All Geek to Me

October 10, 2008

The Force Unleashed

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 11:26 pm

I rented for my recently acquired Wii, “The Force Unleashed” (TFU), which surprisingly enough is a Star Wars game. The Wii is my first console, so my comparisons for this review are PC games.

I have played two other Star Wars games, Lego Star Wars (LSW) and Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). TFU lacks the depth and involvement of KOTOR, but as the latter is one of my five favorite PC games of all times that is not in and of itself a major weakness. TFU is not as funny as LSW, but LSW has probably given me more laughs than any other game I have played since Monkey Island.

I suppose that TFU should be compared to First Person Shooters (FPS), as despite the lack of a gun wielding central figure it clearly belongs to that genre. In general, I am not a fan of FPS games, Half-Life 2 aside, so I suppose the fact that I am enjoying the game is a major plus.

The appeal is two-fold, there is a story unfolding around your actions, and there is a real physical involvement as you swing your wiimote like a light saber. The action is set before the first real Star Wars movie, with you as an apprentice to Darth Vader learning the Dark Side. Maybe, I will get blasé about the Wii controls, but for now there is a real appeal to seeing ones actions reflected on screen and having the controller shake in ones hands as the saber beams clash.

There is a good tutorial that introduces you to the various moves. During the game tips appear when you first have an opportunity to use these moves.

There are downsides to the game, defects that prevent the game from being truly great, and leave it in the good fun category.

The camera all too often is pointing in the wrong direction; focused on your face and not pointing at the opponent

The game offers a save option, but when you load the saved game it always reverts to the start of that level. If the game is going to offer saves, then they need to work. The levels are also very different in length; the second one is noticeably longer than the first, third, and fourth. I am ok with saves only happening at specific points, but they should be evenly spaced and clearly marked.

Death is too light a penalty, you are sent back just a slight amount and you lose an un-noticeable amount of force power. This makes death a minor inconvenience rather than a major setback.

Overall, the fun in the game is more significant than the defects. I shall be adding this game to my Amazon Wishlist when I return it to the store this weekend.


1 Comment »

  1. All I hear from the upstairs media room is screaming “DIE JEDDI!”

    Comment by Amber — October 11, 2008 @ 7:49 am

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