Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Hands-On

Fan favourites Yoda and Boba Fett make their debut in this Force-powered sequel from LucasArts.

While we've already seen that Darth Vader will be making his return in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, it turns out that Jedi clone Starkiller has a lot more to deal with than just the dark lord himself. LucasArts is bringing some of most beloved characters from Star Wars to the Force Unleashed universe, creating a sprawling narrative that aims to please fans and newcomers alike. Check out the video interview below for the lowdown on the new characters from assistant producer Cameron Suey and lead sound designer David Collins and then read on for our full impressions.

The Force Unleashed II picks up directly from the canonical ending of its predecessor, where Starkiller betrays Vader and attempts to take on Emperor Palpatine. Following his eventual death, Vader creates a clone of Starkiller to be his new apprentice and imprisons him on the remote planet of Kamino. It's here that the game springs to life, with a dramatic cutscene showing Starkiller breaking out of captivity and onto the rain-soaked planet.

From there, Starkiller is pursued by Vader, which leads the reluctant apprentice on a journey around the galaxy. One of the locations he visits is Cato Neimoidia, a Neimoidian pulse world that houses a luxury resort and casino. LucasArts showed us a small section of the level in action, with Starkiller unleashing his Force powers on a group of missile-launching walkers. Using the Force, he was able to grab the missiles in midair, and after a brief quick-time event, he launched them back, turning the walker into a large heap of scrap metal.

Later, he finds General Kota, who has been imprisoned in a gladiatorial arena by the evil casino owner Baron Tarko. Starkiller tries to free the general by fighting through waves of enemies in the arena, only to come face-to-face with the baron's most gargantuan monster, the gorog. The creature forms one of the many boss battles you face as you progress and one of the largest. It resembles the ravenous rancor from Return of the Jedi, only much larger. The battle against it was a multistage affair, with the pair having to avoid the gorog's stink breath as it tore up the arena. It also picked up stormtroopers and threw them in the air; they were then used as projectiles and thrown back using Force powers. After a number of hits, the creature then unleashed its fists and began destroying the platforms the pair stood on, requiring some nimble jumping skills to avoid.

After defeating the gorog, the pair escaped in the Rogue Shadow, where Kota cast doubt on Darth Vader's story. He believes that Starkiller may not actually be a clone, causing the Jedi to question his own existence. This leads him to the Dagobah system where he meets the one and only Yoda. Though we weren't told exactly what part Yoda will play in the story, we were shown a short cutscene where the Jedi master directs Starkiller to the same cave of evil that Luke Skywalker visited in The Empire Strikes Back. Another character making his way into the story is the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett. Though not much was revealed about his part in the story, we did learn that Vader hires him to help find Starkiller; thus, he becomes one of the main enemies you must battle. LucasArts was keen to point out that a lot of effort had been put into ensuring that characters did not seem shoehorned in and that the narrative paid close attention to the time period and the extended Star Wars story.

Though we weren't able to go hands-on with any of the newly revealed locales, we did get a chance to flex our Jedi muscle in the opening stages of the game on Camino. After the introductory cutscene, we had to guide Starkiller down a giant tower after leaping from the top. We could take out obstacles, such as ledges, using Force lightning and deflect laser fire using Force push. Once at the bottom, we had to make our way through the city, fighting off stormtroopers. This allowed us to check out the tweaks made to the targeting system, which was a major criticism of the original game. It will now be much easier to see what you're locked on to because items or enemies that you've targeted will be highlighted with a glowing blue halo. The targeting priority system has also been cleaned up, and though we still found it locking onto the wrong object at times, it felt much more accurate than in the original.

Starkiller can use the force to deflect projectiles back at the enemy.

New Force powers have also been introduced, one of which is the Jedi mind trick. We had a blast tricking stormtroopers into flinging themselves out of windows or running directly into enemy fire. You can also have them fight for you, taking out enemies with their rifles. The dual lightsabers also proved to be fun, with some great animations and sound effects. Using the Force, we were able to fling the lightsabers through the air, lopping off the heads and limbs of a group of enemies in one swift attack. We also executed some devastating finishing moves, which took the form of a quick-time event and a brutal animation of Starkiller leaping onto a stormtrooper and plunging his lightsabers straight into his chest.

These animations are rendered with the same great-looking art style of its predecessor, which captures the feel of the franchise. Lightsabers cast an eerie glow on their surroundings, sparks fly off exploding battle droids, and Force lightening is as dramatic as in the movies. The environments also look good, with Cato Neimoidia's wide-open platform sections and vibrant orange sky looking particularly eye catching. With its art style, new Force powers, and improved targeting, the game is certainly looking promising. And with the addition of some classic characters, the story could be very interesting indeed. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is due out on October 29 in the UK and October 26 in the US. Keep reading GameSpot for more on the game soon.

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150 comments
guildclaws
guildclaws

played the game, the game is short, i finished it in 3 hours

AmoNPhegoR
AmoNPhegoR

Maybe they should also make Alex mercer as a jedi...... Or perhaps Raiden...... Hmm.....

shawise
shawise

ahhh another 6hr......meaning i'll wait till it drops to $20 before purchasing it.

Arianno
Arianno

I've longed for a good Star Wars game since the old days PC-"Jedi Knight"-games, which I loved. Full of excitement, I opened the 360 demo, saw the impressive graphics of the intro; and then the pathetic gameplay started. When my character finally died, my patience with the game did the same. This is not progression in game development. When I was a child, PC/console-gaming didn't exist. When "Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast" appeared, I was an adult. The graphics wasn't as good as today; but the gameplay had a much better feel, and was much more fun. In those days, I also tried some games for kids, and they had a horrible approach to gameplay (actually the same as this "Force Unleashed" demo!). We all felt sorry for the kids, and imagined the developers had gotten some "bad advice" from child psychologists. Poor kids! Good thing, they could play better games when they had grown up! Oh, horror of horrors! That's not what happened. They grew up -- and became game developers -- creating "those kind of games" over and over again. They got this as children; and now they "want it"!? The horrible approach to gameplay we earlier only saw in kid's games, are now spreading through the gaming industry, once those kids had grown up. Thankfully, there are still games like "Modern Warfare", with the same (or better) "feel n' fun" as the games of old. "The Force Unleashed II demo" is a great disappointment.

Arianno
Arianno

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

foolaloof
foolaloof

Here's hoping that they were seriously releasing this game for PC, unlike the first game that runs very heavy on most PC...

rosk
rosk

The first game had quite a long campain running time and the dlc made it even better so this game (based on the first game) should be amazing...ive pre-ordered the collectors edition too...people should buy more new games rather than buy pre-owned! KEEP THE GAMES BUSINESS ALIVE!!!!

Dark_December
Dark_December

To all of you that say that Starkiller is overpowered because he moves a destroyer... Come on, how much does a destroyer weight IN SPACE? Close to hum... nothing! It's not because Luke didn't do it that this is impossible!

robzac
robzac

I played the demo on PS3 This games kicks ass the visuals are awesome. Can't wait to buy it.

Neo_Gamer81
Neo_Gamer81

I have played the demo and man is it fun. I enjoyed the first game but if the rest of part 2 is like the demo I'm really going to like it.

noah10
noah10

Boba fett is in the ultimate sith edition of the first force unleashed.

Topherman2059
Topherman2059

Playable Demo was released on PSN yesterday.

ImmortalityX
ImmortalityX

so when are lightsabers gonna slice enemies in half?

flashn00b
flashn00b

*yawns* Wake me up when Battlefront 3 is announced.

luxus99
luxus99

This game looks great I hope it's better and longer than the first one.

meleekill989
meleekill989

@ poststillmatic this is a video game. you say there's no way starkiller could be as powerful as he is? well i hate to burst your bubble but the force isn't real buddy, it's a fictional superhuman ability. so how could you possibly know that there's no way he could be that powerful (NERD ALERT: by the way, he could be that powerful provided he had a huge midi-chlorian count, like twice as high as anakin skywalker who had even yoda beat). and anyway, starkiller is much cooler than skywalker period.

meleekill989
meleekill989

but wait, unless this is an alternate universe now, how can starkiller live? i mean, either he's going to die so that this can stay inside the realm of star wars as we know it, or he'll live, and it will be much more cool. it's just strange because i recognized at the end of the first game that he had to die in order for it to fit into the original star wars, and he did. now he's back and very much alive again.. so... i dunno. but i sure hope he manages to stay alive this time around!

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

...where the hell is Battlefront 3? Also, everyone complaining about the story should shut up. Really, the store is unique because people don't want to play the same re-hashed story and over and over. Perhaps people would rather keep the concept and ideas then expand on them, as opposed to harping on the same storyline. Even if it is a "What if Luke joined the darkside" story, so what? It's a fresh take on a 30 year old story. I don't even like Star Wars and I enjoy the fresh perspectives on the universe like in Force Unleashed and KOTOR.

irwin888
irwin888

I don't see how this could be any worse than the first one. If anything, I think it'll be much more fun. Definitely considering picking it up if it has a decent campaign run-time.

jonnybutler11
jonnybutler11

i want to preorder the maulkiler pack, but after being very disappointed with the first, i dont know whether i should wait for reviews and then get it if its good...

GymFox
GymFox

Star Wars games seem to be a hit or miss. I am hoping the beef up SWTFU II for the better

Son_Jazrin
Son_Jazrin

@Dannyfinn12 In order for it to be considered canon, he either has to die or be "Enslaved" @Crasical Ah yes, the "Clone" angle. The old man better quit while he's ahead. Otherwise it'll turn into this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g6tNfwp7UE

Madbane
Madbane

Can't wait, SWTFU 2 gonna be awesome.

Bazackward
Bazackward

omg if his lightsaber color makes the game unplayable then stfu and don't play it

wnng3
wnng3

They seriously called that a Gorog?! That looks more like a Terentatek from KOTOR!

Gam1nG_W1zard
Gam1nG_W1zard

u ppl are complete idiots....its a damn video game...so what if starkiller if super powerful its makes the game fun when u see him pull a destroyer from the sky...and who ever said that someone with immense power with the force couldnt exist?

chimpanchu
chimpanchu

It doesn't make sense how Starkiller suppose to be a sith, trained as a sith by Vader and right from the beginning he's using blue light saber which suggest that he's actually a jedi!???

TpaulH
TpaulH

@kidsmoov: What about Yoda's ideal that nothing is impossible with the force? That it isn't about the size of the object, but about your belief? There aren't supposed to be limits with the force, that's the whole point. The force is limitless. Just because this is the only instance where the force is "unleashed" in such a way and is seemingly "ridiculous" does not mean it is impossible. The whole point of the game's title is that they are taking the force to its ultimate potential, the absolute best it can possibly be. Is it that hard to believe? The force is limitless in theory - this is showing that in reality. It's showing what happens when someone unleashes the full potential of the force. What's wrong with opening up that possibility?

kidsmoov
kidsmoov

sithphil87: Please, do list some of those examples. I've read all of the EU novels. They actually expand on the usage of the force for things like flow walking and battle meditation. There are no instances of single person simulatneously force electrocuting, levitating, then throwing 10 people at a time. Even if there was, there would be a heavy fatigue from such an exertion, unlike Starkiller who seemingly equates it to breathing. Anyway, the fact that you said "cheap special effects" about Star Wars movies speaks volumes.

sithphil87
sithphil87

enough talk about how starkiller's use of the force is ridiculous. its not. just because the special effects in the movies wasnt that good doesnt mean that the force cant be used like that. if u read the expanded universe novels, luke skywalker and the solo twins have more badass powers and do stuff thats cooler than starkiller. u guys r just stuck on cheap special effects from the movies. get over that stuff and have an imagination. thats what star wars is about after all.

helldew
helldew

i wont lie when i read starkiller i kept thinking KORTORs bendak starkiller the dude in the arena on taris.

kidsmoov
kidsmoov

poststillmatic: As for it fitting in the universe, I agree. His ridiculous power level outstrips anything we've ever seen (Pulling a star destryer out of the sky!? Really?). Basically, they're just going nuts with the Force to make the game shiny and exciting in leiu of ingenuity with what's already there. However, if you can get past that, it does make for a fun game and an entertaining story. You just have to remember that George Lucas (he signs off on everything) doesn't care about the integrity of SW half as much as you do.

Darthrocker
Darthrocker

@ orjasmo they did expand on a few jedi that starkiller had to hunt down that weren't in the movies, but the story expands between ep 3 & 4 so most of the characters are already discovered... were as kotor and Jedi knight were beyond the story that we already know so they weren't restricted. but i agree that they could have come up with a few more new people... i am still hung up on starkiller being perceived as SUPER strong in the force... were its already established that VADER &/or the emperor, is the most powerful... in the latest starwars adventure comic, darth vader could take down an entire rebel faction on his own, he also took down most Jedi in the purge... they should have made a darth vader rising/purge game. where you play as vader hunting jedi in the purge.

orjasmo
orjasmo

you can dislike this as much as you want, but is it really that hard to make up new characters instead of using old ones, both kotors made up new worlds and the Jedi academies and the other etc's used new characters, so i why cant they?

KTfreak4Jesus2
KTfreak4Jesus2

i'm glad now that you can deflect missile with the force. something that the first game missed

poststillmatic
poststillmatic

I still am not sold on this game. If you ask me, the "Starkiller" story is really Luke Skywalker if he joined the Darkside. There is no way this guy would be that powerful. It's all for marketing. Theys sat there and said we can't use Luke, but what if he joined Vader. If you read the canon you can see how this is plausible. Yoda sending him to the same cave as Luke? hmmm

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

FRIG'N AWESOME!!! EPICNESS WAITING TO HAPPEN!! X^D glad to see this game returning with a sequel. ^_^

Dante069
Dante069

l have both the ps3 and xbox and l played the frist game on both and they looked the same l'm still going to grab this for the ps3 but its doesnt matter this game with rock no matter what you pick to go with sp just enjoy it

CageFury
CageFury

"And in the new 360 Microsoft placed the newest video card for even better graphics details." ROFL! That's good stuff.

MWplaYer
MWplaYer

@monkyspoon: For your note, in every game the graphics are better on the 360 then on the PS3. i have friends with Ps3 and they even say it that the graphics are better on the 360. And in the new 360 Microsoft placed the newest video card for even better graphics details.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Looks to be coming along nicely.

mason35
mason35

@monkeyspoon "port" referring to games, which simply means that the makers dont change anything special to release it over it to another console, its like they copy it and rerelease it.... they simply "Port" the game over. When porting games about the only stuff they can reuse is still images and fonts SWFU 1ST ADDITON wasn't nec. a port, as stated in interviews it game console and pc would have their own mechanics and gameplay style per consolse and pc. since all cosoles has unique gameplay for SWFU 1ST E .then: "When porting games about the only stuff they can reuse is still images and fonts" its not a port but rmodel of the game engines. cant speak of SWFU 2 till i get my hands on it>

soulzDestroYer
soulzDestroYer

@monkeyspoon lol what ever dude lead version i just shi% myself lol's so hard

k1_drum
k1_drum

Can't wait to see more trailers!

Gam1nG_W1zard
Gam1nG_W1zard

im really lookin forward 4 this game...and 1 more thing wat is it about him holding his lightsaber backwards that makes alot of ppl hate it? i think its pretty cool its his own stlye of fighting not the coventional way that every1 else uses. And i dnt uderstand y ppl hate the dual lightabers..i think having 2 lightsabers will make the finishing moves alot cooler.

monkeyspoon
monkeyspoon

The PS3 version is the lead HD version. The 360 and PC version are ports of this.