Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II picks up where the last one left off and all the major players return. You’re again Crashdown from Battlestar Galactica, Vader’s apprentice guy. The PC port of this one is a ton better, and they fix some of the gameplay annoyances. The settings are actually in the game, the button prompts reflect your key bindings so I can use ESDF instead of WASD. They don’t give you a map anymore, but they give you a “force sense” ability that just points you in the direction you should be going.
However, it’s a significanty worse game. There are really only four stages in the game, and they run way too long and are really repetitive. The boss fights are interminable and not very fun. In the final stage, there’s a section where you jump onto a set of rotating platforms, then jump up onto a floating droid sort of thing, then up to a platform, then through a tunnel, and up onto another set of rotating platforms. This repeats like 8 times. I was worried the game was stick in a loop. In the final boss fight against Vader, you battle with him for a couple minutes, then he releases a bunch of little enemies to attack you and jumps to another platform. You kill those guys, jump to the platform where he is, battle for a couple minutes, then he releases more enemies. This also repeats like six times. I fell off the platforms a couple times, and I’m not sure if I started over at the beginning, or somewhere in the middle, but I ended up doing that platform dance for about an hour (with some breaks, because I was just getting mad at the game for taking so damn long to do anything). Despite being an action game, there were probably 10 times where I took a break just because it was boring and repetitive.
It keeps the mechanic (which I guess is called a Quick Time Event) where you’re prompted to hit a certain button or button combination at a specific time, except it makes them appear on different parts of the screen as an extra annoyance. These are done mid-cutscene, so it’s just like a big fuck you, to make sure you can’t really pay attention to the fancy graphics they probably spent hundreds of hours modeling, animating, and rendering. One of the prompts is there to tell you to press a button as fast as you can, and in the final Vader fight, there’s one that lasts over 30 seconds for some reason (see here for the video, that Y that’s pulsating is telling you to hammer Y, and it’s not until it flashes that you’re successful… that’ll show you the tail end of the game if you keep watching, so spoilers, obviously). I have no idea why anyone thought that was a good idea. “You know what would be fun here? If your hand hurt from pressing a button too much!”
The story is almost nonexistant, despite lots of cutscenes. Spoilers: having appeared to die in the first one, you wake up in a cloning facility and Vader tells you you’re a clone. You escape. You go to rescue General blind guy from the first one and do. He tells you Jedi can’t be cloned, so you must be the still-alive guy from the first one. You go to find your sexy pilot friend from the first one, but she gets captured by Boba Fett and brought back to the cloning place. So you get the rebel alliance to assault the place. You use some force mojo to help them in the assault, then go through the place to find her. Vader’s got her, he appears to kill her, so you beat him down. Then you get this dark side/light side choice to capture him or kill him, which obviously I chose light because I’m a goody-goody, and it turns out she’s alive and you capture Vader and ride off into the sunset with your lady friend, except Boba Fett chases after you in an obvious “sequel goes here” moment. Except the story sucked so obviously no one wanted a third one to be made. And this leaves the whole “are you a clone or the real guy?” thing unresolved.
I looked up the dark side ending, and it’s total bullshit. Your choice changes things that happened before you made the choice. If you pick dark side, it turns out your lady friend really did die. And in that one, it’s very clear that Crashdown in the first one died and you are in fact a clone, because another clone kills you before you can kill Vader. So