the developer ran out of time/money/resources and was forced to just finish it up and ship it out while only being maybe 50% complete.  The last fight is boring and repetitive and the way the story ends makes very little sense.  With some more money they could have had the actors in to reread their lines, and clean up some of the clunky dialogue.  Apparently it was finished in only nine months.

That said Force Unleashed 2 is a fun game for about 5 hours, you start the game pretty damn powerful and you unlock virtually every force power by the end of the first level.  Force crushing a Tie Fighter is very rewarding, as is lifting up a storm trooper, throwing lightning at him and sending off to his friends as a lightning bomb.  The physics of throwing objects around is very satisfying and the simple platforming is not frustrating at all.

The combat reminded me a lot of the God of War series of games, you are basically really powerful and mow through common storm troopers without any trouble but there are a few bigger bad guys you have to take special care with and they have quick time events (QTE) to kill them in unique ways.  There are also grapple finishing moves you can do to regular bad guys which are well animated and brutal.  Even through the course of a normal fight, you are constantly chopping off limbs with your lightsaber.  The QTE finishers are fun to watch the first time, but after a while I got a bit tired of them and usually just killed the mini-bosses in a simpler way that didn’t require it.  Another thing that is extremely like God of War is this force fury special which is built up by killing bad guys and the environment and when it’s full can be triggered to make you super powerful and then it slowly drains and can be turned off at will before it runs out just like GoW.

One thing that seemed OK at first when I was running through the Imperial ships and bases was that I got experience for destroying the environment, this seems like a reward for destroying the people you don’t like on your way out.  Where it gets odd is when you get back on a republic ship and still get experience for destroying your friend’s ship.  The way I tend to play for all the experience I can get I basically turned Starkiller into a Jedi vandal, destroying everything in his path for all the experience.  Even then I didn’t have enough to unlock all the power levels.  I’m guessing I missed a lot of hidden holocrons and areas for XP gain.

Pros: Fast game you can play in an afternoon, fun for a few hours, facial animations are pretty good.

Cons: If you really like the game you will find it short, the last battle is very tedious, the story just ends suddenly without any justification, some bugs throughout.

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