by Keaton Arksey
previewed on PS3
For those who haven't finished the original The Force Unleashed, stop reading now. It's almost impossible to discuss the sequel to what is quite possibly the most successful Star Wars game (commercially at least; as of February The Force Unleashed has sold over seven million copies worldwide) without discussing the ending. Consider this your warning.
Towards the end of the first game, the main character Starkiller, apprentice of Darth Vader turned member of the Rebel Alliance, is faced with a choice: get his revenge on Vader or go after Emperor Palpatine. Depending on your choice, the game gives you the good ending (Palpatine) or the bad one (Vader). The canonical ending is the one where Starkiller attacks Palpatine and sacrifices his own life so the leaders of the Rebel Alliance may escape to fight another day. So how can you have a sequel when the main character is dead? Cloning, of course!
The Force Unleashed II begins six months after the first game (a year before Episode IV) on the cloning world of Kamino (as seen in Episode II: Attack of the Clones). Starkiller awakens to find that not only is he alive, but that he is held in captivity. Then Darth Vader appears and reveals that he is actually a clone of the original Starkiller. Starkiller is haunted by memories of his past and of love interest Juno Eclipse and so he escapes, unsure of his real identity.
The story is promised to be darker and focus more on Starkiller as a character. With the writing cast behind the first game returning things look good story-wise for The Force Unleashed II.
Force powers perfected
The original Force Unleashed relied heavily on various technologies like Havoc (physics), Euphoria (animation) and Digital Molecular Matter (which gives objects realistic physical properties). Watching a Stormtrooper desperately grab at a pipe or crate while being lifted with Force grip was easily one of the highlights of the first game, and the inclusion of these technologies in the sequel is even more exciting as Lucasarts is claiming the second game makes even better use of them.
While the first game was fun, there were some problems. The major issue was targeting objects and enemies with Force Grip. When you wanted to target a specific object to throw, you'd often have to go through two or three other objects before you got what you wanted, and even then it was not guaranteed that you were going to hit what you wanted to.