Review: The Force Unleashed 2 Demo

The Force Unleashed 2 Demo is now available on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. I tested it out on my PS3 last night. The file was fairly large, and it took a while to download. It installed quickly though once the download was complete. I imagine there was a lot of demand for the demo that had something to do with the download time.

The demo begins with a scene between Starkiller and Darth Vader. Starkiller is revealed to be a clone, and has some memory flashes from the character you played in the first game. Vader explains that it is part of the cloning acceleration process and will go away. You then get to learn your basic controls in a combat simulation. You get a feel for Starkiller’s conflicting emotions, and Vader opts to try again with a new clone, terminating the clone you’ve just gotten to know. This leads to an escape sequence that gives you a better grasp of your new-found abilities.

Throughout the demo your character experiences game-stopping flashes with memories of his former self. I thought this was okay for an initial stage, but I hope it doesn’t continue throughout the game. It does help to move the demo along though.

New to the sequel are the Jedi Mind Trick, dual lightsabers, and Force Fury. The Jedi Mind Trick is a bit dark, so you may want to monitor or restrict younger children’s game time. Using the mind trick you can convince a Stormtrooper to jump through a window, or off a ledge to his doom. You can also convince him to attack his peers. The action is automatic depending on where your character is standing. If you are on a ledge, he’ll jump off. If you are by a window, he’ll jump through.

Another darker feature is the improved lightsaber. This one actually severs limbs, unlike every Star Wars game prior to this one. I expected to remove the arms off the Stormtroopers. I found out in short order that you can also remove their heads. I found this out with my 4 year old watching, so I don’t expect to be playing this before his bed-time again. This is definitely a grown-up version of Star Wars.

With your new force abilities, the battles get more intense in the sequel. You take on multiple AT-STs at once, using force lightning and force fury to destroy them. There are Stormtroopers who can block your lightsaber, requiring a creative use of force powers, whether with lightning or simply tossing them off a ledge.

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, and if you played the original, you can get back into the groove quickly. I enjoyed learning the new powers. This game has the potential to be even better than the first one, and that is saying a lot. The demo is really short, but you won’t have to wait long to buy the full game. It will be available October 26.

If you haven’t downloaded the demo yet, I’d recommend it. It was a pretty fun experience.

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