Don't get me wrong, I'd still have preferred an HD reboot of Grim Fandango, but I've got to say that I really enjoyed The Force Unleashed. Mucking around with the Force is pretty much any Star Wars fan's idea of a dream and this little hack and slash action title certainly delivered on some gloriously destructive Dark Side satisfaction.
Steam are currently offering the Ultimate Sith edition of the game at half price (well, half of their usual extortionate rate anyway) and gamers who know their Twi'leks from their Trandoshans will be happy to know that this reduced price of £9.99 is a good £6 cheaper than the nearest competitor over at GAME.
TFU was widely advertised as Chapter 3.5 in the star Wars saga, and it's a promise that is delivered, serving up a pretty good story about Darth Vader's secret apprentice and a whole load of backstabbing and betrayal. The story holds up pretty well, apart from the romance stuff which seems to have been added in as an afterthought and is both thoroughly predictable and yet still manages to come pretty much right out of the blue.
The gameplay is your run of the mill blade-based action title with the most basic of RPG mechanics: finish of enemies with stylish combos and level up your powers and capabilities. But it's those capabilities that make TFU so much fun. Right at the start you're given a taste of absolute Dark Side power, playing as the masked Sith Lord Vader himself. All of the moves and powers are unlocked and you'll happily spend a good ten minutes cackling with glee as you hurl hapless Wookiee after Wookiee from their own treetop bridges and huts. It's a powerful introduction that serves as an incentive for when you begin the second level, as the apprentice, with a small fraction of that power.
it could use a fully destructible physics engine, the level design could be better, and the repetition of locales and unique boss characters is both uninspired and shows a disappointing lack of ambition, but the game as a whole is fairly good fun for the most part. The production values are pleasant, the voice acting pretty good, and John Williams-influenced music echoes around making everything feel suitably epic and wonderful. It's an entertaining romp, certainly a good deal better than any of the film tie-ins ever were, but perhaps not quite as awesome as the Jedi Knight sequels. Well worth a tenner, mind you.
Thanks to Cuddy at HUKD