It’s no secret that I am a huge Star Wars fan and I loved the first Force Unleashed game so much that I played through it and all the content packs numerous times. So when a sequel was announced, I was understandably excited and eager to get my hands on it. Star wars The Force Unleashed 2 is just over a month away and I thought it was about time to have a little look at what is coming to Star wars gaming fans soon.
When we last saw the games antihero, The Secret Apprentice, Starkiller, Galen Marek (oh god, I really am a Star wars geek), excluding the downloadable content, it was implied that he was killed during the conclusion of the first game in a huge force induced explosion from which both Vader and Emperor Palpatine were able to shield themselves and continued tightening their grip on the galaxy. The story of the second game kicks off with the revelation that Darth Vader has been creating clones of Starkiller to use as the ultimate weapon, most of which went insane during the cloning process. However, his plans go awry when one of the clones is conflicted when memories of his past begin to surface and decides to escape and search for answers. The one person he can remember from his past that may supply those answers is Juno Eclipse. This sets up the story for the second game in the series as the player makes good his escape, which of course leads to many Stormtroopers losing their life’s at the hands our hero.
The initial gameplay remains much the same but it would not be a follow up game if there were not improvements to the game and gameplay. First on the visual side of things, it has to be said that the shots and footage that we have seen of the game so far are quite a step up from the first game. With both the scenery and characters looking much more polished and the cut scenes especially look stunning, I am as interested in seeing those as I am in enjoying the looks of the actual gameplay.
Another big change in the game revolves around the bad guys. There was a huge range of bad guys and things to kill in the first game and that has changed with the Force Unleashed 2, but not by adding more as you may be thinking. The games producer Cameron Suey stated that “We had over one hundred enemies before. Here we wanted to have less but make each of them tactically significant”. This means that although there is less variation in enemies, those that are present react differently to Starkillers attacks, meaning the player has to use tactics, be it finding a weak spot or using the most effective force power available to take them down.
Talking of force powers, the game has all the old favourites returning from the original game, looking just a little better, along with a few new powers, because that’s what we want really – new stuff. The most talked about one so far is the Jedi mind trick which can be used on single troops or even groups of bad guys and has the amusing effect of either turning them on each other, saving you a lot of work, or even more amusingly turning on themselves by throwing their own bodies from windows or ledges. A little extreme maybe, but oh so amusing to watch. The force powers have also been powered up even more so than they were before, making Starkiller almost a Jedi super hero. If things get really dangerous our hero can really let loose by activating “Force Fury”. This ramps up the power of his abilities twofold, if not more so, allowing the player to take out larger foes such as Imperial Walkers and Tie Fighters with relative ease. Of course this power will not be available at all times and will need to be charged up and used when seen fit.
Another addition to the game play are the action scenes, one of which you encounter early on in the game as Starkiller free falls from a great height, avoiding or destroying debris and Tie Fighters on the way. Although these scenes are not new to video games, they are a welcome addition to the Force Unleashed games, spicing up the gameplay a little which is always a good thing.
When it comes to combat, it is not just the force powers that have been revamped and updated this time around. As well all know, half the fun of fighting as a jedi is having the chance to take out waves of imperial troopers with your Lightsabre, or should I say Lightsabres as this time around Starkiller is armed with dual sabres and a whole new fighting style to go with them. Not only armed with the dual sabres, Starkiller has a whole host of new attack combos and fighting moves, and a new fast and furious fighting style. Another addition with the melee combat is something the fans were asking for and that is dismemberment. Yes, you can now lop the arms, legs and even heads from the hapless stormtroopers. After all, who wants a lightsabre that does not chop things up. One other thing that has been improved this time around and definitely needed improving, the targeting system. In the original game it was a bit tricky to get the hang of and was hit or miss as to whether you targeted what you were actually trying to target. With the new game we are promised a revamped targeting system, making it easier to target both enemies and objects for throwing, grabbing or general mayhem causing.
Although exact locations that the player will get to visit this time around have not been announced, I expect there will be a mix of fan favourites and new locations. The one definite location that is confirmed for the game is that which is playable in the demo that has been going the round at the various game conventions and fits in with the story details we have been given surrounding the cloning of the secret apprentice – the water world of Kamino, as first seen in Episode 2 Attack Of The Clones. Other locations have been kept secret, but developers at E3 also briefly mentioned the planet Cato Neimoidia, which is a lesser known planet to casual fans. It is, in fact, a forested planet with huge bridged cities and we are told that the main play area on this planet will be an Imperial run casino with a huge opportunity for some force induced destruction and mayhem. The one other location that is hinted at is of course Dagobah, where everyone’s favourite little green Jedi has taken refuge and, although we only see Starkiller conversing with Yoda in a cut scene, it only confirms that this planet is in there somewhere. How much playing is there? we will have to wait and see.
Speaking of Yoda, he is not the only familiar face that has turned up in the trailers, with Boba Fett also showing his face… okay helmet. Rumour has it that Lord Vader has hired the bounty hunter to track down the same lady that Starkiller is trying to track down, Juno Eclipse.
All remaining questions about the story, locations you will visit and people you will meet and destroy will soon be answered when the game is released in just over a months time on the 29th of October. Keep it here at GGUK for any other breaking news on the game, because we all love Stormtroopers.