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Old 08-11-2009, 12:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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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.
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