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The first thing you do in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is pick up a Wookiee and hurl him off of a cliff. A short time later you’ll fire lightning from your fingertips, making you feel completely unstoppable. Moments later, you realize why it’s not called “Lightsaber Unleashed.”
You’ll look cool using it, but saber attack combos usually take a few seconds to execute, during which time you’re completely locked into that animation and cannot block or avoid an incoming attack. Also, enemies continue to shoot you when you’ve been knocked down - and there’s nothing less fun in a fighting game than being unable to defend yourself. They’re annoyances that make TFU far less satisfying as a melee fighter.
Meanwhile, the main storyline does a respectable job of wedging its psychotically bipolar hero into the mythology between episodes III and IV - underdeveloped romantic subplot aside - and the included expansions have a bit of fun with “What if?” scenarios.
I strongly recommend the gamepad to avoid some maddeningly frustrating experiences where the controls don’t quite translate to mouse and keyboard. Don’t even think about remapping the keys to mouse buttons: the game fails to update the frequent and tiresome quicktime event cues, so pushing the button flashed on the screen won’t work. Regardless of which control method you choose, be ready for frequent loading screens - even between menus for some reason.
It flies in the face of everything Yoda taught us, but TFU proves that mastery of the Force isn’t everything.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 60% (mediocre)
Dec 7, 2009