Written iPhone App Review
In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, you are Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, charged with hunting down and eliminating the remaining Jedi across the galaxy. This is the mobile incarnation of The Force Unleashed for Xbox 360, Wii & Playstation. It is a much smaller game and the emphasis is on using the Force – in fact, you don’t actually have any direct control over the movement of your character in this version. Your character (the apprentice) is stuck on auto-pilot and runs from scene-to-scene automatically once you have defeated the enemies in that area.
In The Force Unleashed, you perform gestures, or shapes on the screen ala Black & White in order to use your various offensive and defensive Force powers. When using force grip for example, you draw a downward circle with your finger on the touchscreen, levitating your target and enabling you to launch it in the direction indicated with another stroke. It’s a great innovation and it works well. You pick up additional Force powers as you progress through the game – abilities like healing, Jedi mind trick, energy draining and Force lightning.
The Force Unleashed is all about gesturing and using your Force powers to take out your enemies, while simultaneously fending off blaster fire with defensive moves. It’s challenging and fun. When an attack is imminent a red circle appears above the enemy. One quadrant of the circle will light up, showing the direction you need to make a diagonal flick in to parry the attack. Get it wrong or don’t act in time and you’re liable to taking a hit.
Graphically, The Force Unleashed is a mixed bag. The production values are obviously high, as should be expected from a Star Wars game, but several elements let it down. The cinematic back-drops are impressive – perhaps too much so – because the jaggy character models often pale in comparison. The music and sound FX are solid though, and set the mood in classic Star Wars style.
There are six chapters to the story, but this only equates to about 60-90 minutes of game play. The game has dropped in price since release from an initial asking price of $9.99 to $5.99, but value for money is still somewhat lacking. There is also a survival mode, which throws you right into the action to battle a horde of enemies – but it just feels like padding to me. The re-playability in story mode just isn’t there. It’s not a bad game – but not a must-have unless you’re a die hard Star Wars fan.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed requires the 2.2 software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.
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