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29th March
2009
written by Tony
I'll unleash your force... What?

I'll unleash your force... What?

The Force Unleashed was touted as a game that would vastly change how video games are played, all based on the power of the PS3 (and Xbox 360, but that's an even more stupid name than Playstation, so it is therefore invalid). The initial press certainly made this game seem revolutionary and like it would be the shot in the arm that the action  genre on the PS3 needed. When it was finally released it found a luke-warm (see what I did there? Luke… Skywalker. Yeah?) reception and I think overall this was justifiable. It certainly seems that the PS3 is under-utilized in terms of this game. The graphics are slightly above average and the in-game effects are nothing exceptional. The environments are semi-destructible, but nothing like they should be, considering the powers of the force that your character wields. The game is also very short, I think I beat it in about 12 hours overall, and that involved a lot of dicking around (no instruction manual) and some serious glitches (not to mention unreasonable load times). Overall the game is fairly playable, the combat system isn’t too complicated, but has some combo depth if you wish it. The character development system is a bit underwhelming considering the brevity of the game, so it feels as though little progress is made when skill points are added. The skill points also don’t seem to do much for your character as far as I can tell.

Just passing through.

AHHHHH. I mean heeEEAAHHHHLLLLoo. Ah, the Simpsons. Far more reliable than my own sense of humor.

By and large there isn’t a lot of variety in the enemies that you face, and it doesn’t take a lot of cunning to defeat them. There are a few exceptions, but these are mainly the force-aware enemies and the final battles with the bosses, which can actually be quite trying. I think the gameplay overall is neither an attraction nor a detraction. It is good enough not to hamper the game but not good enough to be noticed either. The story was fairly engaging, and for those fans interested in Star Wars cannon, it provided some new angles on how things went down between movies three and four. The voice acting was good and the animation was nice overall, but as stated earlier, there really wasn’t enough play-time to become suitably invested in the characters, which meant that the story couldn’t carry the already average gameplay to greater heights. Overall I had a few major issues with the game. One, the targeting system wasn’t great. Essentially you just kind of point yourself at something and jostle around trying to get the little blue bracket to appear so you know you can use the force on whatever it is you’re targeting. This isn’t exactly ideal when you’re fighting something that is moving around and you want to target it. Most of the time you can do what you need to do, but if there are a bunch of things close together life can get messy. Now, I can’t come up with a better way to control targeting off the cuff (and therefore can’t complain too loudly), but there has to be one, maybe even allowing the user to cycle through targets without moving their character would be welcome.
STOP. Hammer time.

STOP. Hammer time.

Problem two: the camera. Yikes. It was not always helpful, and seemed to like to stuff itself into corners when space was tight, giving you a nice view of the inside of Johnny Sithbiter’s head (forget/don’t care what his actual name is). [EDIT: I later found out/was reminded that his name is Starkiller. Including this information would force me to lower the game's rating by .5 out of spite.] Seeing the back of JSB’s teeth isn’t helpful when you are trying to throw stormtroopers at exploding boxes. Kudos on the ragdoll physics though. Problem three: Movement. Running around was okay for the most part, but when it came to jumping our protagonist was quite the spaz. There was just no easy way to control where he landed when he jumped, or, worse yet, double-jumped. JSB also seemed to have a propensity for sliding around on everything, so sticking a landing was pretty damn hard, even if it was just jumping on some very large boxes or the like. Overall the game was pretty playable, nothing remarkable and at times drastically underwhelming. It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great. I finished it, without much fanfare and was left feeling… not much really. Un-whelmed, maybe. It’s a pretty straightforward game and if you are a hardcore Star Wars fan you’ll probably get a kick out of it at times. I know I enjoyed picking up the big boxy robots (you know, the ones from the actual first movie that were obviously a guy in a box with dryer vent hose over his legs and Kleenex boxes on his feet) and throwing my light saber at them. I also enjoyed throwing Jawas off of cliffs, and using a move called "force punt" on them. Seriously. I always thought those guys were jerks. 3 out of 5 p.s. You know the whole opening credits scrolly thing popularized in the first movie? Pretty cool at the time, right? Maybe. Anyway, they do that for the beginning of the game to lay down the basic story, and they use a full justify alignment, which is to say both sides of the text are lined up (as opposed to left aligned) and the spacing between the words is HORRIBLE. Big huge gaps everywhere, it's almost illegible. I almost didn't play the game at all because of this, I shit you not.

2 Comments

  1. 03/29/2009

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    06/23/2009

    hilarious!

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