Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Force Unleashed 2 review

Well, it's here. The sequel to the multi-million selling Force Unleashed has arrived. The first game, despite it's flaws, became a fan favourite and THE fastest selling Star Wars title in videogame history. So, is the sequel the Empire strikes back, or more like the Star Wars holiday special? Read on, my apprentice.

The plot: After defeating the Emperor and for all intents and purposes dying in the first game, Star killer has returned. The dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader informs you that you are a clone, and not just the first. You are the only one that has got to the stage of being somewhat like the person that you once were. He orders you do go and kill the Jedi master Rahm Kota, who we met in the first game, and end the uprising Rebellion. Upon finding him, Master Kota tells Starkiller that he can't be a clone, as it's impossible to clone Jedi. So unfolds the story to find your identity and rescue your love, Juno Eclipse.

What I liked:

Firstly, the moves have been streamlined somewhat. It's easier to keep track of your combos and to mix up attacks with force powers. Some of the levels are great, the rescue of Master Kota from a battle arena that culminates in a boss fight with a monster that makes a Rancor look like an actual Star Wars toy is pretty much the highlight. Sound effects and cut scenes are also of the highest standard.

What I lothed:

AAARRGGGHHH! Another review that's going to have me mention the length of the single player game. It's very short. Around the 4-5 hour mark I clocked it in at. Shocking value for money. Most players will have it finished in an afternoon. The story is pretty much balls....the whole game turns into a search to get Juno back from the clutches of Vader. Unlike the first game, where you travel from planet to planet, set piece after set piece, this game features a stunning total of around 4 locations, one of which, Dagobah, is only there for the purposes of a cut scene and to shoehorn bloody Yoda in there. The other oft featured level, Kamino, sees you start AND end the game there. Cheap. You essentially have the same powers as you do in the first, lightning, force push etc. This time you have the added, almost useless Jedi mind trick, which is basically only of use when fighting one certain enemy. It's also horribly inconsistant with what you can actually do in the game power wise. There are places where you can literally pull Tie fighters out of the sky with your force powers, crush them into a ball and fling then at other ships, destroying them in an instant. Those same force powers however, fail to even lift up human-sized enemy robots or little Scout-walker type machines. It's having powers where the games designers want you to have them, at no point are you just given the tools and then allowed to run and play with them.

The verdict?

My initial excitement of the games opening soon left me with a bad taste in my mouth. By no means a terrible game, it's just not very good. Bland, short, devoid of character and if you were to take away the Star Wars license, you would be left with pretty much a below average title that would be straight to the bargain bin. If there is a sequel (and judging by the end, there probably will be), it has a whole load more to do.

Rating: 5/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

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