In the expansive Star Wars universe, a numerous amount of fantastic games have been released, all contributing extensively to their respective genres. One such game was released about two years ago, for the Xbox 360, was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (TFU). TFU took concepts from previous 3rd person action adventure Star Wars games and expanded on them greatly. Now, following in TFU’s footsteps is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 (TFU2), which promises players more Jedi induced havoc than even the first one.
Since TFU was released on next generation consoles, the developer had the ability to introduce many new graphical and gameplay based elements. Perhaps the most significant aspects of gameplay were the phenomenal physics and AI engine. In TFU2, the physics have undergone some comedic changes. Apart from molecular matter where objects from the environment behave according to their physical properties, TFU2 now allows dismemberment. Yup, that’s right, dismemberment. With the swing of a light saber players will be able to slice and dice through enemy limbs in the old-fashioned Jedi form. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun if we still were limited to one light saber so TFU2 features the ability to dual-wield. The addition of both dual-wield and dismemberment makes combat open to interpretation so in other words, let hilarity ensue.
Not only will players be able to chop stormtroopers to pieces, but they’ll be able to blast their way through enemy ranks with newly introduced force powers. Two of the main new powers are Mind Trick and Force Fury. Mind Trick turns enemies against their allies so we’ll get to see troopers attacking other troopers. Force Fury was actually revealed towards the end of the first game, but only for a limited time. Now, players will be able to use the attack in short bursts at regular intervals. Not only are the new powers more powerful, but they will also be more precise as well because of improvements to the targeting system. While it may not seem like much, the added precision will actually have a reasonable impact on some aspects of game play. For example, it opens up many possible puzzle scenarios as players will have to use force powers to solve them. In the first game this was not entirely possible as the powers were more combat oriented and could not be controlled as precisely to interact explicitly with the environment.
The Force Unleashed was all about empowering the player. It is no surprise then that TFU2 is designed to expand on that with added abilities as well as a greater degree of control. The idea that you can pick up an enemy with force powers and they’ll react accordingly speaks to a lot of Star Wars fans. It’s important, however, that the power is not diluted by repetitiveness. That was one of the major problems with the original game that TFU2 hopes to solve. Since merely adding new skill set’s is not enough, developers have changed some of the enemy types to make combat a more strategic affair. Players will now have to actually think about methods to defeat different enemies; this means that the typical hack and slash mentality won’t suffice.
As far as story is concerned, gamers will be playing in the shoes of Starkiller, the protagonist from the first game. The game takes place between Episode III and Episode IV so like TFU, players will be taking on the Republic, a precursor to the Galactic Empire and the rise of Darth Vader. The writers wanted to focus more on developing Starkiller’s character so the story will be narrated on a more personal level. In terms of the different settings, the game will take place on various planets, each with distinct environments players can interact with. Like in the first game, the environments look stunning and promise to add a Star Wars-like feel. Hopefully, these improvements along with the improvements to game-play will lead to a sequel worthy of hype. As of now we’ll just have to wait a little longer to get our game on as The Force Unleashed 2 is set for release October 26th this year.