Star Wars: Force Unleashed: Barrels of Fun

pre-e3-2008-star-wars-the-force-unleashed-images-20080701023110197_640w I?m not a massive Star Wars nerd. I have seen all six of the movies, regardless of how badly I want to un-see the last one, but I wouldn?t know the name of any Wookie other than Chewbacca, or even how to bulls-eye a womprat in my T-16.

Having said that, I do enjoy a good bit of lightsabering and Sith mayhem, which is exactly what Star Wars: Force Unleashed offers up.

The game starts in an admirable fashion. No namby-pamby cutscenes here. You?re dropped straight into the game as none other than Darth Vader. Starting as Lord Vader gives you an opportunity to see the potential of the game, with virtually limitless ?Force? power, you can throw opponents across the screen, push them off bridges, collapse trees and structures, and just generally wreak mayhem.

Once the initial level is over, you are back to a more mundane character, albeit still with a good deal of Force powers and plenty of lightsaber skill. From there you progress as per most modern games, unlocking skills and powers as you work through multiple levels, meeting ?boss? characters at the end of each one.

The beauty of Force Unleashed is not in the storyline (although this is adequate), but in the gameplay. The visceral fun of flinging boxes, crates, bombs, and characters around the environment is palpable. I find myself using Force powers more than the lightsaber, purely for the fun of it. A few levels offer a platform or puzzle segment where you must use your ?Force Grip? to move objects or parts of the level in order to progress.

I haven?t completed the game, so I don?t know the length of it, but at the moment I?m having so much fun playing the game that I hope it never ends.

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