Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Steamworks: The Force Unleashed II Review

Hey Gang,

So for the past week I've been promising you a review, and here it is! Since no one weighed in their opinion, I decided Star Wars was getting a review today. However, I'd like to again inform you that I only played about 2 hours into The Force Unleashed I and decided to move on to Force Unleashed II because the first was simply unplayable for me. So here we go:

First I'd like to talk about the story which causes many debates among several anonymous voices in my head. In all honesty, it wasn't a bad story; it had potenital, and it didn't make me want to stop playing. In fact, it made me kept playing; I wanted to find out more about this "clone" Starkiller. However, it's pretty obvious why the story is the way it is, and it was heavily influenced by business.

It's obvious that this game wasn't planned from the beginning. There was only supposed to be one Force Unleashed. However, since it was a jem in its time, the game generated a fairly large fan base. So what do you do when you make a lot of money? You try to make more, extending the product some the fan-base buys up all the new content. This CAN be successful sometimes, in example the original Star Wars movies. George Lucas never planned any of the other movies other than Episode IV (correct me if I'm wrong?), but when he saw an huge fan base for the movie, he eventually made the rest.

I feel like Havok (the gaming company who produced the games) was rushing to keep their fan base that they had built. They rushed the story and created a 4 hour long game. As I said, I really do like the basic concept of the story arc. It has the potential to be phenomenal.  But there's simply not enough depth incorporated into the roots. The huge story line twist, which is introduced in the beginning of the game, is simply never put to rest, which I feel was Havok saying "Hey guys, if you like this, we'll make more." I traveled two other planets than Kamino, the planet you start on, and I also fought a 2 hour long battle on a star ship. They simply didn't expand enough to benefit the players or even themselves to bring it further.

A huge number of people were also bitter that the dark side ending wasn't canon. Let me explain; as anyone could have guessed, you face Darth Vader as your end-game boss. When you get him into a killing position, you get a choice to make two options; the light side decision or the dark side decision. Obviously, you probably know what the dark side ending was, and that simply has no way of being canon. I chose the light side ending simply because I wanted to see the legitimate ending and because I didn't know what it was. I personally don't see why people are bitter about it; there are a lot of Star Wars video games, TV Shows, and specials (*cough cough Christmas Special*) that are simply not canon, and the argument that you spent all that time to get a non canon ending is illegitimate because A) The game isn't even that long and B) because you have to spend your time doing anything; you chose to take your chance with it.

Anyway, let's talk combat; it hasn't evolved much from the previous game, let's just say that. I will tell you that there are less force resistant enemies, which is nice, and the boss fights are a lot easier to beat versus the unbeatable ones in its predecessor. This game makes you use our combos more often, which is nice. I am a sucker for shiny graphics which they use well (again, relative to when it was released. Compared to games today, the graphics are shit, but back then it was outstanding). And who simply doesn't enjoy force grasping the innocent Storm Trooper over in the corner and holding him over a cliff while he screams in fear? It never gets old for me...

So is the game worth the money? If you were paying $49.99 for this baby, then no, it wasn't worth it unless you're a big Force Unleashed fan or a Star Wars fan in general. However, now that it's a few years old, I myself picked up a used metal collectors edition box at my local GameStop for less than $20. If you're simply a gamer in general, I wouldn't consider buying it. However, you don't even need to be a Star Wars fan; if you're even slightly interested in Star Wars, I recommend trying this game out. You don't really need to play the first to understand it, however it's useful to know some of the back-story behind some of the characters to get more from the game... By the way, I just lost the game...

Overall Score: 6.5/10

Peter, The SteamWorks


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