Review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Jul 26, 2011

As we always do, we’re going to give this game a fair shake in 2011. At $60 when released back in October 2010, and coming off a very well written narrative, The Force Unleashed II would have been the biggest insult my wallet has ever seen. In a sense, a game is great when everybody wins. The player enjoys the experience and the developer gets to pay their bills and feed their families. What we have here is strictly the latter. I don’t see how anybody can really say this game is worth $60 as it is poorly written, doesn’t iterate much over it’s predecessor, and it’s maybe 4 hours long. Don’t misunderstand me - it’s still fun if you enjoy the Star Wars universe and you want a short experience. I certainly prefer games that are 5-6 hours long. But for what is marketed as a full-length sequel, I feel misled.

The story is poorly written. Starkiller appears to be reborn as a clone under Darth Vader’s supervision. Unlike the models before him, the force is strong with this one. Although he was built for destruction, he quickly escapes with only one mission: find Juno. Along the way you save an awkward old Jedi who yells at you a lot and you end up in many open areas with a lot of things to lift, push, electrocute, and slice down. You do have the option to join the dark-side but it’s very binary and let’s just say it only changes the ending. There aren’t any real surprises. The game does not introduce new boss characters nor do you even have the opportunity to grow attached to anyone.

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The action/combat is certainly a step up from The Force Unleashed. While simple, it lends to a feeling that you really are one with the force; something past Star Wars action games have lacked. You have a basic upgrade system for your force powers. Each has 3 levels of effectiveness which really means you can, for example, mind trick 2 enemies instead of 1, or 3 instead of 2. As for the abilities themselves, you have the usual suspects: lighting, push, grip, saber throw, and repulse. The enemies you fight are very basic: stormtroopers, sith who can repel force powers but don’t do a lot of damage, sith who can’t repel force powers and deal a lot of damage, and an assortment of mechanical dummies like an AT-AT.

I consider this a healthy expansion to The Force Unleashed. Unfortunately it is still priced too high for a 4 hour game. It’s still easily $20-$30 new, or 600 Goozex points. If you like Star Wars, you’ll enjoy the game. If you LOVE Star Wars, you’ll cry over the story, voice acting, and general lack of effort by the developers.

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