The Force Is With The Force Unleashed
LucasArts' "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" was released September 16th 2008 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Nintendo DS, N-Gage, iPod Touch, and iPhone. The game is the flagship of a LucasArts' multimedia project which also features a novel, comics, toys, and a supplement to Wizards of the Coast's the Star Wars tabletop RPG.
There are differences between each consoles' versions of the game. I played it on the Xbox 360. This version is essentially identical to the PS3 version, and similar to the Wii, PS2, and PSP versions. The Wii, PS2, and PSP feature levels not seen on the Xbox 360 or PS3. The Wii also features a multiplayer "duel mode." The other systems, however, are likely to be more dramatic departures. So, I can't speak for their quality.
The game follows the story of Darth Vader's secret apprentice Galen Marek. His mission, to help Vader overthrow the Emperor, is the player's experience. Full of both action and intrigue, the tale will more than satisfy Star Wars fans. However, the short cut scenes occasionally rush the narrative. This is most evident in the underdeveloped love story.
Fans have no need to fear that "TFU" to dispenses with the Star Wars canon. The game manages to capture the feel of the original trilogy well. While Marek becomes incredibly powerful, the same is true for all other force users in the game. Its not a matter of story, but rather of presentation.
The gameplay is exiting and full of energy. I was worried at first, as the simplistic lightsaber combat from the demo paled in comparison to the depth of "Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast." After playing through the actual game, however, I see that the two titles are completely different animals. "Jedi Outcast" is a first person shooter, while "TFU's" stylistic combat best fits into the genre of "extreme action" with titles such as "Ninja Gaiden" and "Devil May Cry."
"TFU" shines when the Apprentice is dealing with throngs of enemies or huge opponents. Marek is one of those characters that, like "God of War's" Kratos, is simply fun to control. The player feels powerful but always challenged.
The presentation is generally top notch, but the menu system remains a leash that occasionally delays your fun. This and a few bugs occasionally crop up, but never break the experience. Due to LucasArts' commitment to quality, Star Wars remains the exception to the rule that all licensed games suck.
The game lacks replay value as once you've seen both endings, there's little to call you back. However, its a great rental and a must play for Star Wars fans. It will definitely have you looking forward to a sequel.