It came as no surprise that David Collins would be the moderator for the panel on The Force Unleashed II considering he's the voice of the image-shifting droid, Proxy. Collins was joined by Art Director Matt Omernick and Producer Brett Rector for a lively panel that looked to be playing to a full house. Before I get into the panel cliff notes, let's offer up a SPOILER WARNING. While I was aware that a good part of the panel would center on the story of TFU II, I was pleasantly surprised that we learned as much as we did. A good amount of the info was already out there, but be warned none-the-less.
- Naturally, we got to see the cinematic trailer on the big screen with some big sound and though I'd seen it on the computer, it was fantastic in its full glory - Things began with Matt Omernick mentioning that essentially the same team worked on TFU II that worked on TFU I - Images were shown of the novelization cover art, game cover art, and some nice console controller accessories.
And now on to the story details...
- Vader arrives at his secrect cloning facility on Kamino - Vader tells Starkiller that he's a clone and not the first and most likely won't be the last - Starkiller has memory flashbacks of his previous life, including visions of Juno Eclipse - At some point Vader reveals to Starkiller that General Kota is a prisoner on Kato Nemoidia - Vader tests Starkiller with droids similar to Proxy who can change their apprearance, yet he can't bring himself to kill the appearance of Juno - Starkiller then gets a bit upset, blasts out of the room, and fights his way off Kamino - In order to leave the planet Starkiller steals Vader's Advanced TIE fighter - Starkiller now has a purpose and the main thrust of the game seems to be about his identity crisis...and finding Juno Eclipse
- Starkiller then heads to Cato Nemoidia which is run by an Imperial representative named Baron Tarko who has turned the planet into a seedy gambling type of a place - Kota has been gladiator fighting for 7 days straight - The huge monster from the original teaser trailer, Gorog, is the first big boss battle (that thing "eats Rancors for breakfast") - The battle culminates with Starkiller and Kota defeating the Gorog in a freefall - An updated Rogue Shadow swoops in to save Starkiller and Kota from falling to their deaths but Juno Eclipse is not onboard - General Kota doesn't believe Starkiller is a clone and Starkiller ultimately heads out on his own to find himself - This search leads him to Dagobah where he meets this little dude named Yoda - It doesn't seem like Yoda fully reveals who he is to Starkiller but that doesn't prevent him from imparting some wisdom on the troubled clone - Starkiller enters the infamous cave from Episode V and has visions of multiple Starkillers as well as Juno Eclipse in trouble - But then there's Vader who's never been too good at letting anything go. He wants his clone back! - Vader enlists the help of Boba Fett to track down Juno in order to draw out Starkiller
- Gameplay footage from the Cato Nemoidia level looks incredible. - Starkiller fights with two lightsabers now (including when he throws them) - The overall lighting of the levels have been enhanced - Enemies are smarter as is evident by them dodging Force Push - Starkiller throws missles back at AT-MTs with the Force - Force Fury enhances Force powers when the meter is filled - Dismemberment of enemies is fun! Makes things that much more realistic - More gameplay footage from Kamino shows Starkiller blasting things out of his way while freefalling (Incredible!) - The Jedi Mind Trick is demonstrated with a Starmtrooper throwing himself out of a window - Finally we see a short video on the story of Starkiller featuring Julio Torres and Haden Blackman (who has since left LucasArts)
And just a few notes from the Q&A period that rounded out the panel...
- No DLC to be announced yet - There will be more Light Side/Dark Side choices like at the end of TFU I - The Force Unleashed II has a similar amount of gameplay time on the main game but mini games add a bit more - No multiplayer on the PS3 or Xbox 360. - The Wii graphics and multiplayer have been improved - When asked if there will be jaw dropping moments like Starkiller single-handedly taking down a Star Destroyer, the answer was yes. - The time period for the game is roughly 6 months after the first game and 2 years prior to ANH.