STAR WARS - The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was released in September 2008 and became an instant favourite (although some bugs have been known to irritate) of gamers and Star Wars fans alike. This year saw the release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Ultimate Sith Edition. Essentially, this is the Collectors Edition for the original that PC users did not see last year. It contains the original game, an additional three new levels: Jedi Academy, Tatooine and Hoth, as well as new skins (as we would expect from any collectors edition), and a collectors card - all within an exclusive collectors tin case. In this Ultimate Sith Edition, you play as Starkiller, a Jedi’s son that Darth Vader has taken to become his apprentice. Throughout the game you are placed in different situations where you must do the Sith Lords bidding. With the powers of the Sith to help you with these tasks and abilities such as Force Push, Lightning, Grip and Repulse. All of these abilities use up your Force Power, which is located within your Force metre and you must wait for it to recharge before you can carry on unleashing your power. As you progress through the game, you can build up your combo database and customize your looks and lightsaber with different skins. Although this collector’s edition offers unique skins and contents, it does not offer anything ‘new’. The skins, Jedi Academy and Tatooine are all available as downloadable content while Hoth is the only part truly exclusive to this edition. So, before we get into the main game play, I would just like to state that this is really for people who haven’t had a chance to pickup a copy of the original game yet. The original game is the main part of this Collectors Edition as you would expect, but nothing has been changed from when it was first released. The graphics are nice and sleek, the physics (whilst a bit buggy) are fun to play with and your force powers are still the same. With that said, this is not a bad thing, as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. This game is still great fun to play but it can get a bit frustrating since none of the small bugs have been fixed. The three new levels are on a separate disc to the original game and you can play them even if you have not completed the original game. This could potentially detract from the main content because some non-gamers may just skip the original story, then find themselves lost (in terms of story) when playing the new levels. As these are stand-alone levels, you are given a set of prebuilt combos along with all of the lightsaber skins. If you have played through the original, your combos do not transfer over to the new levels, a tad annoying yet not something to dwell on for too long as you have been given nearly all the combos at the start. The first of the new level experiences is the Jedi Academy. This has been available for download for almost as long as the game has been around. As I said earlier, Darth Vader took Starkiller from a Jedi and so this level is about Starkiller finding out about his past. You must fight your way through the Jedi Academy with a personal test near tothe end. I did find while playing through, that at certain difficulties it is near impossible to complete (or even get past the first stage) because of the vast amount of enemies, but I am sure that is just me. Tatooine leads on from the original story, assuming you saw the ‘true’ ending. You are sent to speak with Jabba the Hut to foil a plan of his. Whilst there, you end up in a fight with a Rancor, this fight is fairly disappointing because of its simplicity and ease. In the original, you have some pretty hefty fights with Rancor, so you may have some idea of their difficulty. Now take that difficulty idea, half it, then increase your force powers and you may have some idea of what I am talking about. After the Rancor, it is just a matter of you running until you reach Mos Eisley Cantina (killing as many people as you possibly can along the way), where you meet Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Both of these fights are just as disappointing as the Rancor, if not more. You would expect a really epic fight with Obi-Wan but it’s just a matter of throwing him around and using Force Lightning on him until he dies. At the end of both these fights, you are treated to a Quick-Time Event, which is quite nice to watch but hardly make up for the stupidly easy fight you just had to sit through. These new Quick-Time Events are pretty much the same as in the original. You must press specific buttons at specific times to do cinematic moves. If you fail to do one, you go back a step. It’s visually impressive, but a tad boring. Hoth is the only exclusive part to the collection and yet is probably the least amount of fun (although there are a lot of enemies that you can kill in any way you see fit). It consists of you running through a lot of rooms, taking out everybody within, then moving onto the next room and doing the same (but this can be said of both the original game and the new levels aswell) This can get a bit tedious but they are pretty fantastic; however this doesn’t half make up for the game play. Another good point of this level though, is that there is more things to smash than you could hope for. Enough objects that you break apart which can be used to chuck at each enemy at least twice before finally destroying them. At the end of the Hoth obstacle you are faced against Luke Skywalker, similar to the Obi-Wan fight there is little challenge, which even an eight year old wouldn’t find to difficult to handle, yet it can get a bit more irritating come harder difficulties. The skins that you get with this collectors edition are available for download but are really quite fun to mess around with. It’s quite a sight when C3P0 wields a lightsaber and obliterates Boba Fett. But with this said, they are after all just skins, they add nothing to the game except a new look, which is a lot like the whole expansion. To reiterate, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Ultimate Sith Edition is more or less a ‘prettier’ version of the original game with a few extras chucked in. The only new thing that you get is the Hoth level as everything else is available for download. This is really for people who haven’t had the pleasure of purchasing the original yet, or have been waiting for it to be released onto PC as this edition allows that. May the Force be with You.