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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Game and Player

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Matthew Theroux  //  September 24, 2008

Fans should check it out.


tar Wars: The Force Unleashed is a return to the better days of Star Wars games. While there are a few flaws, for LucasArts it's a job well done.

The strongest aspect to The Force Unleashed is its story. Taking place between the Clone Wars and A New Hope, it fills some gaps in the Star Wars mythos. For comparison's sake The Force Unleashed feels closer in nature to Episodes IV-VI than the prequels, which is a definite treat for Star Wars fans. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice, and your task as such is to go out into the universe to kill the remaining Jedi.

Graphically, the game is astounding.
The main story engages by keeping things fairly straightforward with some interesting twists; if there is any fault, it is with the minor romantic subplot. The seeds for it are planted in the first cinematic and then they are not touched on again until the last level. It would appear that including this love story was a last minute addition, and the narrative would have been better had it not been included at all.

Graphically, the game is astounding. Characters and environments are extremely detailed, and really give the impression of realism and living world.

The level design is linear, which does hurt replay value as you will be going back through the same areas again. Gameplay is also extremely well done. Character control is responsive and there is never the sensation of being frustrated because you can't do what you want.

Force powers are easily accomplished; they are introduced to the player on a per level basis, so there is ample time to get used to a new power before you are given a new one to play with. You also have the ability to improve upon the force powers that you already have — this was done by including a fairly basic leveling system. Despite The Force Unleashed's being a beat-'em-up game, combat never feels particularly repetitive, since you'll always have a variety of options when using the Force to fight enemies.

The Force Unleashed is pretty short, coming in around the 6-hour mark. The developers did try to extend the length of the game by hiding Jedi Holocrons throughout the levels; finding them gives you various bonuses ranging from new lightsabers to ability upgrade points.

Defeat enemies in a variety of ways.
While there certainly was the attempt to make the game longer, the brevity comes across that suitable for a rental title.

There are some glitches, typically involving getting stuck in the ground while trying to go up a slope. While certainly annoying it's not game-breaking. There are some concerns about difficulty; things get ramped up towards the end of the game. This wouldn't be an issue if it occurred more gradually but this isn't the case: in the last few levels you'll find enemies who can quickly finish you off with one combo. As well, you'll find some situations wherein you'll find yourself in a juggle loop. You'll get knocked down and by the time you get up you'll be hit by a knockdown attack.

Despite a few weaknesses, The Force Unleashed is still an incredibly fun game — definitely one that Star Wars fans should check out.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed






NA Release

September 16, 2008


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Strong story elements
  • Beautiful graphics


  • Not very long
  • Limited replay value

G&P Rating

Articles by Matthew Theroux

July 29, 2009

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July 1, 2011

June 28, 2011

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