Zero Punctuation: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

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Considering that the Wii version is selling on par (more or less) with the PS3 version it can't have been that much of a money sink.

That's only because the first impression when you see it is pretty much the same as yahtzee's

MrLefty:
Actually, TFU played it extremely safe, just ripping off GOW and adding a star wars layer. Only that's not what they promised...

As for the challenge - no-one's suggesting that it should be piss easy just because you're an overpowered Force user. But the game designers need to come up with better ways of providing a challenge than just arbitrarily making enemies immune from certain attacks just because they say so. Think laterally for god sake, it's your job. Force lightning seems to take a lot of concentration, so maybe make it that you can barely move whilst using it. Enemies could swarm you or shoot you from behind. Some enemies could be very agile. Find challenges that are consistent with the basic principle on which the development team claimed to be developing the game - "kicking arse with the Force".

I mean, think about the universe in which you're setting the game. Imagine you WERE a Sith with these powers - what would you actually be vulnerable to? The above are just a few suggestions. There are plenty of ways they could counter the powers being overbalanced without simply nerfing them or giving enemies unpredictable and silly immunities.

See, the thing is, most people get into a routine. That's why some people start rolling out the immunities, enemies that cause you to break out of the routine and do something that isn't normal for you. It's a bit of a dick move, but hell, GoW did it to some extent with the Troika gunners having impervious helmets (nothing stopped you from sniping them in the leg with a 1HK perfect active reload sniper bullet, but eh) and guns that killed you in approximately 1/1000th of a second if you stood in their line of fire too long.

As for ripping off Gears, I'm not entirely sure how you were playing it, but it didn't play like Gears for me at all. Gears had a strong emphasis on using cover and evasion to your advantage, especially on the 'medium' and 'hard' difficulties where Boomshots, Torque Bolts, and glowretches turned into instant death (I absolutely loathe the mining station on med/hard because half the time you can't even see where the damn Therons are until you have a torque in your chest, but that's another story). TFU played more like "overwhelm the enemy with massive firepower." Normally a boring strategy, but when you're limited to melee, physics objects, push and lightning, then it can become rather interesting.

Also, as to "unpredictable" immunities, a lot of these enemies made multiple appearances throughout the game, save the bosses, who had blatantly obvious immunity shields and/or behaviors. It's pretty quick to realize that "energy shield" means "smack with lightsaber, then fling into space." It just forces you to react to changing situations. And some enemies on whom abilities were less effective could still be effectively incapacitated by them (i.e. Purge Troopers -- you could interrupt their attacks, but you'd never send them truly flying, with Force Push).

I could make plenty of comparisons to other games, like Gargantuas in HL being immune to all but explosives, or Striders being the same, or Hunters being neigh invulnerable to bullets (they actually were initially in Ep2, designed to be killed only by physics objects), or Halo Hunters having annoyingly tiny weak spots (and in the latter two games no quick way to deal with them aside from ROCKETS, MORE ROCKETS, MORE MORE MORE).

You HAVE to make these choices a LOT in games. How obvious it is varies. And it can be done in many ways. Complaining about a completely obvious one, with enemies that SHOW their varied immunities -very- clearly (come on, if you can't tell in a mob of stormtroopers which one is an EVO and which one is a normal stormtrooper, you're not looking close enough) is a little silly.

P.S.: The lightsaber isn't weak if you actually look at the combo list and learn some of the better ones. Sith Flurry, Sith Strike, Sith Smash, Leaping Smash all spring to mind. Mindlessly mashing X (or flailing your wrist, or whatever the PS3 button is) isn't the way to get the best mileage out of it. Not to mention, if you can keep an enemy knocked down, you can inflict massive amounts of damage by standing over them and tapping your saber button once. Granted though, the way the XBox version plays, I don't think it was truly -meant- for any of the other consoles, just a weak port...

Yeah, unfortunately I'd have to disagree with the premise that this is a bad game. It might be on the Wii, but I played it extensively for the 360 (both endings) and I must say it was thoroughly enjoyable.

The lightsaber is fairly useless on higher difficulties, but thats because you're *the* force wielding badass. Who needs a glowing phallus extension when you can rip ISDs out of the sky? He does, because it just looks so darn cool.

Nohra:
hilarity

lol. I'm not insulting you or anything but that was hilarious when you were talking about gears of war , he meant god of war.....I think

Well, I already said most of this in a review I made of this game but here I go again.

Maybe it was something that the developers of LucasArts shouldn't have done in the first place. The number one rule of success in marketing a product is never to create so much expectation because the end product will NEVER please. And yes, this applies to absolutely everything. Of course there are exceptions but these always confirm the rules. So what we had was a build up in hype and expectation so huge it fell on them and kicked them in the ass.

The Force Unleashed premise was, as Hayden Blackman said: "To kick someone's ass with the force". And they managed to do so to some extent. The problem was that in order to give you the really Unleashed experience they had to give you everything from the beginning and that is where the game chokes and ultimately dies in the first playthrough.

While you play the game from start to finish, your force powers are contained, much of what you could do in the demo is gone until you can unlock it. This happens through an upgrade system that increases experience based on how stylishly you decimate your opponents.

These upgrades come in the form of making your force powers, lightsaber combos and player stats increase and make them more powerful.

The combo system is not really too large, and the bottomline is you'll probably spend most of your time gripping and using force lightning on every enemy and basically forget about everything else, not that that's a bad thing because it actually seems like that was what the developers intended. And also gripping three enemies into the air and zapping the shit out of them is always cool and effin funny. Also some of the enemies actually have a defense against some of your force powers and this is actually something that is interesting since it makes you change your approach and actually use your lightsaber for a change instead of forgetting about it completely.

When you actually get to the boss fights, the early enemies are ridiculously easy but once you get to the others some are really broken. So you'll die in later fights but the checkpoint system isn't all that bad since it doesn't make you start over from the beginning but rather very close to where you died.

Also the enemy AI seems to be unbalanced in the difficulties, in the easiest difficulty all the enemies are just mindless morons with a sign around their necks saying "kick me". It's actually sad to kill them because they practically accepted their fate and they are just waiting for you to come and deliver the finishing blow. But when it comes to the hardest setting, the AI actually tries to flank you, run from you, duck for cover when you fling something at them or just try to stay alive. In some instances they will actually surround you and try to beat the hell out of you. But then most players never play this difficulty, it almost like the veteran difficulty in CoD4 for which only the hardcore fans of CoD enjoy. Me being the kind of gamer that actually enjoys playing in veteran, then I went straight for Sith Lord difficulty.

The missions are relatively easy at first but the absence of some of the force powers that you had in the demo, actually make them a bit frustrating at times. They start to get a little tougher and some of the locations are beautiful but the levels themselves sometimes are too frustrating and you start wishing they were over already.

Now while it seems I have said a bunch of bad things about it, the game actually comes to life when you've finished it, which is actually not a very good thing. Your force powers, stats and combos are all now truly unleashed and you decimate your opponents like the true force wrecking ball that you were supposed to be from the beginning.

And I can't stress this enough, this game fails in the sense that it really does what it promised once you're through with it.

There's costumes and lightsaber crystals of different colors to obtain through gathering holocrons in all the missions, mostly all levels have 15 holocrons to gather in total, some are crystals, some are meerly force points and some are costumes.

The absence of a multiplayer and extra features hurt the game greatly, but I rather not have multiplayer at all if it was going to be as the one in the Wii, which really totally blows.

Also, the targeting system is a bit frustrating because you are used to targeting with the direction of the camera, but it only takes a little getting used to and you'll be able to flip and target everything you want once you remember that the direction the apprentice is facing is what the targeting reticule will target.

I do however state that this is a small review of the 360 version. The PSP version seems to be the best out of the whole catalog available of this title but mostly because of all the extras that went to it.

So in closing. The Force Unleashed only takes advantage of it's triple engine combo in the max difficulty and only delivers the unleashed experience when you have everything unlocked and maxed out. Too bad that there's not enough replay value to actually go back and play it more than once.

Oh and I saw somewhere in these replies that someone said there wasn't a way to go back to unlocked missions, but there is. When you are in a mission and you press the start button you will notice an option that says mission select so you can go back to any mission you want to replay.

That's all from me, and I hope this helped give you a much wider view of what the force unleashed game is like on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as I have played both and they're the same although I liked the control scheme more on the 360 than the PS3.

yourkie1921:

Nohra:
hilarity

lol. I'm not insulting you or anything but that was hilarious when you were talking about gears of war , he meant god of war.....I think

Quite right, I did. I forgot that Gears had the same acronym.

Yourkie - rather than filling up Yahtzee's comment thread with this discussion, you could actually do it in comments at the post you're criticising.

As for Godwin's - the "nazi war criminals" line was a throwaway, and I concede possibly in poor taste. I was not seriously suggesting that LucasArts actually hires nazi war criminals.

Not such a funny review (no rant about QTE?), but he pretty much nailed it. Got the Wii version because.. well I don't have any other console and the controls are awful (and I didn't even expect anything good).

The story could have been good if it was executed better, but now it just feels stale, and the characters move as if they were from South Park, not to mention that the girl makes you fall in love with her by just standing around.

Surprises me that it was what? Like three (even four?) years since Jedi Academy came out, even longer for Jedi Outcast, and this game is still miles below it. The major problem is that you can't move and hit at the same time, and if you do hit something it's a little more effective than beating them with a stick, almost as if it was deliberate to make you use the force powers more.

In the game's defense though, customizable lightsabre color and different outfits is always fun, and the force powers worked nicely :D

Yourkie - rather than filling up Yahtzee's comment thread with this discussion, you could actually do it in comments at the post you're criticising.

..where is there a thread on that review here?

As for Godwin's - the "nazi war criminals" line was a throwaway, and I concede possibly in poor taste. I was not seriously suggesting that LucasArts actually hires nazi war criminals.

Did you write that article? I don't seriously have a problem with them saying "nazi war criminals" I just used it because that was such a mess it wouldn't of been worth me trying to prove wrong just for the one point I needed to officially prove the majority of their complaints as bullshit.

MrLefty:

yourkie1921:

Nohra:
hilarity

lol. I'm not insulting you or anything but that was hilarious when you were talking about gears of war , he meant god of war.....I think

Quite right, I did. I forgot that Gears had the same acronym.

Yourkie - rather than filling up Yahtzee's comment thread with this discussion, you could actually do it in comments at the post you're criticising.

As for Godwin's - the "nazi war criminals" line was a throwaway, and I concede possibly in poor taste. I was not seriously suggesting that LucasArts actually hires nazi war criminals.

My bad there, I've not played God of War and I apologize for the miss. ;P Even still, these kinds of games have been around the block more than a few times. The first example of this sort of game (in the Star Wars genre), Jedi Power Battles, was way back when on the PS1 in the days of Episode 1. Arguably this is a prettier, better designed -- fuck it, I can't continue the analogy, this is so much better than JPB it isn't funny. Wanna talk about annoying enemies? Droidekas and their variants in that game were so much worse than the first AT-KT fight in TFU. Even the level up mechanic isn't too much different from JPB, but TFU does it better. JPB also had a horrible fixed camera, something TFU got well away from (it was a little slow for my preferences at times).

Honestly though, my favorite part of this game? Blasting out windows and watching stormtroopers eat vacuum. God that never gets old.

Kraven Angelous:
*liberal snip* Also the enemy AI seems to be unbalanced in the difficulties, in the easiest difficulty all the enemies are just mindless morons with a sign around their necks saying "kick me". It's actually sad to kill them because they practically accepted their fate and they are just waiting for you to come and deliver the finishing blow. But when it comes to the hardest setting, the AI actually tries to flank you, run from you, duck for cover when you fling something at them or just try to stay alive. In some instances they will actually surround you and try to beat the hell out of you. But then most players never play this difficulty, it almost like the veteran difficulty in CoD4 for which only the hardcore fans of CoD enjoy. Me being the kind of gamer that actually enjoys playing in veteran, then I went straight for Sith Lord difficulty.

Someone actually mentioned to me that they'd heard (total rumor mill, amirite?) that they actually had to dumb down the AI in TFU, it was too good at eradicating the player. After a few of the chains of laem I've run into, I'd have to say that I can't say no to that being a possibility.

That's all from me, and I hope this helped give you a much wider view of what the force unleashed game is like on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as I have played both and they're the same although I liked the control scheme more on the 360 than the PS3.

I have to say, even though I've only played the 360 version, the controls just feel perfect. Grip is right trigger, which really makes sense considering how much you use the damn thing, and having two sticks to control direction and elevation makes it so much easier to control. Given that the shoulders are triggers, that makes it a lot easier to squeeze down on than say the shoulder buttons of the Dual Shock 3 (which as I recall is identical to the DS2? which has those horribly placed buttons that are a real pain to use frequently). It in all honesty feels very refined on the XBox, which makes me disappointed Yaht reviewed it on the Wii, since the controls, let alone graphics, aren't going to give a good feel for the ride.

Yeah, graphics shouldn't be a selling point, but I will be damned if DMM isn't gorgeous. And it's shamelessly flaunted at points that make you really appreciate the immersion of it.

Nohra:

MrLefty:
I wouldn't be too optimistic about the Xbox 360 version, since it is also absolute balls for a whole host of reasons which make me wonder if the designers ever actually played the game before they shipped it.

And that reviewer seemed to be complaining about the fact that the game was balanced instead of letting him kill everything in one hit with any ability. DEAR GOD, A GAME THAT TRIES TO BALANCE OUT SOME OF THE SUPER POWERFUL ATTACKS YOU GET FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING THE GAME SOMEWHAT OF A CHALLENGE?! PAN IT!

Seriously though, the game had some flaws, but trying to keep you from going through the game on auto pilot force pushing everything off a cliff is perfectly fine. And the QTEs, while a bit obnoxious, were very consistent, and rewarded you with some really neat miniature cutscenes (though they got a bit repetitive).

Christ, is this what the gaming community has become? Bitching about every little thing possible that might fly in the face of Common Sense and/or Free Will? Is this why Boregasms like Halo 3 that play it extremely safe in terms of ground treaded get perfect tens?

I second this. For too long have I heard the "non-realistic lightsaber = no fun" arguement...

Nohra:

MrLefty:
I wouldn't be too optimistic about the Xbox 360 version, since it is also absolute balls for a whole host of reasons which make me wonder if the designers ever actually played the game before they shipped it.

And that reviewer seemed to be complaining about the fact that the game was balanced instead of letting him kill everything in one hit with any ability. DEAR GOD, A GAME THAT TRIES TO BALANCE OUT SOME OF THE SUPER POWERFUL ATTACKS YOU GET FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING THE GAME SOMEWHAT OF A CHALLENGE?! PAN IT!

Seriously though, the game had some flaws, but trying to keep you from going through the game on auto pilot force pushing everything off a cliff is perfectly fine. And the QTEs, while a bit obnoxious, were very consistent, and rewarded you with some really neat miniature cutscenes (though they got a bit repetitive).

Christ, is this what the gaming community has become? Bitching about every little thing possible that might fly in the face of Common Sense and/or Free Will? Is this why Boregasms like Halo 3 that play it extremely safe in terms of ground treaded get perfect tens?

That's it- You're added.

Star Wars TFU is great fun. I don't know what everybody expected, but I expected great fun. I am happy.

I wasn't overly impressed by a game that was easily completed within two days of casual gameplay.
especially since i bought it with my 360, so it's the only game i have for it at the moment.

I was only slightly confused by the lack of mention towards the infamous Star destroyer scene, is it not on the Wii version?

Well, either way, i'm still a little surprised it wasn't mentioned as it seems to be most peoples least favourite part.

Everything else mentioned was right on the mark
(besides the Wii-relevant bits as i haven't played the Wii Version)

yourkie1921:
That's only because the first impression when you see it is pretty much the same as yahtzee's

Either that or they only have a Wii.

Yeah, that was a pretty bad ass part of the game. Those tie fighters were annoying as shit.

Yash:

yourkie1921:
That's only because the first impression when you see it is pretty much the same as yahtzee's

Either that or they only have a Wii.

True, I guess.

Nohra:

Someone actually mentioned to me that they'd heard (total rumor mill, amirite?) that they actually had to dumb down the AI in TFU, it was too good at eradicating the player. After a few of the chains of laem I've run into, I'd have to say that I can't say no to that being a possibility.

Well I for one think it would be a possibility but I have found several moments in the game where it just is impossible to hide without having several of them circlying around both sides of your cover, or many of them just jump out of the way of the explosive cylinders and stuff, so you gotta keep at it until you kill them.

I have to say, even though I've only played the 360 version, the controls just feel perfect. Grip is right trigger, which really makes sense considering how much you use the damn thing, and having two sticks to control direction and elevation makes it so much easier to control. Given that the shoulders are triggers, that makes it a lot easier to squeeze down on than say the shoulder buttons of the Dual Shock 3 (which as I recall is identical to the DS2? which has those horribly placed buttons that are a real pain to use frequently). It in all honesty feels very refined on the XBox, which makes me disappointed Yaht reviewed it on the Wii, since the controls, let alone graphics, aren't going to give a good feel for the ride.

Yeah, graphics shouldn't be a selling point, but I will be damned if DMM isn't gorgeous. And it's shamelessly flaunted at points that make you really appreciate the immersion of it.

The control scheme in the 360 is fine, and I actually enjoy it a lot. I now have almost no trouble at locking on to a target and I can easily perform my force combos with variation and effectiveness. In the PS3 however, the control scheme is a little tiresome and for some reason I kept pressing force dash instead of block but whatever, it isn't as comfortable as it is in most games.

The implementation of the 3 engines is great and looks beautiful, the game only suffers for some quirks with the near end levels in which the game isn't as open ended as it starts out, but I did enjoy it and I'm also a Star Wars fan. And maybe it helped that because I know that with a few exceptions, most games about star wars are just not good, so my expectation was really low and so when I played it, I felt it was better than I expected so I liked it.

Battle Medic:
I will be counting facepalms from now on.
You picked the wii version.

*facepalm*
In quite a twist, the psp version is very good.
The PS3/360 version is endless fun though. On a completely different note, you are absolutely 100% correct about I-III.
Medichlorieans.
*second facepalm*
Still no wii attachment that increases accuracy.
*third facepalm*
On to another, completely different statement: Why did you stop picking opening\ending songs? I miss them.

He removed the songs for fear of potential copyright issues.

The Sorrow:

Battle Medic:
I will be counting facepalms from now on.
You picked the wii version.

*facepalm*
In quite a twist, the psp version is very good.
The PS3/360 version is endless fun though. On a completely different note, you are absolutely 100% correct about I-III.
Medichlorieans.
*second facepalm*
Still no wii attachment that increases accuracy.
*third facepalm*
On to another, completely different statement: Why did you stop picking opening\ending songs? I miss them.

He removed the songs for fear of potential copyright issues.

oh, ok

Battle Medic:

The Sorrow:

Battle Medic:
I will be counting facepalms from now on.
You picked the wii version.

*facepalm*
In quite a twist, the psp version is very good.
The PS3/360 version is endless fun though. On a completely different note, you are absolutely 100% correct about I-III.
Medichlorieans.
*second facepalm*
Still no wii attachment that increases accuracy.
*third facepalm*
On to another, completely different statement: Why did you stop picking opening\ending songs? I miss them.

He removed the songs for fear of potential copyright issues.

oh, ok

He should hum them then. ;)

excellent review like always.
i always watch ur review before buying a game u reviewed :D

good but the fact a small rc car the size of your foot could destroy a door, while a small force blast(whatever its called) can barely open it.

S_K:

Spacewolf:
why do poeple hate the Prequels the 1st one had a good lightaaber sequnce the second one had a good battle and the 3rd one had both you can just skip the rest, anyone great reveiw glad i bought the PS3 vesion

A better question is you need to ask? Oh wait your alias is Spacewolf well that partly explains it...

How does that explain it because please dont tell me you think Spacewolf is from the SW genre

i think that was brilliant, i have the game for the xbox i think it was brilliant apart from the zombie characters who like do anything else apart from attack you and would rather look into the sky for god or see if my lightsaber works when i shove it through his face but now i think im mutering on so now im just going to stop, but if i was you i would get it for the xbox 360 get it for anything else and you should join goerge lucas in hell.

This guy, by force of will, simply refuses to jump the shark.

Another outrageously excellent review.

This is the first Yahtzee review I've gotten a good chuckle out of for quite some time. Good stuff.

Yeah, the game sucked. But look on the bright side. If all the games that came out were good, Yahtzee wouldn't have us pissing our selves for laughing so hard. So thanks George Lucas, for your horrible game on the wii.

I was hoping yahtzee would review this game. great video!

static624:
good but the fact a small rc car the size of your foot could destroy a door, while a small force blast(whatever its called) can barely open it.

1.)Depends how weak the door is.
2.)Most of the doors you encounter are most likely made of heavy metals that take longer to move. Besides, you can always Charge your Force Push for a greater effect, obviously.

I was only slightly confused by the lack of mention towards the infamous Star destroyer scene, is it not on the Wii version?

I had a stardestroyer scene on my Wii version, however, I didn't get to do anything :( It was just a cutscene. Also I didn't get a black lightsabre or an awesome physics engine, sad panda :(

I am guessing the reason the graphics suck so hard on the Wii is because it's the same version as the PS2 one. The Wii couldn't cough up the same graphics as the PS3/360 so instead of having a slight downgrade it gets to share it with the PS2. Either that or the Wii sucks harder than I thought.

On the bright side, my apprentice doesn't wield his lightsabre like a kid from the 90's wears his baseball cap.

Littaly:
Not such a funny review (no rant about QTE?)

To be fair, he says in a previous review that he doesn't mind quick time events when they're used consistently and are a core gameplay element. In The Force Unleashed they don't suddenly spring up on you, as most of the time you initiate them, and you can predict them based on how much health an opponent has left.

Also, on an unrelated tangent, I think what really made me laugh is people who insist that the game should be on PC. If you think about it for five seconds you realise how ridiculous this would be.

Even though he didn't talk about the actual game for half the review, he still expressed my feelings towards George Lucas quite accurately.

As far as the game goes, I've played the demo on 360 and it wasn't bad, but I'm not planning on buying the game, at least not while it's new. Maybe I'll get it used some day. But I really don't think I could put up with more Star Wars right now. I didn't even see the Clone Wars, but the trailers irked me enough.

Yahtzee's anger is probably because of Lucas who's not only intent on killing the star wars but also beating in once it's down and then stabbing it a few times and I agree to the hate. As usual a wonderful review.

Nohra:

MrLefty:
I wouldn't be too optimistic about the Xbox 360 version, since it is also absolute balls for a whole host of reasons which make me wonder if the designers ever actually played the game before they shipped it.

And that reviewer seemed to be complaining about the fact that the game was balanced instead of letting him kill everything in one hit with any ability. DEAR GOD, A GAME THAT TRIES TO BALANCE OUT SOME OF THE SUPER POWERFUL ATTACKS YOU GET FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING THE GAME SOMEWHAT OF A CHALLENGE?! PAN IT!

You miss the point. The prospect of using "unleashed" force powers was the only selling point of this game. And you can't, which makes it a ripoff.
If they had to do it for balancing or other reasons is irrelevant - they just should have thought of that sooner. Force powers are too imba for a game?! Shock! What a surprise!!

So they couldn't give you awesome powers because that would have been to easy, but they still needed to create a badass sith hype to get the silly prequel kiddies interested. So they were screwed.
This shows only one thing: That the whole game concept doesn't work and they shouldn't have made it in the first place.

Maybe LucasArts should go back to games that once made them great, adventures and flight sims. But then, some of their marketing jerks have decided that such games are "out" and trash like TFU is far more lucrative. And this is the result.

The only thing I don't get is why some of you even act surprised.

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