Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Reader Review
The Force Unleashed II, a game that gained gasps of either joy or frustration amongst gamers on the evening of its announcement. The original, a title that divided many gamers and Star Wars fans alike was a financial success despite technical issues along with a thought that it could be a template for better things to come if fine tuning and layers of depth to the overall gameplay experience were added. Has any constructive criticism been noted?
It has to be said, any feedback the developers had received has been picked apart but left for another day with a stern feeling for the player that despite whatever problems the original had, it felt and played a lot better than a sequel which has obviously been rushed to it's target audience without any thought of the consequences and could of easily been added as a premium downloadable package six months after the originals launch.
The Force Unleashed II keeps the template of being the badass with a lightsaber alongside powers of The Force intact but fails to provide any satisfactory depth with either the combat, level design or Force powers that could compete with a Bayonetta or God of War. The game just doesnt feel as fluid as it should be, instead we have received a copy and paste job which reveals a lack of ambition and determination to realise a concept that has potential.
The story, which should take you through a laughable four to five hours to complete, surrounds the central character Starkiller being either a clone from the labs of the rainy planet Kamino or the original real deal without ever going into detail as to if he is, will he find out or is something much deeper going on that could escalate the plot and turn it into a much more exciting tale that keeps you interested. It doesnt and this is one of the main problems, the writer for the game Haden Blackman (who has since quit LucasArts) dances around the subject, leaving you with a feeling that this is all a complete waste of time.
Gameplay mechanics seem to have taken a liking to the story in terms of interest and depth, although it can be fun taking on small factions of stormtroopers, the supposedly main attractions such as the boss battles leave a strong sense of severe reptitiveness in terms of the objective to defeat it and the ending result which awards the boredom with a copy and paste QTE that shows its head almost every sixth mini boss during a stage. I dont know if its severe laziness on the developers part or a shocking sense of narrow mindness thinking players in general would find this good enough or a statement of intent that they have listened to its critics and wanted to improve overall, it simply isn't the case with The Force Unleashed II.
Some positives that can be thrown in are the visuals and audio, a nice layer of polish has been added to the character models and environments with a significant improvement in lighting although it has to be said without being a major player, the original was hardly ugly in appearance either. The famous opening crawl is in as is the wonderful array of music supplied by the genius John Williams.
At the start of this review I stated gasps of either joy or frustration between gamers when this title was announced with the frustrated party generally of the opinion they are not exactly happy with what LucasArts are doing this generation and I have to say I can more than see where they are coming from. Whatever goes on in the offices of that empire (no pun intended) they have a strategy that is simply not working as of now whilst failing to improve on a potential classic franchies and failing to provide previous franchises on next generation systems that many thought were a given at the start - Battlefront? Yes, you are not alone.
The Force Unleashed II is a product that has a strong smell of uneasiness, a sense of a developer in trouble hoping for a quick cash in to get things back on track after reported troubles at HQ but sadly this has resulted in a game that not only has failed to improve on a good original template but could also affect future sequels and future games in general. With an effort of this calibre however, I cannot see many shedding tears.