Giant Bomb Review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

With so many of the different blanks in the Star Wars universe filled in by books and prequels and all sorts of other media, it's probably getting harder and harder to tell a meaningful story with so many things nailed down throughout its timeline. That's part of why the story in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed left me pretty impressed. The tale of Darth Vader's secret apprentice slots itself into a space just prior to the events of Star Wars. As a result, you get to see some pretty pivotal stuff along the way. Of course, all this comes with a catch. The action is insanely uneven, flipping back and forth between an easy and fun physics toy to overwhelming combat sequences that feel like they belong in a different game.

Things start out slowly enough, with an abilitease-style segment that has you playing as Darth Vader with all of the available Force powers. After that quick and easy mission, things accelerate a bit and you take control of Vader's new apprentice, a young adult named Starkiller. Since he's still building his strength, you'll only have a few abilities at the outset, but one more thing unlocks per level. The first power you get, Force lift, is also the most fun. With it you can lift up objects or enemies, move them around in the air, flip them around all crazy-like, and fling them into other things. Stormtroopers will hopelessly attempt to grab onto rails, boxes, or even each other for safety, resulting in moments where you have two of them, holding hands, flipping around in mid-air. I could have played the entire game this way, if it had let me.

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