Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Spotlight

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 28

Splatterhouse, Nail'd, Blood Stone, TRON: Evolution and The Force Unleashed II.

Digital FoundryThe Force Unleashed II PS3/360 engine performance

LucasArts' title compared in like-for-like situations.

Digital FoundryThe Force Unleashed II PS3/360 gameplay performance

LucasArts' tech showcase vs. Digital Foundry tools.

Digital FoundryThe Force Unleashed II PS3/360 Face-Off

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions compared.

Key events

Xbox Game Pass just got four Star Wars games: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2.

Jet Set Radio is now available on Xbox One

UPDATE: Backwards compatibility list adds Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, Runner2, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

UPDATE 10/05/2016 8.56pm: Another Xbox One backwards compatibility update has added Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, Faery: Legends of Avalon, Final Fight: Double Impact, Frogger 2, and Puzzlegeddon.

Cancelled Star Wars Episode 7 game starred Luke's son

Cancelled Star Wars Episode 7 game starred Luke's son

Facing off against an evil Solo.

Back in 2008 a series of logos for cancelled Star Wars games were revealed in the book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts. Yesterday it came to light that one of these titles, Star Wars Episode 7: Shadows of the Sith, would have starred Luke Skywalker's son facing off against an evil Solo offspring.

Former LucasArts creative director Haden Blackman told Cinelinx that this was basically his concept and it was conceived back in 2004 when George Lucas was adamant that Revenge of the Sith would be the final film in the franchise. The thinking at the time was that the series' chronology could continue in game form.

"Episode 7: Shadows of the Sith would have put you in the role of an adult Ben Skywalker," Haden explained, referencing Luke's son who was born in the Star Wars Expanded Universe book series New Jedi Order.

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Lucasfilm decrees the Star Wars expanded universe as non-canon

Includes every book, video game, and comic to bear the name.

Knights of the Old Republic never really happened. Not only did it not happen a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it never happened in the official Star Wars canon. That's what Lucasfilm is now claiming, along with every comic book, novel and video game to bear the Star Wars moniker.

Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 28

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 28

Splatterhouse, Nail'd, Blood Stone, TRON: Evolution and The Force Unleashed II.

Woah. It's hard to believe that it's been almost five months since we posted Face-Off Round 27, the most recent of our multi-game comparison features. Here, in an effort to make up for the deficit, is a compilation of the most interesting games to come our way, with the promise of further roundup coverage next month.

While none of the releases covered in this feature are absolute must-buys, it's equally fair to say that each and every one of them has its own unique charms, and in a market where games just a couple of months old are savagely discounted, even a Eurogamer 6/10 rated title can provide plenty of value when the price is right.

Here's a quick rundown of the titles we're covering this time:

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The first downloadable add-on for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is set on the forest moon of Endor and sees players kill perhaps the cutest aliens ever conceived: the Ewoks.

Fable III atop of the UK chart

New: Star Wars! WWE! Sims 3! Rock Band!

Update: UKIE has released sales figures for the top 10 games. These show that leader Fable III sold 128,895 copies since launch on Friday - 6000 more than Fable II managed.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Say this for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: there is no pull-the-Star-Destroyer-out-of-the-sky moment. The original game got a bum rap because of that Sisyphean boss fight and other missteps like it, not to mention an abundance of small technical glitches. The sequel was supposed to learn from those mistakes. And it does, somewhat.

Sadly, this follow-up fails to learn from the things that made its predecessor great in spite of the flaws. Star Wars has been called both a space western and a space opera, and in The Force Unleashed, writer/producer Haden Blackman managed to capture both sensibilities in one crackling game. Starkiller was the ultimate gunslinger, riding into town and taking names (even the ones unpronounceable by human tongues). Yet he also played the central part in an epic tale of Wagnerian proportions, one that brought depth to the pre-Luke portion of the Star Wars timeline – more so than George Lucas' prequels did.

The Force Unleashed II maintains some of the crazy cowboy mentality. It's still fun to wade into a posse of stormtroopers and unleash every Force stunt in Starkiller's repertoire: slamming the bad guys against the wall, flinging them into oblivion, stunning them with lightning, and of course, decapitation-by-lightsaber. The game is at its best in prosaic moments, when the screen isn't filled with some titanic mega-boss but rather with an array of smaller challenges to dispatch one by one.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II didn't register on our radar until developer Dmitry Andreev revealed his exceptional work with frame-rate upscaling during this year's SIGGRAPH. The final game doesn't ship with the new tech, but it's still shaping up to be an exceptionally handsome release based on the quality of the demo code released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live this week.

Force Unleashed II demo next week

Xbox Live and PSN taster dated.

LucasArts has revealed that the demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II will be released next week on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

Digital FoundryTech Interview: LucasArts' frame-rate upscaler

Digital Foundry talks in-depth with creator of the 60FPS "miracle" tech.

On Saturday, Digital Foundry covered a SIGGRAPH 2010 presentation by LucasArts' Dmitry Andreev on the process of frame-rate upscaling. This intriguing concept potentially offers all the advantages of rendering a console game at 30FPS, along with the visual smoothness and potentially even the crisper response of 60FPS gaming.

Digital FoundryLucasArts' 60FPS Force Unleashed II tech demo

A frame-rate upscaler that really works? Digital Foundry investigates.

At the recent SIGGRAPH 2010, LucasArts coder Dmitry Andreev showed off a quite remarkable tech demo based on work he carried out during the development of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. In a video demonstration running on Xbox 360, he showed the game operating at its default 30FPS, but then seemingly magically running at 60FPS - with no apparent graphical compromises aside from the removal of motion blur.

The Force Unleashed II demo confirmed

LucasArts will release a demo of upcoming Star Wars action game The Force Unleashed II before it's released on 26th October.

The demo features Starkiller attempting to escape a facility on the planet Kamino. Expect plenty of lightsaber action, smashed up robots and Force powers, Joystiq says.

Reports of internal strife have dogged The Force Unleashed II in recent weeks.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Attack of the Clone?

Even the most enthusiastic developer will tell you making games is damned hard work. Nonetheless, it's hard not to be jealous of those who get to play around with the Star Wars licence. Imagine creating your worlds as a level designer and then getting to fill them with the iconic motifs of a beloved and instantly recognisable universe – shiny Stormtroopers, swooshing lightsabers, the ominous rasping respirations of Darth Vader. And then there are all those other characters. It must be awesome to witness someone you've designed having a chat with Yoda in a cut-scene.

The Force Unleashed II PSP cancelled

The Force Unleashed II PSP cancelled

These aren't the consoles you're looking for.

LucasArts has cancelled the PSP version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, IGN reports.

No explanation was offered.

The PSP version was due for release on 26th October alongside the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, DS and iPhone versions.

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If you head into space, you want to take the right kit with you. For Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, that kit turned out to be middleware. It's hard not to have fun when you've got the likes of DMM and Euphoria under the hood - the first being a materials simulation system capable of turning out all sorts, from ice that both melts and cracks to convincing broccoli, while the second is a hilariously believable character animation programme responsible, among other things, for Red Dead Redemption's gloriously unsettling horsey deaths.

Force Unleashed II CE detailed

Cute 2GB USB drive, in-game stuff.

LucasArts has unveiled its Collector's Edition for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, which is due out for multiple formats on 26th October.

Lucas vetoed Wookiee open-world game

Altogether now: Noooooooo!

George Lucas once personally vetoed the idea of a Star Wars game where you play as a Wookiee in an "open world", "over the top-style superhero game", apparently, suggesting King Ewok hasn't gone completely off the rails after all.

Force Unleashed sequel due next year

Force Unleashed sequel due next year

Trailer suggests return of the Marek.

A sequel to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has been unveiled via a new trailer.

Those who haven't finished the first game and don't like spoilers should look away now. For those who are still reading...

The Force Unleashed II will see the return of Galen "Starkiller" Marek, who appears to be not dead after all. He wields a pair of blue lightsabers in the trailer, suggesting he's now a Jedi. But is it that simple? Not if the conflicting voiceovers by Yoda and Darth Vader are anything to go by.

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