Friday, January 8, 2016

Star Wars The Force Unleashed Review

The Force Unleashed is an action game by LucasArts that was released September 18, 2008, for a bunch of platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and 3, PC, iOS, Nintendo DS, Wii, PSP and don't forget the great N-Gage. I'm always interested in a new Star Wars games but after seeing this trailer I knew this was a game that I'd have to play.


Star Wars The Force Unleashed is set between Episode 3 and Episode 4 and deals with Darth Vader and his quest to kill all the remaining Jedi and the birth of the Rebellion. You play as Galen Starkiller, a force sensitive kid who Darth Vader finds and trains to use to hunt the Jedi down (FYI Starkiller was the original last name for Luke Skywalker). Without giving the whole plot away Darth Vader sends you out to kill Jedi when they are discovered until the Emperor finds out about you. The cut scene that shows what happens when the Emperor finds out was hilarious. The rest of the game has you helping establish the Rebellion.


If you've always wanted to run around using force powers and killing people with a lightsaber then this is the game for you. Everything works very well and is quite fun. The first level has you playing Darth Vader and has you slaughter wookies left and right. Throwing Lightsabers and lighting while force pushing a handful of wookies off the ledges to their doom is great fun. When you fight the wookies as Vader it feels like "God" mode was turned on. After that level, you play as Starkiller and have to earn your way up to the powers that Vader has.

The game has a very basic leveling up system that consists of three categories. When you earn enough XP you are giving 1 or 2 points to use on the three different categories. The first is Force Powers which are things like Force Push, Force Grip, and Force Lightning. Once you use your points to unlock these powers you can use them. The second category is Force Talents, you use your points to increase things like fortitude, vitality and force focus which is how much force you have to use. The last category is Force Combos which have to do with fighting. You use the points to unlock different combos for use when you're swinging your lightsaber at your enemies.

There are force holograms to find, both light side and Sith, in this game. Unlike most games that have things to find for the sake of extending the length of the game in The Force Unleashed they actually serve a purpose. The light holograms usually give you XP and the Sith holocrons did a number of things including recharging your force powers and health.


As I mentioned before the game has your character interacting with The Emperor and Darth Vader but you'll also run into other characters including Bail and Leia Organa, R2-D2 and Darth Maul which would make no sense in the game but they actually did it in a way that works. The people who did Darth Vader's and Princess Leia's voices in this game should have done another take because they aren't very good, especially Vader. Vader's voice always sounds bad unless James Earl Jones does it but in this game, it's worse than usual. Jimmy Smits did the voice for Bail Organa which was cool for the game but a little sad for his career.


The graphics in The Force Unleashed aren't terrible but not outstanding either. This game came out early in the run for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 so that could be the reason for it. The music and sound effects are great, as they always are in Star Wars games. I really liked when I was fighting Darth Maul and Duel Of the Fates was playing in the background, one of the good things from Episode 1. At one point in the game, the famous Wilhelm scream is heard just like it always is in anything Star Wars.

When you have a boss fight the camera angle switches to a cinematic view which looks very cool and makes you feel like your watching a movie instead of a game. I also liked when you are on a ship in space you can use your lightsaber to break the glass blowing everyone out into space.

During the game, you will face some AT-ST's and rancors. You work their health down and when it gets low enough you need to hit a few random buttons quick time style to defeat them. When you kill the rancors you jam your lightsaber into their skulls and blast them with force lighting. It's the same for the AT-ST's but to defeat them you use your lightsaber to cut them in half.

The makers also snuck in an Easter egg into this game that gave me a great laugh.

One interesting thing about this game is you start out and fight on different worlds helping the Empire take control of them. Later in the game when you switch sides you are helping to remove the Empire from control. Some might say that it's a cheap way to extend the length of the game but you can see changes the Empire did to the world which is neat.

There are a few cool locations that you get to play in. One level has you fighting inside a Sarlacc. The last level has you on the Death Star while it's being built. You travel through the internals of the super laser while it is test fired and it's really cool.

The issues I had with the game weren't too bad. I died most of the time because I would fall off of something. A combination of the camera getting wonky and just the way the game plays is the cause. More than once I did a combo when fighting and would end up going over the edge. At one of the boss levels, it kept happening to me and got annoying.

The droid that helps your character out is able to take the form of people which I've never seen in any incarnation of Star Wars. Every time Vader would talk to you he would talk through the droid and you would think that Vader was their only to have Vader turn back to the droid. It was a bit weird.

The last thing that annoyed me was the female Imperial officer that pilots your ship. Of course, she has her uniform open with her breasts out, not as bad as in some games but it just feels cheap. And I can't imagine The Emperor or Darth Vader would allow it if they saw her. And at the end of the game, she kisses your character warming the heart of every 13-year old that plays this game. Star Wars is too good to have to resort to T and A just for the titillation of teenagers.


Star Wars The Force Unleashed is a great game. It took what lots of fans like, the force and lightsabers, and let you go hog wild with them. The game took me around eight hours to complete which is a bit short but what you get was lots of fun. I rate Star Wars The Force Unleashed a 7 out of 10.

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