In another post, I explained my relatively unique position of being Christian, female, and a gamer. As such, I’ll periodically have video game reviews here at The Christian Scribbler.
Today, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, was…well, unleashed. After work I went out and snagged a copy for the XBox 360, as I’ve been waiting for this one forever (I’m also a Star Wars nerd). I don’t think anyone has to worry about spoilers, unless you don’t want to know anything about the game at all (then why are you reading this? )…I’m only on the second level. This is truly a “first impressions” post.
So far, so good. The story is as advertised; you play Darth Vader’s secret apprentice. The game starts with a bit of back story; and you get to play as Vader just for a bit. After that, you, as the apprentice “Starkiller” are sent out to hunt rogue Jedi.
The gameplay takes a bit to catch onto, as I don’t really like to use my LB (left button) and RB (right button) as much as this game will call for; however, the game teaches you as you go, and also has an in-game tutorial you can pull up in the menu for your different force powers.
I can tell you right now that this really makes me miss Knights of the Old Republic (KoToR 1 and 2)…I prefer the gaming system in those RPG’s. Unleashed is a lot more “linear” in that there are no dialogue trees as of yet; you are playing a linear storyline. In my other post on games I brought up morality; in a game like Unleashed, you don’t really have a morality choice all the time…you are sent on a mission and are to complete that mission. Also, you do not get to choose your dialogue, so far they are “forced” cut scenes with no input from the player…this may change later, I don’t know, you may get to choose missions and outcomes later too, don’t know that yet either.
The force powers are neat, but I have to be honest and say I don’t like having to do “combo” moves (button mashing) to do my force combo’s; it’s just not my preferred style of play. I do like the force powers that are straight forward like force push, and force lightening. One big gripe; what I call “cheap falls;” you can easily (and accidentally) fall off high spots and die…your guy may be bashing an enemy with a combo that you can’t break out of and walk right off the edge…
One of the side missions for every level is finding holocrons…and, yes, you have to search pretty meticulously to find them all. They include force points, force powers (really the “spheres” you need to up your force powers), lightsaber crystals (Yes! you can change the color of your lightsaber, it starts as red, of course), etc… That is actually a favorite addition thus far; certain crystals make your lightsaber blade react differently…for example I found a “compressed yellow” crystal that does change the color to yellow, and causes the blade to “ripple.”
You also get new outfits along the way…right now I suspiciously look very much like Raziel from Soul Reaver…hmmm…. Anywho, thus far I’m met two main traveling companions; a droid programmed to try to kill me like any good Sith’s robot companion (yes, you consider him a friend), and my new pilot. Side note; you do indeed have to play as a male, no gender switching in this one. I do understand; this is supposed to be like a “playable” movie, not a customizable RPG (did I mention that I miss KoToR?).
Also, you get to “visit” and hear about planets from other Star Wars games (like Battlefronts, and KoToR) ; some of the graphics look similar, though the “viewpoints” are different.
My opinion so far? I like it…not a “love it” yet, but a “like it.” I can tell I personally won’t want to play it in long stretches as the action is pretty non-stop. Yes, the force powers are a lot stronger in this one, and are a main game point…the programmers definitely wanted you to use them a lot in fighting and in navigating the terrain. Is it worth the money and the wait? Can’t say yet…will keep you updated. If anyone has any questions for me about the game, I’ll attempt an answer.
It is rated for “Teen;” thus far “violence” has been the main thing some may be concerned about…and as Vader’s apprentice you go after Empire soldiers and Rebels alike.
UPDATE: A more complete review by me can be found here: The Force Unleashed; Final Review.