Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

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I’ve been playing this game pretty much non-stop for the past two weeks. Which pretty much tells you what you need to know, since I’m not a completist: I’ll bail on a game pronto if I’m bored.

I don’t really disagree with Tycho’s mixed assessment, but the flaws he names just don’t bug me as much as they seemed to bug him. Just knowing that I can walk into a room, look around at whatever dudes happen to be present, and either:

— shock the bejeezus out of them with Force lightning
— use the Force to pick them up by the midi-chlorians and throw them into a wall
— use the Force to pick up something else heavy and maybe explosive and hit them with that
— huck my light-saber at them, watch it slash the aforementioned bejeezus out of them, and have it boomerang back to my hand
— just wade in slashing, executing perfect light-saber-kendo forms till no man or jedi stands against me

is a feeling that I don’t think I will ever get tired of. That is the kind of decision I can make all day. Everybody you meet is frightened of you, and they should be, because you’re about to kill them. Life is good.

Yes, there are a few bewildering lapses. Some of the boss battles require endless minutes of totally mindless repetitive play, during which you mentally immerse the game designers and their immediate families in boiling oil. And the pursuit of bonus Jedi holocrons — don’t ask — requires some pointless box-jumping that I found unfun in the extreme. And the instantly famous money-sequence, in which you use the force to single-handedly pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky, is in actual gameplay totally and irredeemably boring. Somehow the designers turned it into an epic, spreadsheet-like setpiece of repetitive knob-twiddling completely devoid of excitement.

No matter. It’s Star Wars and it’s dark. I still rate this game an unqualified buy.