Review by DarkDragoonZ

"So short, but so very sweet."

Honestly, there are few real life experiences I can compare this game to... As I type this the credits are rolling. I waited patiently, I read up, I even got in line on release day, all for about ten to twelve hours of game play. BUT THAT GAMEPLAY!! Better than sex? Probably not, but a relatively near third mabye (alcohol being #2).

First lets cover what everyone is jumping about. The Force. Almost all of the powers are canon based, with one exception, leaving a very old school feel to the game. However, the younger, more agile Apprentice is capable of using these in very new and exciting ways. Grip is your fundamental power, and allows for pickup and throwing of dang near evey object in the game. It also enables moving lock mechanisms or bending large metal objects like doors or beams. Push is the secondary, and it does exactly like you would expect. When charged it can even blast open doors or clear hallways and bridges. When Lightning becomes availble, things heat up. Aside from the obvious Emperor style whupping you can dish out, you can also use it to charge objects (and enemies!) like a bomb (aka Lighning Grenade) or jumpstart old or dysfuntional machines. Saber throw and Repel give some classic combat moves, or just some breathing space, and the new Lightning Sheild is a defensive/offensive treat to round things out. All in all a nice set, but when used properly and in conjunction, your like a Jedi tank.

The story is George Lucas canon, with most of it happening only a few short years before episode 4 (ya know, when Luke is grown up?) The beggining takes place shortly after Vader's transformation, during the subjugation of Kashyyk. Not to give away much, but it covers some key points about the founding of the Rebel Alliance, and the relationship between the Emperor and Darth Vader. Several old favorites return, including R2 and Princess Leia, but the new characters are solid enough to click in nicely.

The gameplay itself is intense. First of let me say, THIS GAME IS HARD! I played on normal, and already have died more times that I would like to post. The few flaws are unfotunately related to this, but can be worked around with time and thought. Force Powers are mostly fluid, but are slow to switch off on even though they all have preassigned buttons. Also, throwing with the Force Grip takes a lot of time and a little luck, even with practice. This really isn't a major problem except when fighting some of the larger enemies or extremely large groups of ground troops. Dealing with the hordes of soldiers is simple, even a sport, with the ready array of force powers. Less "How do I fight them?", more "How do I want to fight them?" Drop a large crate on them? Sure. Create explosions throughout? Boom baby! And with a customizable lightsaber, well, lets just say hack n' slash just got a facelift. The picture on the back, with the crashing Star Destroyer? Yup, that's in there too. And the unexpected suprise boss? Not telling, but Star Wars fans will go nuts.

The graphics are awesome, and thanks to the union of the havoc and euphoria systems everything moves believably too. Almost all of the locations were in the movies, at some point or another, and you can easilly tell where you are at just by looking around you. The map is a little bare, but sufficient to navigate, and hidden alcoves abound. If you see a cave, open duct, or ledge, odds are there is some way to get there, even if you've got to just stack up crates.

As angry as I am about how short the game is, I just can't get myself to berate the game that much for it. It might not be worth sixty bucks, but it's the closest I'll probably ever get to being a real Jedi. Still not sure about forking out just to hear the story. Go get the book instead. But if you want to live this adventure, go for broke and get the game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/17/08

Game Release: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (US, 09/16/08)

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