Star Wars Force Unleashed II: The Death of a Star Wars Story
When the name “Star Wars” is mentioned, a person can expect a certain level to entertainment with a splash of something beyond the norm and out of this world story lines. Sometimes the beyond the norm and out of this world story lines can be very long and very in-depth. When it came to the Star Wars Force Unleashed II video game, all expectations for the much desired and greatly awaited game went sour within 1 hour of playing the physical game itself.
First thing that was noticeable right from the start, was the game-play graphics were actually a faint step up from the first game’s graphics. Only a faint step up, thou. There was one obvious aspect that seemed to remain the same with the transfer from the first game to the second and that was the fact that the characters still moved like they were robots. Gameplay graphics were clearer and slightly more detailed, while the FMV or cut scene graphics were a great deal more detailed than the first game. The cut scene movies detailed the scenes with more real-life appearances to them, making them more believable. When it comes to the massive company that LucasArts has become and all the computer technology available to them over the years, there are certain level of expectations from one of the forerunner companies of sound and visual creation. Sadly, those expectations seemed not to come to the forefront when it came to fixing the problem of the robotic walking of the humans, even if it did excel at graphics.
For many gamers, as well as this author, who have played Star Wars Force Unleashed II from beginning to end, will stated in the plainest terms that the biggest problem with this new Star Wars title is that the game itself is far too short in gameplay as well as cut scenes. This game was beaten within 2 to 4 hours of officially starting it and that includes watching everything in between the gameplay. As many games nowadays have mini movies inside of their storyline cut scenes, this game’s cut scenes didn’t even amount to a mini movie, which was a great disappointment for Star Wars fans who were interested in the base storyline. When comparisons are made to the first game, there are several obvious differences and not many good qualities to comment on. When it came to the direction of the base storyline of this game, it was far more confusing than it needed to be. There were very few explanations into the events between the first and second game as well as the main character, Starkiller’s origin on whether or not he truly was a clone. Which is one of the points that Darth Vader seems to push through most of the game. In truth, the storyline seemed to have no basic direction in which it was flowing. Which only provided more confusion. The only real or possibly better explanation into Starkiller’s real origin came from Darth Vader at the very end of the game. And even that explanation does not provide any real details. Almost like it was a teaser, but in truth, not very well executed. Which leaves the gamers wondering if Vader was lying or telling Starkiller the truth that he was a clone.
As true gamers will attest, some of the funniest, longest, and even hardest parts of any video game is when the main character or the gamer, as it will, battles the main enemy or villain. This opponent can be very difficult to beat or the gamer needs to be on their toes to stay alive. So, when it comes to Darth Vader, who has been voted one of the meanest and evilest villains in history, there was a certain level of expectations about defeating such a powerful foe. And sadly, again those expectations were not lived up to in this game. Darth Vader was surprisingly easy to defeat, for someone this author has always known to be such a powerful villain. It was very disappointing. When it came to challenging or just longer foe to defeat, the large ogre-like monster in the second stage more fits the bill. And that was more like running around and just staying out of its way.
To stay within the basics of the first game, the gamer is allowed to decide to be good or bad. Yet, one of the endings itself has caused not just confusion but disappointment in gamers as well as this author. The Good Side ending brings forward many questions that, in true, can’t be answered in proper tones without making the movies nonexistent. One such example is this: If the gamer completes the good ending, Starkiller spares Vader’s life as defeating him in one of the easiest battles this author has ever fought in a video game before. Once Vader is spared, he is taken prisoner by the Rebellion to learn the Empire’s secrets. And they plan on transporting him to the very planet that Princess Leia was forced to tell Vader about in the movie ‘A New Hope’. Which raises the question, if the Rebellion plans to take Vader there, how do the developers explain how he didn’t know about it in the movie? Yes, it is understandable that the movie itself was made over 20 years ago, but the question still remains. This is supposed to be an ‘official’ storyline of what happened between the events of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’.
For anyone who has seen the movies from ‘Phantom Menace’ to ‘Return of the Jedi’, will see that there were not just holes in the storyline itself, but the supreme need for greater explanations in the events of the game and the effects of the events from the first game. So many questions and almost no answers to them. While there are some who will argue about where the developers went wrong in the storyline, there are just too many to make arguments to be made and far too many questions that did not get answered.
While listed above are many cons to the Star Wars Forced Unleashed II game, there are a few pros to the game. Not as many as this author would have liked to see, but the pros do exist. One glaringly obvious pro for many gamers who liked the fact that they had the ability to control Jedi powers, is that there were more of them available for use in this game. Different strengths as well as twin light sabers were available for purchase and upgrades. Having the ability to become a Jedi is a great lure for the many gamers, especially Star Wars fans.
This author recommends anyone who enjoys Star Wars games, books, or movies, to try this game at least once. It was semi-enjoyable to play through once and only once. Yet, the real question that this author or most gamers will ask is this: Is there any replay value to Star Wars Force Unleashed II? The answer, sadly, is no. This game provided more questions than answers when it came to the events taking place between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’, as well as questions about the events from the first game. A play-through once is about the best this author will recommend, so an understanding of the second game is made, at least. Is this game worth the full 60.00 dollars that was asked when it first was released? No, it was not. From gamers online to stores like Gamestop, this author has heard more complaints about the game then positive reviews. Rent it, if possible, but do not pay full price for it.