Warning: there are spoilers in this article, beware if you haven’t beaten the game.
There has been much anticipation around The Force Unleashed 2 since it is a follow up to one of the best Star Wars games in recent years and it looks to feature some pretty amazing visuals and insane force powers. However, this game is anything but amazing and the game suffers from numerous problems.
To start off, I was dead excited about The Force Unleashed 2 since I thought Starkiller’s story was compelling since he went from being a mere pawn to a major force in the formation of the Rebellion. However, TFU2 carries on none of this and instead feels more like downloadable content because of its length.
I was most disappointed when I was able to beat the game in roughly 3 hours and this game cost as much as any normal video game ($59.99 on the consoles) and it delivered none of the replay value of the first game. TFU2 had the same bonus items of the first game like extra costumes and lightsaber crystals, but the differences between the crystals are barely noticeable. Finding the crystals might add a bit of playing time, but the enemies can all be defeated with the standard lightsaber crystals just the same.
Then there’s the problem with the logic of the game. On the “Salvation” ship level is the major offender. I’m no astro-physicist; but wouldn’t tearing through areas of a space ship be detrimental to the crew at large? Starkiller also has to destroy certain parts of the engine to get to the invading storm troopers, but wouldn’t the destruction of those engines make that ship useless to the Rebellion and cannon fodder to the Empire? It seems like Starkiller is doing more harm to his ship than the storm troopers.
Next there are some glitches with the Darth Vader fight, with lost animations. When Starkiller is fighting Vader; you’ll grapple with the Dark Lord and then you’ll wound. However, after you wound Vader: he’ll disappear for a second and then the game will show a cut scene of Vader jumping to a different platform. This is just lazy programming on the developer’s part and the glitchy animations show that the game was rushed to be sold by the holiday season.
However, even with all of these problems, the game was most affected by the cameos in the game, Boba Fett and Yoda, and the lack of interaction with the characters. There’s no epic fight between Starkiller and Fett, which is something that would have probably made the game better. Also, Fett has is voiced similar to Jango Fett from the prequel trilogy instead of his cooler voice from the original trilogy. This might be a nit-picky observation, but the original voice of Boba Fett in Empire Strikes Back was much darker and sounded like a fearsome growl instead of a normal Australian accent.
Then, the next big disappointment is Starkiller’s brief journey to Dagobah and an even briefer appearance of Yoda…which lasts for about twenty seconds. There’s no fun Jedi training to help Starkiller, instead he walks in and out of the “Jedi tree of insight” and then heads off to save Juno. This part of the game felt like there was a level missing since nothing happens on this planet to be honest. General Kota could have given Starkiller the same advice as his vision, but instead we are teased with a Yoda appearance.
One feature that TFU2 just didn’t improve on is the stiff controls. Using Starkiller to jump from platform to platform looks graceful, but it feels so rough and you’ll find yourself missing ledges because of this. Lucas Arts had a chance to improve on this aspect from the first game, but instead there was no improvement in this department.
If there is something good to say about TFU2, it’s probably the action since fighting with insane force powers and two lightsabers is always a good time. The fight with the Gorog was intense, and that was probably the highlight of the entire game. Using the context sensitive cut scenes to hurt the towering beast was great fun. However, this goes back to the first problem of short run time. The fights are enjoyable but the game is too short to enjoy the fighting.
Overall, the game has more problems than innovations. The graphics have barely improved since the first installment and there’s no real replay value in the game since the saber upgrades barely matter. The costumes are cool looking, but who wants to play dress up in a Star Wars game? The game has too many problems and inconsistencies to even be considered a good game. If this were downloadable content, then this would be understandable. However, this is packaged and sold as a full priced game, and that just seems unfair to Star Wars fans. The Force was not with this one.
Though Star Wars fans might be tempted to check this one out, beware that the programming is incredibly lazy and considering there is next to no replay value, the short length of the game is unacceptable.