SDCC10: The Lucasarts ‘Force Unleashed II’ Panel

The San Diego Comic-Con panel for the upcoming LucasArts sequel to The Force Unleashed opened with some amazing cinematic footage from the game. In the footage previewed to Comic-Con attendees, Vader reveals to Starkiller that he is in fact a clone, produced to Vader’s exact specifications and designed to be the perfect apprentice.

But the news goes from bad to worse, as Vader explains that he is actually a failed clone. Prone to strange and distracting flashbacks and weird memory-holes, Vader declares Starkiller useless and orders him killed. Starkiller of course, has other plans. Using his incredibly powerful force abilities, he breaks free of his bonds, destroys his Stormtrooper captors and proceeds to flee the planet Camino, becoming a fugitive in the process.

The footage from Force Unleashed 2 really set the tone for the big Lucasarts panel revolving around the upcoming sequel to one of the best Star Wars game properties in recent history. A second clip shown at the start of the panel, begins to reveal the back-story to this sequel, showing Starkiller on the run from Vader now, taking his ship and heading for a nearby planet to rescue his friend General Rahm Kota. ‘Unleashed 2’ is revealed to possess a very rich storyline with deep character development as we follow Starkiller on his journey to be reunited with his one true love, Captain Juno Eclipse.

Hit the jump for a preview of the gameplay, some of the new force powers available in the sequel, as well as a very special Comic-Con exclusive reveal of a small, but pivotal character who will appear in the new game.

Next up, some of the amazing gameplay was previewed, with tons of in-game footage. In this update, force powers take center stage in a huge way. New powers like Jedi Mind Trick allow Starkiller to turn enemies into allies, though if they have an accessible way to kill themselves, they will often take that route first. Picture stormtroopers throwing themselves out windows, or otherwise walking in front of laser turrets, as Starkiller scrambles their minds. Existing force powers have also been amped up significantly.

Starkiller now dual wields two light sabers by default, which is visually stunning to watch him as he slices and dices his way through enemies with acrobatic aplomb. A new ability, called ‘Force Fury’ slowly builds up and then when unleashed by the player, Starkiller’s attacks become devestatingly powerful.

Waves of enemies can be blown to fractions by activating Force Fury.  Some powers have been refined a bit, such as the always-handy deflect power, which seems to work better in the second game. New grappling moves and cinematic finishing moves really pump up the drama and it is truly impressive to watch Starkiller leave a wake of destruction everywhere he goes.

The game engine, Ronin, has been updated to version 2.0 and provides better overall effects. AI has been refined and expanded, now boasting over 25 AI units that really force the player to mix up their attacks and really strategize to overcome always varying challenges. As in the first game, there is a ton of environmental interaction possible, with the ability to force push and fling objects and destruct just about anything you see in the game.

Starkiller can now force crush huge battle droids, compacting the dangerous bots into tin cans in a move that resembles Doctor Manhattan’s powers from the Watchmen. This is indeed a game that reimagines the nature and scope of the force and really takes things into a whole new level.

LucasArts had one final and very special reveal for Comic-Con attendees. A cinematic trailer shows Vader hiring Boba Fett to bring back his wayward apprentice. The LucasArts reps mentioned that Boba plays a small, but pivotal role in the game’s sequel. One can only imagine the tricks Boba will have up his sleeve in order to capture the now fugitive Starkiller.

LucasArts is still testing and tweaking the difficulty level of the game in certain areas as well as play-testing the game ahead of its October 26th release date. The Force Unleashed II will be available for the PC, XBox 360, PS3 and Wii. Be sure to hit the official site for more details and some glimpses of the game as they are unveiled.

  • Joe Balaich
    July 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I have a theory of how Starkiller on how he is not a clone. Anyone interested email: Lazghoul@gmail.com and I'll be happy to share my theory.

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