Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Ultimate Sith Edition Review – PC

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Summary:
You’re obviously a PC gamer who’s reading this and you also realize how painful the wait has been since Star Wars: The Force Unleashed released last  year for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Now it makes its presence felt on the PC will all the DLCs – the Jedi Academy, Tatooine and Hoth levels. But now that’s it here, does it measure up?
Good:

  • Amazing story line, the best of any Star Wars stories so far
  • Awesome level design
  • Super cool moves, you can actually FEEL the force
  • Nice costumes, skins, saber options

Bad

  • Frustrating targeting
  • Loads of glitches
  • Some game sequences are really ridiculous.

Ugly

  • WTF system requirements!
  • Poor game engine

The Story:
You play StarKiller, Darth Vader’s very handpicked secret apprentice.  In the years between Episodes III and IV, Darth Vader trains your and puts you to work. You mission:  mopping up the few remaining Jedi.

Graphics:
The graphics are nothing short of mind blowing. From the opening sequence where you play as Darth Vader and face off against the wookies to the stunning levels of Hoth, it’s a Star Wars visual treat! If you played it on the Xbox 360 or PS3, you’ll know just how awesome it was! However, since it’s in for the PC, you’d expect some sort of change, better graphics, better physics etc. but nope, you receive pretty much what you saw on the console…and trust me, it’s a bad port. We tested it on our lowly dual core machine with a 4850 and it ran like sucked nuts. Make sure you have a Core2Quad at least with a 9800gt+ card or better.

Controls:
The controls are… well, annoying at times. The Keyboard mouse combo is easier than playing with the game pad, but the overall experience wasn’t great. Blame it on poor camera angles and frustrating targeting mechanisms.

Gameplay:
I’m inclined to say such great things here, but I can’t. To be very honest, it does some things very well and bombs on a few others. For those of you who’ve played Star Wars: Jedi Academy, you’d think this was the same game on steroids, but it’s just a scaled down version of its game play. The biggest surprise and let down,  is that there are only four main force powers: Push, Grip, Repulse and Lightning – they’re upgradable though and can be used in devastating combination. But really…just 4 is a let down.

But whatever little they give you, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed doles out your powers at a leisurely pace over nine missions, from the gorgeous fungal terrain of Felucia to the vivid metallic graveyard of Raxus Prime, but the coolest are available right from the start. Using Force Grip and Force Push, you can pick up and throw or just knock around parts of the environment, from enemies who reach out in mid-air for a handhold to exploding barrels and scrap metal. Lobbing debris around is fun and deviously entertaining as  you send crowds of stormtroopers hurtling through glass and chuck exploding orbs into passing Tie Fighters, you can almost forgive the piss poor targeting system.
Then there is my favorite – Force Lightning and heaving your lightsaber around like a boomerang, but I found that Force Grip and Force Push made the most entertaining use of the clutter in the early missions. One fault I found with Grip and Push, however, was that larger objects like AT-ST laser turrets take a lot of force to lift. That makes sense logistically but standing still in the middle of a laser spray to mentally heft a huge piece of  debris leaves you like a sitting duck waiting ready to have its goose cooked!

In terms of the additional content, what you’re getting here is an extension of the base game, something that simply adds more content to the experience but doesn’t actually change (or even fix) anything. At very start you’ll notice that the three additional levels are standalone options, so you don’t need to play through the game in order to get to them.  The downside to this is that none of your powers or anything else carries over, nor does anything that you earn carry back into the main game. However, that largely doesn’t matter as you start almost fully powered-up for each of these levels anyway. What the DLCs are like, I’ll leave it to you to discover, but I’ll talk a little about the Hoth level, which again is the only exclusive bit to the Ultimate Sith Edition. Now it isn’t quite as exciting as either the Jedi Academy or Tatooine levels as the Hoth base is essentially just a series of square rooms and corridors connecting them. It looks great, mind you, and is pretty much dead-on with what you see in Empire, but it doesn’t really make for the most interesting level to fight through.

After slicing and dicing for a while, you’ll face off with Luke Skywalker. The battle with him is much tougher than the fight against either Boba Fett or Obi-Wan, but that’s because he can be pretty cheap. He has attacks that are very frustrating, and there can be guys out of the area that you’re in that constantly shoot at you. It’s not a terrible fight, but it’s not nearly as fun as I had hoped it could be…or it should have been.

Sound/Music/Score:
Its Star Wars god damn it!! What more do you need?? But yea, I had a lot of sound issues, it might be just me, it seems soft and almost lifeless.  I really needed to crank up the volume during the game and turn it down during the FMVs.

Overall:
Now whether you should pick up this game or not, I’ll leave it to you. But if you’ve never played this game, yes, pick it up. If you are not a Star Wars fan, you’ll still find it enjoyable, but might be a little frustrating. If you already own the game on one of the consoles, this is not worth picking up. Just download the DLCs and you’re not missing anything. Overall a good game with a flawed experience, but an awesome story line which will keep you engaged right through out. I would easily rate this one of the better Star Wars games…but not enough to make it the best.If you wondered why I’ve not reviewed this on other consoles. To be honest. Its the same. So you’re not reading anything entirely different that’s gonna happen on the Xbox 360 and the PS3

Release Info:
Available on:  Xbox 360, PS3, Mac and PC
Genre: Action
Release date: November 3rd 2009.
Published by: Aspyr
Developed by: LucasArts

System Requirements for PC
Our recommendation for the full experience:

  • Core2Duo Extreme or Core2Quad
  • 4870 or better
  • 4gigs of ram
  • Creative X-Fi series sound card

For the casual gamer:

  • Core2Duo 2.8 GHz or better
  • 4 gigs of ram
  • 9600gt or better

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