Friday, September 17, 2010

Force Unleashed

For all those of you who are not fond of video games, this one probably has passed beneath radar. Quite some time ago (beginning of this/end of last year, I think) LucasArts released an action game for computer and consoles: “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”.

Like most multi-platform titles, The Force Unleashed is best played with a gamepad on computers, but it definitely looks great (and I know, I can compare it to the PSP version). On Monday, the game was extremely reduced at Steam (where I have bought a couple of older games by now, including the “Jedi Knight” package which gathers all FPS “Star Wars” games LucasArts has done). I bought it immediately and waited patiently while it downloaded (3 hours, but it beats buying the boxed copy for more money – I do have a flat-rate). Then I started the game and went on a killing spree – not just metaphorically, the game has a high body-count.

Playing Starkiller (the main character, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice) has proven extremely interesting and entertaining. The guy is fast, moves smooth, can do a lot of damage (and take a lot, too), has a strange way of holding his lightsaber whenever he doesn’t need it (pointing backwards) and goes through quite a lot during the story. The game also offers a lot of fights with finishing combos (little quick action events where you have to press a couple of buttons at the right time to get a really spectacular result – like a ATST cut cleanly in half).

As I have the Ultimate Sith Edition of the game, I also have three additional missions (Hoth where you can defeat and corrupt Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Temple where Starkiller goes looking for information on his father, and Tattoine where you meet with Jabba and his pet Rancor and fight Obi-Wan and his spirit in the end). The Rancor in Jabba’s palace isn’t the only one, by the way, I have fought various of them in the jungles of one world already.

I’m currently trying to bring down a Star Destroyer over an Imperial ship yard – with the Force, of course. That would be a good deal easier, I tell you, when there weren’t all those TIE-fighters getting in the way all the time. Only one more mission for me after this, but given the fact that each of the missions (and the extras, too) take about an hour, 9 regular and 3 additional missions are plenty.

Okay, little edit here: I did not write this post in one go and have finished one possible end (Starkiller goes over to the light side) by now. I can tell you, though, that I found it harder to defeat Darth Vader than to defeat the Emperor. That has to say something. (I also have learned the Emperor keeps his lightsaber in his sleeve, but that’s another thing…) I miss one cinematic scene now (the ones from the additional missions unfortunately don’t show up in the list – too bad), the one for the dark side ending (in which Starkiller kills his master and becomes Vader’s successor). After the hard fight with Vader, I’m not sure I’ll try for it soon. Maybe I’ll play through the whole game again, upgrade my character to the max and go for it again, then.

“Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” definitely is fun if you ever wanted to find out what it feels like to be a Sith (or at least a good facsimile of one) and if you want to find out how the Rebel Alliance really was founded. (It’s quite a surprise, believe me.)

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