Review by EpicKingdom_

"Unleash some force upon the masses!"

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (TFU for short) is Lucas Arts attempt to deliver what we Star Wars fans have been craving for, for years. Players are able to take control of the Sith/Jedi directly and are able to wield not only a Light saber, but an array of force powers to overcome obstacles and enemies.TFU follows the life of Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice, as he trains to eventually help Lord Vaderizzle overthrow the Emperor. During the course of the game this will take him through various Star Wars locales as he hunts down the last couple of Jedi's left alive after Order 66.

Game play 7 out of 10.

The game play of TFU is combat oriented, there really is no exploration or obstacles that can't be overcome with a quick jump. Now while many of you might be saying "then why bother?" Let me remind you that TFU focuses on your Light saber and your Force powers. What that means to you is you will be able to crush AT-ST's with your mind, impale stormtroopers who look at you funny, electrocute Rancor's after lobotomizing them, and crash Star Destroyers by dragging them down from orbit. In other words, it is awesome. The sheer magnitude of your force powers is brilliant, and taken in the right direction. Lucas Arts realized we, as players, don't want some force powers that are footing around the central focus, we don't want to spend 3 minutes recalling our light saber from the corpse of our enemy. We want to be able to blow out windows of a star ships, throw stormtroopers around like rag-dolls, and demolish buildings all by waving our arms.That being said I do wish some more care was given to the Light saber, its my primary problem with this game. Your Force Powers are over the top in terms of damage and capabilities, but your Light saber is a joke, even fully leveled up. The sheer fact that some stormtroopers can take multiple hits with one is unbelievable. I also really miss the dismemberment from other Jedi games such as Jedi Knight 2 and Jedi Academy. Lucas Arts, I know you can have bosses dying in one hit, but the concept that any normal enemy can take multiple strikes from a light saber to their head is stupid. The controls. In any hack-and-slash targeting is key, you have to be able to identify priority targets and in a game where you are casting a type of magic (that's what the Force is in this case) being able to direct it properly is paramount. TFU fails in this regard. You will constantly be battling the camera and your character's perspective to send the right Force power to the right place, and on the harder difficulties this will get you killed more than once. What's worse is this soft-targeting system prioritizes your target by proximity in your line of sight, so in other words it can send a bolt of force lightning up a stray crate that wandered into your path instead of through a missile launching Storm trooper all because that crate happens to be 5 ft closer. It is a major issue. You would think the answer to this problem would be the hard-targeting (or lock-on) system, but that is equally painful. The big problem with that is how picky it can be, in all seriousness Lucas Arts should have NOT let you lock-on to anything that isn't an enemy, instead you just lock onto your soft-target (resulting in the same problem as above), and more importantly if the hard-target jumps out of your line of sight (as a Jedi often will) or does some move which results in him leaving the board the end result of the question "What am I locking onto now?" seems to be "I don't know." Sometimes the lock will release properly, other times you will have to force a release because the targeting gets stuck. While these problems aren't impossible to work around, it makes the learning curve high. On a game that is already beatable in under 6 hours, the proposition that it will take an hour or so to learn means 20% of your game is just one big "training" mission. The game is still a lot of fun, and often with the higher level force powers you don't care anyway since it hits everything in a cone in-front of you, but it keeps this game from being classic. The trophies for TFU are average, overall I'd rate the platinum as a 7/10. The hard trophy is beating the game on Sith Master, which is quite a difficult task. Everything else though is grind-related (kill X enemies with Y force power) and the typical story related ones. Due to the shortness of this game, this is a good renter for a quick batch of trophies if you really want to blow money on your trophy level. Due to the game's low price though, its worth the purchase. The actual game is well worth the money (and is why we play games... remember?)

Single player 7 out of 10.

The Single player campaign from TFU follows the events of Episode three and connects them to Episode four, now setting aside all "Why?" jokes. The actual connection is implied. No real mention of the events of the prequel trilogy is made other than Order 66, which we technically knew about before the prequel trilogy, but basically that's the link between the two trilogies.The game starts off with Starkiller hunting down Jedi's that survived Order 66 as apart of his training, when he becomes powerful enough he and Vader will kill the Emperor and take over the empire. Overall the story is interesting, and honestly has the BEST depiction of Darth Vader in any mainstream media since Return of the Jedi. I actually found it funny that this video game did a better job of depicting Vader as a villain with inner conflicts and demons, a man who feels cornered into doing things he hates, more than any of the prequel trilogies did. The single player does have one key downfall though, it is short to the point where I would consider anything other than a 20 dollar price tag robbery. Make no mistake, if you aren't considering the trophies (which will take at least 2 play throughs without glitches), this game can be beaten in about 6 hours. Lame for a game that ONLY has a single player campaign. I will make mention here that there is DLC available on the Ultimate Sith Edition that adds another 2-3 hours which follows the non-canon ending and interprets some events of Episode four and Episode five through that ending. It is definitely cool and adds some more playtime, worth the money it costs over the original version.

Graphics 9 out of 10.

Let me say though the game is absolutely beautiful. This is next generation Star Wars defined, the level design is great, and the physics engine is jaw dropping and brilliant.

Sound 10 out of 10.

The sound has your classic lovable star wars theme's and atmosphere. As evil triumphs over good.

Overall 7 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/24/10

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

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