RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jul 23rd 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under review, star wars, playstation 3

Last year I played through LucasArts' 2008 classic Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the XBox 360. Like most people who played the game, I had quite a fun time blasting my way through the galaxy as Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller. That game also has one of my favorite opening levels of all time, where the player takes the role of Vader himself, slaughtering scores of Wookiees on their home planet of Kashyyyk. The Force Unleashed is a lot of fun, though I don't think it's perfect. There are a few frustrating platforming sections, a sometimes finicky camera and few aggrevating boss battles. In general though, I share in the overall positive critical consensus of this game.

Before I get into Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II I want to explain how I tend to feel about disappointing sequels. I usually find myself attracted to sequels which are regarded as disappointing or even hated for being terrible. For example, after enjoying the first two Fable games, the negative reception to Fable III made me way more interested to play it than I already was. Part of it is stubbornly feeling like I have to experience the bad game myself. Part of it is a refusal to believe that a follow up to a great title could possibly be bad. Part of it is sadism mixed with morbid curiosity. The bottom line is that I'm actually a little biased toward games that get a ton of hate, especially sequels to games I like.

This disposition, and the fact that I picked up The Force Unleashed II for two dollars, may explain why I have a generally positive opinion of the game. In some ways, I even prefer it over the first game.

This time around, players take control of a clone of Starkiller and again literally unleash all of the force powers Star Wars fans have come to know and love. Starkiller can swing and throw his lightsabers, force choke and throw his enemies, and shoot bolts of lightning from his fingertips. The plot of this game is rather thin. Though I don't agree with many critics who swooned over the plot of the first game's story, the plot of the second game can be summed up in one sentence: Starkiller's clone tries to find Juno, Starkiller's love interest in the first game. Though the story is simple, LucasArts' signature writing quality and production values are present here.

Gameplay sample courtesy of Spook's Gameplay

Speaking of production values, the graphics and sounds in this game are top notch, as players could always expect from the studio (at least until they were acquired and dismantled, for lack of a better term, by The Walt Disney Company). I'm not one to pick apart a game's technical performance, so I won't comment on the game's exact frame rate, but I can say that the game seemed to run smoothly on the Playstation 3 with little to no slowdown.

So why were people disappointed in this game? When it launched, it was criticized for being repetitive, uninspired, lacking innovation, and two of my favorite criticisms of any game, for being too short and too easy. In all honesty, I cannot argue with any of these criticisms. In many ways, the game feels like a step back from its predecessor. However, when I played The Force Unleashed II, long after its release, I enjoyed the game quite a bit, not in spite of it's shortcomings, but perhaps because of them. Keeping in mind that I got a hold of this game for about the same price as a cup of coffee, and keeping in mind that I was well aware of the criticisms of the game at its launch and knew what to expect, I enjoyed every minute of it. I found the streamlined story actually made the game move a lot faster. I wasn't in the mood to play a long game, so the approximately six hour run I had of the game felt perfect. The game was pretty easy on the normal difficulty setting, but it never felt too easy. The progression system felt a little shallow, but never unsatisfying.  In the end, I appreciated quickly blasting my way through the slick looking adventure culminating in a serious beat down on Daddy Vader himself.

It is important and interesting to note that the game varies from console to console, with the Wii and PS2 versions being completely different from the XBox 360 and PS3 versions. The above pertains to the XBox 360 and PS3 versions of the games. All in all, if you're a fan of Star Wars and are looking for a polished and fun action game you can't go wrong with either game in the Force Unleashed series. 

Permalink | Comments [7] | Digg This Article |

Recent Entries
Tom Clancy on the Wii - Part 2 - H.A.W.X. 2 (6/23/2018)
Konami Collector's Series - Castlevania and Contra (6/22/2018)
Episode 50 - RF Generation Playcast (6/18/2018)
Why Do We Collect Video Games In 2018? (6/18/2018)
Perfect Sequels: Zone of the Enders l Review The PS2 (6/15/2018)

My own copies of Star Wars Force Unleashed I & II have gone virtually untouched since I acquired them. Your positive experience with both just might motivate me to dust 'em off and give 'em a go one of these weeks. Thanks for bringing 'em back to my attention.

BTW looks like I'm not the only one with a drive to try out games with less-than-stellar reputations. Strangely enough, there have been a few here and there that were pretty enjoyable despite their poor controls and game-play. Guess I'm just a glutton for punishment...
@Zagnorch: Hell yeah dude! Let's go play Two Worlds II together LOL.
@GrayGhost81: How romantic. Tongue Thing is, I have a few other things to attend to first. Take a rain check? Um, granted you're old enough to know what a rain check is...

On a more serious note: been doing far more non-gaming things than gaming things lately. The Force Unleashed games are probably as good a respawning point as any.
What did those poor wookies ever do to you?

The part in the first game where you had to pull the star destroyer down was the angriest I've ever been with a video game.
@Pam: Yes! That part sucked! I totally forgot about that and would absolutely cite it as an example of why I found TFUII more enjoyable.
Nice write-up.  I haven't played either SW: TFU game yet, but having recently acquired the Wii version of the original, I'm somewhat keen to give it a try.
While I definitely preferred the first Force Unleashed, I like to cut the sequel some slack as a half finished product that they had to rush out the door before the Disney acquisition.  If it had 6 more months, I'm sure they could have finished some of the scrapped levels (Dagobah) and tightened it up overall.  Plus, this game had the coolest unlockable skin of all time, Guybrush Threepkiller.

 Login or register to comment
It appears as though you are not a member of our site, or are not logged in.
It appears as though you can not comment currently. Becoming able to comment though is easy! All you need to do is register for the site! Not only will you be able to access any other site features including the forum and collection tools. If you are a registered user and just need to login then you can do so here.

Comment! It's easy, thoughtful, and who knows you might just enjoy it!
Login / Register
Not a member? Register!
Database Search
Site Statistics
Total Games:
Total Hardware:
Total Scans:
Total Screenshots:
[More Stats]
Our Friends
Digital Press Video Game Console Library NES Player The Video Game Critic Game Rave Game Gavel Cartridge Club Android app on Google Play RF Generation on Discord
Updated Entries
United Kingdom

North America



United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Belgium, Netherlands

United Kingdom
Updated Collections
New Forum Topics
New on the Blogs
Nielsen's Favorite Articles

Site content Copyright © rfgeneration.com unless otherwise noted. Oh, and keep it on channel three.