Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is an action video game released by LucasArts in 2010 as the sequel of original The Force Unleashed.
LucasArts developed the title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, while Aspyr Media and Red Fly Studio made versions for PC and the Nintendo Wii respectively.
Due to the nature of this game as a sequel, we’ll address several plot points and spoil the end events of The Force Unleashed in this article. Also, we’ll focus on the PS3 version of this title in this review.
If you want to fully experience the game and its story, finish The Force Unleashed and then come back here.
The original “The Force Unleashed” allowed players to take the role of an amazing Sith apprentice with insane force powers, which was living a dream for many Star War fans.
A lot of people got excited about the game bridging the gap between two films. It expanded the Star Wars canon back then, and the story was so good it won a Writers Guild of America award for best writing in a video game.
Given how successful that title was, a sequel was inevitable. However, the departure of W. Haden Blackman (game designer and writer of the first game), The Force Unleashed II shifted the production’s direction.
W. Haden Blackman was only writer for The Force Unleashed II, in contrast to his work as lead developer, designer, and writer for the original. So, he had less of an influence in this title.
Starkiller was a boy who got kidnapped by Darth Vader, who made him his evil apprentice. The Sith Lord later tasks Starkiller with hunting down rebels.
The Force Unleashed explored how Starkiller went from being a villain to becoming directly responsible for making the rebellion happen.
If you choose the good ending, Starkiller sacrifices himself for the rebellion, setting the stage for “A New Hope.” If players choose the bad ending, which is non-canon, Starkiller becomes a slave to the empire and kills the rest of the rebels.
This sequel starts six months after The Force Unleashed, but the game doesn’t pick which timeline is correct. All we know is that the empire is trying to create Starkiller clones.
The players take the role of one of these many clones. Darth Vader order Starkiller to kill Juno, his love interest. He gets conflicted with his feelings for Juno, which leads him to refusing to kill her.
Vader orders Starkiller’s execution, you fight back and then get thrown into a pretty neat free-falling section.
The protagonist remembers all the good things that came because he met Juno, and his own efforts to help the rebellion. So, he sets up to find General Rahm Kota (a Jedi master) to search for Juno so they can get together.
A huge part of the game’s plot centers around something important for Starkiller, Juno. This version of Starkiller is different; he loves a woman, just like Anakin did, which is a particular kind of attachment Jedi forbid.
Since he’s a clone, he’s more conflicted about his true identity. This theme plays a relevant role in the development of his character. Most of the plot is about Starkiller’s personal journey.
The first game featured a gradual change from the dark side to the light. But, in The Force Unleashed II, Starkiller is a good guy from the beginning, and he wants to find love and a place he can call home.
This game improves and fine-tunes several elements on the original. But, the developers played it somewhat safe by trying to deliver the same gaming experience.
The upgraded graphical engine drastically improved particle effects and character models. Starkiller’s abilities underwent a remarkable visual change, which makes his powers look more intense and dynamic.
The presentation of The Force Unleashed II looks smooth and more polished. However, the level designs are too linear with repetitive layers and structures that, more often than not, all look the same.
When it comes to the gameplay, the basic skills return. We have force lightning, push, pull-throw, repulse, light-saber throw, and the super dash.
One of the most exciting changes in The Force Unleashed II is dual-wielding light-sabers. Players can customize their weapons depending on how many holocrons they collect.
However, one notable flaw in the gameplay is the lack of challenge. Instead of gradually gaining power and experience, The Force Unleashed II gives players nearly all the abilities available.
The Force Unleashed II has a lot good traits despite the poor critical response; it adds different things and elements that make the game fun and interesting. It needed to fix the bugs and include more epic boss battles.
This game had the potential to become another hit for LucasArt, but unfortunately it only offers a good to average gaming experience.