Star Wars the force unleashed is a game where you assume the role of the apprentice whom Darth Vader selected to carry out his deeds. The Force Unleashed was released on September 1, 2008 and it bridges the gaps on both trilogies. Not too long ago one of the developers said that the PS3 port of the game was bad because they didn't have time fix the issues that were plaguing it. I've had The Force Unleashed for quite some time and never got to play it extendedly. I quit right after the 3rd mission and never looked back. When the developer said that I decided to go ahead and play the game and pledge to myself that no matter what I will complete the game. Boy did I make a huge mistake.
There are many problems that plague the TFU. It's a game that anyone can pick up and play but it will also force you to smash the controller to the ground after a few hours of gameplay. The first level isn't even taken into consideration as you marvel through the world of Star Wars. In the beginning when your first see the tie fighters flying around you can easily tell that this is not a war, it's an invasion.
Controlling Darth Vader is almost a dream come true. The only problem when controlling Darth Vader or Star Killer is it sometimes lag to respond. This happens mostly when fighting against a hoard of enemies and you have to contently switch. The game will automatically auto lock against an enemy but to stay locked to that enemy you have to press R1 button. This is a must as fighting all enemies can be death without it. When the game auto locks it will constantly switch between targets. It is not smart enough to understand that the item you are using lightning against is an inanimate object and therefore useless to waste your energy on. Why would I want to waste my energy on a rock when there are millions of enemies coming towards me?
Also when using the force to lift object can also be a pain as you can sometimes miss your items but your energy will still deplete. Not to mention the lag that comes after. Some Boss battles are easy but other question the game and it's logic. One big pain in the ass boss is when fighting against Darth Maul. It is rare that you know him off his feet but he can easily knock you off your feet but not before he does his spin move combination that will take 1/4 of your life force away. It is not that the boss is too difficult but if he is going to be hard as stone you should have the same chances he has. There's a difference between AI and just plain laziness with character design. Other enemies also follow the same suit. Specially snipers that are located hundreds of feet away and shoot you while you're trying to kill hundreds of enemies that are constantly shooting you.
The story behind TFU is interesting and enjoyable. It does depict what happened in between Episode 3 and Episode 4 and a several characters from both sides make appearances. It also explains how the rebel alliance was formed although I'm not sure if the rebel alliance was created by accident or if it was in Darth Vaders plan all along but had second thoughts along the way and turned back to the Dark Side. It truly is an original story and will please Star Wars fans none the less.
Graphically the game is questionable when it comes to character detail. The textures on the characters could have used more work with detail. Every time I played the game I constantly found myself looking at their teeth every time they talked because the teeth looked like rodent's teeth. There are also other minor issues that are quite noticeable but as gameplay continues you learn to just look over it.
The sound in TFU is great. While the script may be plagued with some cheesy dialogue that should be changed, it does follow the Star Wars theme. James Earl Jones did not play Darth Vader but his substitute did an excellent job although I'm pretty sure a lot of filters had to be used. Each sound effect is also filled with detail even down to the crackling sound the light sabers make when they clash against other light sabers or when they touch metal. The sound quality is also perfect and if you have a great sound system you will definitely enjoy the true Star Wars experience it offers.
Star Wars The Force Unleashed can be had for a very reasonable price today. For less than $20 TFU will offer you 10+ hours of gameplay with lots of replay value with different missions, trophies and different difficulty settings. There are also 3 DLC add ons on the PSN which offers several other missions and it also gives fans the chance to interact with Luke Skywalker but each mission based DLC is $10 each so you will have to drop a total of $50 for this game with the DLC and quite frankly that's when it starts getting expensive for a game with many short comings.
Despite its short comings for the PS3, Star Wars The Force Unleashed is a must for any Star Wars fan out there and if you love Hack and Slash games you will also love this game. For $20 or less you will have a decent game but if you can find it for less than $10 that's even better. The game may suffer from a few defects but for what the developers did for 2008 it's not a bad try specially for the PS3 system which is hard to program for or so the developers have stated. It's very easy to pick up and play but requires patience to master but once mastered the game can be a lot of fun despite its short comings.
GamePlay: Easy to pick up and play but requires a lot of patience due to its short comings. 6/10
Graphics: What were they thinking? 4/10
Sound: If only they put this much effort into gameplay as they did with the sound: 8/10
Story: Bridges the gap between Episode 3 and Episode 4 also explains the birth of the Rebel Alliance: 9/10
LifeSpan: 10+ hours of gameplay if you explore and collect everything and there's some DLC on the PSN store but it comes at a price: 8/10
Total Score: 70/100