Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed box art
System: DS, X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: n’Space 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Lucas Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 16, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-6 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The main thing that you can look forward to when leveling-up throughout the game is picking up new combos. Accessing the combos is almost as easy as putting your finger on the touchscreen, but instead you use the stylus to connect and combine two regular moves. You'll be able to pick up an enemy and throw him, or perhaps you would like to slash and electrify them. Connecting the various combos is intuitive and fun, but they are more of a novelty factor than anything else.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot

You'll end up using the lightsaber and the push move more than anything else, as these are the most effective and powerful moves. The others are like designer moves that add a bit of dramatic flair but feature style over substance. It's nice to try the caviar now and then, but it's the meat-and-potato moves that get the job done.

I expect more from a Star Wars game than a predictable hack-and-slash, but unfortunately that's what Unleashed is all about. Each level leads you through a series of corridors with pockets of enemies around corners. The pace increases, culminating with large arena-style battlefields teeming with swarms of baddies, which takes you to the inevitable boss battle. Each level follows that pattern. There are few surprises, despite the fact that there are two different endings. At about five hours, the game is very short, so to artificially extend the replay value you can unlock a different ending while playing in the various unlockable outfits you collected the first time around. You can forget about the multiplayer modes. Deathmatch and one-on-one modes are not very much fun. Once again, there is very little feel of freedom. These are among the most linear multiplayer modes I've ever played. You are forced into areas where death for your character is caused more by environmental forces than the other players. The Deathmatch mode can accommodate up to six players, but they will all require a copy of the game.

Graphically, the game is plagued by poor camera angles that cannot be overridden, ghosting, slowdown, and repetitive, blasé character models, with the exception of your character and “the” Darth. The blasts of the lasers and the hum of the lightsabers are pure Star Wars, but the overall sound effects palette is extremely limited.

If you must, play Unleased in small doses, or better yet, just read the book.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Inconsistent graphics. Mid levels are repetitive with static backdrops.
Great use of the touchscreen and stylus disguises button-mashing gameplay.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
No voiceovers. Limited sound effects palette.

Play Value
Short game. Repetitive gameplay. Blasé multiplayer modes.

Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • During the period between Episodes III and IV, players hunt Jedi in the role of Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice.
  • Unleash and upgrade the Secret Apprentice's four core Force powers - Force push, grip, repulse, and lightning - throughout the course of the game, and combine them for ultra-destructive, never-before-seen combos.
  • Examples of unleashing the Force in ways never thought possible. The Secret Apprentice won't just Force push enemies into walls - he'll Force push enemies through walls.
  • In addition to new adversaries created just for the game, such as fugitive Jedi and Force-sensitive Felucians, players will also confront and associate with familiar faces from the Star Wars films, including Darth Vader.
  • Visit locations such as Episode III's Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk and the floral Felucia, the junk planet Raxus Prime, plus an Imperial TIE fighter construction facility.
  • Decisions made by players throughout the game will determine the path of the story, including multiple endings that will rock Star Wars continuity as they know it.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge

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