Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and other platforms is LucasArts’ most ambitious gaming project to-date. Taking over four years from concept to completion and enduring multiple delays, the long-awaited game is the first next-gen development effort by the small studio, and the first to utilize multiple new technologies and the direct input of Industrial Light and Magic.
Taking all this into consideration it comes as a bit of a surprise to see what print media is saying about the game. With four reviews in the can, Force Unleashed has only mustered a meta score of 6.8, with individual publication scores ranging from a mediocre 7.5 all the way down to a pathetic 56.
Official Xbox Magazine offers the highest score of 7.5 and has the following to offer.
With its non-branching storyline and no multiplayer, Force Unleashed is certainly less ambitious than the classic “Jedi Knight” games – and ultimately, its design makes it feel more videogame-y and less of an all-engrossing Star Wars experience than Xbox entries like “Jedi Knight II” or “Jedi Academy.” But when the game is on, it’s on.
Games and GamePro magazine each scored Force Unleashed a 70, citing hack-and-slash gameplay is redundant but there is fun to have.
At the bottom of the barrel is Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 56 and one simple yet powerful quote, “An ambitious–yet ultimately dissatisfying–effort.” For comparison, EGM is saying Force Unleashed is no better than The Incredible Hulk per Metacritic’s scores. Ouch!
We’ve been playing the full retail version of The Force Unleashed for a few days now and will have our own review up once the embargo lifts on September 15. Until then, you may want to ratchet down those ultimate Star Wars game expectations a few notches.