Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Force Unleashed Impressions

OK, I confess... I'm a Star Wars fan. Probably not as much as a lot of people. I don't collect the figures or have any lightsaber replicas or anything, but I have the six movies and the old Cartoon Network Clone Wars series on DVD, I've read quite a few of the books, I saw the new Clone Wars in the theater, and as far as video games go I have both KOTORs, both Legos, both Battlefronts, Republic Commando, the first two Rogue Squadrons, X-Wing Alliance, TIE Fighter 95, Episode III, Both Jedi Starfighters, and the Clone Wars. So, for anyone still reading it probably comes as no surprise that I picked up The Force Unleashed.

Some of you are likely aware of the fact that it hasn't been doing that well with the critics. It's currently sitting at a 71 at both Metacritic and Gamerankings. I looked at the scores, but didn't bother to read the reviews.

The fact of the matter is, yes, the game does have it's problems. Crappy camera, crappy targeting, and so many bugs that I wonder how it got out the door. I've already ran into two, and both were on the same level. One was, after spending all this time to figure out how to make a platform to progress, I jumped to the platform, but Starkiller moved like he hit an invisible wall, then died. Later, on the boss fight of the level, after doing a flashy attack the boss just froze in place. The music was still playing, I could still move around and use Force Grip on the various objects lying around, but nothing I did affected the boss. I had to reload my save and start the fight from scratch.

The thing is, despite the game's technical problems, I'm very much inclined to like the game. I don't mean play it for a bit and forget it like it, either. I mean, "holy crap, it's 3:00 am!" like it. The gamer in me like's Starkiller's powers. It's fun on a primal level to grab an enemy with the Force, then whip the guy into other enemies. It's fun to use Force Push to blast a couple of them off a nearby platform, or to break a window and have them sucked into space. It's fun to soften a group up with Force Lightning, then wade in and slice them up with a lightsaber. Meanwhile, the Star Wars fan in me loves the fact that the story is official canon. Not like Expanded Universe canon, but real between Episode III and IV Lucas-sanctioned canon. And the story's actually pretty good. Maybe not Empire Strikes Back good, but much better than the Clone Wars.

Ultimately, here's my advice: there's a demo available for both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Download it and play it. If you liked it, and can tolerate an occasional glitch that sends you back a checkpoint, you'll like the game, as it's really more of the same, just in different environments. For me, I do notice the technical problems, but they don't outweigh the fact that the game is fun.

1 comment:

mitchellangelo said...


Anyway, I agree with you here on everything Mike. You know me, im a Star Wars whore. The story is great, the graphics are beautiful, and the force powers are fun.

Honestly, in terms of the amount of bugs, I'm gonna guess it has something to do with Lucasarts recently laying off, like, everyone. If whatever happened there hadn't have happened, we might have had those bugs taken care of, but alas, the honchos at Lucasarts had some issues with something.