RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Force Unleashed 2

I've always had a special place in my heart reserved for Star Wars. Despite the recent sale of the franchise to Disney, I still retain hope for the Sith and Jedi alike. Throughout the years Star Wars has made many attempts to implement themselves into the gaming industry; some of which were very successful. On the other hand, many Star Wars games have been a total flop. If you love the franchise, you can find fun in almost every title Lucasarts have released.

Gameplay and combat in the Force Unleashed 2
Explosions are Starkiller's best friend.

Genre: Adventure, Action
Release Date: 26th October, 2010
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Score: 7/10
Similar Titles: Jedi Academy, KotoR, Lego Star Wars

The Force Unleashed 2 review

A cutscene in the Force Unleashed game on PC, great visuals and graphics
You actually get to meet Yoda, although he doesn't reveal much.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a questionable title, like Marmite. Some people love it, other people hate it. For those of you who love Star Wars, you should immediately feel at home tossing people around with the force or slapping them with electricity. If you love anything Star Wars, this game should be no different. If you like to criticize games and look for flaws, don't play this game.

The game follows Starkiller, a young apprentice brought up by brutal training from Darth Vader. The Force Unleashed takes place during the clone wars; between episode 3 and episode 4 of the films. Starkiller is the child of an average Jedi, stolen by Vader as a child because of his incredible potential to wield the force.Vader trains him as a secret apprentice to defeat Emperor Palpatine. In the first game, Starkiller joined the rebel alliance to bring them down from the inside. However, he was turned to the light by the former Jedi master Kota, and his love Juno Eclipse. The emperor killed Starkiller for being Vader's secret apprentice, and allegedly you play as Starkiller's clone during the Force Unleashed 2.

A screenshot of the Gorog, a hard boss on the PC version of Force Unleashed
The Gorog is an annoying boss. But it's satisfying to finally beat him.

Starkiller has the potential to become more powerful than Palpatine. As such, during your playthrough you get to perform some terrifying feats. Stormtroopers are your playthings, the empire's robots are minor annoyances. As you progress you will find the game incredibly easy. The enemies are cannon fodder. The only time a hardcore player will die playing the Force Unleashed is during a boss fight. This ideal may annoy many avid gamers. However, us gamers know that all new titles are created to be easy for the majority of players. So when all games are easy, what's the point in playing? The answer is fun. If you're having fun, then it is worth paying for it. I enjoyed the majority of my playthrough on the Force Unleashed, and therefore I consider it a good game. So ask yourself this; will you appreciate tossing stormtroopers around like dolls? Do you fancy taking down giant monsters with the force? Because if that sounds like your cup of tea, then play this game. If not, then give it a pass.

Starkiller has many powers at his disposal, and you certainly get a kick out of using them. Force Push can be used to send enemies flying and grant you some breathing room. Force Lightning doesn't do as much damage as you would expect, but it stuns enemies and keeps them in place. You can even use Force Grip to pick up multiple opponents and toss them around like rocks. In some cases you can combine powers to create devastating effects. For example you can grab a couple of stormtroopers and then hit them with some lightning to turn them into floating bombs.

Gameplay from the second Force Unleashed title
Some interaction with enemies will demand you press the right key at the right time.

Levels can be divided into four manageable activities. Exploring, basic puzzles, killing trash enemies, and a final boss fight. The puzzles are so easy they could be completed by a dimwit. Most fights consist of you killing failed Starkiller clones, stormtroopers, and sometimes robots. Progressing through each stage is remarkably easy, most enemies can be killed using more than one of your force powers. It feels like playing a sandbox game, once you have found a good method to beating a particular enemy then it becomes a process of repetition.

Boss fights are the only challenge and they can be considered very frustrating at times. It takes admirable perseverance to complete them in some cases. Each boss fight can be divided into phases. The most annoying boss is the Gorog, a gigantic Rancor. During the first phase, you have to continue to dodge his attacks until he presents an opening. Only then can you deal a significant chunk of damage to his health. Once you reach the second phase, it's practically impossible to deal damage to the Gorog. You have to spam Force Lightning whilst dodging several frustrating attacks over and over until you get to the final stage. Despite this annoyance, when you finally beat him you feel like you've earned it. I continued to play purely because when you beat a difficult enemy, you get to watch a scene of Starkiller finishing them off in a spectacular fashion that's almost as badass as Dante from Devil May Cry.

The final fight with Darth Vader in the Force Unleashed 2
Vader looks all shiny. He's supposed to be difficult, but I stomped his face in.

As for the graphics, they are pretty damn good. There's a fair amount of screen tear, but when you're in the zone smashing people with the force- it's pretty enough to make you feel cool. My main attraction to the Force Unleashed 2 was using the force and feeling awesome while doing it. The graphics are certainly a selling point. There are a few CGI scenes that look pretty amazing, but nothing interesting happens during them, which is a shame.

Sam Witwer is the voice actor of Starkiller. Starkiller is also modeled after him, and they look remarkably similar. Famously known for playing roles such as Doomsday in Smallville, Witwer was a brilliant choice to bring life to Starkiller. If you've seen him play any role in television, it is immediately apparent who he is. I can't think of a better person to play the role other than Mark Pellegrino.

A scene with General Kota who has completely changed since the original Force Unleashed
General Kota is the opposite of the drunk he was in the first game.

The main reason to purchase and play this game is to kick ass with the force. If that is your goal, you get to do it here. Starkiller performs devastating feats that make you question whether he could even beat Luke Skywalker. If you're a skeptic, you will have a lot to complain about whilst playing the Force Unleashed 2. Just be prepared to enjoy yourself whilst complaining. Other games of the Star Wars franchise may be considered better overall, but none of them can bring the hands on action you will experience playing as Starkiller.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is a sequel that builds on the first game admirably. Whilst many game critics can easily find fault with the flaws in the game, true Star Wars fans will feel at home and truly take on the role of Starkiller, torn between the light and dark sides of the force. If you want to play the Force Unleashed 1 and 2, I suggest you play KotoR and Jedi Academy first. Not because of the story ties, but because they are better. But for true Star Wars addicts, this is a perfect addition to your collection.

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