So… Is It Good?

A blog featuring the various writings of E. H. Lau.

Archive for April, 2010

No…, the Force is Still Leashed. (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review)

Posted by cyberpfalcon on April 23, 2010

Hello all of you out there! Alright, finally, all my exams are done, so let’s get this review out!

I’ll admit it, after watching the Star Wars films as a kid and as a teenager, I wanted to have the powers of the Jedi. I wanted to have a lightsaber to fling around and I wanted to have all the powers of the Force at my disposal (I still want that, but that’s an entirely different story). In fact, probably a lot of you out there have, at least once, imagined yourself with the powers of the Force. That is why, when Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was announced, I was excited. It was game that was supposed to allow us use the Force as creatively as we wanted to. As the titles of the game says, the Force was supposed to be unleashed in this game. So, let us take a look at the PS3 version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and see if the Force was with this one.

Firstly, the story of the game is set between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars Saga, and deals with Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller. The story is told very well throughout the game, and is definitely a great tale worthy of the Star Wars name.

Of course, a good game also needs good gameplay, and this game does deliver it. First of all, The Force Unleashed is an Action Adventure game like the Devil May Cry series or the God of War series, and thus it uses a lot of the same conventions such as combos, power upgrades, and quick time events.  The Force Unleashed manages to take these conventions, give it a Star Wars spin to it, and make it a fun and enjoyable game to play.

Lightsaber combat in The Force Unleashed is fun. There is a variety of cool combos that you can do, and you can also mix your lightsaber attack with your force powers (for example, electrifying your lightsaber with Force Lighting, or performing a Force Push at the end of a series of lightsaber slashes). Force powers in this game, while not as unleashed as it was made out to be, are fun to use, and are actually quite useful in the game. Also, what I liked about this game was that upgrading actually causes your Force powers to gain effects (for example, after an upgrade or two, the Lightning Shield can also reach and zap your enemies).

So while it’s nothing groundbreaking (in fact, pretty much all of the Force powers have been implemented in other Star Wars games already), the gameplay in The Force Unleashed is a fun experience.

I also loved the music in this game. The music compliments the game, and is a great to listen to.

However, the big factor that stopped this from being a great game are the loading times. First of all, the game has to take time to load… pretty much anything. First of all, regular loading between stages already takes longer than average, but when there are loading times that take around a minute for things like the upgrade screen, the lightsaber customization screen, changing the colour of the lightsaber, the level selection screen, the costume selection screen, and other little things, it all adds up to a big, fat, huge annoyance. Also, it actually seems like the loading screen itself has its own loading times…

Another annoying bit from this game is that if you change your costume in the middle of a level, you have to start the entire level again (which of course, means loading the whole level over again), and your costume is automatically changed everything you finish a stage… So changing Starkiller’s costume is a very… arduous task to say the least.

Alright, the title probably gave it away by now, but no, the Force has not been unleashed in this game. While the story and the gameplay are good, the annoying factors prevented this game from a great game. However, this is still one of the best Star Wars game out there, and is generally a good game. Just… play it when you have some time on your hands.

Now that exams are over, stay tuned and hopefully the next review will be up within the next two weeks.

Posted in Video Game Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »