Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Review

The force is strong with this one, or is it?

After waiting what seemed like forever, Star Wars’ long anticipated sequel to the hit Force Unleashed came out yesterday and I took advantage of Best Buy’s buy two get one free offer. I rushed home and threw the disk into the Xbox. Wishing I could actually use the force to put the game in, I fired it up. The Force Unleashed II turned out to be a pleasure to play as the game had plenty of action and the graphics were visually stunning, but the Star Wars title also lacked something, longevity. The force was strong with this one, or was it?

The story starts as Starkiller escapes Kamino and starts his adventure to find himself as well as his love, Juno, from the first game. Starkiller’s dilemma? He isn’t sure if he is a clone as Darth Vader keeps insisting. And the visions that the young Jedi, or Sith, is having are just side effects of the cloning process. The problem is, Darth Vader wants to get rid of his clone gone crazy, or in other words, to kill Starkiller. Vader’s protege senses this and blasts his way out of confinement. Falling freely through the air, Starkiller has to dodge and weave his way around tower parts and metal fragments before crashing down into a squad of Storm Troopers, which, of course, are no match. Using Starkiller’s dual light sabers, you slice through Storm Troopers and anything else that finds it’s way in the path of these two awesome sabers of complete annihilation. The force powers, which can be upgraded as you collect orbs from the dead, add to your arsenal of devastation. The force lightning was my favorite. Seeing the Storm Troopers fry like mosquitoes in a bug zapper was very visually appealing. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like using force lightning? Force push is another good one to use. It completes the “hat trick” of carnage that Starkiller uses to destroy his foes and environment. Force fury is a new one that Lucas Arts added to Starkillers menu for complete domination as well as force mind trick. Throw in force grip and saber throw and you got yourself a huge appetite for destruction. He eventually meets up with an old friend who helps him along the way. But he needs Starkiller’s expertise as a saber slinger and his knowledge of Kamino for a planned attack. Starkiller, however, is hell bent on finding out whether or not he was made in a petri dish and finding Juno. The game goes on as you eventually encounter some familiar faces like Yoda and Boba Fett, but the action is still top notch.

Asthetically, the game stimulates the eyes very well. While slicing and dicing your way through the galaxy like a interplanetary chef, you can actually see the body parts fly off of the poor souls that make it into the path of Starkiller’s dual light sabers. Even the environment isn’t spared in the wake of Starkiller’s glowing swords. Playing the game, you can see the burn marks and swipes on the metal and walls as you make your way through the levels. Even the space scenes are appealing. It’s almost like watching a real sequel, or prequel, to the Star Wars universe. Colors are bright and vibrant like when you use force lightning, but is contrasted well with the darks and grays in the game, when Starkiller is on Kamino, for example. It blends well. It’s enough to leave the player in awe, but not bright enough to burn your retinas.

As the old saying goes, you can’t please everyone. This game included. Although, it’s an enjoyable game and I felt like the Emperor when he was shooting Force Lightning at Mace Windu, there were times where I felt, “Does he always have to talk like that?” referencing, of course, Starkiller’s voice volume. Starkiller literally scream talks through the whole game. Now, granted, there are parts where the dialogue wasn’t as extreme, but for most of the game, his voice was just overwhelming. Seriously, I got it. You want to kill Vader; no need to shout, I’m right in front of you. That’s how it seemed. Another thing I didn’t like was the fact that it was extremely short. I completed the game in three hours. Now, the caveat to that is I played on easy, but even still, an easy game should be at least four hours long to keep the player from feeling empty. Which is exactly how I felt. My response was, “That was it! Wow! Good thing I got it for free (I took advantage of Best Buy’s buy two, get one free offer)”. Keep in mind, however, the game would probably last a bit longer if it was on a harder setting, but the total time played was still disappointing.

The Force Unleashed II was an enjoyment to play and I would recommend this game to a Star Wars fan in a heart beat. There are other parts of the game like the challenge levels that the player can take advantage of as well. If you buy it, you will also get a code for a Sith Acolyte costume, which I played with because it was awesome looking, why else? If you have the first Force Unleashed, those costumes will transfer over as well. Something I didn’t know and is a good thing. Lucas Arts produced a really good game and I hope they continue with the franchise because force lightning is just too cool to be without. As long as they continue with the superb graphics and performance, this franchise will be very successful. However, I hope they will extend the length of the next game, if there is one, just a little longer. Yes, this game IS strong with the force.