Thursday, November 04, 2010

Force Unleashed 2 mini-review

As I'm going to be busy for the next few nights I made time to have a quick go on Force Unleashed 2 for the PS3 that I picked up on Saturday.

On installation it found my old FU1 save (wait FU! Huh just realised that) and it told me I had received some bonuses. I couldn't see them at the time as I was just installing it; but now with a chance to play it seems to have given me a lightsaber crystal; it's nice to reward your loyal customers this way.

So the story so far - Darth Vader takes on a secret apprentice (Starkiller) and charges him with discovering who is planning action against the Empire by creating a rebel force. Ironically this is the impetus that actually creates the Rebel Alliance when Starkiller goes rogue. In the official ending Starkiller is killed, yet here he is in the second game - how come? Clones.

Yep he's been cloned on Kamino (where the Stormtroopers were created) and his memories are explained as a result of the forced learning process (sigh). Sadly for Vader this clone seems to have too many original memories and off he goes too.

So that's where the game starts with you trying to escape Kamino and without all your memories it explains why you don't have full access to your powers.

So is it different to the first game - it's more polished and that's about it. The camera is still a pain at times, and the enemy lock is still persistent button push rather than a toggle on/off. Combat seems more fluid; targeting is both easier and more obvious; but there are still glitches.

It does still delight in targeting what the camera can't see. In one instance I moved towards a urn next to a corner in order to Force Grab and throw it towards an unpleasant enemy instead I ended up crushing a wall mounted screen on the corner I couldn't see.

I've also ended up having to restart the game (not the console) when heading up the elevator on the second 'level'. The elevator activates as soon as you step on it with the result that the camera is trying to look through you (so you turn transparent) and the menus are disabled to allow the voiceover of "I've seen how you can fight now how do you run". The elevator reaches the top and... you can't move and the menus haven't been re-enabled.

Speaking of "how do you run" don't you ever learn? There's little more frustrating than forcing the player to run towards the camera and you've made me do it in two levels now. Yes it's dramatic, but it just screws you up because you end up running into the boxes strewn about the place because you can't see where you're going.

Likewise a cutscene whereby your efforts go unrewarded - save the transport you're riding with 100% 'health' and it'll still catch fire and blow up. Sure you're protecting it until you're close enough to jump - but the sequence won't end until you destroy the ship shooting at you so what's the point?

There's also "Challenges" separate to the game (kill these enemies in X time etc.). Accessing them will present you with a non-informative loading screen that sits there asking if you want to cancel. Eventually it'll point out that you're not connected to the internet and are you sure you want to continue. Come on guys doesn't the PS3 have a connected/disconnected toggle? Just check that and state "You're not connected are you sure you wish to continue" rather than sit there for a minute checking. I mean I don't have to sit around waiting for Dragon Age so why am I waiting here?

So what's good about it? Hmm well it seems to have less tearing and they've tidied up the menus Thank The Gods it no longer requires a load between So yeah more polished, and graphically better but really that's about it.

If you liked the first one, you'll like this; if you didn't there's little here to tempt you.

[Update - I started on Easy mode just to get a feel for the game and ended up finishing before I even knew it maybe 6 hours of play with the need for only two upgrades; so don't play it on Easy]