Before launching into all out rage against SW: The force unleashed 2 (SW:TFU2) I wanted to bring up what little positive I can say about the game. It boils down to this, if you’re looking for a good rental game where the goal is to beat a ton of generic enemies while making light saber noises and you don’t care much about having a plot that make sense, this is the perfect game for you. It’s mindless fun in the Star Wars universe.
Monkey rage and plenty of spoilers after the break
5 waffling hours! This is how long it took me to complete the game. Action games are renowned to be short games and the average length of one of them is around 10 hours. The more recent games push this closer to 15, 20 hours even and it’s hard to fault a game company for the shortness of these games most of the time. Most of them are gorgeous works of art with sprawling environments and lovingly crafted story. Each level is hand crafted to deliver an intense, if short, gaming experience.
And I’m fine with having 10-15 hours of quality gameplay instead of 30 of poor one. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. Where I’m not willing to make the tradeoff is when I get 5 hours of craptastic gaming with piss poor combat, unimaginative levels and a story line made by a pre-schooler.
The force unleashed 2 is one of the most impressive piece of trash I have bought full price. If there was ever an example needed on how to rip off your customers this is it. But don’t just take my word for it, let’s take a look of the game.
It’s the classic John Williams score so it’s hard for the game to go wrong there. No points for originality or effort but at least they had the decency to put nice music while they mug you.
Another point there. While all the rest of the team who worked on this piece of trash were snorting coke (that’s what investor money is for no?), the team in charge of graphics actually produced something great. It looks Star Wars, the lightning effects are pure genius and the game just looks awesome. I have to give it to Lucas arts, it’s a pretty piece of trash.
Fidelity to Star Wars universe
Normally this is not something I’d consider but I really wanted to give points to this game and feel less dumb for buying it. At first it looks like the lore guy knew their stuff. You would see era appropriate ships (Empire has the basic TIE fighter, rebels don’t have the X-Wings yet and use Z95) and uniforms and weapons are the right ones for the era. I really wanted to give them points for lore effort but they failed the final question when they put an A-Wing (developed after episode 4) in one of the hangars.
Boring, unresponsive, buggy. All actions games in the vein of God of War, including the first Force unleashed, have come up with intricate combat systems to make fighting interesting. They offer multiple choices so that you can develop your own fighting style. Not so with Force unleashed 2. You mash the very same button all game and there’s no real combo system. Just mash attack and use a force power from time to time.
It gets worse. Not only is the combat boring, it’s buggy. Block mechanics are messed up and when you need to block an attack often doesn’t correspond with when you’re actually hit. Sometime it’s sooner, other it’s later and finding the right timing feels like playing roulette blindfolded. Bosses are the worst with many attacks simply not blockable or dodgeable due to their shoddy design.
Talking about bosses, the first Force Unleashed featured some of the most intense and awesome jedi battles ever seen in a video game. Forget that here! No jedis for you and say hello to generic droids and yet another humongous monster from hell.
There’s 3 levels in this game.
Kamino, the cloner planet (you visit twice! the excitement!)
Malastar, gladiator planet
Nebulon B frigate, starship
That’s it! No more… nothing else. Well, there is a Dagobah level that last a whole 5 minutes and where you fight nothing but I’m not calling it a level. It’s sort of an elaborate loading screen. Every single one of these levels is simply a repetition of the same rooms and designs over and over wich some levels (Starship) having you backtrack through them.
It’s anemic, there’s no substance in this game. I’ve seen DLCs for other games with more content than this. It’s beyond me how this piece of trash of level design ever got approved. It’s hard to describe how bad this is.
Boy is cloned, clone escape from prison to find girl. Boy rescue jedi master, boy go to Dagobah for Yoda guest appearance, boy go to starship to meet with girl. Vader kidnap girl, boy go back to Kamino to rescue girl, the end.
Come on!!!! A three-year old came up with that. It’s hard to talk about story because there’s none at all. Special hate mention goes to the Dagobah segment wich makes no sense at all. All you do there is be told again you need to find the love of your life. There’s nothing even close to a revelation in there. Yoda doesn’t even say anything worthwhile. It’s just like those bad movies where they put Bruce Willis on the poster to sell when in fact he does a 5 second cameo.
I’m having trouble putting into words my hate for this game. It’s a 1 hour game stretched to five hours. It’s the most blatant ripoff based on a popular IP I have ever seen. The game first producer left LucasArt back in July and it’s becoming clear why. Either he was so ashamed he never wanted to be associated with the game and pulled an Alan Smithee or he’s the one responsible and he wanted to dodge the disaster. Whatever the case, this game is simply LucasArt stealing money from the fans.
But fear not! DLC has already been announced so you will be able to buy the actual game you didn’t get the first time around… seriously LucasArts… I pray you go under after this game and that we get rid of you. I know it’s the last game I’ll ever buy from you.