Star Wars The Force Unleashed II Review (PC)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by granville, Oct 31, 2010.

Oct 31, 2010
  1. granville
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    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    <p align=" " class="none"> Welcome to Granville's review of Star Wars The Force Unleashed II. This is a review of the PC version of said game, which was developed alongside the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions and is identical to those versions. I hope this is some use to people, here's my review. <b>I WILL WARN YOU NOW, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST GAME.</b> If you wish to avoid these, you can just skip ahead to the final score (though likely if you even had a peek at any gameplay or boxart, you're probably as spoiled as this review will make the game anyways. <b>PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS AN HONEST OPINION OF THE GAME AND I AM NOT TRYING TO ATTACK YOUR OWN OPINION OF THE GAME. IF YOU ENJOY OR HATE THE GAME, I RESPECT YOUR OPINION. THIS IS MINE.</b> </p>
    So Star Wars Force Unleashed was a mixed bag among reviewers. They cited a great looking game, but that the combat and story were lacking. Character development took a backseat to extravagant looking presentation. And despite the title "Unleashed", the game felt like it controlled itself much of the time, or gave the enemies much too high vitality. One of the most glaring complaints was how it felt like you were hitting heavily armored enemies with a blunt katana. A lightsaber is supposed to slice clean through most people without hitting them upwards of 10 times or more. Prior to the release of TFU2, developers stated that they intended to take these mistakes and turn them around to make a better game. The question is have they succeeded? And the answer is simply- not quite sadly... Lets go through all the elements shall we?

    <b>Story-</b>

    Force Unleashed actually ended on a rather final note. Vader's secret apprentice Starkiller manages to beat Vader and the Emperor in a duel, but he dies while giving his friend's a chance to escape (while also creating the rebel alliance). OR SO WE THOUGHT. The explanation for his apparent survival is that the Starkiller in this game is a clone, grown at the cloning facility on Kamino. Vader wasted no time in trying to clone his apprentice to try to overthrow the Emperor. Almost immediately, the writers try to throw some doubt on Starkiller being a clone (saying cloning a Jedi's power is impossible). It should be noted right here and now that it is never resolved whether the Starkiller in this game is a clone or not. However, the Starkiller here inherits all of the previous Starkiller's memories. It is what drives him to escape from Darth Vader and try to seek out his old rebel friends.

    Overall, the story progression in this game is very weak. Character development is bland and uninteresting. Anything you wanted to know about the characters you can just go play the first game. This aspect of the game is one of the biggest disappointments. I can attribute the largest complaint here to rushed cutscenes. A perfect example of this is the Dagobah scene where you meet Yoda. The cameo is useless and all it is is basically "this is your destiny, go to the cave, use what you've learned". It's a pathetic scene, and disappointing. There's also a brief Boba Fett scene. His only purpose until the very end is to kidnap Starkiller's lover, Juno Eclipse. You barely see him and don't get to confront him. The rest of the game suffers from the same kind of blandness. The ending is especially weak, and it makes Darth Vader look pathetic. I'll say no more here, except to say that the game ends on a huge cliffhanger. One that MUST be addressed to coincide with the original film trilogy.

    <b>Graphics-</b>

    Here's where most of the game's budget must have gone. Though I also have to figure this is where they ran out of said budget half way through this category. It's rather interesting to say that the game looks amazing and horrible at fluctuating intervals. The game has a solid engine, capable of almost every effect you could think of. Character animation is spectacular and when effort is put into it, the levels are gorgeous and full of detail. Yet somehow, a lot of the game fell flat here. The first two levels look great (Kamino and Cato Neimoidia). But then the rest looked rather bland until the last level (which is just a retread of Kamino). Kamino has some incredible rain effects, probably the best I've ever seen in a video game. Cato Neimoidia is a bright palace-like level with casinos.

    But then the rest are just bland and sparsely constructed generic space station levels. There's barely any detail to them at all. Dagobah had a lot of potential, but the level lasts less than a minute (yes literally) and gives no time to appreciate the graphics. So here, the game is both good and bad. I get the feeling developers either ran out of money or got lazy and only half finished the graphics.

    <b>Sound-</b>

    Beyond reproach for me. But that much is expected from Star Wars. Unless you're getting tired of the John Williams score, you'll find no complaints here. Music is all in extremely high quality. All the saber and blaster sound effects are there. And the voice acting is actually quite solid. The most memorable dialog is actually heard while using the jedi mind trick. I've got no complaints here, the music and sound does its job and retains the classic Star Wars flair.

    <b>Gameplay-</b>

    Here's where the game really falls flat. The levels themselves are mostly to blame. I felt the first, second, and part of the last levels were decent. But the problem lies in the fact that this is an extremely linear game, with almost no places to explore. The first game had a linear path as well, but the levels themselves contained some secrets that you could seek out and find. Unleashed 2 though is much more constricted. Even the paths in the levels themselves are very narrow, accentuating the obvious linearity of the game. It also doesn't help that there are only a few levels, and most of the last level is a retread of the first.

    The combat is said to be refined somewhat. I'd say they just added a new force power and implemented dismemberment to enemies. I will say, the new force power is awesome. It's jedi mind trick. It's not that useful in itself, but it is VERY fun to use and abuse and watch your enemies either kill each other, or jump off a cliff. Favorite line was "your friends will kill you", which was promptly answered by the Stormtropper- "not if I kill them first!!!" (then he starts shooting his allies). Other than that, the combat feels pretty much the same as the first game. I didn't feel the targeting system was any better (though i didn't have any issue with the first game). Dismemberment is cool, but it doesn't fix the fact that you have to slash away at an enemy many times to kill them. All previous force powers are still in the game. Quick time events are still here as well, and i'm not a fan of them. They make the game look cool, but that's it.

    Another new feature is "force fury mode". While fighting, you have a gauge on the bottom left that fills up. When it's full, you can enter force fury mode and "unleash your anger" in a sort of berserk mode. In this mode, your force abilities are multiplied by about 10 in power. It's very fun to enter fury and destroy things, but it makes the game a cakewalk. I only did it twice before forgetting the option was there. It's not unlimited by any means, and it takes a while to fill up your fury gauge. It's also not a necessary power unless you're a very unskilled player.

    Lastly, your character uses two lightsabers now, in the reverse grip position he uses. It doesn't seem to matter much. You're able to kill things faster than you did in Unleashed, but that's it. Saber combat actually feels blander to me here than the first game. And when you are using sabers, it quickly becomes a run-of-the-mill beat em up. I prefer the force, and in this case, I actually prefer the original game. Some things were refined about the sequel, but I feel the original had much better gameplay (especially the levels). There are also barely any real jedi or sith to fight here as well. Most of the levels in the original Force Unleashed had you fighting surviving Jedi. The battles could be pretty fun too. Barely any boss fights with force users here. It's mostly giant robots or nothing, which is very unsatisfying. The only boss fight I enjoyed here was the second-level boss, the gorog. And that is because it mixed some nice platforming into the fight.

    <b>Length and Replay-</b>

    Probably the worst offender here is the length of the game. Playing on the hardest (unleashed) difficulty, I beat this game in about four and a half hours. I didn't rush through the game, I tried to explore many of the secret locations (which there aren't many of, being so linear). It was over before I knew it. Maybe that's a good thing if the game sucks, but it's not a good thing for people who actually bought this game for a large sum of money (especially the non-PC versions, which cost more). I also can't see myself wanting to play it again either. The original Force Unleashed again triumphs over this one. Go figure.

    <b>Overall-</b>

    This game was bland. It's not horrible, not good, just mediocre. Story progression is bad, character development is nonexistent, and most of the levels are a complete joke. The game feels rushed in every sense of the word. Even if you TRY to prolong the game by taking it slow, the game won't last you longer than 5-6 hours. For regular players, you can beat it in about 4 hours. And assuming you sped through the game, it would be even shorter still. I was in fact somewhat of a fan of the original. It's not perfect either, but I did reap a lot of enjoyment out of it. This one contained none of that enjoyment. I don't have high hopes, but hopefully the inevitable third game will bring back some of the original's fun. Would be better if it was superior to BOTH games, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Overall, very disappointing experience. I'd rather have skipped the game and just read some spoilers if I needed to know what happened.

    <b>Ratings-</b>

    <b>Story: 5/10</b> - Lifeless and bland. Character progression is pretty much nonexistent. The two classic cameos are useless and short. And the story just feels rushed, having no real effort put into it. Ending is pretty lame as well. It has a huge cliffhanger, so there has to be a third game, but it's very lame.

    <b>Graphics: 8/10</b> - When it works, the game is beyond reproach. It can be gorgeous. Shame it only works some of the time. Most levels look vacant and bland. Special praise goes to the Kamino level, it's one of the best looking levels in a game I've ever seen.

    <b>Sound: 9/10</b> - I'm not a huge fan of the main theme of Force Unleashed, but you don't hear it much. Classic Star Wars music and sound effects are everywhere and sound wonderful. Voice acting is very solid too.

    <b>Gameplay: 6/10</b> - A couple of decent levels, followed by a ton of bad ones. Mostly dull combat. And not much to really DO with you saber skills. Best new feature is Jedi mind trick. Doesn't save the poor level design though.

    <b>Length/Replay: 4/10</b> - Abysmal. I can't imagine myself replaying this game. And the game is so short, it can be completed in just a few short hours.

    <b>Final Score: 6/10</b> - Mediocre. I'd be hard pressed to recommend this game to anyone. If you're into Star Wars and have to find out about the story, rent it or download it if you must play it. You can beat it in less than a day. I don't feel it's worth spending any money on at least. Had I known how I feel about it now, I'd have skipped it entirely and just read spoilers or something. Here's hoping the third game is better. I'd skip this game. Not terrible, but not good either.

    I hope this helps some people who are interested in the game. I should note that the PC version has a few graphical glitches that the console ones apparently don't have. Unsure if it's my graphics card drivers, but some textures flash black in later levels. I believe it's because of the notoriously bad company Aspyr. They handled the PC ports of Force Unleashed 1 and 2. Take that as you will, I never had any issues completing the game though. And my PC was fast enough to handle the high requirements of the game. This review is an honest opinion of the game. I'm not trying to piss anyone off, so don't accuse me of it. If you like the game, my opinion is not intended to sway yours. And I'm happy if you found more fun in the game that I could not. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
     
  2. GundamXXX

    Member GundamXXX Ergo Ego

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    I have to somewhat agree but also somewhat disagree with it.

    Its awfully linear etc but you gave a 6 in gameplay. Your giving it WAY too much credit.

    Have you ever played teh Jedi Knight series? Remember the controls for Force Grip? Just swaying your mouse whilst holding someone and chucking him over the edge into a crevasse....I missed this. Also one thing that pissed me off is you cant set controls for left handed people! I mean seriously, Im left handed and I cant bind the right shift instead of the left shift?

    Other then that your pretty much spot on, a fail from LucasArts in all aspects... sounds was pretty good though ;p
     
  3. valp

    Newcomer valp Advanced Member

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    I'd give it a 7,3. It has pretty decent moments. =)
     
  4. darth_katarn

    Newcomer darth_katarn Member

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    I am a huge Star Wars fan. I was very enthusiastic before the release of the first instalment of the game and revealed itself very disappointing. So when the second part came out, I expected nothing, and unfortunately I was right. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] KOTOR [​IMG] is much better ...
     

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