Sorry for the lack of activity on this blog. Like Father K, gnome and other "blogging friends" of mine, and of ours since we have this sort of blogging community going on here, I've been in a sort of blogging hiatus as of late. It was mostly due to lack of time, now with me entering college and all that, but I have to admit I've been a bit lazy as well. Well, anyway, just some days ago I played and beat Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and I fucking loved it.
Now, I have to admit, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. In fact I hardly have any interest in it, and although I've played a lot of SW games it was always for the gameplay alone, because I couldn't care less for the story. Not that there's anything wrong with it, sci-fi just isn't my style, and all that moral bullshit between dark and light sides surely didn't help me like it more. But I digress.
Despite not being a SW geek, pardon me, SW fan, I still had a blast with this game, because it fucking rocks! The story, surprinsingly, is appealing to pretty much everyone since it narrates a sort of self-contained chapter in the SW canon. Of course it has connections to previous and future events in the movies (it's set between episodes III and IV), but it's pretty damn enjoyable just by itself. This is due to a damn great main character. Starkiller is just a fucking cool protagonist and really felt like I could relate to him. The other supporting characters are also interesting, specially Starkiller's droid, Proxy, who's programmed to routinely try to kill him.
Gameplay wise, the game is called force unleashed for a reason. You've never had so much control over that misterious energy. Force lighting is...shocking (lol), force push lets you push enemy soldiers out of your way (into oblivion, if you happen to be on a bridge) and force grip is just...wow. You can pick up almost everything that's on the levels (Tie Fighters included) and trow it into the air or, of course, at enemy soldiers. You can also pick those up and just play around with them, which is pretty entertaining in a sadistic kind of way.
Talking about force grip, I have to mention the technical "holy trinity" of this game: Havok for the physics, Euphoria for the character's animations and finally Digital Molecular Matter for the physical properties of the objects. When you combine the three of them, the result is something to be seen. The soldiers you pick up try to grab on to something (and they get much harder to handle if they succeed), the objects you throw react to the enviromnent and everything you break, breaks in a realistic way, calculated in real-time. Just see some videos to get the full picture, because I could never translate it into words.
Unfortunately I have two major gripes with the techincal aspect of the game. The first is the fact that the debris of the things you destroy disappear after just a few seconds, right in front of your eyes. WTF... Yeah, I know it would demand a hell of a lot of processing power if they stayed there forever, but couldn't they wait til you leave the room to vanish? The second is the bugs. This game feels so unfinished... Why couldn't they push back the release date for one or two months? As it is, sometimes objects react in an erratic way, there's clipping issues and worse, sometimes even your character gets stuck. Once I actually had to restart the game because Starkiller got completely stuck while trying to jump down a hole. Oh, and there's also the loading screens. Ca you believe there is loading screens even when you're just navigating through the menus? How fucked up is that...
Still, in the end this game was just fucking awesome. Essential to every SW fan and definitely recommend for action fans, whether they like George Lucas' work or not. The gameplay is fun and addictive, the story is superb, the music is good (and the voice acting is ace! better than a lot of movies I've seen, actually) and overall it's just a pretty entertaining, if short, game.