Sunday, January 23, 2011

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Company: Lucas Arts
Systems: Xbox 360

I have always been a huge fan of Star Wars games, due mainly to the massive bosses and the depth of the story-telling. I never finished playing the original Force Unleashed, but I played enough to understand the experience and I learned the ending from friends. When I got my hands on Force Unleashed II I was stoked! New challenges! New bosses!

The game starts out with Darth Vader telling you that you are a clone and that the flashbacks you keep having aren't reality, they are a side effect of the cloning process. Your character doesn't believe Vader and escapes. He has one goal in mind: find his love (returning character, Juno from Force Unleashed) and she will give him the answers he seeks. It sounded exciting enough.

During my trip to find her, I also picked up the general of the Rebel Alliance, who helps me out (except not when it comes to fighting...). After a handful of fairly short levels, I meet Vader. He has captured my precious Juno, so I'm forced to have an epically long battle with him. This single battle takes about as long as half of the entire game, and at the end I was given my FIRST choice between the light and dark side. I chose the light side (and looked up the cutscene for the dark side on youtube). At this point there's an amazing cutscene, which put me on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would come next, and cue... credits?

The end of this game comes far too early and abruptly. If you choose the dark side ending, the cutscene makes for a much clearer ending, but still leaves you feeling like you wanted to accomplish more than finding a girl. The short length of Force Unleashed II really dissapointed me, not just because the story felt imcomplete, but also because I only had ONE epic lightsaber duel, ONE epicly large monster battle, and ONE intricate jumping/force maze.

The gameplay in Force Unleashed II has a very low learning-curve, but there's no way to personalize it. I'm a big fan of personalizing fighting styles, but this game leaves very little room for this. There's also no real push to develop your character. You start out with almost all of the available force abilities, and until you get them to their highest level, it's hard to tell them apart.

One place where I can give this game high marks is the graphics. The fighting was smooth, the cutscenes were crisp, the opening cutscene was almost believable! There was nothing wrong with the art-style or presentation in this game. Hats off to Lucas Arts for the cinematic and graphic work put into this game!

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II was TONS of fun, the fun was just too bland, and cut way too short.

Spiritual Point:

Star Wars is known for its good vs. evil approach to everything. This game has very little of that until the end. For the most part, your character is shown as a man stuck right in the middle, trying to figure out himself first, then decide which side he wants to be on. He is very selfish and strong willed, but also seems to have a good heart.

+ Exciting
+ Fast-Paced
+ Great Graphics

- Lame Story
- Really Short
- No Personalization


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