Topic: The Force Unleashed Demo Hits XBLA, PSN Soon to Follow
Fulfilling my role as a nocturnal manchild, I lurked on Live marketplace until 0400 ET then downloaded the hell out of The Force Unleashed demo. Here are my completely scientific findings. Basically the thing plays like God of (Star) War(s) and feels completely different than every SW game ever, in that your only goal is to trash stuff as violently as possible.
-Really over-the-top, in a good way. The Apprentice's powers are wackily strong to begin with so it plays like Star Wars as directed by John Woo or something. Lots of explosions and crushing deaths.
-The Lightsaber combat is very arcadey and not at all like Jedi Outcast from what I can tell, but it works well. The emphasis has really been switched to force powers, but there are several saber/force combos that are really fun and actually Make Sense.
-For the first time, they got doors right. Why would a jedi trek halfway across a military installation to find a key to a locked door? Screw that, just blow the door open with blunt Force trauma (damn, that was clever. props to me).
-Stuff shown in the old trailers is acutally doable. Push them, zap them, toss an explosive at them before they notice it. Or just pick them up and mess with them a little.
-Looks really nice and while the framerate is not rock solid, it keeps up.
-Some really clever gimmicks to take out big enemies. As long as they keep it varied and don't use the same few in the full game it's going to be heavily amusing.
-Difficulty is really good. You don't feel like a wimpy little girl with a lightsaber starting out, but if you get sloppy and let yourself get heavily outnumbered you get get in trouble quick.
-Controls are good, you can control gripped objects in every axis and toss them wherever, and pretty much every damn button on the controller is mapped to a different way to kill a guy.
-Camera is pretty lame.
-A really strong emphasis on throwing stuff at people meant there was simply TOO MUCH loose junk sitting around in the environments. Hope this was just for the demo.
-Quick Timer Events for enemy fatalities. Thanks God of War.
-No dismemberment to speak of. I can throw a guy half a kilometer into a bulkhead and into a void but I can't lop his arm off? Come on now.
-Blocking is pretty weak, and should be on a bumper instead of a trigger for something so time-sensitive, hopefully this will be upgradeable and remappable.
TOTALLY NOT PRO:
-Why could Soulcalibur IV spring for James Earl Jones, but this game that features Vader as a main character, can't? Impersonator is just Bad.
IN SUMMARY, the demo was not without flaws, but very impressive and has actually excited me enough to want to buy this. I can't remember the last time that happened. As long as the full version keeps it up, it should be a hoot. It feels like this is a game that the developer wanted to make and is proud of. Which doesn't happen enough anymore.
If you've got XBL Gold, go get it now. PSN comes later today, and it will eventually show up on XBL silver if you're one of Those Guys.