So like many Destructoid community members, I recently picked up a copy of Star Wars
: The Force Unleashed
. Now, unlike many people, I didn't pay full retail price for the game, as I was offered a used copy from a pal for 35 U.S. dollars (not much when you think about it). Now, the demo was quite underwhelming IMO, but I figured I'd give the game a try since it was heavily discounted. I should have known better.....
The first thing I'd like to say is this: I called this fucking piece of shit. I never did a blog on it, but I've been saying in comments and in the IRC a few times how I suspected we'd end up with another shallow SW game, in terms of lightsaber combat and the like. I mean, how could you expect any better, really? Didn't anyone play the abomination that was Episode III
last generation? Did people really expect the game to be that great, especially in light of the publisher's track record with SW games of this type? I know there have been a few good games like Jedi Knight and all that, but for some reason, these console action games can't figure it out.
Any why would the game be any good? It's obvious the average mainstream gamer is blinded by pretty graphics and (admittedly) cool physics technology. Plus, the game has the Star Wars license, which means the game will sell decent no matter what. So why would the developers spend time thinking about how to make the game as fun and intuitive as possible? Just make sure the game looks nice, and it'll sell. Admittedly, the game's got a great concept behind it, and although it does have a few great moments involving the use of the force, for me it got very old, very quickly. I'd say a more proper title for the game would have been "The Force Gimped". and although that's corny and not very witty, I can truthfully say that is how I felt about it while playing.
The Force Unleashed
is really pathetic at it's core. You've got your cool force powers, which are fun for all of the first hour or so. Then you've got your lightsaber combat, which is basically not much fun to use. It's a one-button scheme at it's core and although you can unlock different combos that use different buttons, it's still very simple. In the end, it's just not very engaging. This is the game's single biggest weakness, considering that only a few levels in to the game, you'll be consistently forced to rely on your "laser sword" instead of "unleashing" the Force. Seriously, I know the devs didn't want the game to be too easy, but giving all the enemies shields or other equipment that basically nerf your force powers is not the way to do things. At times it felt like I was playing a Star Wars version of Ninja Gaiden
, minus the deep combat system. And just like that game, TFU
has a few camera issues which seem to stem from the desire to keep the player somewhat close to the action, mainly for the eye candy. They pull the camera back extremely far for some boss fights, but during regular action it's a bit too close sometimes. There are moments when everything works properly and the game's kind of fun, but these are brief and definitely few and far between.
But what can you do? This was certainly what I was expecting, and so I'm not really disappointed. It is what it is, and in the end, I suppose we can always hope the sequel builds on this title's strengths and jettisons the weakness'. Considering how well the title sold, I'm sure we'll be seeing a sequel by next year or so. The game had potential, but in the end it's all style and no substance, no depth to be found. I wouldn't recommend you go buying it if you haven't already, even if you're a big SW fan. Rent it, as it's worth a play, if only for the story elements. Trust me, it's more interesting than the last 3 movies, which isn't really saying much, but I'd imagine most of you get what I'm trying to say here.
Anyway, that's my little review I guess. I was bored and decided I missed all you cbloggers, so I figured I'd blog about this frustrating and miserable game experience. Oh, and one more thing of note: The game took 6 hours and 25 minutes to complete. Definitely not cool when they sell it for 60 bucks.
Score: I'll give it a 5, as it it's basically an average game. It's got some strengths, but it's core gameplay is very dull and can be extremely frustrating. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.