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Old August 22 2008, 01:10 PM   #1
Jim Steele
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Location: Croydon
The Force Unleashed demo impressions

The demo went up yesterday on XBLA and PSN. Weighs in at just 100mb shy of a gig for about 30 minutes of gameplay.

I had no idea that it was essentially a God of War clone until playing it - but that's not a bad thing in itself.

It is a fairly competent mix of hack n' slash gameplay with Force powers standing in for traditional 'magic' (a rose by any other name...). The main power you'll be using to blast through this sample level is "Force Grip", the same kind of kick-ass telekinises you saw Darth Vader pwning Luke with in Empire.

You can't move the character while using this power which I found frustrating initially and the controls for moving objects - which use the right trigger to grab/throw and both sticks to move - are a bit fiddly and it took until the end of the demo before I felt comfortable with them.

The camera is not as responsive as I'd like and is used to snap-to target objects for force gripping as well as looking around, which I considered a necessary irritant but again I got used to it.

Visually it's bloody gorgeous, with crisp high resolution textures and one of the most expressive faces in a cutscene that I've seen since GTA4. It's all anti-aliased and pixel shaded up the arse as you'd expect from current gen, looks wonderful.

Lastly, I absolutely loved fighting an AT-ST as a boss in the last bit of the demo. It was seriously cool - I felt like an all powerful force of nature (no pun intended) while I twatted the thing with random heavy stuff, all the while flinging stormtroopers to their deaths.

My biggest real gripe was the QTE finishing move on the AT-ST. I realise this is a staple of the genre, but frankly QTEs are shit.

Really shit.

It's just a lazy way of giving you something to do while the game engine kills the boss for you in what is essentially a mini-cutscene - which you're not able to watch, because you're concentrating on the button presses. I know QTEs split gamers right down the middle and most of you will think I'm just being nitpicky, but there it is. QTEs are crap game design imho.

Aside from that though - it's awesome and I'm definitely buying the game next month. Can't wait!
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