Star Wars the Force Unleashed as a game is a good, but not great game. Star Wars the Force Unleashed as a cannonical movie is incredible. The gameplay at times is fantastic, but at times so broken and repetitive that it’s almost not worth playing through another level to get to the cutscene and story.
Almost not worth playing, fortunately for the Force Unleashed, the story that is told in the game is so good, that slogging through another impossible task is worth it.
First the good, when the game gets the Force powers right, it is spectacular. The array of powers you wield is dizzying. The biggies are Force Repel, Force Lightning, and the mother of all powers, Force Grip. Force Grip allows you to grab an object (or person) using the Force and fling it. There are alternative things you can do while you have an object gripped including my favourite “impale”, which lets you throw your lightsaber at a victim you’re holding in Force Grip.
Lightsaber combat is quick and fun, and there are an array of combos you can do with your ‘saber, including a really cool lighting attack.
The game also employs a lot of “Action Cinematicals”, where you have to push a series of buttons during a movie scene to defeat your enemy. These are usually major bosses, and involve pusshing the X, Y, A and B buttons.
The actual story is fantastic, and the cut scenes that tell the story are really well done.
The art direction in the game is fantastic. This is a physically darker Star Wars than you’ve ever seen before, but some of the planets like Felucia are just incredibly beautiful.
The bad, there’s quite a bit.
The game is very buggy. There were at least a hand full of times where I jumped somewhere only to find myself stuck and unable to get out. The game also crashed on me three different times on the second last level.
You can not skip cutscenes and “Informatics” (little mini-movies that describe something new that’s going to happen). Coupled with the fact that you may die several times attempting to complete a section, this can get really tedious.
The difficulty is incredibly uneven. Sometimes you can wade through wave after wave of bad guy, sometimes you have to redo the same five minute part of the game a dozen times to make it through.
Force grip can be effing frustrating. It doesn’t always target what you’re aiming at, and occasionally just buggers off.
Some enemies are Force Resistant. Ummm, what? This just makes parts of the game annoying.
Sometimes there’s a specific pattern to destroying an enemy, and you just need to repeat it over and over to move on. This feels really frustrating because it either feels like you’re cheating (but if you try anything else you immediately die), or that the developers just wanted to ship it.
When you choose a path at the end, the game begins again from the start, and you can’t go back to the end and try the opposite path. That just kind of sucks, but I’d really like to know what happened if I went the other way.
The game is short. I breezed through it in about 9 hours. That’s incredibly short for a game, and there’s not much replay value because.
There is no multi-player. No co-op either.
That said, I had a lot of fun with Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and I’d recommend it as a rental. I rented it for a week, and that’s about all I need to spend with it.
So, played it? Intend to play it? What do you think?