The Force Unleashed Demo

August 21, 2008

In the wee hours of the morning of August 21st, Star Wars fans everywhere finally got the chance to download the demo for The Force Unleashed and finally get their own taste of the upcoming game from LucasArts.

Taking place during the time period between Episodes III and IV, The Force Unleashed gives players the opportunity to play as a very powerful sith who is Darth Vader's secret apprentice. The basic plot of the game has you doing Lord Vader's dirty work, and obviously will there are hints of a showdown with Darth Vader himself as the culmination of the story.

While other games in the past such as Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, have given players the opportunity to feel all powerful while wield light or dark force powers, TFU is the first game to really explore the limits on what you can do with those force powers. The game engine sports being able to pick storm troopers and other enemies up like rag dolls, toss them, impale them, use lightning on them, throw them into any other object you see. It's really quite entertaining and actually makes you feel like a god amongst men. This past Wednesday Penny Arcade comic is hardly an exagerration of your powers.

The level in the demo, a TIE fighter facility, takes place early in the game and your amount of power as a player is simply astonishing. One poor storm trooper had the misfortune of getting zapped by lightning, lifted into the air at my whim, impaled with my lightsaber, then blasted over the edge of a platform as my lightsaber returned to my side. I thought it a little extreme, but hell, it sure was fun!

The controls are a little difficult to master at first, there are simply so many objects that you can interact with, you sometimes grab the wrong thing. The good thing about that is, whether or not you wanted to pick up a box or the storm trooper behind the box, either item is just as useful in your hands. The game promises to increase your powers as you play by using different types of combination of force powers. At first in the demo you cannot charge your force push power, but after a little bit of play, you then unlock the ability. There are also different combination attacks you can do with your lightsaber, the demo shows 3, but I stumbled upon at least 2 more while just messing around with different ways of slaughtering enemies.

In 3rd person games, the camera system always seems to be a bit of a hinderance. Each game has their own subtle ways the camera either works with you or fights every move you make. Thankfully in TFU the camera isn't broken by any means, you have the ability to lock on to targets which keeps the camera behind you as you manuver. While very helpful, most of the time it seems you will only use this when fighting a larger mini-boss or boss in a stage.

The graphics are very well done, Star Wars fans will notice a lot of attention to detail. While using the force there are effects popping all around the screen and even with a large battle going on, TIE fighters flying around, explosions and blasters going off all around you, the game performs very well on the Xbox 360 platform. I'm glad that LucasArts takes the time to do a very good job on all their games. They are in the position that they could just make a crappy game set in the Star Wars universe and millions of rabid fans would purchase it willingly, but instead they have a commitment to making great games and really step it up to make great games.

Now we just have to wait until the release date, to get our hands on the full game. I'm sure after playing through the demo thousands of fans are already frothing at the mouth, and they have execellent reason to do so.


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