Star Wars: The Force Unleashed; Final Review

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.

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6 Comments

Filed under Of Interest, Reviews

6 responses to “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed; Final Review

  1. Pingback: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed; Final Review | Lorrd dot com

  2. Pingback: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed; First Impressions… « The Christian Scribbler

  3. Hi, I am also a Star Wars geek, a gamer, and a believer. Though I was raised Christian, I don’t restrict myself to Christianity, I consider myself a believer and a wonderer. Anyways, I noticed you mention that you enjoy KOTOR (a great game, BTW) and I was wondering if you have played “Mass Effect” and if so, what are your thoughts on it? I didn’t see an earlier post of yours about it, but if there is one, I would be interested to read it. I really enjoyed Mass Effect, especially the moral choices the player has to make in that game, and I was just hoping to get your opinion on it.

  4. Kliska

    Welcome to the blog! Yup, I loved Mass Effect (though it kind of took the place of KoToR 3 as far as development goes).

    I wasn’t blogging yet at the time I played it, but did have it somewhat in mind when talking about morality and video games. The choices in Mass Effect illustrate that concept very well, and there were clear cut cases of “right or wrong” choices, and “shades of gray.” I also found it very interesting that the topic of whether or not your character believes in God came up; it was in a short dialogue with “Williams.”

    I was curious the first time I played through to see if the choice in that conversation would have any other effect in-game…but I don’t believe it did. I look forward to the next “Mass Effect,” should they go ahead with development of it. They claim, at least at this point, that your choices will carry over into the second installment if you still have your saved files from the first game on your hard drive.

    I felt the morality choices in Mass Effect, not only were right/wrong, but “life” choices; you had to decide who to aid, and who to let go, how to treat other species, and how to react to teammates under pressure. To me, this added a lot of depth to the game. Unlike other games, I was able to play this one through being a Renegade without feeling too guilty. 😉

  5. Ryan

    The one thing I really liked about the morality in Mass Effect was how it didn’t always conform to the idea that good intentions yield good results. I can’t remember specific instances/choices, but I do remember making choices that I intended to produce a positive result, and that subsequently didn’t. Or more accurately, they didn’t produce a good result in the way that, or for the subject that, I intended. I think this is a more accurate representation of the multi-faceted nature of the consequences of our own moral choices. I remember a little bit of this perspective on morality appearing in KoToR 2.

    I actually had a really hard time playing the ‘Renegade’ path in Mass Effect. I don’t think I’d ever been in the position of choosing whether or not to commit genocide in a game before. Either that, or somehow I felt more connected to the characters in Mass Effect.

  6. Kliska

    They did do a really good job “connecting” the player with the characters in Mass Effect…I have to admit it was harder for me to make the tough decisions about characters “on my team.”

    One of the things I noticed in Mass Effect, was even though you chose to do the “right” thing, the other characters (those on your team, and even outsiders, like the council) would second guess you…actually if you chose the “wrong” thing, they’d do that too; the programmers put quite a bit of thought into it.

    I also like when your conversations and attitude toward teammates shape their characters as well as your own. KoToR was a bit more obvious with this just because there were actual physical changes, and they had darkside/lightside indicators similar to the main player…perhaps Mass Effect 2 will incorporate that a bit more (I love character development).

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