Review: Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a massive, highly anticipated project from Lucas Arts, was released back in 2008 and, unfortunately, the game failed to live up to the enormous hype. Does the Ultimate Sith Edition correct the issues of the first game and does the inclusion of the three extra levels add positively to the experience?
- Worth The Time?Yes for those Star Wars fans who never played the original. Otherwise not really.
- Things LovedThe bonus levels do well for fan service especially Hoth.
- Things HatedThe Ultimate Sith Edition retains all of the issues from the original game, the PC Version is extremely buggy and very unpleasant to play through.
- RecommendationThis might be a good deal for those who never had the opportunity to play the original, but avoid the PC version due to how buggy it is. If you already own or have played the original though, there's little point in getting this.
- Name: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
- Genre: Action Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Developer: LucasArts, Aspyr Media (PC)
- Publisher: LucasArts
- Price: N/A
- Reviewed On: PC
I’m going to be keeping this review relatively short and, reason being, this is because the Ultimate Sith Edition does not change anything from the first iteration at all. It’s very disappointing that no issues were addressed and nothing substantial was added to the game, as it still retains all of the problems that plagued the first game. The Ultimate Sith Edition is basically The Force Unleashed with all of the downloadable content included and a brand new, exclusive level. For the retail price, you’ll be getting the original game plus three extra levels (two of which are available as DLC), that take place on Hoth, Tatooine and the Jedi Academy, and you’ll also be getting a whole lot of bonus costumes for the Apprentice, Starkiller, to wear – so essentially you can say that it’s an expansion.
To briefly talk about the story, Force Unleashed is set between episodes three and four of the Star Wars saga, namely Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope respectively. In the first level of the game you take control of Darth Vader himself, who is in search of surviving Jedi on the planet Kashyyyk. After killing the Jedi, Darth Vader discovers a child who is exceptionally strong in the Force and, because of this, takes the child under his command and trains him as his secret apprentice, Starkiller, who you, the player, will then take control of for the rest of the game. During the game, Starkiller will be receiving missions from Darth Vader to assassinate remaining Jedi after Order 66 was issued.
Now since nothing has been added to the original game, I’ll move on to the three bonus levels. The good part is that these three levels aren’t part of the main quest and, as such, they can be selected and played through separately without having to complete the main story first. As a result though, none of your experience earned or powers unlocked carry over to the main story, but since you start each of these bonus levels basically fully powered up, it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, firstly, the Jedi Academy mission doesn’t really seem to be part of the main story and it’s more or less a side mission where the Apprentice goes on a personal test. In this level you’re basically going to be killing lots of enemies, breaking lots of stuff and doing what you usually do. However, at the end there is an interesting boss fight and puzzle section, which is a welcome addition and break from the usual.
The mission on Tatooine takes place after the main story ends and assumes that you killed Darth Vader and became the Apprentice of the Emperor. Basically, in this mission, the Emperor discovers that R2-D2 has the plans for the Death Star and he sends Starkiller to talk to Jabba the Hut to retrieve them. This mission is nothing really new as, once again, you’ll just be slaying lots of Jabba’s minions and ending up killing a large rancor underneath Jabba’s throne. Assuming you’ve played the original game, after killing so many rancors this fight is quite boring and easy, so you’ll have no trouble here. The best part of this mission occurs after the rancor fight as you’ll end up in Mos Eisley and fight it out with Bobba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi – not at the same time, mind you, but one after the other. These fights are good fun, but they are ridiculously easy since you’re fully powered up. I guess when taking into account how buggy and annoying some boss fights from the main story are, it’s a nice change to be able to completely destroy a light-saber wielding boss and a bounty hunter in a more or less frustration-free manner.
Lastly, the Hoth mission, the exclusive Ultimate Sith Edition mission, is a fun addition to the game. Personally, I’ve always liked the planet Hoth because of its intense, snowy, Empire-filled environment and this mission is no different from my usual vision. In a nutshell, you’ll go through a number of small areas fighting it out with Yetis and rebel forces and, after a while of killing everyone and everything, you’ll have to face off against Luke Skywalker in a fierce battle. This is probably the only really challenging fight of the three missions, referring mostly to when you fight Luke in his second stage. This is because he has some defense-piercing attacks (they can’t be blocked) and rebel soldiers who repeatedly fire at you. Still, it’s an interesting level and a welcome addition to the game, but, like the other two missions, it isn’t really memorable.
Regarding the actual game, nothing has been changed. The core of it remains and none of the issues have been fixed, which really stops this game from being great. Targeting is still clunky and annoying, enemies still repeatedly knock you down without giving you a chance to get on your feet, boss fights are buggy, less objects become breakable as the game progresses, which dampens the experience of the force (although the three extra levels do have quite a lot to break, which is cool) there are still various graphical and technical glitches and the load times, while slightly reduced, are still irritating, mostly in the customizable menu screen, and occur a bit too often. Admittedly, targeting enemies and controlling Starkiller is a little easier on the PC, with the mouse and all, but it’s still a hassle at times and still quite buggy, as sometimes Starkiller will still target enemies behind him that you can’t even see.
Graphically, the game remains the same as last year with no upgrades made and, while they are still good, there are better looking games out there. The physics engine is still in tact and its awesome to watch the effects of your force powers on breakable objects such as glass. It’s just unfortunate that there have been no changes made and all of the technical issues that the original game had were shamelessly carried over to the Ultimate Sith Edition. Perhaps one of the most disappointing, or shocking, things about this game is that after playing the first two levels you will feel as though you have struck solid gold, but soon after that all of the game’s flaws will unexpectedly start jumping out at you and the game itself will just deteriorate rapidly.
In conclusion, the Ultimate Sith Edition is still a fun experience and using the Force powers still feels as good as ever. Perhaps the most disappointing thing to see is that nothing has been changed from the original game and no issues have been fixed. If you have already played the original game, or own it, I’d advise you to give this a miss, as it is basically an extension of the first game, where most of the content is available to download already. To those who haven’t played the Force Unleashed, and are Star Wars fans, I’d suggest you try this out because, ultimately, it’s going to be you that will enjoy this most. It can be enjoyable and a lot of fun at times, but sadly all of its issues just bring the entire experience down. Also, avoid the PC version of this game, it’s really buggy and unpleasant, not to mention it requires about 15GB of free hard drive space – it’s just overall a bad port through and through.