Pin It
Favorite

The Player 

by MARTY DEMAREST & r & & r & Star Wars: The Force Unleashed & r & Rated Teen; 360, PS3, Wii & r & 4 Stars & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he good guy is the bad guy in The Force Unleashed. That is to say, the game's hero is Darth Vader's apprentice. "The Secret Apprentice," as he's called, has learned a few tricks from his evil master. Though he seems incapable of executing the Force-choke that Vader employs so well, he can still scoop up doddering droids with the giant, invisible hand of the Force and smash them against the nearest wall. And it's no problem for him to fry a squad of squabbling Jawas with a bolt of Emperor-blue lightning. It's an impressive arsenal of powers that, along with his trusty evil-red lightsaber, enables him to carry out Vader's hunt for the few Jedi who survived George Lucas's last attempt at film direction.





But the bad guy is also the good guy. The Apprentice is a tool for destroying the Emperor. It's rare enough for a game to have a story that's worth the time it takes to tell, but The Force Unleashed actually fills in some spaces between Episode III and Episode IV. The newly created Vader is still consumed by rage, and his hatred finds expression in the game's main quest. The Apprentice's targets are fascinating fringe characters -- stalwart Jedi who avoided the destruction of their order, unbalanced Force-wielding rogues and a few of the sadistic founders of what will become A New Hope's evil Empire. Even Jar Jar's fate is revealed -- hanging on a wall, frozen in a carbonite frieze.





A hero who is both good and evil needs equally ambiguous enemies, and the environment becomes a dispassionate, powerful force with which the Apprentice must reckon. He battles his way across a planet whose surface has been engulfed by a giant Sarlac, and he shatters starship windows, sucking lackeys out into the airless void. On the Empire-overrun Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, he can rescue the furry captives and send them into battle as distractions or keep them confined while he tackles an AT-ST walker one-on-one. Not content to be a mere videogame, The Force Unleashed is pure Star Wars artistry, released into the hands of players to play with as they will.





THE GOOD: The Force Unleashed's sprawling, highly interactive environments transcend the status of mere battlegrounds to become forums for the game's vast Force powers. Hurling spare spaceship engines at enemies and sending blue lighting swarming through squads of stormtroopers while the Apprentice hovers in the air are a few of the spectacular combat effects that become commonplace in The Force Unleashed.





THE BAD: The Force Unleashed's designers neglected to fine-tune their programming. More than once, I battled enemies while standing on thin air hundreds of feet above a void. And for all the game's spaciousness, the computer-controlled opponents lack decent distance perception. From a nearby hillside, I was able to telekinetically stack explosive blocks in the midst of a battalion of stormtroopers, none of them suspecting my presence as the hulking pieces of metal floated down into their midst.





THE BOTTOM LINE: The Force Unleashed is a Star Wars-caliber blend of story and spectacle that's more interactive than most combat games and more entertaining than a few of the series' films.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest
  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest

    No, it's not as bad as in California, but drought is taking a hefty toll
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Call Mr. Yuk
  • Call Mr. Yuk

    Gov. Inslee avoids the "poison pill"; plus, pushing back against empty Kickstarter promises
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
KuroNekoCon

KuroNekoCon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., Aug. 1, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 2, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation