After a lot of screenshots, videos and news tidbits the demo for SW:TFN is finally available and we have suffered the 900mb download to bring you our impressions of how it plays.
First off, I want to mention that I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have mostly played through all the Jedi Knight games including Jedi Academy and even Dark Forces back in the day. The difference here is that this game isn’t a part of the “Jedi Knight” franchise and has never said that it was trying to be. So I am forced to look at it from a different perspective because the developers are trying something different here.
So then, let’s take a brief look at what this game has to offer.
To start with I just want to get all the audio and visual stuff out the way before I go into gameplay.
The visuals for The Force Unleashed are pretty much exactly what you expect. The main character as well as the various Storm Troopers and Droids all look good and there are some nice visual effects with regards to Force Powers and such. The demo level mostly takes place inside a ship so I didn’t get to see much of the games visual range as I was mostly exposed to the all too familiar surroundings of metal panels and blast doors.
I can however say straight off that the sound is fantastic, as is the usual with Star Wars games. The lightsaber crackles and hums as it moves around and the force powers carry some weight to them as well. The soundtrack is also exactly what you would expect and is exactly what you want out of a Star Wars game with its epic orchestral power backing the action.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the nitty gritty.
As you might expect, this game is heavily based around using force powers. So much so that your force powers aren’t actually selectable but are all bound to buttons on the controller from the start.
With more of the focus being put on the force powers and not on the lightsaber, the gameplay is significantly different to the afore mention Jedi Knight series. You are required to utilise your force powers to take on large amounts of enemies by throwing objects at them, pushing them and shocking them with lightning.
It looks as though you will have your powers upgrade throughout the game as, for example, the demo starts you off with a basic force push power that gets upgraded which then allows you to hold in the button to charge it up and cause even more damage and havok.
On the whole I would have to say that the demo did prove to be quite a lot of fun but I really think that it will all come down to the pacing of the powers as well as the level design. While tackling enemies with your powers is a lot of fun, I can see it becoming tedious and losing its novelty after a while, so it really will be down to how the game chooses to progress and challenge the player.
We will have to wait for a full review before being able to truly see if this game is going to be a gem or a dud. The demo does its job of showing off the fun that can be had with force powers and the interactivity with the environments but there is no way of knowing if it will keep it’s charm throughout the whole game.
If it’s an action packed Star Wars force-fest that you are looking for, this game doesn’t look like it will disappoint. If you aren’t a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise then I suggest that you wait for a couple reviews to come out before parting with your hard earned cash.
The full game will be on the shelves in September.
Last Updated: August 22, 2008