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Monday, September 22, 2008

First Impressions: The Force Unleashed

I spent a good deal of time playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed over the weekend. Although I find the game to be a little unbalanced and overly difficult at times, it's a great game if you're a Star Wars fan. End of story. I'll provide a little more explanation after the jump.

When you start playing The Force Unleashed, you play as Darth Vader. The prologue level gives you a taste of what it would be like to play through a level of the game with a full arsenal of fully-charged and maxed-out Force powers. It's a nice treat for die-hard fans of the movie series and gamers alike. However, you may find yourself a little disappointed when you start using the Secret Apprentice.

Don't get me wrong: the Secret Apprentice is damned good at what he does. You'll be able to clear large rooms of enemies in no time flat. You'll be able to take down Rancors and AT-STs without breaking a sweat. But he's no Darth Vader.

Which brings me to my second point: I don't ever recall Storm Troopers being so tough in the movies. As you progress through the game, you'll find the Apprentice coming up against a variety of creatures and turbo-charged Storm Troopers who seem to be more or less immune to all but one or two Force powers. Couple their resistance to the Force with some pretty powerful attacks and you've got a real fight on your hands!

Like any other video game out there, every enemy that you encounter has a weak spot. For example, Purge Troopers are immune to most attacks. However, they are quite susceptible to Force Lightning. I like to hit these guys with a bit of lightning () followed up holding the . This button sequence initiates the Lightning Bomb combo which causes the lightning coursing through the trooper's body to burst out in a bomb-like fashion. You'll need to purchase the Lightning Bomb from the Force Combo menu before you can use the combo; it's well worth the cost.

In fact, most enemies have problems handling lightning attacks. This force power is indispensable when it comes to fighting Rancors, AT-STs, and other Jedi Masters.

Let me close off with a video from GameSpot that gives new players to The Force Unleashed some hints and tips that will come in handy while playing through this difficult yet rewarding game. Please note that there are some very, very minor spoilers in this video (e.g. certain insignificant boss fights and one minor character is named).

Tonight I'll be playing a little poker followed by some good old Jedi fun! Oh, and maybe a little Puzzle Quest or Poker Smash (I bought both of those games yesterday).

Have a good one!