October 31, 2010

Unleash Mediocrity.….

Going into this game I had my doubts. The orig­i­nal force unleashed was a good game but had bla­tant issues that kept it from great­ness. Now about two years lat­er we get the sequel that fix­es a lot of issues I had with the first game but lacks where the orig­i­nal excelled at.
The plot to TFU2 seems like it was made to bring a sequel to life to make mon­ey. Vad­er goes to Kamino to clone Starkiller and hunt down the new­ly formed Rebel Alliance that he helped cre­ate. You play as clone 14 or some num­ber around there, all the oth­er pre­vi­ous clones have gone mad and Vad­er had exe­cut­ed them but for some rea­son you are dif­fer­ent, which is nev­er explained. As the game pro­gress­es it is con­tin­u­al­ly told to you by Gen­er­al Kota, of whom you run into lat­er in game, that jedi can­not be cloned because they go mad and become unsta­ble nut cas­es. Well for some rea­son the clone you play as is total­ly sta­ble, he just has ran­dom flash­backs that acti­vate some force pow­ers you “for­got” and has this undy­ing urge to save Juno Eclipse from a mess he start­ed. This is by far the weak­est point of the game, the sto­ry of the pre­vi­ous game kept it sim­ple and cohe­sive and did not seem to be forced, no pun intend­ed.
The game play and the pro­pri­etary engine that TFU2 runs on received the most love and care from the dev team. The game is absolute­ly gor­geous, every ani­ma­tion and tex­ture is some­thing to be seen and hold in the lime­light. The game play received a com­plete over­haul while keep­ing all the basics of the first game in check. All the force pow­ers return and the duel saber com­bat is very vis­cer­al, the addi­tion of dis­mem­ber­ment was a nice touch and threw me back to the days of Jedi Knight: Jedi Out­cast. The pow­ers are still over the top and watch­ing you either crush a Tie Fight­er like a beer can or using the mind trick to watch storm troop­ers take a leap off a ledge to their impend­ing doom nev­er gets old. There are only a few boss bat­tles that are epic but feel a bit under­cooked and the repet­i­tive ene­my types can get a lit­tle annoy­ing. You’ll face about three dif­fer­ent storm troop­ers, some sith trainees that can block force pow­ers or that have light sabers, and three dif­fer­ent types of droids that almost all do the same thing. There are some AT-ST spin­offs that are thrown into the mix but ene­my vari­ety is not a strong point of the game.
The game is inex­cus­ably short. There are some of the lev­els that are longer than expect­ed; the final mis­sion on Kamino was a valiant effort to hit the cli­max of the con­clu­sion. Then you have the Dagob­ah, which is one of the short­est lev­els I have ever played in a game, and again it’s unfor­giv­able. You take about 10 steps and that’s the lev­el. You fin­ish the stroll down a small walk­way to grab some holocrons, then breaks away to a cut scene. You could fin­ish the game in less than 8 hours and is about half of the length of the first. I under­stand that some games are short due to hav­ing a bevy of mul­ti­play­er options, such as Medal of Hon­or, Halo, or Call of Duty. For a sin­gle play­er game there is no excuse, when you have one of my favorite games of last year and pos­si­bly all time Unchart­ed 2, which was made in 18 months! There was no lack of pol­ish or length and they did it in less time. I under­stand that Lucas Arts was hit by lay­offs after TFU was released, which for a game that sold so well and made a ton of mon­ey you would think they would pour more peo­ple into devel­op­ing the sequel. This is not to say that I am dis­ap­point­ed with this sequel, I real­ly enjoyed the time I had with this game and def­i­nite­ly plan on play­ing through the game a few more times but while play­ing it I just couldn’t get over the feel­ing that this was rushed and put togeth­er with a bare­bones dev team. Hope­ful­ly they can fix the length issue with DLC or have a sith edi­tion ala TFU and have all the DLC and cut lev­els in a nice pack­age.
I real­ly want­ed to rate this game high­er than I am giv­ing it. I real­ly loved the com­bat, the freefall sec­tions, and the aes­thet­ics but the lack of a good sto­ry and inde­fen­si­ble length of the main cam­paign, these are faults that I can­not look past and real­ly wish I could. I am not try­ing to make it a point of length over qual­i­ty, because with the revamp of the game it’s self they did a lot of work in areas that were need­ed and just let oth­er areas slip. They seemed so con­cerned with fix­ing the issues with the first game they failed to keep the strong points con­sis­tent. I am eager to see what could be made with the inevitable sequel that the end­ing hints to. Will they put all of the strong points togeth­er and con­ceive a mas­ter­piece wor­thy of the orig­i­nal tril­o­gy or will they make a Ban­tha pile the size of the pre­quels? I guess we will have to see after the inevitable lay­offs and what becomes of the crum­bling corpse that is Lucas Arts.
+ Incred­i­ble visu­als, sound, and voice act­ing.
+ Com­bat is sat­is­fy­ing and pow­ers are still over the top.
+ Free fall sec­tions are a fun addi­tion.
—  Short, very short.
— Throw away sto­ry.
— Dagabah lev­el is use­less
— Yoda and Boba Fett cameos are dis­ap­point­ing
Final Score – 7/10

7 comments

  1. ScrotusKilmystr - October 31, 2010 1:45 pm

    ok so i was ready to defend this game when you told me you put up a review but I hate to admit you have some very valid points.…. ugh
    the game is crazy short or no rea­son yes why is yoda in it basi­clly yado was a 25 dol­lar whore and lucas arts his pimp i guess boba did have some plot reli­v­ance but then again in the 1st game he was only a boss in the dlc if memery serves
    i did like the sto­ry though the mys­try of are you real or mem­o­rex was intrest­ing but not giv­en enough effort and juno was a swwet piece of ass but i think it it was lack­ing as well
    I real­ly liked how they made vad­er have he” bitch where’s my mon­ey at” pimp walk it gave him total bad ass-edness!
    so you I will agree with you whine they fixed what was bro­ken but broke was was great.….

    Reply
  2. Strider782 - November 1, 2010 3:33 pm

    Have to say I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to get­ting my hands on this game and I end­ed up a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed. I real­ly liked the first one and after see­ing how the new one was going to look and read­ing about what all they were doing to the new one and I was excit­ed to get my hands on it. As you said the upgrades to the com­bat sys­tem and the force pow­ers were great, but what real­ly killed this game for me was the sto­ry, or rather the lack of a sto­ry. The clone idea was a good con­cept, but they could have tak­en that much fur­ther than they did. The cameos by Yoda and Boba Fett seems like noth­ing more sell­ing points rather char­ac­ters in the sto­ry.
    I also real­ly wished they didn’t cut down the lightsaber cus­tomiza­tion as much as they did, that was one of the things I real­ly liked from the first one. The lev­els were anoth­er excel­lent point, a few that nev­er seemed to end and one that was so short that it’s over before you can blink. I also noticed a few issues in some of their designs. One being the loose cloth­ing on Starkiller is pulled down when on the ele­va­tors and in a few points of the game I saw neg­a­tive space where the scene ele­ments weren’t lined up.
    Just seems like they put all their time into pol­ish­ing the look and feel of the cin­e­mat­ics and com­bat sys­tem and just let the sto­ry­line go. That’s not to say that it’s not a good game. It’s beau­ti­ful­ly ren­dered and the cin­e­mat­ics are seem­less in how they flow and it’s a lot of fun using the force and your lightsabers on the storm troop­ers, but I was hop­ing to expe­ri­ence what Starkiller was going through instead of just play­ing it.
    I was also kind of hop­ing for a more dynam­ic bat­tle with Vad­er. Vader’s the biggest bad ass of the Sith and Scro­tus said it best he had the walk to show that he’s a bad ass. Yet he spent most of the bat­tle hop­ping plat­form to plat­form send­ing clones and cloning tubes at you.

    Reply
  3. thsoundman - November 1, 2010 10:55 pm

    I had ever grow­ing fears that this would be the case. I sus­pect­ed from the ini­tial game videos that con­tained lit­tle of sub­stance that this was going to be a dis­ap­point­ment.
    Lets first take a look at the games length. I am sor­ry but even in the age of crap­py cam­paign lengths such as MW2. It’s unex­cuse­able for a non mul­ti­play­er game to have a cam­paign short­er then 12 hours. Any less then that and it does­n’t jus­ti­fy the $60 price tag. I don’t see why it is so hard to come up with a grip­ping sto­ry and good nar­ra­tive and chal­lang­ing game­play for 12 or so hours.
    It looks like this game… along with sev­er­al oth­ers this year were just rushed out to get more “mate­r­i­al” out there. It’s been a good num­ber of years since we’ve seen a sol­id star wars game. I’ve per­son­al­ly not been impressed with any Star Wars game since. KOTOR and the Jedi Knight series.

    Reply
  4. Strider782 - November 2, 2010 7:39 pm

    “I’ve per­son­ally not been impressed with any Star Wars game since. KOTOR and the Jedi Knight series.” Well said, I com­plete­ly agree with you. Per­son­al­ly I’d like to see a sequel to Jedi Acad­e­my. Or if they’re won­der­ing where else they might be able to go they could try cre­at­ing a game fol­low­ing the sto­ry of what hap­pened after episode six. There’s no rea­son why they have to keep play­ing the thou­sands of years before the first movie idea. No say­ing that there’s any­thing wrong with that cause I was a huge fan of the orig­i­nal KOTR, but the order was already estab­lished. Con­tin­ue the sto­ry of Luke work­ing to rebuild the order and the con­tin­u­ing threat of the empire and the sith like the Jedi Knight series.
    The top­ic of the short­ness of a game was one that came up often when I was in col­lege. The con­clu­sion was always that it’s bet­ter to have a game that is short and sweet over one that is long and taste­less. This how­ev­er is one that is short, a sweet taste that lasts for a few min­utes until you get to the cen­ter and leaves a bit­ter after taste as you tell your­self you swal­lowed six­ty dol­lars to play this game.

    Reply
  5. thsoundman - November 3, 2010 8:25 am

    The game being short though is a huge prob­lem for me espe­cial­ly with the high price tags. I mean lets take a look at Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. The game had a excel­lent sto­ry, real­ly good cutscenes, good char­ac­ter devel­op­ment and great graph­ics to boot, for the time any­way. I would say the game was near 10 — 12 hours long depend­ing on the dif­fi­cul­ty you played and it had decent mul­ti­play­er as well. I believe the game was 39.99 when I bought it. Grant­ed it was made damn near 11 years ago and games do cost more to make now days.
    I believe devel­op­ers should spend more time devel­op­ing the con­tent with­in the game instead of spend­ing mil­lions upon mil­lions of dol­lars on flashy graph­ics. Spend some time devel­op­ing a deep sto­ry. I don’t even care if the sto­ry is a repeat of some­thing else as long as it’s done well. I’m just tired of all these sub­par sto­ries being tossed into games and then spend­ing all the rest of the mon­ey on graph­ics.

    Reply
  6. ScrotusKilmystr - November 3, 2010 3:30 pm

    so the ques­tion is how many peo­ple would buy the rust­ed out shit box with a brand new motor vs. the fer­rari with a shit­ty motor both for the same price.….

    Reply
  7. T8 - November 8, 2010 9:24 am

    Excel­lent review CAB, you should stick with the very same for­mat for all of your game reviews. Sim­ple, pre­cise and easy to fol­low with a good sum­ma­ry at the end. To bad it was­nt about PC games 🙁

    Reply

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