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Monday, September 29, 2008

I Am One with The Force

I finished off Star Wars: The Force Unleashed over the weekend. I'll give my final thoughts on the game after the jump. But first a warning: there will be spoilers. Do not read any further if you plan on playing the game and appreciate a good storyline in your games.

I first finished The Force Unleashed yesterday morning. I fought my way through the Death Star, took on Vader, and soundly beat him. On my first play-through of the game's final level, I ended up going with the Dark Side ending to the game. I didn't realize that I could fight the Emperor so I chose to defeat Vader in his weakened state. The fight itself was a little tricky though much easier after I'd figured out the "trick" to beating him.

Yesterday afternoon, I quickly made my way through the Death Star level a second time and took on the Emperor. I have to say that this fight was much more difficult than the Vader boss fight. The Emperor is a tricky old guy. Here's the strategy that I used to beat him:

  • When the Emperor is standing around doing nothing, hit him with your lightsaber.
  • If the Emperor is preparing to use Force Lightning (you'll see his fingers start to glow), face him and assume a defensive stance. If you have enough force power in your reserves, you won't take any damage as your lightsaber absorbs the Emperor's lightning.
  • When the Emperor suddenly raises a number of objects into the air, jump towards the objects and use a blast of Force Repulse to send the objects flying. Failure to do so will result in the Emperor battering the protagonist with many heavy and damaging objects.
  • Every so often, the Emperor will call in some reinforcements in the form of some Imperial Guards. The Emperor will not interfere with these fights. Take your time, defeat your enemies, and enjoy the health boost you'll get from defeating your opponents.
It took me a few tries to finally beat the Emperor and it was immensely satisfying the knock that evil bugger down a peg.

So what happens after you beat the Emperor? You get the Light Side ending and earn the Redemption achievement. The ending cinematic sets Star Wars: A New Hope with the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

If you instead choose to defeat Vader, you'll get the Dark Side ending and earn the Revenge achievement. This particular ending diverges from the accepted Star Wars timeline. Things end up quite poorly for all those involved and I'm sure that the rest of the galaxy suffers greatly. I'd be interested to see some other Star Wars games that deal with this alternate reality; however, I'm sure that the subject matter and feel of those games would be too dark for many younger Star Wars fans.

All in all, I'd have to say the the story presented in The Force Unleashed is top-notch. If you're a Star Wars fan, you must play this game. The voice-acting is superb! Graphics are great! And while there was one big technical issue (my game kept crashing at a particular spot on one level), my gameplay experience was still very positive.

It's a shame that the game wasn't longer. I guess I could have played through a second time but I'm not too keen on playing simply for the sake of earning a few extra achievements. I'm happy with my purchase and I'm very happy with the time I spent with the game. I can only hope that future Star Wars games live up to what was done with The Force Unleashed.

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With Star Wars finished, I think I'll tackle Half-Life 2: Episode 2. I really need to get that game finished and move on to something completely different.

Have a good one!

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