Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for XBOX 360 Review
Approximately a year ago, I made my parents swear an oath that when Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was released, they would buy it for me, no matter the cost or whether my behavior had been up to scratch!
So, here I am, a year later, now in possession of the game and having played through it twice. As a huge Star Wars fan, I’ve enjoyed most of the games Lucasarts have released over the past few years, such as, for instance, Republic Commando or Empire At War, which is one of the reasons why I followed The Force Unleashed‘s development with great interest. Even going so far as to research game engines such as Euphoria or DMM to further enhance my understanding of what the player might be able to accomplish while playing through the game.
This sparked my interest even further, as The Force Unleashed, as proclaimed by Lucasarts, is the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, and seems to be Lucasart’s best effort to date. During the prologue of The Force Unleashed, the player plays as Darth Vader on the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk, rather than his spotlighted Secret Apprentice, codenamed Starkiller. The prologue is a fantastic way to wet your appetite for the rest of the game, as thanks to the DMM (Digital Molecular Matter) engine, wood splinters, glass shatters and metal warps realistically, with out having to conform to a standard animation for a 3D model in the game. Simply speaking, your actions affect everything around you realistically, can harm both you and your enemies, and ensure that each play-through is different, thus adding loads of replay value. The Havok engine, which is most prominently seen in the Halo series (my personal favourite series of games of all time) allows objects to know their (and each others) dimensions, weight and size, which works well with DMM, literally allowing the player to use his surroundings against his enemy.
You start off the game with fore core powers, Grip, Force Push, Lightning and Repulse. These are useful enough to vanquish your foes, but as you play through and gain experience, these powers can be amped up to amazing degrees. The player also makes extensive use of his/her lightsaber, and similarly with Force powers, a dizzying array of combos and attacks can be gained with experience, with the player even being able to use to force and their lightsaber together in some instances.
As the player plays through the game, new outfits and lightsaber crystal colors can be unlocked, which also add to replay value. (My personal favorite outfit being the Jedi Adventure Robes). There are many boss fights throughout the game, the first few primarily being Jedi that you, as Starkiller, are on the hunt for.
I won’t carry on further on this subject as spoilers are abound, but if you are a Star Wars fan, you’ll find The Force Unleashed’s story line extremely powerful and subtly moving, depending on which choice you take.
All in all, I find the Force Unleashed an incredible game with great replay value, amazing Force powers and lightsaber skills, and an unbelievable story-line. If you’re a Star Wars fan with a next-gen console such as a Playstation 3 or an XBOX 360, I definitely suggest adding The Force Unleashed to your collection of games; It’s been worth the wait.