Oh how quickly the good can turn into crap. It seems Lucasarts took a page out of George Lucas’s book, and managed to screw up an already awesome franchise with their second helping of The Force Unleashed series. I wouldn’t say that this sequel reached the same epic fail status of the prequel movies, but it’s not too far from it. It’s safe to say that my high expectations for this game were not met at all.
Let’s start out with the positive aspects of Star Wars: The Force unleashed 2, only because it won’t take up too many lines. The overall visual appearance is light years ahead of the original TFU. Both the cut scenes and in-game animations were much more crisp this time around, and Vader actually looks like Vader and not some guy who bought his Vader helmet from the local Wal-Mart to use as a Halloween costume. Even though most of the environments you fight in are pretty bland, the game does shine when it comes to graphics, so at least they improved upon that aspect.
The next positive is in the gameplay itself. If you have played TFU you are well aware that the gameplay was sketchy at best, with your desired actions not always unfolding the way you wanted them to on-screen. This frustration seems to be removed from TFU2 as the controller inputs flow much more freely from your hand to the screen. Although, you’ll still have an issue with your force powers not latching on to your intended target, which may cause you to spit on your TV. I also feel like the combat itself flowed more freely because Lucasarts improved upon the control interface from the first game.
Now on to the bad, and there’s plenty of it. The most glaring issue is the length of this game. The Force Unleashed 2 takes about 4 hours to beat on the easier difficult settings and not much more on the harder settings, depending on your skill level. This is an absolute joke for a game that cost full retail at $60 duckets. TFU2 felt more like some throw away DLC from the first game. Hell, almost all of the Fallout 3 DLC packs only cost about $10 a piece and they easily lasted for 3-4 hours, so why would I think 4 hours of gameplay is worth more than that?
You’ll find yourself going, “WTF” when you beat this game because it literally just ends. It feels like you’re just getting into the bulk of the game, but in fact you’re actually finished with it. TFU2 feels like it had a story that was about 2/3 done. It just went too fast and really didn’t have the same impact that the story from TFU had. In fact, I could probably sum up what happened in TFU2 in about 2 sentences, but I’ll spare you the spoiler so you can experience this crap story for yourself. It’s just blah.
I think this blah factor is a direct result of the gameplay itself. Sure the mechanics are much improved from the first game, but that’s about it. The Force Unleashed 2 dev team must have been trying to save money, so they settled on some enemy character models and just repeated those throughout the game. Very quickly this game turned into a repetitive and predictable bore fest. Cue stormtroopers, cue large robot enemy, and cue those wannabe Sith guys. That’s pretty much how every battle in this game plays out. There’s absolutely no variety whatsoever. You can’t even kill these cardboard enemies in varying fashions, so after the 20th time of throwing a robot’s shield at him, you want to poke your eyes out.
Maybe if Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 was priced as a $39.99 title I wouldn’t feel so bad about its lenght, but deep down I just feel like this game missed so many marks that it can’t be anything more than just OK. Sure it looks much better, but in this day and age of gaming looks aren’t everything. Almost everything looks good these days, but it’s the games that also have good gameplay and a story that stand out from the pack. SWTFU2 is not one of these games.
Trust me, it hurts to write this. I wanted nothing more than this game to be excellent, but I won’t let my Star Wars fanboy status cloud my vision. The Force Unleashed 2 is just not that good. It should have been called The Force Unleashed 1.5. I give it a 6.5/10 and recommend you rent it versus buy. Damn you Lucasarts!! You’ve been let down yet again by Lucas and his empire…
The Good: Graphics, Gameplay mechanics, Action
The Bad: Too short, Story sucks, Repetitive gameplay, Reminiscent to the prequel trilogy
E.B. “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”