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Old 06-30-2010, 01:07 AM   #1
Hobo Joe
 
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A not-so-quick review of the PC version

In 1 word: Trash.


Lets start from the beginning: It's 30GB. Why? Absolutely no reason. It's not particularly long, graphically impressive, or anything else that would require 30GB of space. A lot of people have made theories as to why this is but the simple fact of the matter is that it's WAY bigger than it needs to be or should be.


The controls: Lets just say, you end up wanting to hit your head on the keyboard. As if the general sluggishness and bad response wasn't bad enough, it's loaded with carryover from controllers that makes playing with a mouse painful at best. Everything is condensed down to the bare minumum of keys and the blanks are filled with various gimmicky combos and timing that make you feel like you're playing a crappy console game from 5 years ago.

Everything worthwhile is automatic. Here's how you lightsaber fight: mouse1 mouse1 mouse1 mouse1 r mouse1 mouse1. The only way to do more than the automatic hack and slash is to memorize a large list of annoyingly scripted combo moves that take so long to execute that by the time you're actually doing the move the opportunity is gone. Then there's the fact that you can't move while using force grip, and that using it is the most unintuitive and annoying way possible. Instead of doing a perfectly logical system such as clicking to pick up, clicking again to drop(and using that to do effective flings - that automatic fling is horrible, feels like the game is trying to play for you, and doing a terrible job), using mouse1 to throw. Similar to how the previous SW games have done very effectively.

In addition - swinging your lightsaber moves you forward. For someone who plays a lot of FPS, i'm used to STOPPING when I let go of W, but this game has other ideas. Fighting that enemy on the ledge? Oops, automatic walk forward killed you. We thought we'd make everything non-standard just to annoy you, even though it makes no sense.

The camera. Hooolllyyyy . The camera. Here's the short version - You are not in control of the camera. If you leave the "action"(or whatever it's called) camera enabled, it tries to find 'dramatic' angles on everything, when in actuality all it's doing is shifting your angle of view which is not only disorienting but can completely ruin any fight you're in the middle of. Turning off this 'feature' only partially fixes it. The camera will still follow anything you've flung with grip(walk close to the edge, then grab someone and throw them off. Instead of just looking back, it takes control of your camera so it can pointlessly watch the corpse fly down the ravine, which has the unfortunate side effect of CHANGING THE DIRECTION YOU'RE WALKING" Hope you weren't trying to stay ON that ledge, the game was sure you wanted to fall off!

Boss fights, here's what they are - Terrible. Almost scripted in the limited way that you can kill them. You find their(blindingly obvious) "weakness" and then spam it till they're dead. It's exceedingly boring. On top of that, they decided they'd mix things up by giving you the lovely arena mode we all love. Oh wait, that's console gamers. I almost forgot, that view style doesn't work at all with a mouse and keyboard! It's a good thing the developers know better than me and put it in there anyway. It makes those boss fights so much more interesting and challenging! Now instead of just fighting the boss, I can fight my mouse and keyboard too!


The story - pretty much, there is none. You're an apprentice to Darth Vader who is planning to overthrow the Emperor and unlike most SW games where you're the underdog with the rebels, in this game you're already a member of the group with overpowering numbers and resources, making even that area of interest and motivation worthless. The lack of story combined with horrible acting is quite a package.


And I saved the best for last - quicktime events. Don't you just love watching that cutscene where you kill the boss, but it's not actually a cutscene and you actually have to spam buttons in response to a huge on-screen picture. It's the most pointless and absurd addition to games, it gives nothing satisfying or skill-based to the player except a horrible interrupted cutscene.

In general, the game pampers you. You get about 25% of your health from every enemy you kill(without upgrades), your force recharges to full in about 3 seconds(without upgrades), every enemy is auto-targeted and auto-slashed with a bunch of automatic scripted combos, the maps are shockingly linear, with almost no by-ways, and the ones that are there are extremely tiny, there are no puzzles, and every objective is told to you by a voice, on-screen, and by map markers and arrows.

It was clearly made with very young impatient preteen-teen age range. The main character is an angsty teenager sith, who's trusty sidekick is an evocative female who goes around with excessive cleavage showing at all times. But don't forget the informative comdedic relief robot! He'll be sure to make the annoying and terrible acting even more annoying.



The good: Physics and force powers. That's it. This game has a good physics engine with impressively destructible environments, making things like force push a fiendish delight. Grip would be fun too, if its control scheme wasn't so mind dullingly terrible.



tl;dr version: The good: force push. The bad: everything else.



I bought it for $7.50 and I think it's the worst use of that I could have possibly made. I'd have rather bought a $7.50 cup of coffee, it would have given me more satisfaction. And just to make it known, all this is coming from a big SW fan who's played almost all of the games and loved them to death. JK1-JKA were loads of fun and I've played them all several times.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:19 AM   #2
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i Haven't played it much yet, but I have to agree with a lot of this.. and I'm playing with a gamepad.
most annoying is the camera.. you can't change your viewing angle and fight at the same time.
i.e. you'll have to attack blindly into the camera hoping the enemy is there..
even tho the autolock always does the trick, there is no fun in it.
well I hope there will be more skill required later on, but reading this I guess it won't.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:13 PM   #3
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Sheesh, you sound like the typical overly-jaded PC gaming shut-in that hates all new video games because nothing will ever be as good as things were in the 90's when games had 40 keyboard shortcuts, you could spend hours playing grid inventory Tetris, and advanced through the game by quick-saving every 5 seconds. Oh joy.

It is not a great game, but as a 28 year old software developer and fan of Star Wars, I thought it was reasonably fun, entertaining game, well worth $7.50
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetz View Post
Sheesh, you sound like the typical overly-jaded PC gaming shut-in that hates all new video games because nothing will ever be as good as things were in the 90's when games had 40 keyboard shortcuts, you could spend hours playing grid inventory Tetris, and advanced through the game by quick-saving every 5 seconds. Oh joy.

It is not a great game, but as a 28 year old software developer and fan of Star Wars, I thought it was reasonably fun, entertaining game, well worth $7.50
Not at all, I enjoy all kinds of games from all different times, I just expect a little quality. How about basic playtesting for starters?
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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It's an ok game. The problem is that the pc version is the inferior one.
I should've got this game for ps3.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hobo Joe View Post
Not at all, I enjoy all kinds of games from all different times, I just expect a little quality. How about basic playtesting for starters?
I have my own beefs with the technical aspects of the game to be sure, but to me it seemed most of your review was spent saying how it's not like a classic PC game and then damning it for it.

Quick time events, attacks that move you, easy to pull off combos - these are all intrinsic to games of the genre (which is to say 3D "adventure brawlers" like God of War, Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, etc.)

If you don't like those games that's fine, but you're more or less complaining that it's the type game it is instead of another Jedi Knight game, which it seems you wanted it to be. If you're already pre-disposed to hating the genre, it's not particuarly valid to critique the game. It's like a person who admits to hating JRPGs reviewing the latest Final Fantasy.

Suffice it to say, if you're expecting a successor to Jedi Knight - you were expecting the wrong thing. If, however, you enjoy 3D brawlers like God of War, Force Unleashed can certainly be worth your time; it's not nearly as well honed as paragons of the genre like GoW, but it's still fun.

Last edited by Sweetz: 06-30-2010 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sweetz View Post
I have my own beefs with the technical aspects of the game to be sure, but to me it seemed most of your review was spent saying how it's not like a classic PC game and then damning it for it.

Quick time events, attacks that move you, easy to pull off combos - these are all intrinsic to games of the genre (which is to say 3D "adventure brawlers" like God of War, Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, etc.)

If you don't like those games that's fine, but you're more or less complaining that it's the type game it is instead of another Jedi Knight game, which it seems you wanted it to be. If you're already pre-disposed to hating the genre, it's not particuarly valid to critique the game. It's like a person who admits to hating JRPGs reviewing the latest Final Fantasy.

Suffice it to say, if you're expecting a successor to Jedi Knight - you were expecting the wrong thing. If, however, you enjoy 3D brawlers like God of War, Force Unleashed can certainly be worth your time; it's not nearly as well honed as paragons of the genre like GoW, but it's still fun.

What can I say? I like to play games, not watch badly acted cutscenes that want me to press random buttons.

And I wasn't expecting it to be the next JK, I knew before I bought it that it wouldn't be as good, but I was still expecting it to be a badass and fun game with lightsabers and force powers, with at least basic playtesting to pick the more blatant flaws with the controls. I never expect much from a console port but this one really takes it to a new level.

I'm not one to bemoan consoles for ruining gaming and being the death of the industry, they have their fair share of well made games, but consoles did have a bastard child and it is this genre. I guess it's old fashioned to want to play the game instead of letting it play for you.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:25 AM   #8
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I agree on one point. The 30gb download is just plain wrong. There's nowhere near 30gb of actual game here, not even close. It dwarfs other big downloads like GTA IV (16gb) and The Witcher (15gb) and those 2 games are huge compared to this.

As for the game itself i must say i'm enjoying it. I play with a 360 pad and it plays quite well imo.
Anyway, i think the £5 i paid for it during the daily sale is worth it.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:43 AM   #9
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Yeah, I don't think your 7.50 was wasted. You got to create a thread bashing the game for the nth time with all your expertise, a couple of people got to agree with you, and you came out looking smart and mighty as hell. Well, that's priceless. A cup of coffee wouldn't give this kind of nerd satisfaction.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
Hobo Joe
 
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Yeah, I don't think your 7.50 was wasted. You got to create a thread bashing the game for the nth time with all your expertise, a couple of people got to agree with you, and you came out looking smart and mighty as hell. Well, that's priceless. A cup of coffee wouldn't give this kind of nerd satisfaction.
All I need now is that smiley of the pimply-faced nerd with huge glasses and a raging boner.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:23 PM   #11
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As far as the quicktime events are concerned, at least it doesnt bother you during actual cinematic cutscene movies as Resident Evil 5 does, so it could be worse. It's only during the kill scene animations(which RE5 also does). Sure, gameplay wise it isn't anything to be thrilled about, but it does kind of add to the in-game cinematic quality of killing a boss.

Same thing with the arena mode.. yeah it's definitely frustrating having your camera yoinked like that and it's hard to get used to, but i think it looks great. Fighting proxy Darth Maul was epic as . A lot of this game was about creating a cinematic gameplay experience and i think it did an alright job.

As for combos, c'mon OP, don't be such a noob. Some of them are very EZ to learn and execute (like m1,m1,m1,E and so on). I feel bad for you if you went through this game only spamming mouse1 and spamming whatever works against bosses. The entire point is to be a straight up G with your jedi styles and use varying combos and powers for more points.

Attacking the story and acting? Wow, man, it's Star Wars. What did you expect? I guess you missed the part where Anakin and Luke are angsty teenagers as well. I dig the story. Does a great job of mimicing the style of the movies and presenting a plot that isn't completely corny.

Last edited by pistolols: 07-02-2010 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo Joe View Post
with at least basic playtesting to pick the more blatant flaws with the controls. I never expect much from a console port but this one really takes it to a new level.
If you don't have a 360 gamepad, you're doing it wrong.

I use my 360 pad for everything except first person shooters these days. Analog stick are simply better suited than keyboard for 3rd person games like this where movement is more important than aiming. Games like Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, these are all games that are much better experienced with a 360 pad and Force Unleashed is no different.

You can complain and say that you shouldn't need a gamepad to play a PC game, but to me that's akin to complaining that you can't run Crysis on $50 video card and have it look like the screenshots. If you want to experience Crysis optimally you have to buy the hardware for it. Same applies here, you can play through the game with keyboard and mouse, but that's like playing through Crysis on that $50 video card; if you want to experience Force Unleashed optimally you need a gamepad.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:12 AM   #13
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Yeah agreed, all issues with controls are rendered moot if using a 360 controller. But even with a mouse/keyboard, it's never really an issue except for the arena boss battles.

I don't quite follow what OP means for a better force grip system. Sure, it isn't perfect, but i think they did it the best way they could while keeping the gameplay fluid. Personally i have no problem quickly force gripping things and sending them whereever i want. Very satisfying sending storm troopers and tie fighters crashing into each other.

This game is just awesome. Gameplay and level designs remind me a lot of Shadows of the Empire for N64, except on steroids and with a lightsaber.

Last edited by pistolols: 07-02-2010 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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Very over the top on the negativity

You make good points but blow them up put of proportion and barely mention the good points.

Comes off as very unbalanced.

Its a decent not spectacular game and a decent not spectacular port. Nothing more nothing less.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:41 PM   #15
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I bought this game on the Steam sale as well, but only recently started playing it.

My god the controls are horrid. The game itself is fun, but the controls are so bad it really makes it almost unplayable without an XBox 360 controller. I'm going to stop playing it until I can pick up a new controller (all my XBox controllers are wireless).

It's kind of annoying how little they did with the port. You can't click on any of the menus, and you can remap your keys to something that isn't awful, but then you have those somewhat annoying quicktime events that don't look up your new mappings so you have to try to remember what ability Q was originally, and now what you mapped it to. It's a real pain.

Though I imagine once I get a controller for it, all the pain will go away and it'll be a lot of fun. I just needed to rant about the horrible controls
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