Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: LucasArts 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: LucasArts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: October 26, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
The Force, umm… Even More Unleashed?
by J. Matthew Zoss

The original Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was not a perfect game. Few people would claim otherwise. But it was definitely a solid game – its flaws were more about lack of variety than glaring technical issues. Fans’ quibbles about changes to the Star Wars canon and somewhat repetitive gameplay aside, The Force Unleashed was one of the biggest Star Wars games in a long, long time, selling over seven million copies to date. That kind of success insures a sequel. After checking out the demo of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II at E3 last month, we’re convinced that the team at LucasArts is serious about fixing the flaws of the original game and delivering an even bigger, better game the second time around.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II screenshot

The E3 demo kicked off with an impressive CG trailer that sets up the story for the second game and answers a question fans probably have about the sequel. Protagonist The Secret Apprentice died at the end of the first game, so how can he be back? Well, at the start of the game he awakens on the cloning planet of Kamino, so that gives you a clue. Whether he’s the original Apprentice or not, Vader is displeased with his actions at the end of the original game and orders him killed. Of course, the Apprentice gets loose and starts doing what he’ll be doing over the course of the entire game: kicking Imperial butt.

After escaping the clutches of Vader’s goons, the Apprentice sets out to find the truth, adopting the name Starkiller. Star Wars trivia experts will recognize the significance of that name – it was the original last name of Luke Skywalker in the early drafts of the first movie.

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As the trailer ended, the live demo of the game began, starting with a section in which Starkiller falls hundreds of feet from the top of a building, dodging enemies and obstacles along the way. It's easily a section that many games would do as a cutscene, but in TFUII it's actual gameplay. The LucasArts employee controlling the demo blasted obstacles out of the way with force powers, dodged enemies with a split second to spare, and made it down to the bottom in one piece. Think the falling through the city scene in Attack of the Clones, and you'll get the picture.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II screenshot

After landing, the more familiar gameplay kicked in. Now armed with two lightsabers, Starkiller slashed his way through hordes of stormtroopers, mixing up his attacks with returning force powers that allowed him to chuck troopers to their death, electrocute them with Force lightning, and more. A new power, Mind Trick, has been added to the mix, and it's definitely one of the more amusing abilities in the game. Use it on a group, and they'll turn on each other. Use it on an individual, and he'll run to the nearest ledge and throw himself off. That's right, you can cause suicides in this game.

The demo included some brief platforming elements to break up the action, as well as some new enemies and some old ones that you can dispatch in new ways. There was a giant new “Terror Trooper” with a huge shield that can be ripped away from him with The Force and launched back at him. Two AT-ST’s unloaded their guns on Starkiller, who tossed them in the air and crushed them into metal balls – something players desperately wanted to do in the original game. Jetpack troopers would lose control when struck with Force Lightning and go spiraling to their deaths with a trail of smoke. And, of course, plenty of standard Stormtroopers found themselves slashed to pieces beneath Starkillers’ twin Lightsabers.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II screenshot

The sequel is a huge visual improvement over the original game, with impressive textures and lighting that made it one of the most graphically impressive games of the show. In the falling section, you can see the wind ripping at Starkiller’s clothes and water from Kamino’s wet environment shining on the various materials. The glow of his dual Lightsabers reflects off the shiny objects in the environment, and individual pieces of Stormtroopers’ armor fly off when you toss them around with The Force. It’s definitely a visually-striking game, but more importantly, it looked fun - better balanced and more refined than the first game. If you're a Star Wars fan, that's probably all you need to hear.

By J. Matthew Zoss
CCC Freelance Writer


Game Features:

  • Continue the galaxy-altering journey of Starkiller, Darth Vader’s fugitive apprentice, that shapes the key events between Star Wars: Episode III and Episode IV.
  • Unleash the Force with more power and precision through improved controls and new powers, such as the deceptive Mind Trick, which turns enemies against their allies.
  • Experience the most life-like interactions with Pixelux Entertainment’s Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) coupled with euphoria from Natural Motion Ltd and the powerful Havok Physics™ system.
  • Take combat to the next level with the ability to wield dual lightsabers and punish enemies with all-new combo attacks.
  • Expanded customization options such as new costumes and power-enhancing lightsaber crystals.
  • Discover the true power of Starkiller with Force Fury, where his attacks and Force powers are exponentially increased.


  • Screenshots / Images
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