Backlog Break – 013 – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

Completion time: 4:44:44

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 represents every reason as to why I am laser-focused on the Backlog Break now more than anything else – it’s occasionally a second chance for a game I had issues with many years ago. When I first played this at launch, I was woefully underwhelmed and supremely disappointed by the brevity of the journey, as well as the final portion of the game. I had wanted to come back to The Force Unleashed 2 for many years now, and now that I have, I gotta say – I may have been overly harsh with this one.

I mean, let’s not sugar coat this in any way – The Force Unleashed 2 is a rushed, content bereft video game. It feels like most, if not the entire second act wasn’t even finished and added in. Starkiller goes to the Dagobah system, and you think you’re going to fight through some oddities, but no. You run a linear path forward, picking up a half dozen different holocrons, reach a cutscene with Yoda and then…a cutscene going through the entire rest of your trip to the planet. The final battle wasn’t *as* asinine as I remembered, but man was it just tedious as all hell. The ending was underwhelming and under baked as well.

Now beyond that, The Force Unleashed 2 was very much enjoyable. The combat felt a lot better with how streamlined it became, making you worry less about trying to memorize 15 different attack combos you unlock. The audio across the board was once again phenomenal, especially the voice acting. Visually, The Force Unleashed 2 was much better to look at than the first game, and that says something because the first title still looked damn good even today, but the sequel takes it a step further. Finally, the lack of bosses was generally appreciated, as they weren’t much of a plus before, although there were really only two outright bosses in this one – the awful final battle, and the mind-bending battle with that gigantic hulking beast. The latter was a tad frustrating at first, but once things started clicking, it became as epic as the intro of the game.

There’s a lot not to like about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, just as much to love. It’s blatantly obvious that this was rushed out the door, as well as having that deus ex machina plot device to make this game actually happen after what happened at the closing moments of the first. The thing is though, it plays so well, it looks amazing even today, and the set pieces portions of the game were highly memorable. I walked into this playthrough with unsavory memories of The Force Unleashed 2, and I walked away surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this time around. The game didn’t need to exist, but it’s not *as* abhorrent as I made it out to be after the first playthrough.

Rating: 6

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