So far doesn't look to bad.
Early last week, we were whisked to the aboveground lair that acts as LucasArts's San Francisco office and bombarded with enough information on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to choke a tauntaun -- or at least enough info to make sure this week's Monday through Thursday plan of covering every version of the Force Unleashed went off without a hitch.
Day One of this expansive coverage belongs to one of the few systems with a metachlorian count high enough to break the bonds of a home entertainment system and take gaming on the road -- the PSP.
Now, no doubt, you've heard all about the console versions of the Force Unleashed and how they will make use of some crazy physics engine that allows you to crush walls and toss crap around. Although that level of destruction and manipulation isn't on the PSP, we can tell you that after lightsabering our way through the first two stages of the game, the handheld rendition of the Force Unleashed is far from any kind of Sith Slump. While bumming 'round the LucasArts office, we got to see every iteration of the Force Unleashed and can report that when you boot up your PSP, you're getting the same voiceovers and the same story of Darth Vader and his secret apprentice as the console versions.
Although you'll play the majority of the game as the apprentice -- name withheld to protect the evil -- the initial outing in the game's story mode casts you as Mr. Padmé himself, Darth Vader. At its most basic level, the Force Unleashed will be all about this dynamic Dark Side duo running around the galaxy and waxing any and all Jedi holdouts. This opening level is no different as Vader lands on Kashyyyk to terminate a former colleague.
As its title would indicate, this game is all about giving you the Force and letting you run wild with it. As soon as Vader stepped off his ship and powered up his lightsaber, that sentiment became clear to us. Sure, the typical stuff such as the Force push (tap Triangle) and bouncing laser blasts back at bad guys with a lightsaber (hold Square) are there, but the Force Unleashed ups the ante. Your HUD is basically two meters. Red is your typical health front (it's refilled by finding red packs thoughout the levels), while Blue is a regenerating Force bar. Aside from the aforementioned moves, this blue goodness will also allow Vader to pick people up and choke them -- which starts with your foe gurgling and ends with an extremely satisfying neck snap -- lift people into the air before pushing them into other bad guys or off an edge, as well as picking people up and impaling them with his lightsaber.
We took full advantage of snapping every furry neck that got in our way on the Wookiee-infested planet. Some of the furballs came at us brandishing a sword in each hand, while others let their blasters do the talking, but Vader's mastery of the choke and his ability to pick up the random, loose crates and use them as weapons made short work of the rebels. Better yet, when we eliminated a Wookiee running an outpost turret, Vader was able to Force grab the gun and have it float alongside him as an automatic killing machine. As we ran from tree base to tree base and over wooden suspension bridges, Lord Vader would occasionally get surrounded by enemies and we'd hold the left shoulder button and tap Triangle to unleash a devastating Force shockwave.
Now, before we were ushered past troves and troves of LEGO Indiana Jones schwag, LucasArts made us promise not to spoil any of this game's story elements, so please excuse us for being a bit vague in the coming paragraphs and such. Anyway, the Kashyyyk levels ends with Vader coming upon his Jedi prey, crushing the HQ the guy was chilling in with the Force, and entering a massive lightsaber duel. We were tapping Square to swing our 'saber, but every now and again, the two fighters would get locked up and try to push their blades into each other's face. This set off a quick action event where we needed to tap buttons repeatedly to win the tug of war. When the Jedi was on his back, we needed to pull off another series of button combos to finish him off and get to the end cutscene … where the real story began to unfold.
Feel the Force!After Vader's chapter is in the books, it's time for the secret apprentice to take center stage. If you've been reading our coverage of the Force Unleashed, you probably know what to expect from the Vader/apprentice relationship. The young one kneels a lot, calls Vader "master," and the Sith Lord orders the little guy around. The second level opens with a cutscene detailing the apprentice's next mission, which is to head to a ship and take out another Jedi straggler (Order 66 my ass!). Before heading off to battle, we meet PROXY -- the apprentice's right-hand droid who apparently will brief us on each mission we're about to head out on -- and Juno Eclipse, the smoking hot female pilot just hired to ferry the apprentice around on the Rouge Shadow spy ship.
Seems Vader killed the last half dozen pilots for incompetence, so good luck with that, Juno!
Once the actual gameplay starts, it's apparent that the apprentice is way more nimble than metal-man Darth could ever dream of -- the secret apprentice is fast, he can leap around with ease, and his moves are brutal. As you play, you're going to find Jedi Holocrons that expand the character's health and Force meters, so he's a bit weak in the beginning, but his powers are devastating none the less. Although the Force push and Force shockwave you learned to use as Vader will be part of the apprentice's repertoire when you start, you'll find that Force lightning will have replaced Darth's chokehold.
So far doesn't look to bad.
This game looks pretty freaking good.
Graphics definitely look nice as well.
This game looks amazing! Hope this cures my Lego star wars addiction
I hope the PS3 version supports trophies and custom soundtracks. ( I'm not sure if they've already made announcements concerning the trophies)
May the force be with this game.
Kickass, I didn't know there was gonna even be a PSP version.
Cool... finally another game that might be worth getting. My psp has been collecting cobwebs lately due to lack of use. lol
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