FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.

Transcript Edit

You've got to feel sorry for Star Wars fans in this day and age, when you're not mocking them or kicking them down flights of stairs I mean. They haven't exactly rolled a double six in the great game of life to begin with, and now the one thing that has made their existence marginally less wretched is crumbling before their very eyes like old pastry in a dishwater. Between movies, games, books, and tea towels, the shit of Star Wars now vastly outweighs the good (which consists of the first two movies and arguably Knights of the Old Republic).

Not that they'll ever admit that. It's quite entertaining to watch the level of denial die-hard Star Wars fans operate on as they try to convince you that the romance in Attack of the Clones was totally believable. To say Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman had chemistry in that film is like saying that a chair stacked on another chair is a sizzlingly erotic love scene. So I look forward to seeing how the fanboys justify The Force Unleashed II, because it is the most grossly offensive and mishandled application of intellectual property since the Schindler's List Easy-Bake Oven!

So we slip back into the Cuban heels of Starkiller - the most hideously overpowered thing in the Star Wars universe until they figure out how to glue three Death Stars together - Darth Vader's secret apprentice. And after turning against the Empire and getting himself killed in the last game (spoiler alert), Darth Vader has decided that the best course of action would be to clone another one, who hopefully can be persuaded out of his rebellious attitude with rigorous abuse. See, this is the kind of thinking that makes the Empire the formidable, universe-spanning power that could be brought down by college kids and their pet gophers. Quelle surprise, Starkiller 2.0 remembers who he is and kills his way of the Empire facility to reunite with the Rebel Alliance.

Now, Luke Skywalker could have whined for his country, and his dad went at it like there was a vice permanently attached to his bollocks, but Starkiller wears an emo fringe that reaches to his knees. All he cares about is getting back together with his love interest. And forgive me if I'm unsympathetic, but if Christensen and Portman had a chemistry like two chairs stacked together, then Starkiller and Whatsherface were like a picture of two chairs stacked together, crudely drawn on butcher paper with a bit of partially dried poo.

So, here are all the ways you can kill people in this game like a bullied teenager with a semi-automatic and an Oedipus complex:

  • You can hit them with a lightsaber, if you're some kind of watercress-eating spod with no imagination
  • You can reflect their blaster shots back at them
  • You can throw your lightsaber at them
  • You can microwave them with force lightning
  • You can force push them into walls
  • You can lift them off their feet and throw them at their mates
  • You can lift them up, microwave them, throw your lightsaber at them, then throw whatever mess remains at their mates
  • And you can Jedi mind trick them into fighting each other or hurling themselves off bridges, which is, incidentally, hilarious

And yet, none of the enemies seem the least bit afraid of you. It's like they all went to the wrong briefing by mistake, and somewhere in the universe a platoon of terrified SWAT officers with riot shields and machine guns are facing off against a single, confused Ewok.

You might think this all sounds kind of fun, in a slightly psychotic kind of way, and it is. But the game handles its fun elements like a gazelle handles the fine china. Starkiller is so stupidly overpowered that individual enemies and even small groups are barely worth registering; just fling a coffee table vaguely in their direction and let them all die of banged shins. There are special, stronger varieties of trooper, but I think there must have been some falling out among the combat designers - perhaps some off-colour comparison was drawn between someone's girlfriend and Emperor Palpatine - and they wouldn't speak to each other long enough to realise that force lighting in one form or another is the one weakness of virtually every otherwise invulnerable enemy in the game.

The combat does get fun when you have to divide your attention between larger groups, mind tricking an elite trooper with one hand and force pushing a lamppost up someone's butthole with other, but the game doesn't often have the balls to throw enough simultaneous enemies at you to make it a really meaty challenge and more often than not descends into repetitive one-on-ones with a giant robot or one of his three or four slightly different mates. Gameplay protip: keep your distance and deflect its missiles back at it. "Which enemy is that a protip for, Yahtzee?" "Throw a fucking rock!" (That's also a good tactic).

The philosophy of The Force Unleashed II is that if something's worth doing, it's worth doing fifteen fucking times. It's padded to the point that it insults our intelligence, like a schoolgirl showing up one day with two honeydews jammed down her shirt. I mean, come on, Hortence, no one blooms that fast! The game has a total of four locations. The last mission is a revisit of the first one. One of them exists only for a cutscene in which Yoda shows up for three-quarters of a second so they can stick his wrinkly Muppet ass on the back of the box and make fanboys cream their C3PO pajama bottoms. The rest are sequences of shamelessly copy-pasted rooms broken up by boss fights. Listen, developers: if we've shown we've figured out the correct attack sequence for your little boss, don't make us do it five times. Twice will do, because the first one might have been a fluke, but beyond that it's a game, not an aptitude test for the operation of heavy machinery.

The very worst part is the final fight with Darth Vader. I'm not sure he even attacks you. Mostly he just blocks half your attacks and loses about one nano-inch of health for the rest. It's like taking down a 30-foot brick wall with a toffee hammer. He does spawn clones to attack you, but they've all got brittle bone disease and give you free health when they die. Not sound tactics, Vader, me old mate. The only real threats are dying of old age or falling off the platform. And on that subject, Force Unleashed II, does falling down an abyss kill us or teleport us back onto the ledge Zelda-style? Because you need to decide! Don't just switch from one to the other whenever the woodpecker on your head penetrates your skull.

So the gameplay time is artificially padded, but here's the punchline: it's still too short! I didn't even think that was possible. It's like they were working on DLC for Force Unleashed I and then thought: "You know what, fuck it! If they paid full price for that Clone Wars movie, they'll pay full price for this." I'm actually insulted, and I'm not even a fan of this stupid franchise. If I was, I'd already be measuring myself for the noose. But here's a nice quote for your box art, Force Unleashed II: "Could almost have been written by George Lucas himself!" Because what George Lucas does is not so much writing as it is vomiting through a pen.

AddendaEdit

Honestly, who still likes Star Wars: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Not that anything I've said here will stop this damn thing making ninety squintillion dollars because there are light sabers on the front

Darth Vader is the giant block cockend Lucasarts is sticking up your butt and you love it

ScreenshotsEdit

Force Unleashed 2 1

The shit of Star Wars now vastly outweighs the good

Force Unleashed 2 2

Kel surprise

Force Unleashed 2 3

Its a game, not an aptitude test for the operation of heavy machinery

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins · Sonic Forces · Star Wars Battlefront II · Hand of Fate 2

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.