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Is the Force Strong with This One?: Star Wars The Force Unleashed 

click to enlarge Using the force since 1977.
  • Using the force since 1977.
Using the force since 1977.
When the demo for Star Wars The Force Unleashed was released it looked like an incredible game. The thing I hate about demos is that they can set you up for disappointment if the game doesn't live up to the preview's promise. As a result, my approach to this game was one of caution. The story is sandwiched between episodes three and four and tells the tale of Darth Vader's "secret" apprentice. The story line of the game is certainly not Shakespearean, rather it's a fairly straightforward read that adds a bit of spice to the Star Wars canon. Unlike most Star Wars games, this one takes a darker road, beginning with the protagonist. (That means main character, gamers. - editor)

The game drops you in Darth Vader's dark shoes/boots on the Wookie plant of Kashyyyk. After destroying trees, throwing around Wookies and taking out the ineffectual Jedi whom the Wookies can't protect from your badass dark side, you stumble on a child prodigy. Following the Jedi/Sith mandate of a Master and apprentice, Darth trains the boy on the ways of the dark side. The grown apprentice, named Starkiller, (the original name that Lucas wanted to use for the Skywalker family) is then sent out into the universe to follow his master's commands.

Starkiller spends most of the game kicking some serious ass over the nine missions he's given to complete. And, of course, what would a Star Wars game be without some lightsaber action. The gameplay was made with a "dummy" approach, making it easy to pick up and play your first time out. There are different versions of the game on the current generation game systems and even the Playstation 2. Each platform follows the same story with minor differences with each version having specific elements in gameplay and controls.

Each level is made up of different planets, ships etc. and has been given lots of detail. As you progress to each level it seems that the attacks get harder and your powers seem weaker. This makes sense to a point, but when one of your objectives is to crash a Star Destroyer you have to jump through some hoops before you can actually crash it. Just let me crash the damn thing already. The one thing that LucasArts always gets right with Star Wars games is the sound and music. ThThe sounds in the game are direct from the Star Wars universe and the music leaves you no doubt that this is a galaxy far, far away.

You can have a lot of fun with The Force Unleashed. One of the best parts of the game is the time spent in the early levels, but as the game goes on, it's weighed down by super goons with goofy powers and a lot of unnecessary baggage. For the time and effort put into the game, it just leaves you wondering why they didn't stick with the more epic set-up instead of reverting to another hack and slash?

Star Wars The Force Unleashed

Developer- LucasArts. Platform- Playstation 2/3, PSP,  Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii. Rated- T for Teen. Retail-$29.95 to $59.99


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