Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: LucasArts 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: LucasArts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 16, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

That said, there is a real sense of charm about the game that stems from the fact that you're given a lot of freedom what with the force powers and all. The game has no qualms about throwing hordes of enemies at you, but it also encourages you to get creative with how you dispatch them. Hurling foes around, tossing them into each other, and bringing down lightning on their unsuspecting heads is sickeningly satisfying. But ultimately, it's not enough to make up for the fact that, as a game, The Force Unleashed lacks any real depth in terms of gameplay.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot

In fact, that sense is present in other facets of the game as well and, at times, The Force Unleashed feels rushed even though it's been worked on for quite some time. For example, there are a number of oddities present in the game that feel really out of place, from a ridiculously glitchy boss fight to some issues with targeting certain force powers. It's not that anything's broken, rather, the game lacks the polish it deserves.

Even the graphics feel a bit neglected, despite the fact that The Force Unleashed is generally touted as a technical spectacle. Yes, there are some very cool visual effects and watching your character wreak havoc is undeniably awesome. But the Wii version of The Force Unleashed doesn't look as good as it should; of course, it's not going to look like the PS3 or 360 versions, but even so, it's not quite the visual powerhouse I expected. Graphical glitches pop up occasionally and issues tend to be more pronounced with lots of action on-screen at once.

Despite some really irritating problems, The Force Unleashed isn't a bad game. The Wii controls are solid, and blazing a trail of destruction with the Force powers is a great game premise. But there are just some aspects of the game that feel half-baked and poorly-done. For example, the character development sections where you upgrade various aspects of Starkiller feel tacked-on and don't seem to have any real bearing on gameplay. Ultimately, it's a game that's going to appeal most to hardcore Star Wars fans, thanks to the solid storytelling and high-quality music. If you're looking for a basic action game, though, you could do a lot worse than Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

Some impressive bits, but there are too many bugs and glitches to call The Force Unleashed a great visual achievement.
Using the Wii Remote to control Starkiller is satisfying and surprisingly intuitive; stringing together combos and discovering clever uses of Force powers is also quite enjoyable.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
While it gets repetitive, the music is pretty solid. Epic Star Wars tunes are present throughout -- it's hard to argue with that.

Play Value
The really awesome parts of the game are sadly overshadowed by a general lack of polish and dearth of gameplay depth.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The power of the Force: The core powers of the Force can be upgraded throughout the game. Use Force push, grip, repulse, and lightning in powerful combinations. Force grip an enemy in mid-air, zap them with lightning, and then throw them to the ground.
  • Familiar and new universe elements: Interact with familiar characters such as Darth Vader and new adversaries such as fugitive Jedi and Force-sensitive Felucians. Visit locations including Episode III's Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk, the floral Felucia, the junk planet Raxus Prime, and an Imperial TIE Fighter construction facility.
  • Decisions made by players throughout the game will determine the path of the story, including multiple endings that will rock Star Wars continuity as they know it.
  • Intuitive and satisfying Wii controls put the powers of the Force under you control.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 480p (Progressive Scan, Widescreen).

  • Screenshots / Images
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge Star Wars: The Force Unleashed screenshot - click to enlarge

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