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Preview: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

3:00 PM on 09.04.2009 // Ben Perlee

If you played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, you probably know that there were good things and, well, bad things with the game. However, that has not stopped the game from selling well enough (six million copies) for there to be a special edition for the game to be released, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. This version includes the just released Tatooine DLC, as well as an exclusive non-canon Empire Strikes Back-themed level. For fans of Star Wars, this is all grand and good.

One thing people don't necessarily realize is that a PC and Mac version of this game is coming out, with all the DLC and special features of the console version. Aspyr, the team behind this port, is busy preparing this new version of the game.

I had an opportunity to check out how things are coming along, and find out what exactly is different with this port. Hit the jump for my impressions.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition (PC and Mac)
Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Lucasarts
To be released: Holiday 2009

Considering this is a PC version of the game, you would think some extra special features will be brought. Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, knowing the modding community, consider the best part of The Force Unleashed, the physics engine, all gussied up with Havok and the Euphoria Engine, to be “unleashed,” and played with. That's going to be hot.

However, that's all speculation, and what we have here is the exact same special edition seen on consoles, for good or for bad. However, people who are used to the control scheme of PC games would find The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition to be pretty interesting. Walking around is controlled by the "WASD" keys, with force moves applied to buttons on a mouse. Right click is force grip, left is lightsaber, spacebar is jump, E is force jump, R is block, Tab is force lightning, and Q is dash. Since this was a hands-off event, I cannot say that it is better than a control pad, which is supported, although I will admit that the mouse means actions are fast and accurate.

The game will offer no support for Windows Live, and currently, there are no plans for direct download.

As for the Mac version, which I did not see, I was told that higher-end Macs are going to best run The Force Unleashed, meaning the Mac Pro is probably your best bet in getting this to run optimally. PC-wise, I was told that a two-year-old gaming laptop ran the game, although it was far from perfect, it apparently functions.

However, the most exciting portion of my preview was actually a discussion of the exclusive content. While the Tatooine “A Fragile Hope” level is currently available for DLC, the Hoth level will remain only with the The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. For those inspired by a darker, non-canon plot line, this level should be pretty exciting. It offers a different take on this important element of The Empire Strikes Back, now called “The Wrath of the Empire.” Hopefully when a sequel comes along, this will be the direction the dev team takes, and I can guarantee this is one of the more enjoyable elements of The Force Unleashed.

Ultimately, it looks like the The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for the PC and the Mac is designed for a rather specific audience: one that loves Star Wars, and one that wants to play this game, flaws and all. If that seems to be your situation, keep an eye out for this port later this year.

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