Darth Vader’s got a dirty little secret. Does he have three nipples? Does he like to wear ladies underwear under his black outfit and cloak? No, he’s got himself a secret apprentice and he’s getting him to do all his dirty work as he tries to overthrow the Emperor and rid the universe of the Rebel Alliance. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a third-person action adventure game where you do most of your talking with the bright end of your ligthsaber and of course those dark Force powers.
You begin the game as Vader himself, marching through a woody planet in search of a Jedi you want to kill. Here you get to play with powerful Force powers such as push and throw. You can even throw your lightsaber boomerang-style into enemies. You then find the boy who becomes your apprentice and the game skips forward a few years where you play as the young man himself.
Of course, you have to earn your powers so you begin with a limited push that can be used to open doors and throw people back, and throw which can be used to grip enemies and throw them about or throw objects into enemies with sometimes explosives results. As you play you earn points which can be traded for new melee moves and force powers such as lightning.
Being an official Star Wars story set between Episodes 3 and 4, it’s presented very well with the yellow scrolling writing and official music and characters. However, the gameplay is a little bit disappointing. Technically there are issues such as tearing which I usually only see on the PC. Enemies can also be pretty dumb – sometimes just standing in a corner like they’re that geezer at the end of the Blair Witch project. It’s also tricky to aim your force powers where you want them. Targeting flicks from object to object and you quite often end up throwing or moving the wrong thing when under pressure to stay alive.
Another major disappoint is no online play whatsoever. I was really looking forward to some Jedi and Sith battles using lightsabers and the Force but all there is in the menu is some boring downloadable content. And if you die or even go into a menu in the middle of a level, a loading screen pops up for at least 5 seconds. Aaaggghh!
I was hoping this would be the best Star Wars game I’d played since the Jedi Knight games on the PC. Unfortunately it’s not and it’s a shame the Force isn’t as strong in this one as I thought it was going to be. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed gets 6 out of 10.
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