Review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Filed under: , , , , by: Jimmy the Greek

I've been a Star Wars fan since before I stopped crapping my pants, all of 2 years ago... I was 12 years old when I read the Thrawn trilogy and I've read numerous books since. The original trilogy was great, but I'm a much bigger fan of the expanded universe. It's all one big story line, some happening concurrently, others in a straight line, but only as terrible and fantastic as the author allows. The period in the Star Wars mythos that has the least history containing Jedi is between Episode III and Episode IV. That's where The Force Unleashed comes in.

The Story
Turns out no matter how bad ass Darth Vader is supposed to be, he's too much of a pansy to kill the Emperor and take over the galaxy. It makes sense. With all of that circuitry keeping him alive, his greatest weakness has to be water. The Emperor being the self assured smug prick that he is must have bottled water readily available and in great supply. Fuck force lightening, just toss some Evian on Vader whenever he gets uppity.

Being the aquaphobic that he is, Vader enlists someone else to do his dirty work. He finds a Force sensitive boy on Kashyyyk and trains him as his secret apprentice. This is what makes the least amount of sense to me. Have you ever tried to keep a bastard child under wraps? They don't stay "secret" for very long. The filthy little ingrates always find the worst way to come out in the open. I digress, so Vader sends the now 20 something year old out to kill the remaining Jedi masters, kill the Emperor, and presumably have sex with a bleach blonde empirical trollup.

Along the way Darklighter, the bastard child, learns more Force powers, meets people, and travels to interesting locations. Long story short, you're supposed to make the Force your bitch and it comes down to being good or evil. The same mockery of choice as with so many other games. You are either black or white with no grey area and the only real option is in the very last bit of the game.

The Good
With so many crappy wannabe Star Wars games in the past few years, Battlefronts, Lego Star Wars, the likes, it's about time we get a real Star Wars game. There are some phenomenal effects when you use the Force, you get a meek RPG element with upgrades, and the physics are top notch. It might be hard to tell by the previous section in this article, but the story is actually pretty good, better than the game actually. For the most part the game is fun and shows a lot of potential for similar future installments.

You can murder slews of Wookees and Jawas, which with the latter never gets old.

The Bad
It seems like they redefined the Force just for this game. Up until now the greatest act of Force usage was by Kyp Durron in the Jedi Academy trilogy, the die hards know what I'm talking about here, when he pulled the ship out of the center of Yavin. Now the die hards should find a tissue to clean up the spunk they just messed themselves with. In respect to the series as a whole, a Jedi or Sith can't bring an entire legion of stormtroopers down with a flick of the wrist, let alone a Star Destroyer. I know the Force is supposed to be "unleashed" in this game but if the Jedi were this bad ass, none of them would have died during order 66. They would have sat back laughing, killed Palpatine with a blink of their eyes, and then retired to a cantina for some mojitos.

Oh, there are son of a bitch quick time events.

The Ugly
Something that borderline ruins the game for me is the targeting system. It always manages to lock onto the crate on the ground when I want it to lock on the little bastard Jawa throwing grenades at me. The level designs are good, but much like the combat, are fairly repetitive. Most Force powers prove to be worthless. There's no time when you're surrounded and need to use repulse or lightening shield, the lightsaber throw is mostly novelty only good for killing the aforementioned Jawas, and you can't move when you levitate objects.

The one shining weakness in this game, which during development was supposed to be a strength, is the involvement of George Lucas. He has no idea how to implement realistic human elements in his stories. Is it too much to ask to have a genuinely mean heartless prick as the story's main character? If he's supposed to be nice, fine make him a savior. This guy, on the other hand, is supposed to be a Sith but he finds the right path, or not depending, but I was under the impression that very few return from the dark side.

Closing Comments
The targeting sucks, the story is fairly good, and this is the first real current generation Star Wars game. No Star Wars game story will top KOTOR but I'm going to throw my treatment for this out there just to see what everybody thinks.

Darklighter follows Vader until he kills the Emperor, then when Vader is basking in his feeling of accomplishment, Darklighter shoves his lightsaber down Vader's throat like a terminal blow job. He then slays the entire non Jedi having rebellion he previously befriended and finishes the day with a Jedi mind trick fueled three way between Leia Organa and Juno Eclipse. After he leaves and doesn't call them back, he dies of a black membrosia overdose, and the galaxy is left to take a collective shower from the anal raping Darklighter delivered... all before he was 27.

Score: 7.7