It’s been a long time since I bought and played a Star Wars game. The last one I bought and played I think was Force Commander, which was mediocre. I was hemming and hawing over getting this game. I wanted something new to play, but was hesitant to take the plunge. As of right now, I’m glad I did.
I’ve got about 5 hours of game play in at the moment. So far, things have been pretty good, and highly entertaining. The story is fairly simple, and pure Star Wars. You play as Darth Vader’s “secret apprentice,” tasked with aiding Vader in his attempt to over throw the Emperor. The initial story arc has you running errands for Vader (eliminating troublesome rogue Jedi), and facing several trials. Star Wars fans, or even just those familiar with the movies, will recognize many of the locations, from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to Kashyyk, and several movie characters make appearances (Shaak-Ti, Bail Organa, and of course Vader and the Emperor).
Now, I’m quite sure that the game is more visually stunning on the PS3 or on a XBox, but I doubt it has quite the same game play. On the Wii, the game is of average graphic quality. It’s solid, but definitely not “next gen.” Even so, it is more than adequate for the game. But you shouldn’t be getting this game on the Wii for the graphics.
The best reason to get The Force Unleahed on the Wii is for the game play. I had my doubts and worries about how well the Wiimote and nunchuk would work with the game. I shouldn’t have worried. This game works etremely well with the Wiimote and nunchuk set up, and is probably better for game play than a PS3 or Xbox controller. You move using the joystick on the nunchuk, and use the Wiimote for swinging your lightsaber. Yes, you do need to swing the Wiimote like you would a sword. Be warned, this can get very tiring on your arm, especially when surrounded by 15-20 stormtroopers.
Force powers are also better suited IMO to the Wiimote-nunchuk set up. Some powers, like Force Push, rely on you “pushing” the Wiimote or the nunchuk forward. This would be very much unlike the set up on a PS3 or Xbox controller, where all your actions, combat or force powers, would just be a series of button mashes. Even “complex” powers are not that difficult to execute, as you use at most 2 buttons and some sort of movement with the controller set up. If anything, with the Wiimote, many of these will seem “natural,” as the use of a button in combination with a movement makes a degree of “sense.”
The game has no levels per se. Instead, you find “power ups” that will increase your force and health bars. Higher levels of force powers are unlocked as you progress in the game, as are skills like “blaster fire blocking.” As you eliminate enemies, you gain advancement points, which can be spent to upgrade your force powers to higher levels. You also can’t die in game. Or at least not that I’ve found. If you get “killed,” you get resurrected and lose a percentage of your accumalted advancement points. Some enemies will be respawned as well, or if in a boss fight, the boss will regain some of it’s lost health.
On teh whole, this is not a “instant classic” of a game. But when it comes to Jedi based games, this one is hard to beat, especially on the Wii. The lightsabre fights alone are fun with the Wiimote, swing madly and cursing your opponent. The “finishing moves” that can be triggered in Boss fights are at times extremely enjoyable to watch, once triggered, such as crushing an AT-ST with the force into a ball of scrap. Combine this with the very easy and natural way of activating force powers, and this becomes very addictive very fast. The sections between boss fights can get a bit tedious and repetetive, but so far, the boss fights have more than made up for it (if I never see another Rancor again, I will be very happy). There is a multiplayer (2 player IIRC), Duel Mode, but I have yet to do anything with that. Other than having unlocked several characters for use with Duel Mode, I’m unsure how it works.
I’ve now finished the game. Well, at least the first time through. It only took about 10-11 hours to complete. That was a bit disappointing, given how engaging the story line was, and how much fun it was to play. Even so, I am playing through the game again, this time with all the costumes and force powers I’ve unlocked. This is making all those early missions (so far) much easier. And there is something entertaining about rampaging through levels as a super powerful Jedi.