The Force Unleashed II Celebration Impressions

Announced at Spike VGA’s last year, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is the sequel to their highly anticipated, yet moderately rated Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Other than a few announcements (Boba Fett, Yoda, and the cloning tanks), LucasArts has been silent about their newest game in the series. At Star Wars Celebration V, the latest convention celebrating the film saga, LucasArts brought an exclusive demo for the game. Exciting? Yes.

The very beginning of the demo starts you off right in the action, on the stormy cloning planet of Kamino. As Starkiller busts out of a window and flies into a Force-induced freefall, you fall you have the option of avoiding obstacles or blasting through them with The Force. After you crash through a glass window, the real action begins. The controls are nearly identical to the last Force Unleashed game, but that doesn’t mean the gameplay is. The most obvious change is that Starkiller now has two lightsabers. This new fighting stance allows for redesigned combos and new ways to use Force powers.

The biggest new combat element added in TFU II is the inclusion of Force Fury. Although the idea is not new, as it is exactly like Kratos’ Rage of the Gods/Titans/Spartans upgrade from God of War, it adds a great new feeling to the game. Already with over-the-top Force powers never before seen in the Star Wars universe, in Force Fury mode those powers get even stronger. Certain parts of the game actually require you to use this power strategically to advance, otherwise it could get very tiresome.

LucasArts acknowledged how simplistic the last game was, noting that you could merely “spam Force Push through enemies and progress.” This time around, rather than having so many enemies on screen at one time, they will be focusing on more intelligent enemies. Different units will respond effectively or not at all to certain Force powers, almost in a rock-paper-scissors-type mentality. This will put the players is a much more tactical mindset how to solve certain obstacles.

The biggest changes from the original Force Unleashed however, are actually some of the smallest details. The first game was an obvious technical wonder, and the LucasArts team has outdone themselves this time. With 80% of the team from the initial game, the majority of the time spent on TFU II was optimizing all of their engines to put out as much as each system could. The game runs so smoothly now, that it honestly looked like it was smoother than the 30 frames per second it was said to be. Another new change was the life of the new dynamic environments. Incredible weather effects, reactive lighting, and even the wind flowing on various materials really give the game a much more immersive feeling. Lastly, Stormtroopers now have detachable limbs. That’s right. The lightsaber cuts off arms, legs, even heads, and you can see the cauterization happen as the armor glows from white, to orange, to black.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is set to release this October 26th to a very anticipated audience. Also confirmed on the show floor is that a demo WILL be released about a month before the game. Whether it will be similar to the Celebration V demo, or if it will be new part of the game entirely has yet to be seen. Expect to see the demo hitting the PlayStation Network in late September or early October. Until then, be sure to stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle for any more news!