Written by Phil Bruton Tuesday, 19 October 2010 05:00
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Soon, the sequel for The Force Unleashed will be released to the general public, but have you played the first game in this saga?
The Force Unleashed was a much hyped game, not only by its publisher, but by George Lucas himself. He even went so far as to call this game, set between Episode III and IV, canon. The game released to mixed reviews and was seen by many as a disappointment. I’m going to tell you why I not only think you should play this, but why I feel it’s one of the best Star Wars games ever.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed follows the saga of Starkiller, better known to most as “The Apprentice.” During the story you are treated to new and familiar characters from the Star Wars universe. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine take the lead in guiding Starkiller’s journey through the
dark side of the force. I won’t give any spoilers here, but the story has its fair share of twists and turns. As you would expect, not everything goes to plan.
Starkiller is a complete joy to control in combat, whether you’re going after random goons with your lightsaber or knocking jetpack troopers out of the sky with force lightning. It all feels good in motion and you’re never out of options to put down the baddies. The real problem with the gameplay is partially due to the combo system, once you start Starkiller in a combo, it’s almost impossible to stop. This sets you up to get counterattacked by those around you. It can be frustrating, but not in a controller throwing way. The platforming throughout the game works fairly well, but you will miss platforms due to misjudging distances. It’s a minor annoyance but can be overcome by careful planning.
There is a leveling system within the game that is well done, you gain points to put into upgrading your skills (active and passive). This is where you learn new combos and attacks. These points are gained by either leveling up naturally or by finding a Holocron that grants you a skill up.
Speaking of Holocrons, these little bad boys are littered all around the levels. They add a little hide and seek element to each level, taunting you to find them. Holocrons grant you new lightsaber crystals, skill points, outfits or just glorious experience points. Finding all of them in a level isn’t difficult, but it can be trying.
This game is beautiful. From the fungi forests of Felucia to the trash planet Raxus Prime everything is crafted with wonderful detail. Starkiller looks great in his many different outfits through the game, each partially themed with the world in which he travels. AT-AT’s and Rancors alike look just as you would have imagined them from the movies. The only quibble that I have with the graphics is the noticeable screen tearing from time to time (PS3 version). I also glitched through the floor once due to and had to restart.
From the main theme to the imperial march, all the songs you know and love are here. There isn’t a lack of new material though and all of it is fantastic. John Williams truly is a master of his craft.
The voice acting is well done and the voice actors that were chosen all fit their parts quite well.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is one of my favorite Star Wars games, possibly only eclipsed by the fantastic Knights of the Old Republic games on Xbox/PC. It’s fun leading Starkiller through the story with all of it’s ups and downs; once you start you truly want to see where it all ends up. The Force Unleashed will take you around 10-12 hours to complete the story mode. Then there’s the holocron hunting and combat trials after you’re finished. There is some DLC ready for you as well if you are looking to romp through the Jedi Trials or Hoth. I can’t recommend this title enough. It’s currently worth 300 points on Goozex. Pick this up!