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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Platform(s): Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: LucasArts

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7. 'Star Wars: The Force Unleashed' (NDS/PSP/Wii/PS2/PS3/X360)

by Rainier on Jan. 19, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed players will assist the iconic villain in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi - and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny. Set between the largely unexplored era between Ep III and Ep IV, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed casts players as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy.

Tom Baker: As a Star Wars fanboy, it is with a hint of bias that I say: Buy this game. My integrity as a reviewer may also be at jeopardy by raising this title to the level of godlike status, but the market hasn't had a decent Star Wars combat game since Jedi Academy. The trailers show that this title looks well polished and incredibly detailed, even by this generation's standards, but the fluid gameplay, range of Force abilities and the deep, new piece of canonical narrative that are drawing my attention. Its release on the Wii also promises the ability to use the Wiimote to wield a lightsaber.

Alan Butterworth: Most internships tend to be glorified coffee-making gigs, but when you're Darth Vader's apprentice, you've got more to look forward to than collating photocopies. For instance, how about putting an arsenal of nearly unstoppable Force powers to lethal use as you hunt down the last remaining Jedi throughout the galaxy? Take a break from being good and indulge in a smorgasbord of menacing destruction as you toss victims through the air like rag dolls or viciously impale them with your lightsaber. This is the first big next-generation title from LucasArts that explores the Star Wars universe between Episodes III and IV, and if that isn't enough to get you religiously checking release dates, you might be dead. You should do something about that before your neighbors start complaining.

Redmond Carolipio: My goodness, this game is loaded. I'm excited just to see the Euphoria technology at work with any ideas one can bring to the table when the Force is involved. Perhaps this makes me weird, but I'm interested to see if wood splinters like it's supposed to when hit. I find that exciting. I'm also itching to see how fights actually play out, and if Euphoria is all it's cracked up to be. And of course, the story is a plus. I've always thought Dark Jedi were cooler than anyone else, and being cast as Darth Vader's death-bringing Jedi reaper is almost too good to be true.

Reggie Carolipio: Darth Vader might not be the only smoking gun in the galactic room when the last of the Jedi were hunted down, and you might find out just how far he's willing to pull at the Emperor's chain when you become his secret apprentice in LucasArts' latest Star Wars epic. LucasArts' ability to tell side stories within George Lucas' universe has created some of the most memorable titles to emerge from their imaginations, such as the Jedi Knight series, Star Wars: Dark Forces and their work with Bioware that brought Knights of the Old Republic to would-be Jedi and Sith everywhere. Built on top of a set of technologies that promises to deliver even greater detail to the galaxy, every fight has been said to look, feel and turn out differently every time you Force push, pull, and zap your way through to fulfill the wishes of Lord Vader in a story overseen by George Lucas himself. From the videos and with the power of the Star Wars mythology behind every pixel, filling in the blanks as Vader's hatchet man following the rise of the Empire could easily turn out to be one of the most exciting guilty pleasures of the year.

Keith Durocher: "Hello, my name is Keith, and I get teary-eyed upon hearing the first notes of 'Luke's Theme' by John Williams." It doesn't really matter what it is; if it's part of the larger Star Wars canon, odds are I'll want to play with it for at least a little while. For my money, I've been jonesing for another title that can take me away as effectively as Knights of the Old Republic did. Will The Force Unleashed be the one?

Geson Hatchett: In this game, you play as Darth Vader's apprentice, and you're allowed to wreak havoc on the galaxy using the Force in the most imaginative ways possible. Has that sunk into your brain yet? Because, honestly, even though I have a few more sentences allotted to me, I have no idea how to drive any further into your mind how cool this is. Don't tell anyone, but I'm looking forward to the Wii version most of all. Who doesn't want to wield a virtual lightsaber?

Brad Hilderbrand: Star Wars junkies are about to get another hit of their drug of choice now that The Force Unleashed is finally seeing the light of day. The game is promising some of the best AI to date, and the promise of characters reacting to on-screen stimuli as the action unfolds is enough to make any gamer salivate. In addition, Wii owners will get a little extra lovin' with the promise of the Wiimote doubling as a lightsaber. It's geekdom to the max, and all the pieces are in place to make this title an absolute must-own.

Tony "OUberLord" Mitera: Star Wars games are released so frequently that it can be difficult to find one that shows true promise, and while it surely won't be the only title bearing that heritage, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is easily the most noteworthy one that's been announced. Rather than have the player fufill the role as some savior of the universe, the game will instead have him fill the robes of one who has succumbed to the dark side of the Force. Since the Wiimote was unveiled, gamers have wanted to use it as two things: a gun peripheral and a sword. Neither application of the device is new to Wii gamers anymore, but Star Wars: The Force Unleashed promises to not only let gamers do both of these things, but also use the Wiimote and Nunchuk to control Force powers. The sword combat may not map one-to-one with the motion of the Wiimote, but there's no denying that the thought of physically moving your hands to Force Choke someone is pretty compelling.

Matthew Szlapka: The Force Unleashed uses Havok physics to blow the competition away ... quite literally, considering how these Force powers look. A multi-platform offering, it will feature incredible interactivity through the Wiimote and Nunckuk for lightsabers and Force powers, respectively. The PS3 and Xbox versions have the incredible graphics, as well as the potential for great gameplay.


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