Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unleash the Force on your PSP


By James Booth

One of the most anticipated games of 2008 was Stars Wars: The Force Unleashed from LucasArts. This title, approved by George Lucas himself and considered to be canon to the Star Wars universe, is set between Episodes III and IV, or, if you prefer, between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (the first movie from 1977). In the game, youtake on the role of Darth Vader's secret apprentice in an effort to hunt down remaining Jedi, carrying out secret missions of espionage and destruction on behalf of the Dark Lord.

Resurrecting my "We Got Game!" column, I'm taking my Force powers with me wherever I go in this hands-on look at the PSP version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed shown in Figure A.


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (click for larger image)

Looking to redeem a game franchise that has had a less than favorable reputation over the years, The Force Unleashed is one of the most impressive LucasArts offerings to hit the gaming world. Available on nearly every gaming platform, Unleashed should find an audience regardless of what system a gamer owns. As a matter of fact, the PC and Mac are the only current gaming platforms where you won't find The Force Unleashed.

How best to use the Force

With so many platforms to choose from, which is the best for your Force gaming experience? That depends. What are your gaming priorities? While the story of the game is pretty much the same across all platforms, feature-wise, each version offers something a bit different from the others.

"I'm currently on my third run through the game. The first was just to complete it, the second to blow the snot out of everything."

If visuals are your priority, then the PS3 or Xbox 360 would be the path to take. Taking advantage of the Havok gaming engine and fully destructible environments, I would expect the PS3's BluRay to be visually superior. But from what I've been able to ascertain, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game are identical. Gamespot has some PS3 gameplay video offering tips on how to deal with some of the Bosses and how best to level up your powers. If nothing else, it gives you an example of what the game looks like on the PS3.

The PS2, Wii, Nintendo DS, and PSP offer a visual experience pretty much the same regardless of system. Many gamers find multiplayer to be an essential element of their gaming, and those players will be sadly disappointed to learn that multiplayer is only offered on three systems: the Wii, DS, and PSP. Multiplayer on the Wii is really only a head-to-head dueling mode for two players on the same Wii, and not an Internet multiplayer game. On the DS, it's supposed to be an adhoc for three or four players.