PLAY Mag Review: Star Wars The Force Unleashed

Shaun Davis writes:

''Darth Vader steps off his Imperial Shuttle and strides ominously into the sun-drenched Wookie homeworld of Kashyyk. He's here on a mission to hunt down and kill one of the Jedi lucky enough to avoid the infamous Order 66. What follows is an orgy of Dark Side-fuelled destruction – bridges crumble and hordes of hapless Wookie defenders are dispatched as if they were hairy ragdolls until our anti-hero reaches his target and… well, we won't ruin what happens next.

What a way to kick-start the mostanticipated Star Wars game of recent times. Playing as Darth Vader really does provide some heart-pounding moments of action and the destructive dynamics of LucasArts' Digital Molecular Matter engine never fail to impress. Unfortunately, however, playing the all-powerful Sith Lord only hints at the awesome power that is available to you as the Apprentice much, much later in the game.

The game's plot is borne from the ashes of this first mission as the eventual discovery of a conflicted young tyke sets off something deep within Vader. He secretly takes the lad under his cloak and hones him into a worthy Sith apprentice. It's from here on that you wave goodbye to the awe-inspiring power at your fingertips and professional levels of Force skill. You see, conquering The Force is no mean feat; you need to learn it in order to honour the name that has been bestowed upon you. This is LucasArts' canniest move – merging traditional hack-and-slash action with fully upgradable RPG elements. Your role as Padawan learner keeps The Force Unleashed's momentum flowing at a sometimes-furious pace. And so just how do you justify the name of Starkiller, you ask? Be evil, really evil.''

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