Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Preview

The original Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had several interesting ideas going for it. Despite selling very well, there was certainly room for some improvement. Two years later, LucasArts hopes to further build on the solid foundations set by the first title. Here is a preview for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 on the Playstation 3.

Story
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 is set several months after the events of the first game and one year before the start of The Last Hope. You will play as a clone of Starkiller, the secret apprentice to Darth Vader. Instead of serving his master again, Starkiller decided to escape to find his own identity.

Graphics and Sound
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 uses the same complex physics engine from the first title. The extra two years really makes a difference, however, as the sequel features more details, smoother frame rate and a clearer image quality. While the frame rate does fluctuate when the action gets a little too intense, it does not take away from the experience.

As expected from a LucasArts title, the background music is epic and should please many Star Wars fan. Along with the solid voice-acting, the presentation is definitely the best part of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2.

Gameplay
The gameplay remains largely the same from the first game with a few refinements.
You can now use dual lightsabers in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, which opens up new attack combinations. Other combat options include Force Fury, Force Lightning, Force Push and Mind Control. Most of these skills can also be ranked up as you progressed through the story. Special enemies also require you to perform short quick-timed events to be finished off. Different costumes and lightsabers also add more depth.

Overall, the combat feels so much tighter than Star Wars: The Force Unleashed as the attacks (which now include dismemberments) and characters have more weight while the controls are more responsive. The sheer amount of attack options should keep each encounter with the enemies fresh.

Between each fight, you will have to maneuver through the linear environments. Along the way you will run into several platforming elements in addition to some simple puzzles that require you to manipulate the environment with your Force Grip ability. The puzzles can be as mundane as breaking several control panels to break a force field barrier to as thrilling catching and flinging TIE fighters in order to knock down a tower to create a pathway.

Overall
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 does not reinvent the action genre as you will find many similarities between it and the first game and even God of War III. Even so, its high production values and refined gameplay mechanics more than made up for the lack of originality.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 comes out for the iOS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 26th.