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-   -   Please rate this review - Star Wars : The Force Unleashed (http://www.gamecritics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15931)

JoshMoore 08-11-2009 12:28 AM

Please rate this review - Star Wars : The Force Unleashed
 
Because who hasn't dreamed of launching a storm trooper into outerspace?

High Force powers make you feel like a bonafide badass.

Low Inconsistant difficulty levels can cause extreme frustration.

WTF Only letting you play as Vader for one level? Not cool guys.

We have witnessed the Star Wars brand we all grew up on be spat on by the very man who created it. We have had our hearts broken time and time again by bad movie prequels, and worse video games. We have seen the demise of something we love, and we have become bitter and jaded because of it.

Which is part of the reason why I had such reservations about playing Star Wars : The Force Unleashed. On top of that, I heard it was full of glitches and bugs, and that it was uneven and frustrating. Yet despite all my worries, I persevered. I'm glad I did.

You play as Darth Vader's apprentice, a young sith named Starkiller. You are sent on various missions, mostly consisting of infiltrating Rebel bases, and murdering everyone in them. As the game progresses, Starkiller becomes more and more conflicted, as he slowly moves away from his master, and closer to a group of Jedi's he is supposed to be enemies with.

The game obviously prides itself on it's use of force powers. For the most part they are used well. You can pick up large items and hurl them at your enemies, you can pick up your enemies and hurl them at more of your enemies, you can fry your enemies using force lightning, or if you are sick and twisted like I am, you can throw your enemies off of platforms and cliffs, and watch them as they fall to their deaths. Use of the force can be clunky at times. The force throw is far from precise. More often than not, your attempts to throw an object at an enemy will result in said object flying hundreds of feet behind you. The lightsaber attacks are also not incredibly dynamic, but the game does a pretty good job of making it pretty fun to just hack and slash your way through hoardes of enemies.

The game also has a surpringly compelling story. It treats the love angle of the story especially well. It is not overwraught with sappiness and sentimentality, it is unexpectedly subtle, as is the case with the rest of the game. The game bridges the gap between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope" and it sort of takes the bad taste of the last three Star Wars movies out of your mouth.

The game will require you to have a certain level of patience. There were multiple occasions where I felt like snapping the disc in half, and cutting my throat on the serrated edge. There are seemingly random difficulty spikes throughout the game, and some levels and boss fights can be incredibly frustrating. There is also one level that requires you to pull the Star Destroyer out of the sky. It was one of the most infuriating video game experiences I'd ever had in my life. I assure you though that getting through each of these parts is extremely rewarding and cathartic.

Star Wars : The Force Unleashed is not a perfect game. It does everything in it's power to piss you off. It almost seems like it takes perverse pleasure in it, but I think that if you give it a chance it will reward you. Despite all it's shortcomings, it kept me coming back for more, I wanted to see what the game would throw at me next, I needed to finish the game, if only because it seemed that the developers dared me not to.

Mostly, for the first time in many years I was enchanted by the Star Wars universe, and quite frankly I wasn't sure that would ever happen again.
Star Wars : The Force Unleashed is a flawed game, and I loved every minute of it.

Disclosures This game was obtained via purchase and reviewed on the PS3. Approximately 12 hours of play were spent on the game, and it was completed once.

Parents This game contains Violence and it is rated T. There is no real blood or gore, but the whole purpose of the game is to kill various enemies, so it should be kept away from kids aged 13 and under.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing The game has subtitles that can be toggled on and off. Sound is not necessary in regards to the completion of the game.

Jason Karney 08-17-2009 08:18 AM

Re: Please rate this review - Star Wars : The Force Unleashed
 
Hi JoshMoore,

First, kudos on following the site's review format. That's a good start if you're interested in working through this to be published on our site.

"Which is part of the reason why I had such reservations about playing Star Wars : The Force Unleashed. On top of that, I heard it was full of glitches and bugs, and that it was uneven and frustrating." ==>I try not to say "I heard about" things, although it can work. I don't think this paragraph stands on its own. Maybe say you were concerned with rumored glitches; and rephrase/combine these first paragraphs.

"You play as...." or "You are sent..." need to be modified. Please avoid this second-person style. Try "the gamer...," "the player is...." or "I...". Go for first or third person.

"There were multiple occasions where I felt like snapping the disc in half, and cutting my throat on the serrated edge. " ==> Very visceral. :D Nice.

All that said, I don't get a feeling for what you really liked about the game, or during it. Mainly I don't get what's it's like to PLAY the game, and that's what you need to bring out. The third paragraph is a decent summary of the gist of the plot, but I think the nature of these missions could be expanded upon. What's it like to play them? How did you think/act/feel?

Paragraphs 3 and 5 both touch on the game's story and themes; these should be grouped together and given more detail, but without spoiling the game's plot.

Your last paragraph seems like an add-on; it would fit best as the beginning of the paragraph before it.

So I get that you liked the game and it reminded you of the Star Wars of old; but I'm still not sure why. You enjoyed it despite its flaws: because it was a masochistic challenge, or because the story kept you going, or something else? This reinforces what I wrote earlier, that readers will want to know how you felt or what you experienced playing the game; what drew you back and WHY.

Thanks for posting. Keep on writin'!

--Jason

David Stone 08-17-2009 09:09 AM

Re: Please rate this review - Star Wars : The Force Unleashed
 
I'm with Jason. There's a lot of passive voice in the review, which weakens the statements you are trying to make. But there are a lot of good ideas.

I'd love to see how you would change the game (i.e. your WTF idea but fleshed out) and expand on your histry with the Star Wars universe.

A great first effort! (P.S. Check a couple of spelling things, but that's because I'm a Grammar Nerd :p)

JoshMoore 08-17-2009 10:30 PM

Re: Please rate this review - Star Wars : The Force Unleashed
 
Thanks guys. I'll give it another go soon.


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