Start Wars: The Force Unleashed; review

Start Wars: The Force Unleashed is an action video game released by LucasArts in 2008 for several consoles.

LucasArt developed the game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; Krome Studios did the PS2, PSP, and Wii versions; and Aspyr Media made one for PC.

The game became a best-seller in USA and Australia, selling over million copies on its first month after getting published.

When it comes to the plot, writers intended to turn this game into a bridge between the prequels and the original trilogy.

However, thanks to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, Start Wars: The Force Unleashed became part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, also known as Star Wars Legends, which makes the game non-canon to the films’ story.

Review

Earlier Star Wars video games had a hard time making the player feel like an awesome force user, until the 2000s.

Regardless of their reputation among critics or fans, the Star Wars prequels were the films who gave the audience and developers a few glimpses of how a battle between experienced force warriors would go.

Soon after these movies, gamers started getting Star Wars games that reflected the impact these movies had. And the title that took the concept of feeling like a real Jedi to a new level was Start Wars: The Force Unleashed.

This game allows players to freely express themselves in a combat system inside a faithful recreation of the Star Wars universe.

The Force Unleashed takes a wide array of force powers and combines them with a heavy focus on action. All set in one of the most memorable periods in the Star Wars timeline. However, this Star War title is not perfect.

Still, you can feel how much passion the writers put into the plot, and how much they love the franchise and its story. It almost feels like a fan wrote a Star Wars piece so amazing that it got George Lucas’ blessing to make it canon.

Star Wars fans will perceive this passion in nearly every aspect of The Force Unleashed such as its gameplay and presentation. This title is probably one of the best products from an era that won’t come back any time soon.

The story takes place in the dark and mysterious period between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The game answers a lot of questions about that era.

The Force Unleashed opens up with Darth Vader on a mission in the planet Kashyyyk. Emperor Palpatine tasked him with hunting down one of the last remaining Jedi in hiding.

When Vader finds and kills the Jedi, he discovers his target’s child who’s strong with the force. Vader secretly raises and trains him to become his apprentice. When the boy grows up, Vader refers to him as “Starkiller” (who’s the protagonist of this game).

Darth Vader trains Starkiller with the sole purpose of preparing him to kill Emperor Palpatine and take his place.

Vader tasks him to search and destroy all remaining Jedi to sharpen his skills. So, Starkiller sets out along with his odd crew on a journey across the galaxy.

Most of this setup ultimately leads up to moments that have massive ramifications on relevant events on the Star Wars timeline.

Even if The Force Unleashed isn’t canon, the story is not devoid of merits of its own; it explores the new and old characters in interesting ways, and has some creative ideas.

Starkiller himself is an awesome action protagonist. The game follows the basic formula of cutting your way through foes, but even after so many years, Starkiller’s force abilities set him apart from other video game main characters.

It feels cool to throw a light-saber through your enemy, it feels satisfying to shock foes with force lightning, and it feels exhilarating blasting opponents away. And these abilities only get better as you level them up over the course of the game.

The Force Unleashed even offers unlockable melee techniques and combo extensions as well as some RPG-like passive buffs to collect.

This game doesn’t give us a remarkably deep combat system, but it features customization options for people to play as the kind of Jedi they like the most.

It doesn’t have the polished gameplay we can see in modern games, but it doesn’t matter much for the universe this game opens up to players. The Force Unleashed takes gamers to places both familiar and unfamiliar that had aged very well.

Overall, the game feature locations that offer interesting backdrops for Starkiller to do his thing.

However, the game has some bad stuff we have to address. Weird animation, buggy interactions, and graphical glitches are examples of the flaws that remove players from their immersion in this wonderful universe.

Still, the voice-acting is remarkably good, and the facial motion-capture holds up very well.

In spite of The Force Unleashed being far from perfect, this game is still the best way to power your way through the Star War universe feeling like a real force user.