I recently completed Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 or SWTFU2. I mentioned it very briefly before.
I played the first one shortly after its release and was surprisingly enjoying it very much. The Euphoria game engine coupled with the ability to let loose with a lightsaber worked very well and the difficulties were well matched. I even went back to complete it a second time, despite one of the boss fights being incredibly annoying.
With such a great foundation what could possibly go wrong in the sequel?
This is a purely rhetorical question, as it turns out that a great game can indeed be utterly ruined by a sequel. Yes, I hear some cry, just look at Deus Ex Invisible War to which I reply that I preferred it to the first one. So what about KotOR 2, others may say. KotOR 2 still kept the same intriguing plot lines, as well as loads of added gameplay features.
SWTFU 2 is a mess. It seems to me like I was missing half the content or that I was asleep during the majority as it seemed so incredibly unfinished and, well, lame.
Story: Bla bla bla, stuff happens. There is no plot resolution. Stuff just randomly happens and it makes no sense. Is he a clone? Is he the real deal? Are there more clones? Why do the clones wear such horrible clothes? Why was Kamino not prepared for a second attack? Why was Vader so weak? And whatever the hell was up with that semi dream sequence having to walk slowly for what seems like ever before the final boss battle against real or faux Vader? So many questions, so little care to have them answered.
The game also helps answering this important question within the Star Wars universe that I’ve always* [*never] wanted answering: Are there any other places than the Dagobah caves to get dream sequences and visions? The answer, as you may expect, is no which begs the follow up question if there are many queues? Toilets? Free parking? Jedi on hand to help raise the ship out of the mud? Refreshments? Souvenirs? An ‘I’m with the stupid guy who got his hand sabered off’ shirt? Postcards?
Gameplay: Meh. Can I just use meh to describe it and leave it at that? So you walk around killing stuff. So far so good. Bad thing is that you are apparently stuck in a SWTFU 2 version of groundhog day and every corner you turn just leads to the same kind of layout that was there before. During the first level I felt like I had circled the entirety of Kamino ten times. And that the architects of Kamino needed a raise or a force choke.
I’m realising as I am typing this that I don’t actually remember the other levels much. There was the shortest ever level on Dagobah and something on that Cloud City wannabe, but I don’t remember it. All I remember is killing the same annoying robots over and over and over and over again with the most overused and silliest QTEs which really should have been renamed to STEs – Slow Time Events. I was going to talk about the cutscenes that happen every time a new wave of enemies spawns, but I feel my time is probably better spent ranting about the bossfights.
Bossfights: Only gripe I had with the first game was the boss battle on that planet where some ship needs to be crashed into some planet for some reason whilst the world’s most annoying TIE fighters attack all the time. The second one has a few annoying boss fights that seem to take an eternity even though the game makes it obvious as to what’s to do. Oh, you’re flashing up the B button, I guess I better press it.
I don’t think I can actually decide which of the bossfights was the worst. There’s the giant one which involves dropping down somewhere for 15 minutes Gandalf style, there’s the one with the ship that crashlands which again took about 15 minutes and then there’s the Vader one which just would not end. Spoiler: It did end. Thankfully.
Sound: It’s Star Wars. I liked it. Obviously.
Graphics: I played the game on my laptop on the lowest settings and it was slightly jerky at times which was to be expected. Looked pretty enough though. Cutscenes were unskippable, probably due to the background loading on my poor laptop.
Overall: The game made me laugh and cry for all the wrong reasons and I kept hoping for it to improve up until I completed it. If part 3 comes out we’re all doomed. Doomed!