Let your darkside out, its getting dusty.
The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition is published by Lucasarts and is available on the Xbox360, PS3 and PC. The reviewer played the Xbox360 version of this game. The Force Unleashed was released last year and the Ultimate Sith Edition contains the full game along with some extra content. Think of it as a special collectors edition.
For those who have not played the original game, the story is as follows. The player takes on the role of Darth Vaders secret apprentice. As Vaders “go to guy” you will be tasked with completing missions as laid down by Mr.Vader himself. The action will take place in a variety of different settings that will be familiar to Star Wars fans everywhere. This all takes place in the timeframe between the end of the third movie and the beginning of the forth. The story is what makes this game great, and fans of the movies will certainly get a great Star Wars fix from playing through to the end.
The game is a third person action title and will begin by putting the player into the slightly sinister boots of Lord Vader himself, as he walks (yes walks, not runs. This is Darth Vader after all, he doesn’t do running) through a Wookie village. Hairy wookie warriors will be thrown all of the place, as you proceed to your destination, the home of a Jedi and his son. The young boy shows a knack for the force and its at that point that Vader decides to take him on as his personal apprentice and teach him the dark ways of the force.
A number of years later, you take on the role of that apprentice complete with an impressive array of starting force powers and armed with your trusty lightsabre. The force powers are what is important here, as you will be using them to wreak havoc and destruction amongst anyone who stands in your way. Why bother using a lightsabre, when it is far easier to just force push someone to their doom, or electrocute them? As you progress through the story, your character will indeed become even more powerful and be able to chain together some really impressive moves.
The main focus of the gameplay is combat with the numerous adversaries that will stand between you and your goal. This is a lot of fun to start with and certainly gets the adrenaline running, however, the lack of variety does cause the game to become a bit monotonous. Controls are fairly simple and it soon becomes second nature to fire off your force powers. I was a bit disappointed that the lightsabre combat was not more involved, but this game is Force Unleashed, not Lightsabre Wielded. Players may come across a slightly frustrating situation a few times during combat, where the attacks of the enemies constantly hit home and the player enters a loop of being hit over and again. It is difficult to get out of these loops, as you cannot evade whilst recovering from the last hit.
Graphically, the game looks wonderful. The character animations are really smooth and even the facial expressions look natural. The levels that you will be working through are authentic and look good, but a lack of variety lets them down. The audio in the game is of the usual exceptional quality that you expect from a Lucasarts game.
Overall, the game has an impressive story and both looks and sounds great, but the gameplay is repetitive and has a few bugs, and the lack of multiplayer is a missed opportunity.
The Ultimate Sith Edition brings with it some new content to extend your game. Most important amongst this content are the three new levels.Two of these levels are already available as DLC across XBLA. These are the Jedi temple level and the Tatooine level. The Jedi temple sends the apprentice to Coruscant in an attempt to discover more about his real father. The Tatooine level continues from the main story and finds the apprentice being sent to take out Obi-Wan Kenobi. Both of these levels bring some new excitement, and visit locations that Star Wars fans will be happy with.
The new addition, that is not available through DLC, is the Hoth level. Following on from the Tatooine level, the player is sent with orders to finally crush the rebellion. Whilst moving around the setting of The Empire Strikes Back, the player will have to face off against Luke Skywalker in an epic showdown that may prove to be one of the most difficult battles in the game.
Also included are a collection of new character outfits and models, allowing the player to take on the look of some of the movies most famous characters, including Luke Skywalker, Jango Fett and even C-3PO.
The additional levels are filled with moments of recognition for Star Wars fans and certainly offer some more gameplay, but the original problems with the game still remain. The big boss battles are not that impressive, with the exception of Luke Skywalker, who really puts up a good fight. These levels are separate to the main game and anything gained cannot be carried from the levels to the game or vice versa.
Anyone who has yet to play this game, and has a passing interest in the Star Wars franchise, should check this game out. Although it has some problems, the great storyline and wonderful visuals more than make up for it. However, if you already own the game, the extra content really doesn’t add enough to warrant the purchase. Just get the DLC instead.