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 Star wars: Force unleashed II Professional review- Game Directors

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Join date : 2010-11-17
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PostSubject: Star wars: Force unleashed II Professional review- Game Directors   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:34 am

Disappointment of the year", is how some critics have responded to Lucasarts' sequel, with Metacritic review scores ranging from highs 80s to lows 50s - which, in the depressingly homogenous world of games critique, is a chasm to rival Beggar's Canyon.


We've finally nabbed review code - turns out, Activision weren't so keen to send it out early - and can confirm that, typically, everyone is right. Well, to a point.

Force Unleashed II functions as both a disappointment and a patchy, if graphically assured, fan-led sequel.

The big sadness is that after the tight, largely canonical, storytelling of the original, the sequel's plot is tediously straight forward once the 'tension' of its central premise is resolved. i.e. Seeing as you (Starkiller, Vader's all-powerful secret apprentice) died at the end of Force Unleashed .

What are you doing alive at the start of the sequel? Bar this glaring 'are you a clone?' issue, the game plays like an arcade shooter, with solid-ish mechanics; redeemed by the odd attractive set piece.

FORCE MAJURE
In some respects, The Force Unleashed II is the most polished Star Wars game ever. Much like the first, you'll hack and slash your way through thousands of stormtroopers, AT-STs, lightsaber-wielding assassins, and more.


The most important thing? Using the Force feels just like you'd expect. You can grab hapless 'troopers and throw them around like ragdolls or drop them into deep chasms - something of which are in plentiful supply in the Star Wars universe.

Standard push and grab powers are supplemented with lightning, mind tricks, and more; you'll level your powers until they're completely devastating too.

At the most advanced levels, you feel truly powerful - a powered-up Force Blast will destroy ten enemies at a time. Boss and mini-boss battles punctuate play, and although we wish there were more of them, they provide some genuinely epic moments.

These bigger battles involve an entertaining and frustrating blend of dexterity, timing, puzzle solving and repetition.

Combat feels mushy and lacks the crispness of God Of War, partially because of Starkiller's uninterruptible animations. It's easy to make one attack too many, leaving you completely vulnerable.


HARD TO PLEASE
If only there was more subtlety to the enemies you encounter. Starkiller's ballet-like grace with dual lightsabers deserves better than waves of identikit enemies, especially when excitable button mashing is usually enough to get by.

The lack of challenge renders the ability to customize your glowing truncheon with different crystals slightly pointless, even if they produce extra health, faster Force regeneration, and other buffs.

The game's final scenes up the difficulty through frustrating juxtaposition alone, mixing up foes who can't be killed by lightsaber, with those who can only be killed by your glowing Jedi maypole. Fiddly.

GET A GRIP
Still, Force II is largely entertaining - though the problems that sullied the original remain. The accuracy of the Force Grip is still questionable, and you'll often pick up a useless crate rather than the Stormtrooper that's peppering you with blaster fire.


The cinematic animation when you finish off an enemy is fun the first few times, but by the game's close you'll curse the constant interruptions.

That's Force Unleashed all over, really - flashy and superficial, but bombastic and noisy enough to hold your attention for the majority of its short duration.

Star Wars zealots should enjoy it - especially the Yoda cameo - but sequel we hoped for, this is not. A shame, it is.

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