As a Star Wars fan it was surprising that I hadnít played this game to the very end before, but not that surprising. With interesting gameplay mechanics and a repetitious combat system the game itself fell short of the potential it had.
†SW:TFU was the first showing of Natural Motionís Euphoria engine, which would later be used in the majority of Rock Star Games titles. The chaos that is able to be created at times with the natural breaking glass and wood plus the hilarious rag doll effects were spectacular when the engine would allow it, which at times wasnít always reliable. The engine looked nice, but if too much chaos was happening the engine would chug and struggle to catch up with everything. Donít get me wrong though, it added charm to the semi barren halls of star destroyers and junk yards, where you spent far too long in.
†The world of Star Wars always felt robust and never ending with mystery at every turn; this game does not. The re-using of locales, much like old cartoons, made Force Unleashed seem rushed. When you did return to the same planet or ship (Kashyyk, Felucia, etc.) LucasArts did at least change up some of the areas that you were in. Kashyyk, for example, went from being a vibrant and full of life ocean side location, to a war torn and near forgotten city that was all but destroyed. †These changes of appearance did mask the repetition of the same locales, but it still was obvious.
The controls were, for the most part solid with only a couple small gripes. The camera felt too loose, at times and I did run into a couple scenarios that, due to the camera getting caught on set pieces or walls, I was killed. But other than that, the purchasable combos that required proper timing and avoiding button mashing made the fights interesting, but I didnít find myself using that many of the ones I had purchased. Force lightning, once you had acquired it, seemed to be the crutch in which I leaned on the entire game. More difficult mini bosses would appear, but would pose no threat due to my lightning hands of doom. It made the combat repetitious and boring getting closer to the end of the game.
†Speaking of boss fights, talk about a bag of cats. Some were so easy that I barely had to even do anything, and others, even right near the start of the game, were rage inducing. There is one that sticks out in particular; the second major boss of the game. He was a Jedi, much like every other boss, and he shouldnít have been as tough as the game made him be. The story claimed that age was taking its toll and that he was an easy opponent. Obviously that was not the case. Some can say that the decision to make him not fall into the easy side of the fights, but the canon to the story is broken with this decision. The intel that Juno, Starkillerís pilot, would give was almost always 100% spot on. Then this boss just threw everything out the window and defied the intel, it was odd.
This brings me to the story. One comes to expect a certain level of greatness of story when it comes to Star Wars related stories, especially ones that take place within the original trilogy. The Force Unleashedís story falls short. Itís not saying that the story was bland and uninteresting, but it was predictable and non-satisfying. There were things within the story that went against basic Star Wars canon, such as Love and the status of Jediís. Now I am a fan of the Star Wars series and some of the smaller inconsistencies can be overlooked since the game is clearly targeted towards everyone and not the hardcore fans. However, that does not block the fact that the main reason why Anakin turned to the dark side was because he was in love, which was forbidden. Yet Starkiller falls in love, and in a way, is encouraged forward with his love, which goes against the Jedi code. Not to mention all of a sudden he becomes a Jedi. Just completely out of nowhere he is now deep in the Jedi code and has the coinciding powers that go along with the titles. These are nit-picky things, but they did cause me to get taken away from the story. The overall story was decent by trying to tie the new trilogy to the old one, but there wasnít enough substance to hold my attention throughout the game. The lack luster ending also left a bland taste in my mouth.
Overall the game wasnít bad. It was fun to play, and the Ultimate Sith Edition had some pretty hilarious skins that you could play as (my personal favourite was C3P0). Unfortunately the short comings of the story and the chugging engine were enough to leave a negative memory of the game with me.