Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Force Unleashed Review

Hardly the most recent game to come out but the one that I have had the chance to complete; a review for is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

After finishing TFU, a few goodies and costumes aside, I was left feeling satisfied (there it is right there, go buy the game). I've completed both the light and the dark side endings and either way the story is the best Star Wars video game story that I have encountered since Knights of the Old Republic. It was satisfying possibly in a way that only a Star Wars fan might understand.

The most thrilling parts were the story driven cut scenes and the overall length of the campaign. The campaign progressed nicely and I was never bored (frustrated possibly but bored, no). The cut scenes were breath taking and I felt like I was watching what should have been another Star Wars movie. The only thing I could have asked for were missions (levels) that looked exactly like these stunningly rendered cut scenes.

Most of these missions were ultimately satisfying all with boss fights at their ends. The only thing bad about the boss fights were that as soon as you figured out how to beat them, they were no longer a challenge. But until you were to figure out these magic formulas to beat these bosses most of the fights were long and obnoxiously difficult. After the long and arduous battle to ‘beat’ the boss the boss fights would end in a series of quick button presses (quick time events) and though most people might not find these as satisfying as some other method, I ultimately enjoyed them a great deal (though I am sure they do not hold up after more than one play through).

The only other real complaint I had with the game was the camera angles that the game sometimes forced one to use (again most often in boss fights). On an often enough occasion I found myself dead because of an obnoxious camera that forced me to stay in an area while someone was stabbing me in the back.

On quite the opposite side of all of these complaints this game does the best ever job of making you feel like a truly (and pardon my language here but it is the only way to describe it) bad ass Jedi. The only part where I felt like less than myself is when I had to face off against bubble shield wielding flamethrower guys (trust me, in retrospect, it is a funny thought). My only hope in those moments was the possibility of a huge rock that I could force throw at the guy with the hope that he would, at the most, fall over long enough for me to get up to him with my lightsaber. Okay really, enough with what annoyed me.

Another fantastic aspect of this game was that the levels were beautifully designed and I loved Starkiller. I have never seen such a beautifully rendered Star Wars game and as a whole it did the best job at making me feel like a Jedi or a Sith.

After seeing both endings there was no real reason for me to continue aside from some extra achievement grabbing and though I could not suggest a way to make this game more repayable (that is why I am not the designer of this game) that is a sad fact because as big of a Star Wars fan that I am I could not merit purchasing this game (yes, I know I said to go buy it earlier). If I want the extra gamerscore that I did not nab on the first rental, I'll just rent it again. This games lasting value is something akin to Assassin's Creed. So as a final note (and in closing) I thought that this was a fantastic addition to the Star Wars canon and despite the games flaws it still shines through as a memorable gaming experience.


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