Set between the events of Star Wars episodes III and IV, Star Wars The Force Unleashed puts players in the role of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller, who is the son of a Jedi Knight murdered by Darth Vader. In this third person action game players travel the galaxy hunting down the last remaining Jedi Knights showing gamers the dark side of the force like never before.
- Title: Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
- Genre: Third Person Action
- Theme: Sci-Fi
- ESRB Rating: T for Teen
- Publisher: Aspyr
- Developer: LucasArts
- Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
- Pros: New levels extend gameplay; Force powers are extremely fun; Compelling storyline
- Cons: Fidgety controls; Other than extra levels no real upgrade over console version
After more than than a year since the initial console release and statements from LucasArts that the game would never be released on the PC platform, Star Wars The Force unleashed has finally made it's way to the PC in the Ultimate Sith Edition. The game play, graphics and main storyline in the Ultimate Sith Edition are identical to the console version with the additional bonus of three all new missions.
As with the console versions, the storyline in Star Wars The Force Unleashed is one of it's strong points. As previously mentioned, players take on the role of Darth Vadar's secret apprentice, Starkiller, as the story bridges the gap between the two Star Wars trilogies. Starkiller's missions begin with trying to hunt down the last remaining Jedi Knights but as the game progresses new revalations about his true past and Darth Vader are uncovered. These revalations help to explain some of the Darth Vadar's motives of that take place in the later Star Wars episodes.
In addition to the storyline, Star Wars The Force Unleashed contains some great action packed sequences and game play. Armed with just your lightsaber and Force powers, Starkiller battles against some of the classic Star Wars universe enemies. There's nothing quite like being able to use the Force Grip to pick up a storm trooper and then hurl him into a AT-ST Walker or out into space. The Force Unleashed also includes some role playing game elements with level and experience points earn that enable you to learn new Force powers, enhance existing powers/abilites and upgrade your lightsaber. The melee sequences are very nicely done as well with players earning extra experince points for different combo moves. Although figuring out the controls for these combo moves is often challenging and difficult to reproduce.
Force Powers & New Missions
While the action and gameplay in The Force Unleashed can be a lot of fun it can also be frustrating at times. Such an example is Force Grip, one of the main Force powers at your disposal. Rarely did I every get consistent results when using this and other Force powers. In theory, picking up objects or enemy troops was fairly easy to do, all that was required was to face an object, wait for a blue icon to appear, and right click to activate Force Grip. In reality however, this was very inconsistent at best. There would be times when I would be standing directly in front of an object (not too close as that didn't work either) yet Force Grip would never activate on it. Instead an object off in the distance would be caught and thrown by my Force Grip, wasting valuable Force Energy. Other powers proved just as inconsistent in their performance.
Regardless of using a gamepad or mouse/keyboard for controlling Starkiller, the inconsistency made the game much harder than I suspect it really was. I don't know how many times I'd had to fight through some of the boss fights because I couldn't get the Force powers to work they way they were intended. The game is also dragged down by the fact that there is no save feature so if you die halfway through a level you'll be forced to replay from the last autosave checkpoint.
The game is a true console port, there are no game play or graphics enhancements over the console versions, even the game menus have not been updated in the PC version as you're unable to navigate them by mouse control. The game also suffers from fairly long load times and a few of the intense battle scenes did display some choppy graphics.
The Ultimate Sith Edition does include some other bright spots, specifically the three new levels that extend the game's storyline. The first mission is set on the planet Coruscant in a Jedi Temple and basically provides some additional insight into the background of Starkiller. The real fun however, is found in the two other bonus levels/missions know as the "Infinities" storyline. The two levels of the "Infinities" story retells the original Star Wars saga as if Starkiller had taken the place of Darth Vadar as Emperor Palaptine's Sith Lord. In it players will travel to Tatooine in search of Obi-Wan Kenobi, encounter Boba Fett, Jabba The Hut and finally coming face to face with Luke Skywalker himself.
It's clear Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition has some draw backs, controls are fidgety and graphics can be choppy, but the fast paced action and compelling storyline go a long way in helping overlook these drawbacks. The new missions add a nice new twist to the storyline and the Force powers are still fun to play regardless of their sometimes wild nature.