Note: This review is full of light spoilers but does not divulge the outcome or major points of the plot.
Can a game cause a person to embrace the dark side?
Yes, one feels the hatred flowing through them while playing this game. One also feels the elation of redemption once it’s all over.
DO: You are every Star Wars fan’s dream. Kill anything that moves using Force powers–with ultimate effect.
TYPE: 3rd person action platformer
PLATFORM: 360 and PS3 (in this iteration) (360 version reviewed here)
MEAT: Made an orphan by Darth Vader and impressed to become his adept in the Force the player is forced (heh) to become a double agent and start an uprising for the purpose of Vader wanting to overcome the Emperor and have you rule at his side. Premise aside the game is an ongoing trial of frustration. Storm Troopers can block Force powers and unwieldy camera angles make knowing where the action is rather difficult. The camera also helps in missing numerous jumps when it comes to certain levels. Throw in a useless save system and some broken save points and you tend to know what it’s like to experience the extreme power of the dark side. On more than one occasion I felt as if I could Force pull the disc from the 360 tray. The game looks and sounds great, and only during the endgame when you have most of your powers at their full potential does the game play tend to get exciting. Perhaps though the most squandered potential of any video game moment of all time is lost during the often advertised Star Destroyer scene. You’re tasked to use your Force powers to pull it down right out of the sky. Instead of being an epic moment, it becomes one of trial and error and then develops a sense of defecating relief once it’s over. The following cut scene barely manages to cover that guffaw. However that leads me to the game’s redeeming moment: the story. Let me finish by saying that it ranks in the top three of Star Wars stories grouped with The Empire Strikes Back and Knights of the Old Republic. I’ve only done this once before playing a video game, but I teared up during the final cut scene. Maybe my frustration of playing gave way to an empathy with the frustration that the apprentice felt?
PERKS: wielding the Force in its full glory is awesome; excellent graphic design, sound effects, and soundtrack; one of the greatest Star Wars stories–is it any wonder Lucas considers the game canon?
SCREAMS: to have been play tested–by people; to have better enemy awareness; to have an enemy AI other than throwing wave after wave of troopers at you; to display real lightsaber effects and not essentially be a lit wooden pole; to not have Quick Timed Events; to have a better Force power progression; to be made into a proper movie
VERDICT: Rent. This rating was really hard for me especially if you’ve read my previous frustrations. Rent it for the story alone. Otherwise watch the cut scenes on YouTube or read the book. If it wasn’t for the story I would have recommended that you Pass on the pain. They’ve sold over 1.5 million copies so will probably see a sequel with the same crappy game play.
Here’s my gamercard to show I completed the game.