I gave my first impressions earlier, the day the game was released, and after I’d played two levels in a previous blog post. I’ve now completed the game one time through on the Xbox 360. Well…there are pros and cons. There are some spoilers, but I will label that section when I get there.
First, a couple of pros. One of the aims of the game was to tell a story that provides another “connection” in the Star Wars universe. Unleashed falls before Episode IV, and does indeed provide a bit of insight into the “goings on” prior to the movie. I have to say that while I enjoyed the story, I really did, but it felt rushed. There was not enough character content to make me really feel for any of the characters, until the very very end of the game, and by then it is a bit wasted.
The tie-ins with other games and movies were fun, and I like the new lightsaber “styles” and colors. It was also neat using all of the force powers, and meeting new characters in the Star Wars universe. The game menus were also straightforward, and saving the game wasn’t a hassle.
Now, some cons. The in-game camera was horrible. Not only was the viewpoint off during critical fights, the angle made you lock onto targets that you are not intending to. You go to chuck your lightsaber at an oncoming enemy, and you wind up flinging it at a barrel sitting off to the side, all the while you are getting pummeled by said enemy as you wait for your ‘saber to return.
The game was too short, and as I mentioned above, you don’t really connect with the characters until the end. KoToR this game is not, and it shows. If you are a fast player, you could easily rent this game and beat it before having to return it…I can’t really recommend buying it for that reason alone. Now, if you like to play through a game multiple times and hunt down every item, as well as play Live (which at this point, I don’t believe is possible), it may be different. I don’t fancy XBox Live, so can’t really speak to that.
SPOILERS. There are parts of the game that get tedious very quickly. One of these was billed as a selling point to the game; when you have to pull down an Imperial Star Destroyer. Ugh. The “directions” the game gives you will not get the job done…I could “hear” Obi-Wan speaking to me (not the character); “Use the force…the game is lying to you…” which is basically what you have to do to pull the blasted ship out of the sky… There are several other parts of the game that I found quite frustrating, not because they were hard, just tedious, as I said before.
There is a morality choice in the game, but it is an odd addition, since the “light-side” ending is the only one that flows with the movies. You can indeed watch the dark-side ending on youtube, for those who don’t like playing the bad guy…yes, that is how I watched it.
The game was disappointing, only because I had such high hopes. It’s not a bad game, and any Star Wars fan will probably like the storyline, but it does suffer by comparison to KoToR, and its own hype. If you get the game with neutral or low expectations, you’ll probably like it better. In short, it is worth playing, but IMO, it’s not worth buying at this price.
For those of you that care about such things; the violence is what makes the rating “Teen.” There wasn’t any sexual content, or foul language that I can recall. On the good side, the story is about redemption, self-sacrifice, and fighting your anger and need for revenge.