Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Go ahead, use it

Aug 31, 2009
Games

Translating top-notch console graphics and a complex cinematic storyline to an iPhone touch screen can feel like reducing an award-winning New York deli sandwich to Lunchables. There’s just not enough meat. Then I downloaded THQ Inc.’s console-turned-iPhone game Star Wars The Force Unleashed and quickly realized I owe the developers a hearty apology. Originally designed […]

Translating top-notch console graphics and a complex cinematic storyline to an iPhone touch screen can feel like reducing an award-winning New York deli sandwich to Lunchables. There’s just not enough meat. Then I downloaded THQ Inc.’s console-turned-iPhone game Star Wars The Force Unleashed and quickly realized I owe the developers a hearty apology.

Originally designed for PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox, you are Darth Vader’s secret assassin—complete with Lou Reed-like glamour-rock makeup—trained to eradicate the Jedi and carry out an internal plot against the Emperor. This is not your run-of-the-mill app to keep you mindlessly entertained on the bus. Star Wars The Force Unleashed has multiple levels that stumped me more than once and required seemingly endless skills to unlock and remember as you navigate through your way an unfolding storyline.

Training sessions before each new level teach you more ways to wield the Force with a few easy screen strokes—including Jedi mind tricks and Force Speed, which turns your enemies and environment to Matrix-style slow motion.

If the $5.99 price makes you nervous, a free version, Star Wars The Force Unleashed Lite, is available. It features the first level of the full game to give you a feel for typical combat scenarios. There may be times you’ll wish you could use your lightsaber for more than blocking, and sometimes the intermittent dialogue that advances the plot drags on far too long, but next thing you know, you’re blasting an Imperial Walker off a cliff with handfuls of the Force and nothing else matters but the powerful feeling it gives you—kind of expected when you’re harnessing the Dark Side.

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