Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is about hunting down the Jedi after the film “Revenge of the Sith” ends and before “A New Hope” begins.
In the game (which has a related novel by the same name), the player is Darth Vader’s new apprentice and an assassin out to kill the Jedi. The role-playing aspect of this game is intensely fun and complex which gives the game a high replay value. Picking and choosing what combat combinations and force abilities the gamer earns makes the fighting fun and dynamic as the player progresses through the game. The player also chooses what crystals are used in the character’s lightsaber, which changes its special ability and its color. Even the character’s costume is chosen by the gamer so they can look their evilest as they slay a variety of opponents.
The different worlds in the game change a lot graphically between levels and have different enemy races with different attacks and different challenges. Though they are complex, the levels are pretty straight forward so it is easier to not get lost and wonder around getting frustrated. However, like a true role-playing game, exploring the map thoroughly rewards gamers with experience points, force points, lightsaber crystals and costumes. Exploring also helps complete challenges that improve the player’s character.
Killing opponents in different stylish ways, such as using the environment or using new moves, also gives more experience and entices the player to use all the combinations. The number of different and often hilarious ways to dispose of enemies also keeps the game from getting repetitive, especially when combined with the action camera. Another cool part of combat comes into play when the gamer has to hit certain buttons at certain times to progress a special combat sequence. However, performing the moves correctly gets in the way of watching special sequences.
The only downside to this game is the short play time in comparison to other role playing games, specifically Star Wars games. This game took roughly eight hours to beat on its easiest difficulty. When compared to the length of Knights of the Old Republic, this game is a short demo of how fun Star Wars games can and should be.
The cinematic graphics of the game are great, but there is a scene where the player’s character is knighted with a lightsaber by Darth Vader. This doesn’t seem like a very good idea, considering the lightsaber is a stable beam of plasma. Another scene puts the player’s character floating out in space with no suit of any kind, which would be a lot harsher on the human body than the game suggests.
If you are not going to play this game more than once, rent it, beat it and return it all in one day. The sheer length (or lack there of) makes this game a terrible $59.99 purchase but for less than a $10 rental, players can enjoy some immensely fun combat and another great installment to the Star Wars saga.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andrew Nute at Nute@colorado.edu.