Micro-Review: The Force Unleashed (Wii)

Posted by | December 4, 2008

Oh. Star Wars. How I love thee; let me count the ways.

Along with most Wii games, The Force Unleashed gave me the worst case of tennis elbow ever. But it was definitely worth it to watch storm troopers and strange plant creatures alike flying down corridors, screaming in agony…

Oh, that’s right. We essentially get to play as a bad guy in this one.

In a strange canon-skirting spin we get to ask the question: What if Darth Vader wanted a kid? And we get to play him in all his emo, creepy daddy drama as we are twisted in the wind at the whim of various powerful political forces—not few among them our surrogate father himself—as we are moved through a plot littered with all the psychodrama we know and love from the Star Wars books.

Oh yeah, and a totally unbelievable wannabe love story tacked on as if in afterthought.

So. Unlike others: don’t come to this game for the story.

Come to this game because unleashing force powers with the wiimote lends a sense of power and virility that no girl should go without. With an interesting variety of combinations, set ups, and mechanisms to activate various powers there’s almost an endless combo-ability for pulling out various dirty tricks—or just go the direction of brute force and fry everyone with lightning before they get a chance to meet the field.

Any way you slice it—or electrify it—The Force Unleashed is a marathon of wave after wave of ragdoll enemies who would love nothing more than to eat the business end of your light saber or lightning bolt. This, however, you learn quickly isn’t the only thing that the game can throw at you because some of the bosses (and minibosses) are surprisingly difficult.

The difficulty level leaps around the curve like a spastic wookie and often leaves me wondering if I really needed to hurt my arm so much on the last wave of enemies, just to get my teeth handed to me in a nicely wrapped satin box by the Jedi in the next scene. Sometimes, it’s just not pretty.

It took me a little bit too long to discover that I needed to use the quick-time minigame events with the bosses to actually beat them down. Losing those literally sets you back over and over—and while it’s nearly impossible to die…or at least it feels that way…it certainly sucks if you end up in the same boss fight for half-an-hour and then need an ACE bandage to deal with your bruised, sore muscles.

I’ll say this. My wiimote arm right now can probably break boards with the best of them I was so well worked out from this game. Although, just my arm. My legs hate me by now.

While I really have no desire to play this game again. I do recommend it just for Wii players and the Star Wars running crowd; but maybe not the canon buffs or anyone who wants to see a story that they won’t want to tear their eyes out watching. It has its ups, its downs, and it’s total WTF moments—but really what drew this game out for me…

“And now young Skywalker…you will die. DIE!” Zap-brzzaattaaazztt. “AH HAH AHAHAHA!

Er, oh, excuse me.


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