You know, I'm all about giving things a second chance—especially when it comes to Star Wars. But I just can't bring myself to get excited (or even non-disgusted) about the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. I have previously vented my bile upon this budding franchise, so I won't delve too deeply into it again. I'd really like to give it a second chance, but there are just so many strikes against it that I am actually dreading its release. Why? Well, let me list the reasons:
1) Story. As horribly disruptive and downright hamfisted as the first game was to the established canon of the movies, this one seems to be even moreso. In fact, its looking like it is even going to be running roughshod over its OWN previously established canon (...so, if the Rebel Alliance's symbol was adopted in honor of the Jedi who gave his life to help the birth of the Rebellion, what happens when we find out he isn't really dead. He's just kindof been cloned, but has some of the same memories...).
2) Insanity. Okay, so... Vader tried to use the protagonist (Starkiller) as a pawn, but found him too difficult to control. So... this time, Vader's plan is to... use Starkiller as a pawn, only he (surprise surprise) finds him too difficult to control! SHOCKER! I mean seriously. WTF. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. After having both been destroyed by Starkiller, I'm thinking neither Vader nor the Emperor would take the chance on repeating that mistake.
3) "The Dark Chapter". I guess its a supposed to be a nod to the darker tone of Empire Strikes back, but this game is supposed to be the 'dark' chapter in what is shaping up to be a trilogy of video games. Because yeah, the first game was so 'bright and cheery'. Lets see.. the protagonist's family is killed, he's raised by a horribly abusive father figure (Vader) who is just using him to further his own ends. He slaughters a bunch of people who are essentially the good guys—including a couple Jedi. Hell, he even slaughters a bunch of (relatively) innocent jawas and rodians, not to mention a host of other aliens who are just trying to defend their world from the Empire. And in the end, he finds out that his entire life has been a lie and he is ultimately betrayed and killed by the Emperor. Yeah. THAT was the 'happy first chapter!', but this one is going to be all 'dark and broody'. Not much lower they could go, unless he starts eating babies or clubbing seals.
4) Epic Fights. The developers said they're working on making the boss fights more epic. For god sakes, in the first game you battle Darth Vader and the Emperor back to back—and defeat them BOTH. How much more EPIC can boss fights be?! Oh, I know.. this time you can fight a dozen darth vaders and emperors!
5) Ripping the guts out of the original trilogy, yet again. As I've said before, by having a 'hero' as overwhelmingly powerful as Starkiller, you totally take the emphasis off Luke's 'heroes journey' to redeem his father, which is central to the Star Wars saga as a whole. I mean, its like having a story about Robin Hood, then having some other guy (Bobin Hoodkiller) come in and totally kick the crap out of Prince John and the Sheriff without breaking a sweat. I am a firm believer that Star Wars is big enough for a LOT of different stories, but god damnit, find your own, Starkiller. Get your own antagonist and quick F**king with someone else's destiny.
Whew. So, yeah. It happened again. For some reason, just talking about this game ticks me off. The only way I'm going to buy it is if it gets the best ratings of any video game ever made. And even then, I'll probably be skeptical.