Thursday, November 25, 2010

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 on PS3 Impression

How will a cloned Jedi impact the Star Wars universe?

Dash Rendar; Smuggler who manages to blend into the background of the Star Wars universe while being somehow involved in major events such as the battle of Hoth. Created for the N64 title Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Dash worked his way into a multitude of projects but he’s accepted. So why is it gamers, Star Wars fans have an issue with the very cool, if not a bit unstable, Starkiller? The star of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is a sympathetic figure, one with an intriguing past but what he has working against him is more established Star Wars lore. Dash could blend in as a b-list player while Starkiller is front and center in many major plot points (beginning of the Rebellion, cloned Jedi) that does not allow him any leeway. So for this sequel does Starkiller solidify his role in the lore, making himself an A-lister or does he fade further than even Dash could dream? Like TMZ delves into Hollywood let’s take a look into the second round of exploits for Mr. Starkiller.

Gameplay – Take control of a cloned (or not) Starkiller as the action picks up where the first The Force Unleashed left off. A cloned Starkiller escapes from Vader’s grasp seeking the loose memories that the cloning process has left him. The action is the same third person action with tons of light saber action, dual wielding this time, and force power mayhem. Starkiller has the same powers as last game with a few new additions like mind control (forced suicide is interesting). Gamers will traverse the galaxy looking for Juno Eclipse while encountering familiar faces and the action feels just like the first game. Power up Starkillers force abilities. Its solid third person action with a bit of leveling up decisions needed that feels like more of the same than an true sequel.

Graphics – The level of detail in each texture is amazing and shows off some pretty impressive graphics. The characters look good while Starkiller and Vader look movie ready. The laser and saber lighting really enhances the mood and force powers show a level of, well power. Where Unleashed 2 may feel very familiar in its gameplay its graphics take a step up with better texture and great use of lighting.

Sound – Star Wars has such an iconic sound from its score to laser fire and every piece of this is reflected in Unleashed 2. Vader sounds great as do most of the voice cast but it’s Starkiller who leaves the gamers to wonder. Is Starkiller really this messed up in the head that his emotions come and go in his voice, nailing certain lines while missing other or is it just bad voice acting. No worries either way as the game overall sounds great.

Design – The levels, the characters, everything is familiar and established. All the levels are pulled from or inspired by existing settings from throughout the Star Wars universe. The levels feel more like and extension of the first Unleashed than a truly unique sequel Gamers familiar with the first title will feel right at home with the design set forth in Unleashed 2 which is pretty standard.

Miscellaneous – Starkiller is the wild card. He’s what Luke could have been, should have been with a level of power rare in Jedi and Sith alike. Dash Rendar is more the rule than the exception as it’s rare for a character with such impact on the universe such as Starkiller to be created this late in the game, in the original trilogy timeframe. Yes, seeing how Starkiller and his interactions in the universe are handled is indeed the wildcard that will draw in true Star Wars fans to explore

Overall Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 looks good, plays solid and tells story Star Wars fans should enjoy and question. It’s more of the same from the original which is not a bad thing but may be tough to swallow for those shelling out $60+ bucks for a copy.

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