I bought this game on sale. It was a little bit over £5. After completing it, I felt like this game should never have existed.
Where to begin?
[THIS REVIEWS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED]
As a very big fan of the Original Force Unleashed game, what made the original game so great for me wasn't it's over the top gameplay, but how it played a role in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It linked Episode III and Episode IV perfectly, detailing how the last few jedis were killed off, how the rebel leaders initially came together, and ended with a satisfying conclusion that perfectly set up "A New Hope," whilst also being conclusive so you feel satisfied with how it ended. However, the Force Unleashed 2 not only rips open that ending and drags out Starkiller's journey, which should have ended at the seemingly conclusive end of the Force Unleashed 1, but tacks on a story that doesn't add ANYTHING new to the Star Wars mythos.
In the original, you spend half of the game hunting Jedi, which explains how the survivors of order 66 eventually died, and the other half uniting the galaxy against the empire, which explains how the rebel alliance was formed. In the second game, Starkiller spends it finding his lover. That is the whole story. He doesn't set up major plot events in the films; he doesn't even do anything meaningful in his own mythos. He spends the game looking for his girlfriend, and that's it. He even goes out of his way to stay out of any meaningful plot points; when asked to join the rebels and fight the empire, he basically gives them the finger. The only thing that could have added anything to the Star Wars EU is the ending, which obviously sets up a sequel, but that never arrives. As it is, the ending just breaks the entire lore of the Star Wars Universe.
Next, let's look at the game's memorable moments. The original FU had a huge array of great video game and Star Wars moments, something that players and fans would remember for years to come. Hunting rogue jedi, bringing down a Star Destroyer, infiltrating the Death Star, beating the living ♥♥♥♥ out of Darth Vader and even fighting the Emperor in a 1 on 1 battle; you did it all. However, the FU2 has a grand total of 1 memorable moment, which is the first boss fight within the first hour and a half of the game. Not even the Final Boss fight against Vader (that’s not really a spoiler, we all knew he would be the boss), the most important part of a game, felt memorable. As it is, for 4 hours, you slice, stab and force your way through the same, (yet granted, interesting) enemies over and over again.
Gameplay is up next. Gameplay is a hard one to talk about. Because, I'm gonna be honest, the gameplay was hella fun. The complaints I'm making against gameplay isn't because gameplay is bad, it's because I personally felt that the first game did it better. The thing is, even though the force powers in the first game were pretty insane, the new ones are even more unrealistic, with the player wielding 2 lightsabers and whizzing about the map firing out lightning and bursts of energy at will. And while it was both fun to and brilliant to behold, it just felt way too flashy and didn’t have any substance to it. There are a few more complaints about gameplay, but nothing worth bickering about; simplistic upgrade system, all combos from first game immediately unlocked, lightsaber duelling revolved around blocking the moment your enemy strikes and then attacking over and over again. In conclusion, it’s fun but too flashy for my liking and not as in depth as the first game.
So, should you buy this game? Buy it if you really do not give a ♥♥♥♥ about the story. The gameplay is fun, enemies are samey but there's a lot of different varieties, there's not many levels and it takes about 4 hours to complete, but the gameplay alone is rather fast passed and fun. But if you cared about the original game's story, just forget this exists.
They've recently announced that none of the Star Wars games are canon; however that doesn't mean that you can't have certain SW stories as head canon. So in my eyes, the first game is head canon, and the second game is just a neat little idea of what may have happened if Starkiller continued his journey after the first game, but it's not what truly happens after Starkiller's first game.