The Force Unleashed II – Demo impressions

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By now you can download the demo to The Force Unleashed II on Xbox Live and it should be up shortly on PlayStation Network. What do you get for the 700MB download? Basically it’s the Kamino demo level from E3 although obviously in a completed state as the game comes out in just two weeks.

The demo opens with a cutscene where Vader is talking to Starkiller about his memories, which you see a bit of in the Launch Trailer. You then play a very quick tutorial that teaches you the basic movies before Starkiller zaps Vader in the face with Force Lightning. The demo level is relatively short, but it gives you a taste of how the sequel will play while giving you a decent sample of some of the new Force powers.

Obviously Mind Trick is the most fun. Use it on normal Stormtroopers and they’ll fight alongside you killing their allies. The tougher troopers won’t do that, instead they usually leap to their death. You also get to fight one larger enemy, twice, in the form of the Carbonite droid that can freeze you in place. The end of the demo gives you a taste of the enhanced Force powers where a charged up Force push can vaporize Stormtroopers.

But the new features, moves, and enemies aren’t the only improvement over the original. The controls are tighter and more responsive. An example is the Force Grip, which you’ll often use to lift objects. In the original it was a bit too floaty and not precise enough, here it’s much easier to control an object you’re lifting and direct it to whatever you want to toss it too.

The sequel also received a nice graphic polish over the original. Where Force Unleashed looked great, Force Unleashed II looks even better. Everything looks smoother from the texture work, animation, and physics. I can’t stress how awesome it is to see Stormtrooper limbs and heads flying everywhere as you dice them to bits with your lightsabers.

The demo ends with a quick, and easy, fight against two AT-STs and then Starkiller jacks Vader’s TIE Fighter and leaves Kamino. We’ll have to wait two weeks to see where he heads next when the final version of The Force Unleashed II is finally released.