Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- Initial Thoughts - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 10-12-08, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- Initial Thoughts

YouTube - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Launch Trailer (HD)

Sound&Vision did something like a five page spread on this one and it sounded incredible.

Well I just got it Friday and spent the past couple of nights playing it. It is fun to a point and the graphics are also good, but it isn't what I would call 'stellar'.

First let me say I am not a die hard gamer, but I do enjoy a good game. Assassin's Creed was incredible, the graphics were absolutely unbelievable, the story was very unique, and game play was easy to learn.

The Force Unleashed looks nice, but honestly for all the hype I think AC's actual game play graphics are better. In The Force Unleashed game play isn't hard to learn but after just a couple of minutes it really starts to become old. I'll admit I was on apprentice mode so I could learn the game, but from what I can tell the other modes are just harder, they don't change the game play obviously.

Graphics are good, don't get me wrong, I was just expecting something more I guess. The character you play also doesn't vibe with Lucas' Star Wars universe. From Episode 1 I gathered that Anakin was the strongest with the force, and in this game the character you play seems to have powers even Vader and Yoda don't possess, or at least we've never seen them have these type of powers or even a hint they could do things like pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky!

YouTube - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Trailer
Something to keep in mind, these two videos are mainly cut scenes and not actual game play. I will pose a rather fun question though... If somene is so strong that they can use the force to pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky, would they even need a light saber?? Enter a room and just clap your hands together and squish everyone like bugs!

The cut scenes in The Force as shown above are very good, in fact so good that the teasers and trailers out there really do make this look like one super cool game that would also make for a really really good Star Wars movie... but cuts scenes are cuts scenes and not what the game looks like or plays like. In a way they are kind of 'rewards' for completing levels, but really what they are is the butter on the popcorn... they make the experience more enjoyable but are loaded in fat...

It's pretty much a button masher game, meaning when in doubt, just start pressing buttons and you'll eventually mow through all the 'bad guys'. In AC you actually had to learn to sword fight (with your controller of course ) and those moves did come into play... different opponents have their own fighting style so you need to adjust and time your strikes. In The Force Unleashed, like I said, just mash buttons or keep hitting the light saber button and you'll get through.

Here are the problems I ran into-
First the game requires a PS3 firmware update. That's not a big deal but I generally don't like doing firmware updates if everything is already stable and working right. The FW update went smooth as silk as always, so I stared the game... NO SOUND. This is where things can get frustrating, was it the FW update or the game? I tested out my archived DVDs and they still play (my biggest concern) and then I put in AC and it too plays with no problems... I tried The Force Unleashed again and still no sound. So off to the internet.

Lucas Arts had nothing in the game manual, nor on the official site. I ended up finding a forum and others have the same problem. You have to go into your PS3 settings and uncheck DTS sound. From what I read this isn't a problem if you are running everything through HDMI, but for those like me with receivers that don't have an HDMI input, for digital audio you will need to uncheck DTS. This is a royal pain because for other movies and content that has DTS you'll have to remember to turn it back on.

The second problem is the game play. Like I already mentioned it's a no brainer to play, but I got to a point in the second level where I know what to do but the jumps are impossibly hard. They are so difficult (in my opinion) that I wasted around an hour and a half dying and retrying the jump only to finally make it and now I have an even harder jump!

Tomb Raider was like this... it would get to a point where you had to do the impossible and it would take forever to get through a certain area because of the jumps. Puzzle solving and fighting enemies is one thing and fun, but knowing what you need to do but you keep dying over and over again because it's too difficult takes all the fun out of the game if you ask me.

The level I'm on the character even looks similar to AC! But that's the only similarity. Whereas I was completely addicted to Assassin's Creed and couldn't stop playing until I beat the game, I'm already bored with the Force and once I ran into this series of seemingly impossible jumps, all the fun just vaporized.

I am half tempted to take the game back. I know the policy on games and movies is no refund, but I'll tell them the audio doesn't work right, which technically is true .

I'm pretty hard on this game but for $60 and a review in S&V that took up more pages than they give HT gear reviews, I really thought this was going to be the game to beat all games.

One thing to mention is each platform plays slightly different. Lucas Arts did this to take advantage of certain features each console has. From what I can tell from people's comments, the XBOX 360 and PS3 are virtually identical with just some minor game play changes and characters. The Nintendo Wii is really where this game may shine.

You use the Wii mote as your light saber, and the nun-chuck remote to move and do your force options. The jumps are still probably too hard in some areas, but the Wii would really bring a person in the gameplay. (I'd love to play AC this way!)

So my opinion is- I'm disappointed. I think what really made me feel that way is the $60 price tag for a game!

AC and other games were also $60 when they first came out but now are down to $29. I personally would recommend waiting for it to drop in price or go to Block Buster and rent The Force Unleashed first and see if you like it enough to drop that much cash on a game. I know the die hard Star Wars fans already snatched it up and love it (as they do all things Star Wars) and they probably would have paid even more for it too... but it really isn't as impressive as S&V made it out to be. S&V talked about how good it looks on Lucas Art's 50' screen, so I spun it up and put it on my 106" screen, and it does look good even blown up to huge image sizes. It also gave me a chance to check out the AX200's game mode, but I quickly realized I was burning bulb life on something I really didn't like so I switched back to the trusty 55" SXRD.

I suppose it is possible that as the game progresses it will get better and more fun to play. Right now I am at the end of the second level and will beat the level if I can just make these two jumps, and to me making something hard just to extend game play is lame.

Overall there are 10 levels, which really isn't that many. A seasoned gamer could probably blow right through this game in less than a week, probably a couple of days.

The sound (once you get it working) is quite good though. The music sets the mood and is definitely all Star Wars in style. You'd think though that if they went to all the expense of having an orchestra compose music for a game that they would at least get James Earl Jones to reprise his voice role as Darth Vadar too! That was a big let down to me when Darth just didn't sound like Darth!

The plot is simple at least as the game starts out... It takes place after Episode III and follows 'Order 66'. Vader has a new apprentice which is the character you play. Your mission is simple, seek out the remaining Jedi's that went into hiding after 'Order 66' and kill them- but leave no witnesses, so you'll also be taking on storm troopers and other Empire alliances. S&V did report that there is an actual story line and suggested it is good enough to be a movie, and I already got an idea of what that plot line is, but I won't ruin it for anyone interested in this game.

Personally, I think Lucas is so rich that he has forgotten what made the original movie trilogy so much fun, as were the original games like X-Wing.

I'll play it some more and maybe it will grow on me some. I am 1/5th the way through the game though and if I get past this set of jumps and run into another level thats hard just for the sake of being hard I'll probably shelve the game. I don't mind dying a couple of times trying to do something, but when it takes a couple of hours to make a jump because you die and have to go back to the beginning of that area... it gets really old fast.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-12-08, 11:24 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- Initial Thoughts

I just can't get past the reverse lightsaber technique. What master of the force holds his lightsaber upside down?
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-12-08, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- Initial Thoughts

Marshall if you raise an eyebrow at that, you'll really be saying 'oh man' at the light saber tonfas!

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-13-08, 11:25 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- Initial Thoughts

I could have gone to my grave without knowing such a travesty existed.
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