Force Unleashed II

Abraxas reviews the sequel to the first game which he first reviewed here. In this review, Abraxas is Darth Vader and the game is Admiral Ozzel.

Forced Unleashed II

I actually waited a little bit to post the review of this game, to coincide with my anniversary here at Monkey Labs. Why?  Because the original Force Unleashed was my first assignment. I thought it would present a nice bit of symmetry to get the review up in January for this game.

For those of you who just got here, or can’t remember that far back, I didn’t like the first game.  Well, didn’t like is a bit light.  I was disappointed by the first game.  I mean, the Force was reduced to a gimmick, the love interest was shoe-horned into the story and served no function other than sex, and the game contributed to the further pussification of Darth Vader.  Not a lot there to like. So, sure it had great graphics, and the fighting portions were a romp, but the game, like so many other Lucas Arts productions, cheapened its source material and exploited it for no gains whatsoever.

You can read that review here.

I tried to approach this game with some fresh perspective.  The designers had 2 years to learn from their failures in the first game, and apply those to make the second game better.

And like Luke in the Test of the Cave from Empire, they failed.

Sure, sure, the graphics are top-notch.  The actual combat is face-paced, and depending on difficulty level, challenging.

But given the talent working on this game, and this is a sequel, that isn’t much praise.  In fact, it’s no praise at all.  It’s the starting point from which they should have expanded.  And they didn’t.

Nothing in FU II is superior to the first game, or even adds to that first game.  Somehow, FU II comes in with an even lighter story and shorter play time.  That’s right, shorter play time.  You can expect to plunk down 50 bones for this game, and get about 4 hours of game play if you’re an experienced player like me or 6 hours if you suck.   To be honest, just when I thought this game was taking off and going to get moving, it ended.  I am not joking.  Crashing towards the planet, using the Force to move space junk out of the way, was a great idea.  That should have been the end of Act I, and moved you into an exploration of what it is to be alive and a person.

The central unanswered question is whether or not the protagonist is a clone or the original.  And, in today’s scientific climate where advances like this are happening every day, is a great topical question to explore. Discussing the ethics of things like cloning and moral questions of identity out of that cloning are what Science Fiction was made for.  What?  You thought it was just about flying around in a space ship, shooting lasers?  No.  Science Fiction is best when it discusses the ethics and morality of what we can do and how it affects us as people.

Instead the game ends about 30 minutes later with a boss fight. Bleh.

I will give the game one point of unqualified praise: they added Mind Trick to the available powers in the game.  You can use it on the troopers to get them to turn on each other.  That’s cool.

In the end, Force Unleashed II does nothing to surpass or even equal the original game.  Furthermore, Force Unleashed II proves that there are only 2 good Star Wars games- Jedi Outcast and Knights of the Old Republic.

This game is skippable.

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