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Star Wars Force Unleashed

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

September 16, 2008
Developer:
Publisher:
Violence

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review: July 29, 2012
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360
Language / Country of Origin:  English / USA
Online capability: There is downloadble content (DLC) available for this title.
Sequels: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

Review:

Plot:  
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an official story in the Star Wars canon, taking place in the time period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.  Darth Vadar is sent to the planet Kashyyk to kill a Jedi.  Upon completing his mission, he discovers a young boy who he takes in as an apprentice.  Vadar believes that the boy, strong in the force, will make a perfect assassin for the Empire.  However, as the boy matures into an adult, he becomes strong enough to resist Vadar and escapes from the Empire – becoming a rogue warrior.  Free of allegiances, he must now struggle between aiding the Rebellion and the Empire – the light and the dark side.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed bridges the two cinematic Star Wars trilogies and has received official approval from George Lucas himself.  In development, the game examined multiple plots, concepts, and variations before focusing on the largely unexplored theme of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice.  The game has enthralled fans of the Star Wars series by providing them with further material and depth for their much beloved fictional world.  The developers wanted fans to experience what it would be like to be in a Star Wars movie.  Star Wars: The Force Unleashed received mixed reviews, with some saying the game was disappointing and dissatifying.  However, those who liked the title cited its inventive gameplay (e.g. the use of the Force as an attack) and its soundtrack (featuring John Williams, the composer of the Star Wars films).  Also notable: Emmy Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits reprises his role as Bail Organa in the game.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
This game is designed for gamers of all types and is intended to forgive even terrible gamers.  If someone is new to video games or modern controllers, then Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an excellent introductory game offering stimulation, challenges, and entertainment.  Though the game is meant purely as a form of entertainment, it also explores intriguing fictional possibilities for the laws of physics.  Telekinesis is the main form of manipulation experimented with through this game.  The player is offered the opportunity to control a spaceship roughly the size of a large skyscraper (Star Destroyer) through his thoughts alone, bringing the ship down from an orbit and crashing it into the ground.

Replay Value:  
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a fast-paced, action-packed game with thrilling chapters and a climax that reaches separate conclusions based on the gamer’s choices.  This gives the game ample replayability, engaging gamers to try out new strategies to explore various endings.  There are also two expansion packs available: Jedi Academy and The Ultimate Sith Edition, which provide the game with more depth and length.

Likely Audiences:
Obviously, this is a game for Star Wars fans.  Star Wars fans will love being able to play within the Star Wars canon, experiencing a relatively unexplored storyline.  And, of course, who doesn’t want to wield a lightsaber?  Action-adventure and third person shooter fans might want to give this title a gander as well as it is a traditional entry for those genres.

Overall Score:
90/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

 

About the Author:
Ben Bigalke is an avid traveler, bicycle enthusiast, lover of animals and video gamer extraordinaire.  He grew up taking the stories and virtues told by the Nintendo of his childhood to heart.  As an adult, he continues to appreciate the entertainment and learning experiences that videogames offer and studies the technological and artistic advancements they have made throughout his lifetime.  As a videogame reviewer, he enjoys both observing and experiencing the cultural impact that these games have on his generation.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Spike Video Game Awards 2008Best Female Voice
(Nathalie Cox as Juno Eclipse)
Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2008Best Game Based On A Movie/TV Show Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009Nintendo Game of the Year Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2009Outstanding Achievement in Adapted Story Winner

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Violence

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