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Star Wars Prequels Games

Big Changes Planned For The Force Unleashed 2 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the franchise-strikes-back dept.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed debuted in 2008 to less than stellar reviews, but sales of the game were strong. A sequel for the game is due out in October, and the developers spoke at length with the Guardian's Games blog about the improvements they've been working on. One of their priorities was adding depth to the combat system to make it less of a button-mash. "The team has completely redesigned all the familiar Force powers from the first title including Force Push and Force Grip, and has added a few newcomers including the potentially amusing Force Mind Trick that'll allow you to trick Storm Troopers into leaping from high ledges." Enemy AI is another area that's getting some love, and they're trying to make level design more open and less linear. The team's confidence in the changes they're making stems in part from much greater familiarity with their game-building tools. "Like its predecessor, Force Unleashed 2 will combine three third-party physics engines, Havok, Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter, to provide cutting edge human animation, materials effects and authentic physical forces. ... 'Whenever you're building the first iteration [of a game series] and a brand new game engine at the same time, everything comes in hot and fast – we were literally figuring out how to get the most out of those three technologies all the way up to shipping. The DLC then helped us to learn more, and that knowledge has given us the biggest leap forward.'" A trailer for the game was released at E3.
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Big Changes Planned For The Force Unleashed 2

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  • Surely the number of midichlorines in the blood stream fluctuates as you use the force?

  • Game Environment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nialin (570647)
    Let's just hope we can jump and land on that fucking mushroom top this time around.
  • Major fixes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @04:09AM (#32884398) Journal
    It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system. I loved the look and feel of the game but the combat system made me give up near the end. Surprisingly even though I hated it so much, pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.
    • Re:Major fixes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cafard (666342) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @05:01AM (#32884654) Journal

      It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system.

      No mention, alas, of Wii motion-plus support. If the lightsaber can be handled like the sword in Wii Sports Resort, that's an instant-buy for me.

      • Here's THE ONE THING the game needs : Slicing enemies with your lightsaber should cut off limbs insteead of "decreasing their energy bar".
        Otherwise, it's not even worth pirating!

        • That is a feature of this game. I read it on an IGN article recently (there was also video footage of this in a demo). I'll find the article once I'm at home, IGN is blocked in work.
    • pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

      Fully agreed, the sequence is nice, but it took me forever to actually pull it off, it took a while for me to realize you can just force-lightning the ties, and need to take multiple cycles to actually kill the thing, i was stuck on that for ages (threw the game aside for a year out of frustration), now i'm stuck in the section where you walk down the death-star laser channel and need to allign those rings... F-in sucks

      I just hope they leave out those time-limited puzzles, the rest of the game was very nice

      • it was easy once I realized the prompts telling you which way to move the sticks were bullshit and just tried to keep the bitch straight with the nose pointed down a little
    • Re:Major fixes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @09:12AM (#32886042)

      It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system. I loved the look and feel of the game but the combat system made me give up near the end. Surprisingly even though I hated it so much, pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

      No, that's actually a perfect example of why the game was so fuxx0red. Star Wars isn't about Dragonball Z Super-Sayan characters. Force users may be powerful but they're not freakin' Greek gods. Yoda can say size matters not but living an X-Wing with his mind took some effort.

      If a Force-user can pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky, he could just as well fly everywhere. And make laser beams shoot out of his eyes. And pretty much be Superman. All he needs is a cape and glasses when he needs a disguise.

      The new Star Wars MMORPG looks like it's going to be Star Wars 40K complete with stand-in space marines. It's going to suck.

      • by Reapman (740286)

        Well actually if you go into some of the expanded universe stuff in the books.. from what i remember (and this is going way back) the way they explained how the Rebels were able to take a trap in RotJ and basically demolish the empire's forces was due to the death of the emperor.. he had the ability to basically boost the abilities of his troops from great distances. once he died they were uncoordinated (nice way of explaining a weaker plot element of the movie anyways) and the Rebels took advantage of th

      • by mog007 (677810)

        If a Force-user can pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky, he could just as well fly everywhere. And make laser beams shoot out of his eyes. And pretty much be Superman. All he needs is a cape and glasses when he needs a disguise.

        First, I find your lack of faith disturbing. Second, the power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shdragon (1797)

      It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system. I loved the look and feel of the game but the combat system made me give up near the end. Surprisingly even though I hated it so much, pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

      I read an interview with the devs in Game Informer where they admit that the on-screen instructions for pulling the Start Destroyer are wrong, hence the "it takes 20 minutes to beat the level". Poor QA but I still loved the game.

    • pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky was a novel and creative (if poorly implemented) idea.

      I think had we not seen the trailer where he makes it look like one fluid motion as some unstoppable force, the scene would have been alright. If they had left the tie fighters out and simply made it more difficult to line the Star Destroyer with Crashing, the scene would have been fine, because it wouldn't have needed any interruption.

      But yes - the combat system needs an overhaul. And I mean OVERHAUL. It seemed to boil down to the 2 or 3 advanced combat moves you could pull off (despite how many you had un

    • by ultranova (717540)

      It sounds like they are trying to fix my most hated part of the game, the combat system.

      Um... There's no other parts. The only thing Force Unleashed has is an endless horde of enemies going Leeroy Jenkins on you.

      Anyway, the old Jedi Academy was a far better game (partly because lightsaber instakilled anything, including the player, just like it should), only falling victim to this near the end; however, I'm still waiting an SW game where you control the character indirectly. That's the real problem with mo

  • Do we really need 3 physics engines?

    Haven't they seen America's Funniest Home Videos?
    People already have trouble handling 1 physics engine!
    • by AwaxSlashdot (600672) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @04:48AM (#32884586) Homepage Journal

      Check the dev diaries video from the 1st game : they mixed together 3 physics engine targeting different situations.

      • Havok is the general physic engine were everything takes place.
      • Digital Molecular Matter is a "material" physic engine. With it, glass shatters, metal bends and cloth floats in the air. It determines the behavior of objects from their mater and the result is fed back to Havok.
      • Euphoria is a physic engine specialized in body motion. Take it like "advanced ragdoll". Once again, the result is fed back to Havok for final composition.
      • Dev Diaries : links (Score:5, Informative)

        by AwaxSlashdot (600672) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @04:54AM (#32884612) Homepage Journal
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          The Double Post is strong in this one...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by idji (984038)
        I still think you are going to run around a corner and see crates lying around, and know that some baddy is in this room, coz that's what the crates are for. No amount of technology is going to fix bad map design like that. There will also be impervious surfaces and materials, like the floor you are standing on.
        • The bigger question is: why in the future, do all people insist on shipping goods using packing technology from the 1800's..... ?
      • by ultranova (717540)

        Yeah, it was pretty impressive the way glass shattered. Too bad the thing was originally developed for consoles, so broken shards had to fade away almost instantly.

        Oh well. At least the consoles keeping gaming technology back means that PC's don't need to be updated as often anymore than they used to. Now if only we could get a modern version of SimLife, designed exclusively for high-end PC's...

      • by Rational (1990)

        You forgot the Utter Suck engine, which tied all aspects of the first game together.

    • by robthebloke (1308483) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @07:09AM (#32885144)
      Havok is fairly good at throwing boxes around. It can also create ragdolls - but they are of the lifeless kind. You can also optionally buy 'Havok Behaviour' which is essentially an animation blending engine (which most games companies either have, or wish to use another middleware engine - eg morpheme). So *if* you've bought licenses to both Havok and Havok behaviour, you can animate a character, put it into a ragdoll, and to some extent blend the animation results with the results from the physics engine - but it's not great by any stretch of the imagination.

      Digital Molecular Matter adds another layer over the top of Havok to provide the ability to shatter objects in the scene based on realistic material properties (i.e. glass shatters, metal will bend and tear, rubber will bounce back into shape). This stuff just isn't possible with the basic Havok package - you can get HavokFX for some particle/fluid effects, but that simply does not compare to the realism offered by DMM (and would also require a great deal of developer effort to come close to the DMM results)

      Euphoria is slightly different. I guess you could refer to it as a physics engine, but that's selling the tech short imho. Basically we developed it to bridge the gap between animation engines and physics engines. One big problem when working with physics, is that it's easy to end up in situations where the character gets stuck, or is simply put into a situation where the animation engine is unable to recover. For example, the character gets knocked over, their arm gets stuck under a bus, and a fat guy ends up pining their legs to the floor. Without euphoria, the traditional way of doing things would be to play a 'standup' animation, or author numerous animations to deal with the possibility of these problems occurring. The problem here is that simply playing an animation will remove the character from the physics simulation. Depending on how you do that, the character will either end up penetrating through the bus/fat guy, or the bus and the fat guy will end up being catapulted off into the distance. Not exactly realistic!

      With euphoria we've essentially inserted nervous and muscular systems into the characters which, when combined with AI, gives the character an awareness of his environment, and the ability to get himself out of those nasty situations. So using the previous example, with euphoria enabled, he'd notice the bus, attempt to free his hand first, then either wait for the fat guy to move, or attempt to struggle free before blending back into animation. There are numerous uses for the tech in game, and the vast majority are extremely subtle. For example, when a stuntman falls/rolls down a hill/stairs/whatever, he'll normally be using his ams and legs to continue that motion in an overly exaggerated way. A realistic fall would simply be a nasty looking thud, and it actually looks aesthetically 'wrong' to the average gamer (because we've become accustomed to seeing stuntmen on TV/film). Euphoria offers a nice simple way of solving this problem by making ragdolls act a lot more like stuntmen, so that the artists on a game can 'direct' how the character falls (instead of relying on physics alone)..... This video [youtube.com] gives a nice overview of the tech.... (note: all animation data in the video is generated from euphoria only!)

      So in answer to your original question, they could just use 1 engine, but by using 3 they can make their games much more interactive........
      • by ultranova (717540)

        This video gives a nice overview of the tech.... (note: all animation data in the video is generated from euphoria only!)

        Most impressive. Depending on how well that plays with physics - that is, if physics says that Euphoriadoll should fall down, it will - this could potentially have applications in real-life robots, which could use it to plan their responses to unexpected events and predict the outcomes of potential actions.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)

        However this situation cropped up quite a bit with the Euphoria Engine

        http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/2/1/ [penny-arcade.com]

      • by osgeek (239988)

        That is an awesome demo.

        Can you share details of the business model? Is it a one time price or a price/percentage per unit sold?

      • Great explanation, thanks for that! I remember encountering euphoria demos a while back and being seriously impressed with them. How taxing is it? I wish I could phrase that question in a more meaningful way, I'm just curious as to how well these things run, especially when you have 3 separate engines running at once!

        Also, were you not developing a concept American Football game to showcase what the engine could do? What became of that?

  • Proper PC support? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @04:21AM (#32884468) Homepage

    Force Unleashed 2 has a good chance to unseat Jedi Academy as my favorite Star Wars game, but the original did have some faults. I want a more varied world and new game play. Less blowing past stormtroopers, more lightsaber battles. Do away with the quick time events and the minigame with awkward controls (pulling down the star destroyer). Let me customize my character more. Add some puzzles.

    Most of all, make the PC a first-class platform. The port Aspyr did was pretty terrible -- bugs and performance issues all over the place. I shouldn't have to save every 5 minutes for fear of crashing.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      The best game is Rogue Squadron for the N64. I still ge the giggles every time I shoot a stormtrooper and they scream like a little bitch. *pew* "AAAIIIIHHHHHHHH!"

      • I preferred Rogue Leader on the Gamecube. Just outright had better controls and a wide array of interesting missions. I mean, it opens with blowing up the Death Star and gets better from there.

    • Most of all, make the PC a first-class platform.

      Amen to this. You hear LucasArts? Don't give me that lame shit of it will require too much computing power on the PC so we'll release a Wii verison but not on PC.

      • Your analogy is a bit flawed. It is an order of magnitude easier to squeeze out frames on a fixed LOW resolution platform like the Wii. Its quite something else to optimize it for resolutions up to 2560x1600.
    • I agree, I was tempted to buy the original of steam but it was 30GBs!! which would be 75% of my ISP monthly download limit, which I can't afford to waste on a shoddy port.

    • by Smuttley (126014)

      For me it's Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

      Bought and played when it first came out 8 years back.

      I recently bought it on steam just so I could play through it all again.

      Lots of lightsabers and the force powers were done very well.

      Force Griping an enemy, turning so they're hanging off a building and then letting go will never get old for me :)

      • JK2 is one of my favorite games of all time. After playing through it once, I went back again and did it with cheats, giving myself the lightsaber and maxed Force skills, turning dismemberment up a bit so I could turn a stormtrooper into sashimi when Force Speed was on, and increasing the knockback a bit so I could kill people by Force Pushing them into walls. Heh. Good times. ...-1 Offtopic
      • by lennier (44736)

        Agreed. JK2 managed to reference both the original Dark Forces (the running around Imperial bases solving puzzles and shooting like Han Solo - even a 'Dark Trooper' like mass-production plot) and JK1 (big levels, Force powers and sabers and the Valley of the Jedi mysticism) and have beautiful textures and saber combat which was actually fun.

        (We pass delicately over the frankly crap levels like the garbage masher and Code Room. Nar Shadaa Streets and Starport more than made up for those).

        Playing the Dark For

  • Those were the 2 most annoying issues with this game : being unable to see what's happening and being unable to select the trooper you want to eviscerate.

    • by kklein (900361)

      I quit playing it about an hour in because of that and the quicktime events. Oh, and how duels or whatever would suddenly change your perspective to 100 feet away.

      Blech. That was a terrible game. Terrible. I was so excited about it, but it was just awful.

    • by Avg Bear (1364993)
      Let's hope that before they rewrote the combat system and the AI, that they put in a camera that ACTUALLY STAYS ON YOUR CHARACTER during a battle. Maybe this time the AI doesn't include making enemies disappear just as you strike or reappear the second you turn around. And yes, no !@#$% quicktime events.
  • The first one was good, it just had a few glaring flaws that tarnished the experience; namely the most frustratingly boring boss battle ever.

  • Levels were boring and linear, the vast majority of the game provided no challenge what so ever, the boss battles were ludicrously specific in the way they had to be conducted, the story line was dull and dry and it was far too short. But I loved playing the thing (on the Wii) and actually went back and did it a second time.
  • I couldn't figure out why my computer was running The Force Unleashed like crap until I fired up Fraps and discovered the cap.
  • by Tridus (79566)

    What a shame that such a lousy game is getting a sequel and Alpha Protocol isn't.

    This is not an industry that rewards trying new things. It does reward poor franchise tie-ins apparently.

    • This is not an industry that rewards trying new things. It does reward poor franchise tie-ins apparently.

      Not quite, it rewards games that make money. A few tens of millions of dollars is a huge risk and the Star Wars name draws in the dollars, making the risk much less. Imagine how much money a Star Wars game could make if it was actually a good game?

    • Alpha Protocol was terrible!! More Knights of the Old Republic please!
  • Why not use force powers not just for fighting but also for solving little puzzles ?
    Think of it as a mix of zelda puzzles and/or portal puzzles, and combine that with some epic battles and I think that would result in a very fun game!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Why not use force powers not just for fighting but also for solving little puzzles ?
      Think of it as a mix of zelda puzzles and/or portal puzzles, and combine that with some epic battles and I think that would result in a very fun game!

      I recall some force puzzles in some of the older Jedi Knight games. However I might just be thinking of the recent one where Kyle Katarn has retrain and prove he's still a master of the force; I don't know for sure how often they occured outside of that level.

      There were some puzzles in the older games: some tile puzzles, some "force activate that and then speed-run-across" things, etc. Nothing stellar or mind-provoking but better than some of the other FPS or hack-n-slash games out there.

      Then again, rose

    • by The Yar (1855038)
      TFU 1 had force puzzles. Not a lot, and usually not complicated. Generally they involved disconnecting machinery behind a force field, or unhooking things, or opening door locks. I remember I spent a little time figuring out the one where you had to lift tie fighter wings off the floor of the factory and slide them into the vertical conveyone in order to reach power-ups.
    • Because players of DDO have told Turbine THEY HATE THAT! Seriously, we all hate stupid puzzles in quests in that game.
  • If they only fix the targeting system, camera, and load times, I'll be happy.
  • Second chance (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They might want to actually finish the game this time around. "And, perhaps worst of all, the Bonus Objective on the final level is listed simply as 'Default Text,' http://g4tv.com/games/xbox-360/37058/Star-Wars-The-Force-Unleashed/review/#ixzz0tZ8Ag9oe [g4tv.com]
  • by Cerberus7 (66071) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @08:41AM (#32885712)

    The Jedi Knight games did everything right, from force powers to saber combat to letting you SHOOT the danged baddies if you wanted to. Translate that to the new graphics/physics engine, and done. Instant awesome game. (k, not really, but you know what I mean)

    • Completely agree. While I did like some of the awesome animations for the game, the fact that when I wanted to finish off the last 5% of an AT-ST's health I had to go play a button pressing mini game was annoying. The Dark Forces games were awesome and should have been the basis for this game.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540)

      Oh yes. And Jedi Academy had state select, and only fell to the "endless wave of enemies" problem near the end. And the first lightsaber hit was usually also the last.

      However, these games really need to lose the "Force requires mana" system. Use cooldown on powers if you must, but it's annoying that if you activate Force Damage Reduction - er, Protection - your "Force energy" doesn't recharge, so you can't really use any other powers.

      Also, don't have health bar. Have a "defence" bar; whenever something woul

      • by lennier (44736)

        it's annoying that if you activate Force Damage Reduction - er, Protection - your "Force energy" doesn't recharge, so you can't really use any other powers.

        Annoying yes, but tactically interesting, especially for multiplayer - essentially Protection/Absorb/Speed/Sense put you into a 'defensive' stance by locking up your Force recharge, so you know when you see the aura that the other player won't be using offensive spells, er, Force powers. So the game becomes like fencing - feint, guard, block, circle, watch for an opening.

        At least I assume, having not played JA multiplayer. Though I still prefer Outcast to Academy for the single-player experience. Academy's

      • by thebagel (650109)
        I disagree. Force-requires-mana makes sense to me - think of it less as mana and more as Concentration. You have to concentrate hard on reducing incoming damage so of course you're going to have trouble shooting lightning.
        • by ultranova (717540)

          I disagree. Force-requires-mana makes sense to me - think of it less as mana and more as Concentration. You have to concentrate hard on reducing incoming damage so of course you're going to have trouble shooting lightning.

          And that's just fine. However, why can't I stop concentrating on reducing incoming damage when I want? Why do I have to wait 10+ seconds for my "concentration" to recover?

          All too often in JA I had to simply stand still and wait for Force Sense/Protection/Absorbtion/Whatever to wear off, a

  • by ph0rk (118461) on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @08:48AM (#32885768)
    And took up some twenty four gigabytes of disc space. Once downloaded, it was probably the worst commercial game I'd played all year, and was summarily removed.

    Why on earth are they making a sequel to such a bad first start?
    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      Maybe they figure it can only get better?

      I think you were probably better off just buying the comic of the storyline for the first game...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by andrewd18 (989408)
      Because most people didn't buy it for PC, but for a console, where the experience was significantly better than the PC experience.
  • Wii Motion Plus supports this time please. I know no one thinks I have any balls for using a Wii as my main gaming platform, but it is still better than my Linux netbook. :-p
  • Lets hope this time the damn PC version of the game isn't 30 freaking gigs.
  • I agree, I was tempted to buy the original of steam but it was 30GBs!! which would be 75% of my ISP monthly
  • last game, you forced the player to continually roleplay as dark side from start of the game until the end, giving only a brief choice at the end.

    i didnt buy the game. i dont like games in which i cant choose what i do.

    so, before talking about physics engines, havok, this that and button mashing, set your gameplay straight by giving players a choice. choice and variance are what separated knights of the old republic series from almost all similar games and made them standards.
    • by thebagel (650109)
      Choice didn't make sense in Force Unleashed. You were Darth Vader's frickin apprentice. You really think that the choice to go light-side would have made sense?
      • by unity100 (970058)
        and why it wouldnt make sense ? darth vader himself, betrayed his master, which happened to be the fucking emperor of entire galaxy, and killed him, and passed to light on a whim.
  • This trailer is monumentally stupid. Towards the end, our hero says "Vader can't stop me now...no one can." In that case, why go through the charade of waiting for Vader to leave you with a roomful of hapless stormtroopers at the beginning? If you're sick of Vader's betrayals, why not just kill him immediately? Oh that's right.

    So either the first game has a lot of complicated history between the two that makes it OK to kill literal tons of stormtroopers and not the man responsible, or it's hamstrung by

    • Not to mention Vader leaving him to be killed by a handful of stormtroopers even though he was left with both lightsabers in his possession. Lame.
  • Does anybody else remember that game Psi-Ops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psi_Ops) back on the original Xbox? It was one of my favorite games, of all time, for not much more than the engine they used to implement the telekinesis. What's all this "stand still while using the force" bullcrap from TFU? In Psi-Ops, if I wanted to levitate a box while standing on it and surf it around the level, I could. In that game, I could run, use TK, and fire my gun *all at the same time*. This was back on the original Xb
  • You know, instead of a phosphorescent herring, which seems to be the thing after they modelled the character's main weapon after, according to its damage output.

  • just testing if this works. Pay Per Head Sportsbook [bookiestore.com]
  • I just bought this during Steam's huge sale a week or two ago. It's a 30GB game, and I beat it in 11 hours, a large portion of which was replaying levels / bosses due to the combination of extremely cheap deaths and really shitty placement of autosave / checkpoints. 22 minutes per GB? Are you fucking kidding me?

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