So, after playing through the game twice, I will say that I find all the negative reviews that are being given to the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed rather baffling. Is the game perfect? No, it isn't. There are some issues with it. However, the only issue I really had any problem with is the fact that the targeting, especially when trying to use Force Grip can be very sloppy. Yes, many times when you're about to pick up one thing using The Force, you accidentally pick up something else. However, I found that after playing awhile, I got used to it, and it really didn't bother me as much any more. The rest of the complaints about the game that I've seen have been, for me at least, really whiny and the people that made them should just be quiet. These complaints include; It's too hack and slashy, enemies keep swarming you, I got stuck in walls a bunch of times, not enough role playing, the controls are BAAAD, too much use of the lightsaber, it's too short, and most of the force powers are totally USELESS!! WAAAAAAAAAH!!!
Ok, I really don't know what these people are talking about. First off, it's a third person action game set in the Star Wars universe where you play a Jedi-esque character. What were you expecting, a bowcaster? You're a Jedi-guy! What else are you going to use apart from your lightsaber and The Force?! I mean c'mon! The Force is right there in the title! It's not Star Wars: The Contents of an Imperial Supply Depot Unleashed. As far as the enemy swarm tactic goes, well let's put ourselves in the universe for a sec. You're a Stormtrooper. You have a rifle that most of the time, would not let you hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. Suddenly, while you're out guarding that stack of suspiciously explosive supply crates, a lone figure comes running into view holding a lightsaber, which he's using to turn your fellow soldiers into thin-sliced cannon fodder fillet, and the ones he's not cutting up, he's using his sorceror's ways to send them flying into walls, trees, rocks, off bridges, he's frying them like chicken with his lightning, and if he gets rambunctious enough, he may just send one of those 'splodey crates rocketing into your face. At the same time, you're fanatically loyal to The Empire. Now, are you going to tell the rest of your squad that you should run at this guy one at a time? No, you're going to rush him in a bunch. Yes, the most likely outcome of the ensuing scrum will be that all of you get Cuisinarted all to Hades, but you just MIGHT take him down in the process. Or at least you might bruise his arm a bit. Seriously, you are WAY more powerful than most of the enemies you'll meet in the game, and their only chance of putting a hurting on you is to bum rush you en masse. And when you do bump into the tougher enemies, all you need to do is find the right way to take them down. And yes, you can find a way to take down EVERY enemy in the game.
As for the Force Powers, I used every one of them a lot in the game and found every one to be very useful when applied in the right circumstances.
As for the control issues, ok fair enough. Like I said, the game isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, the controls can be irritating, especially the aforementioned targeting kahfuffles. Also, like a LOT of third person games, the camera can be a downright pain in the backside at times, but I kind of expected that. The game may also be a bit on the short side, but that doesn't take away from its fun factor. Yeah, maybe it was a bit short, but I think it was as long as it needed to be. Yeah, you can play through in about 8 hours or so, but I'll tell you something. There are times when I'd much rather have a game that tells me a great story and just gets to the getting as opposed to sending me off on countless side quests that really serve no purpose, other than to pad the amount gameplay time (KOTOR, I'm looking in YOUR direction! heh I loved KOTOR, but you have to admit, some of the side quests were just aggravating. You know what? I've got a galaxy to destroy/save here! Find your own damn hunting trophy skull plate!).
And that brings us to the best aspect of The Force Unleashed, the story. What happens is that while hunting down a Jedi on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyk, Vader comes across a young boy who is strong enough in the Force to rip the lightsaber right out of Vader's hand. Vader takes the boy, keeps him secret from everyone else in the Empire, including the Emperor, and trains him as his apprentice. Many years later, Vader sends The Apprentice, codenamed Starkiller out on missions to hunt down and destroy Jedi, in the company of his droid PROXY, and a new pilot for Starkiller's ship The Rogue Shadow, Juno Eclipse. It's quite simply the best SW story I've seen in a long time, and yes, that includes the last 3 films. The acting is better, and I got much more emotionally involved in the characters in TFU than I did in just about anything in the prequel trilogy. Starkiller is played excellently by Sam Witwer(Crashdown, for you BSG fans), and his relationships with everyone in the game are done excellently. I don't want to spoil the story for you, but there is one moment in particular that I thought was really cool. In addition to continually trying to kill Starkiller to keep his skills up, PROXY from time to time serves as a communications relay for Vader when he needs to talk to The Apprentice. At one point later in the game after giving the Apprentice another mission, Vader signs off, and PROXY collapses forward. As Starkiller is helping to steady him, PROXY says, "I hate being him", and Starkiller replies, "I think he does too." And that right there cuts to the core of Vader more effectively than anything I saw in any of the prequel films.
The Force Unleashed does have its flaws, but it is by NO means a bad game. Its a very good game. Yes, some of the controls could have been handled better, but the good far outweighs the bad. It looks and sounds great, it's a lot of fun, and has an excellent story with a lot of top-notch voice acting. If you're a Star Wars fan, you really have no reason not to play this game. I'll give it a solid 7.5, very good, but with a little more work, it could have been fantastic, and definitely worth your time.
May the Force be with you. Hehe.
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