Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Hands-On Preview

LucasArts has guaranteed gamers that the issues that plagued Star Wars: The Force Unleashed have been eliminated for the sequel, hitting stores in a few short weeks. I got my hands on the upcoming title and force pushed my way through storm troopers and tie fighters to see just how much it’s changed, and whether or not this installment unleashes the Force the way its predecessor couldn’t.

The short answer is that by combining game elements from other action titles, it has a good chance. I realize that’s kind of a cop out, but some of the biggest problems with the first game were big picture — lack of level variety, too short, etc. What has been improved on a mechanical level, though, looks really good. To start off, the demo shows off a fall-and-dodge section where a Starkiller clone careens down the side of a tower blasting his way through lightning and ledges. Though it’s not long, it shows that LucasArts is at least experimenting with expanding the kind of segments that players will encounter. Usually, variety equals positive, and in this case that’s true.

But where the game sticks to its roots is in combat. All the main powers returned, but LucasArts has tweaked the hell out of them. Mostly, everything is just a little bit faster. With two lightsabers, Starkiller delivers punishment twice as fast, and force push, grab, repulse, and saber throw also seem to respond quicker to player input. It gives the combat more of a frantic quality, and allows the player to ramp up the mayhem and destruction knob to ten. There are still a few issues with targeting, especially with force grab, since there are so many different targets and types of targets encountered. Generally speaking, the game predicts what you want to do fairly well, but it’s not 100 percent.


Quick time events make a return, though the ones showcased in the demo were unfortunately a little lackluster. The new power, Jedi Mind Trick, adds some genuine humor to the process of terrorizing those poor storm troopers, causing them to fight each other and jump off ledges. It’s definitely more of a gimmick in that form, but maybe expanding this power could yield more usefulness. Also, though it’s not new, the force repulse is a hugely destructive explosion this time around, disintegrating the bodies of storm troopers anywhere near Starkiller. It’s a great balance between opportunity and the need to defend, as the player is left vulnerable while charging the skill up.

In terms of new gameplay segments, there are few "Uncharted 2 moments" where Starkiller runs from a starship in hot pursuit, dashing here and there, avoiding debris or creating it to cross chasms. These show that LucasArts has been paying attention to the genre, and hopefully more moments like these, handled properly, can really ramp up the intensity despite being somewhat on rails.

And for the coup de grace, Starkiller now has an overdrive mode where his force powers become actually unleashed. This is where fans wanted the first game to go in the beginning. In his overdrive mode, Starkiller can pick up an entire group of storm troopers, crush an AT-ST in mid-air (prior to fighting it), and disintegrate an entire squadron of enemies with one massive repulse. Hopefully these moments happen often throughout, because they are just plain sick. And if the entire game functions on that premise of overpowering an already overpowered character, then things will be looking up for The Force Unleashed 2.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.