October 31, 2010
Going into this game I had my doubts. The original force unleashed was a good game but had blatant issues that kept it from greatness. Now about two years later we get the sequel that fixes a lot of issues I had with the first game but lacks where the original excelled at.
The plot to TFU2 seems like it was made to bring a sequel to life to make money. Vader goes to Kamino to clone Starkiller and hunt down the newly formed Rebel Alliance that he helped create. You play as clone 14 or some number around there, all the other previous clones have gone mad and Vader had executed them but for some reason you are different, which is never explained. As the game progresses it is continually told to you by General Kota, of whom you run into later in game, that jedi cannot be cloned because they go mad and become unstable nut cases. Well for some reason the clone you play as is totally stable, he just has random flashbacks that activate some force powers you “forgot” and has this undying urge to save Juno Eclipse from a mess he started. This is by far the weakest point of the game, the story of the previous game kept it simple and cohesive and did not seem to be forced, no pun intended.
The game play and the proprietary engine that TFU2 runs on received the most love and care from the dev team. The game is absolutely gorgeous, every animation and texture is something to be seen and hold in the limelight. The game play received a complete overhaul while keeping all the basics of the first game in check. All the force powers return and the duel saber combat is very visceral, the addition of dismemberment was a nice touch and threw me back to the days of Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast. The powers are still over the top and watching you either crush a Tie Fighter like a beer can or using the mind trick to watch storm troopers take a leap off a ledge to their impending doom never gets old. There are only a few boss battles that are epic but feel a bit undercooked and the repetitive enemy types can get a little annoying. You’ll face about three different storm troopers, some sith trainees that can block force powers or that have light sabers, and three different types of droids that almost all do the same thing. There are some AT-ST spinoffs that are thrown into the mix but enemy variety is not a strong point of the game.
The game is inexcusably short. There are some of the levels that are longer than expected; the final mission on Kamino was a valiant effort to hit the climax of the conclusion. Then you have the Dagobah, which is one of the shortest levels I have ever played in a game, and again it’s unforgivable. You take about 10 steps and that’s the level. You finish the stroll down a small walkway to grab some holocrons, then breaks away to a cut scene. You could finish the game in less than 8 hours and is about half of the length of the first. I understand that some games are short due to having a bevy of multiplayer options, such as Medal of Honor, Halo, or Call of Duty. For a single player game there is no excuse, when you have one of my favorite games of last year and possibly all time Uncharted 2, which was made in 18 months! There was no lack of polish or length and they did it in less time. I understand that Lucas Arts was hit by layoffs after TFU was released, which for a game that sold so well and made a ton of money you would think they would pour more people into developing the sequel. This is not to say that I am disappointed with this sequel, I really enjoyed the time I had with this game and definitely plan on playing through the game a few more times but while playing it I just couldn’t get over the feeling that this was rushed and put together with a barebones dev team. Hopefully they can fix the length issue with DLC or have a sith edition ala TFU and have all the DLC and cut levels in a nice package.
I really wanted to rate this game higher than I am giving it. I really loved the combat, the freefall sections, and the aesthetics but the lack of a good story and indefensible length of the main campaign, these are faults that I cannot look past and really wish I could. I am not trying to make it a point of length over quality, because with the revamp of the game it’s self they did a lot of work in areas that were needed and just let other areas slip. They seemed so concerned with fixing the issues with the first game they failed to keep the strong points consistent. I am eager to see what could be made with the inevitable sequel that the ending hints to. Will they put all of the strong points together and conceive a masterpiece worthy of the original trilogy or will they make a Bantha pile the size of the prequels? I guess we will have to see after the inevitable layoffs and what becomes of the crumbling corpse that is Lucas Arts.
+ Incredible visuals, sound, and voice acting.
+ Combat is satisfying and powers are still over the top.
+ Free fall sections are a fun addition.
– Short, very short.
– Throw away story.
– Dagabah level is useless
– Yoda and Boba Fett cameos are disappointing
Final Score – 7/10