Star Wars Wonderful Star Wars! Or is it?
Game Title: Star Wars: Force Unleashed
Format Reviewed: XBOX 360
Also Available on PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP and DS.
It’s been a while since there was a good Star Wars action game. The last good one in our humble opinion was Jedi Academy, and that was a good few years ago now and since then we’ve had a couple of god awful film tie ins and not a lot else, oh and the awesome Lego Star Wars.
The Force Unleashed was billed as allowing you full and “unprecedented” control of the dark side of the force, however this is unfortunately not the case.
The game starts off brilliantly, with you taking control (of a very very slow) Darth Vader. You get to fling wookies for miles, grip them, throw wookies for miles, burn them a bit with lightning oh and throw them around a bit more. Then in the second level when you take control of the apprentice, this is all taken away from you.
The game plays alot like God of War/Ninja Gaiden with Force powers. You get combos to unlock by levelling up your skills, force powers and the apprentice himself. On the normal difficulty, levelling up doesn’t really make a difference. It wasn’t until i hit the later levels that i realised that maybe just maybe i should level up.
Like God of War/Ninja Gaiden, the levels can get fairly repetitive but mixing and matching combos with force abilities allows for a little variation in combat, but really you are just running down the same corridors, passing the same mushrooms you passed 10 minutes ago.
The Main selling point is the story and for the most part it doesn’t disappoint, and is easily the best part of the game. The story is canon in the universe (well so says Mr. Lucas for now anyway). It ties nicely into a New Hope and the game also has a non-canon secret ending, which you get depending on your choice on the final level. The story will last you about 7 hours.
For a game called Force Unleashed, it is very restrained in what it lets you do, yeah you can throw wookies off cliffs or stormtroopers through windows into space but the coolest things done by the apprentice are actually Quick Time Event cutscenes. You never have control during the cool moments in Boss Fights or when killing a giant enemy.
The worst example of these QTEs comes towards the end of the game where you have to pull something big from the sky. Follow the on screen instructions and you won’t get anywhere in a hurry, just ignoring the prompts and manuvering it yourself lets you do it twice as fast – the instructions it gives you are wrong.
I encountered a few show stopping bugs, it locked up my 360 on 5 separate occasions (in the same place too) and bosses fell out of the map not triggering QTEs.
So for all its promises of Unleashing the force and being the “best star wars game” to date, its really failed to deliver, but what is there is ok – the physics system is superb and provides for some hilarious moments (especially when you see a Stormtrooper cling to something when you are flinging him around in the air) but really it is a step down from the old Jedi Knight games in terms of playability and fun. Here’s hoping they might make a Jedi Knight game with this engine.