|System: PC, X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Aspyr||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov 3, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Derek Hidey
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition is the same title released on the consoles earlier this year, with the exception of an exclusive Hoth mission and two other missions that were featured as DLC on the console versions. Unfortunately, the game doesn't feel like it was given very much attention, despite the long period of time between its release and the release of the original. And, there are a number of technical flaws that really keep it from reaching the potential of the console versions.
The first thing gamers will realize, if they've purchased a retail copy, is that the game is huge. In fact, it is roughly 24 GBs worth of data squeezed onto two DVDs. Even by today's standards that's a lot of hard drive space for a single game. Because of its size, the install time is lengthy, so be prepared to wait a little while before getting your hands dirty. Moreover, the notion based on its size is that there must be a lot packed into the Ultimate Sith Edition, but after an hour or so, gamers will wonder what all that space is being used for.
Upon the first launch, the game provides a small menu for customizing things like controls, video, and audio options. The problem is that there really aren't a lot of things to customize. For example, rather than having the standard flurry of video options such as anti-aliasing, vertical sync, and a myriad of texture and quality sliders, the game presents a brightness option and a resolution option. This will be frustrating later when gamers run into frame rate issues even though they have a PC that far exceeds the system requirements. With no ability to scale the graphics or enable/disable potentially problematic visual enhancements, gamers are powerless.
PC gamers will be further annoyed once getting to the main menu, which cannot be navigated using the mouse. In fact, none of the menus in the Ultimate Sith Edition can be navigated using the mouse. Instead, players must rely on the archaic use of arrow keys, the backspace, bracket, and enter keys to do things like upgrade force powers.
Once you're past the menus and setup, the Ultimate Sith Edition attempts to deliver the same experience the original did. With literally nothing changed, players can expect a solid story with solid characters, but that is simply the main plot campaign, as the Ultimate Sith Edition also includes three extra missions, two of which are featured as DLC for the console version and one that is exclusive.
All three missions do a decent job of establishing the setting and pace, but what makes them unique is the fact that they provide fun teasers based on "what if" scenarios. For example, the Hoth mission allows players to infiltrate the Rebel's Hoth base, locate Luke Skywalker, and defeat him. What happens at the end of that mission, however, deviates from the original canon and allows the player's imagination to take control. Each mission will last anywhere from one to two hours depending on your familiarity with the controls, so there isn't a lot of detail to be found in them, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun distractions from the main storyline or that they aren't worth your attention.
While the story and extra missions, along with the music, visuals, and sound effects, provide exactly what you'd expect from a praised Star Wars game, it is difficult to get past the many, many technical issues that seem all too plentiful in this PC version.