Developed by: krome Studios.
Available only on: Nintendo Wii (reviewed), Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, iPhone
INTRO: Another year, another friggin' Star Wars game. But unlike many others, this one is actually hyped to be..uh..decent? I know, I'm surprised too. With that said, I picked this one up for my Wii because of the innovation of using your Wiimote as a lightsaber. On top of this, you get to throw stuff around with your Force powers, which is the game's big selling point. I'm not big on Star Wars since the new trilogy debuted so I don't care much for the story mumbo-jumbo, and there isn't a lot of depth to this one's tale anyway. So, assume the role of Vader's dark apprentice and get ready to break a lot of stuff!
Control for the Wii is pretty innovative. Your force powers come via the nunchuck and pushing it forwards, and your lightsaber is used with your Wiimote. You can lock on using the d-pad, and it's pretty effective. I found that after awhile my arms got tired, but maybe that was just me. You'll be shocking dudes, throwing your lightsaber, and throwing enemies around with reckless abandon. You can even string stuff together, throwing baddies in the air and ramming your hot sword through them. Deliciously evil!
The problem here is that the game gets old after a few levels. When you play through for the first hour or so, you will be digging this game because it's decently fun, no doubt. After awhile though the whole thing starts feeling old. The game is also frustrating: the force grip -the main selling point- is not always as accurate as it should be. I thought I was playing the game wrong, but it turned out that I wasn't- I was constantly picking up the wrong thing. The guy will be RIGHT in front of you and you grab a crate beside him, frustration! Depth is another issue, not being able to tell exactly where things are on your playing field can throw a wrench into the mix. I mean, I could tell that dudes were trying hard to develop a quality game for the Wii, but the camera is bad too.
The enemies get pretty varied, and there are lots of geek out moments for fans, like getting to fight Rancor. Some of the little deals like fighting all the tie fighters is really frustrating, and I also found the friggin' boss fights to be annoying. The second boss in the game is SO frustrating, the boss battles are just aching to be made over and feel unfinished. Some are easy, and some are just impossible until you've maxed your powers. Don't even get me started on that stupid Force Power where you roll into a ball and get shot at. Seriously. Ultimately, the gameplay was so close, but not quite there.
The Wii ain't a graphical monster, but this game isn't really up to par with other Wii titles even. Unfortunately, this one sort of looks like a last-gen game with bland character models. Environments are okay, but the rest is buggy and disappointing. Nothing at all to write home about here.
Sound: Sound in a Star Wars game should ALWAYS be awesome, and it sort of works here. The score is incredible and deep, as it should be. The voice acting is pretty good, but where was James Earl Jones!? Saber effects are great too. Sound is easily the best part of this game, and deserves a nice surround system.
Ultimately this game is a bit on the disappointing side. Potential up the ying-yang does not a great game make. Fans have already bought this and are loving it. The rest of us, like myself, think the game is a suitable rental that will piss you off more than once along the way. For what it's worth Star Wars: Force Unleashed certainly should merit some attention on a lonely Wednesday night.
Final Score: 6.5/10