I don't think I ever realized that I had so much invested in this game. I've loved Star Wars to varying degrees ever since I was a small child, hiding my eyes whenever the rancor appeared on-screen. Naturally, I've purchased the toys, read some of the books, and played the video games. Now, the toys are a hoot, and the novels are generally excellent, but the video games... that's where things tend to get sketchy for me.
Basically, truly great Star Wars games are few and far between. KOTOR
is so-so, LEGO Star Wars
provides much amusement, and Battlefront
is mostly satisfying, but none of them have been amazing
. I've longed for a game that made proper use of force abilities, a game that didn't dumb down the Jedi and the Sith even more than George Lucas did in the prequels. To cut to the chase, I think The Force Unleashed
just might be that truly great game.
After nearly busting a nut when I heard the demo would be out this past week, it occurred to me that this was it: Possibly, the franchise's last chance to grab hold of me with new content. If this didn't take, I was done. Not done with the franchise, just done being George Lucas' bitch, shelling out money for a taste of the shit he tries to pass off as being worthy of the "Star Wars" branding. In that case, I would be forced to live solely in Star Wars' past. But that future has been held off for a while longer. The Force Unleashed
is a fun, interesting game that I cannot wait to play through in its entirety.
By now, you've probably either played the demo or have read extensively about it, so I won't go into great detail about the particulars. It takes place in a TIE fighter factory, and you're fighting both the Republic militia and Imperial stormtroopers. That's it. The first thing I was struck by was the fluidity of the game. From the moment I fired up the "Force Grip Tutorial," I was so very relieved to see how fluid and natural the force powers were. Gripping was simple, moving objects was simple, and force lightning and force push were mapped out as actions as natural as swinging your lightsaber. So, button mapping? Approved!
How did it play? Well, I've heard a number of different complaints about the controls, but I experienced no issues. The targeting was troublesome at times, but I found it no worse than a lot of targeting systems that I've handled in games. It was managable and it didn't hurt the game. I also didn't experience any slow-down, as some have reported on the 360. In a nutshell though, to answer the question of how it played: It played really damn fun
On the easiest difficulty, one can truly wield the force like the dick that "The Apprentice" appears to be, casually tossing stormtroopers around, dangling them over their friends, making them kiss, etc. The second difficulty, presumably the equivalent of normal, was much more satisfying for me, providing more enemies to knock around, though slightly less room to toy with them. The hardest of the three available difficulties leaves no room for messing around, though it's entirely doable, even for someone with my limited abilities.
The quick-time events are somewhat annoying, as usual, but they're tolerable here and they produce pretty-damn-awesome results. Ultimately, whatever you may think of the game, the goal of The Force Unleashed
is to have fun with the force, to be a badass force-user and enjoy yourself. That's it. As such, quick-time events appear to allow for a lot of awesome sequences that just aren't possible outside of cinematics, so they work well enough here.
Bottom line, this game delivered on every key expectation that I had. It controlled well, it was simple, it looked good, it was fun, it was engaging and- well, it was incredible
. If they can draw out this level of fun and expand on it for an additional 10-15 hours (at least), then they will have possibly made the greatest Star Wars console game ever. I absolutely cannot wait until the full-length throwing-droids-out-of-windows simulator comes out, even if it means having to slay the hotness that is Shaak Ti
9/10 sticky bombs (I'm too lazy to make a graphic, right now). Literally my only complaint is that the demo is much, much shorter than the miserable Too Human demo
Also, in case you were wondering, The Apprentice, A.K.A. Galen Marek, uses the Shien
lightsaber fighting style. You know you were wondering. Don't lie to me, you whore. read