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Video GameStar Wars: The Force Unleashed (Series) Review
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Posted: 10 weeks ago, last updated 8 weeks ago.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and its sequel, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II are fighting-adventure games set in the Star Wars universe. You use force powers and lightsaber attacks to defeat enemies in fast-paced combat, and in the latest Switch version, use motion controls to control your lightsaber and the force. While many games place you in the shoes of strong characters, few offer the same feeling of sheer power as The Force Unleashed does as you destroy hordes of enemies in mere seconds.

You play Galen Marek (Starkiller), Darth Vader's secret apprentice, as Vader sends you out on various missions as your resentment towards him, stemming from your father's death, grows. Eventually, you choose either to turn to the light or take Vader's place by the Emperor's side as an agent of evil. In the second game, you play as a clone of Galen as you make a daring escape from the clutches of the Empire.

Play involves exploring levels and using your lightsaber and force powers, which include push, lightsaber throw, levitate, and force lightning, to kill enemies. Combat is fast-paced, and as you face off against large groups of enemies, you move from one to the next, destroying each in a matter of seconds with your powerful moves. You upgrade your abilities as you progress, increasing your strengths to ever-greater heights until you're so powerful you can pull even a Star Destroyer from orbit.

There are several different versions of the games, each with varying graphics, level designs, and abilities, but the core gameplay is largely the same in most. In the DS games, you use the touchscreen to perform attacks, abilities and jumps as you progress through slightly simplified levels. The iOS games, however, are a string of rooms where you swipe at enemies to attack them from a locked-off camera perspective. The Switch version, which is a remaster of the Wii game, features motion controls that allow you to perform lightsaber and force moves using a Joy-Con, and also has a Duel Mode where you battle as one of many different Star Wars characters against a friend in shared-screen local multiplayer.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) DS, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Wii and Switch.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (2010) DS, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii.

The result is a series of games that give you direct control over your character The sense of power from the in-depth combat and force abilities creates an experience that's not only fun and engaging but also rewards experimentation in combat as you use your powers in ever greater and more ambitious ways.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 16/09/2008, updated in 2022

Platforms: DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Switch, Wii and Xbox 360

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1-2

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Aspyr Media (@AspyrMedia)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 6 hours and 14 hours to complete. There are collectables that unlock concept art hidden around each level. Collecting all of these can increase the play time significantly.
 

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. On the Switch (and Wii) version, you can play in Duel Mode, where you fight against a friend using force powers and lightsaber combat.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 16 for Strong Violence.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Mild Blood and Violence. Players use light sabers and "force powers" to defeat stormtroopers (human-like soldiers depicted in white, robot-like armor) and fantasy creatures in frenetic melee-style combat. Light saber strikes often impale enemies, and some attacks cause dismemberment to stormtroopers—though in a non-gory, non-bloody manner. One character is briefly depicted with streaks of red blood on his face and clothes. Explosions, frequent laser fire, and cries of pain can be heard throughout the game.

Skill Rating

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The combat is fast-paced and you quickly push buttons to dodge and attack as well as execute frequent quick-time-events.

CostsCosts

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed usually costs £11.99 to £17.99.
 

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

XBox Store Xbox One £11.99
Switch Store Switch £17.99

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

XBox Store Xbox One £11.99
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. While the original releases had extra content available to purchase like new cosmetic items, in most cases this has now been bundled into the game as the Ultimate Sith Edition of the game. While not called the Ultimate Sith Edition, the Switch version also has no in-game purchases.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Accessibility Report documents 27 accessibility features:
This report is based on the latest Switch release. Settings and options may differ in older versions.

During many fights, you need to quickly press buttons simultaneously or hold them down. In addition, many fights against larger enemies finish with a "quick-time-event", where you must quickly press a specific button shown. These cannot be disabled. While you can toggle the difficulty of minigames between easy and normal difficulty and disable/enable tutorials (enabled by default), the game has no overall difficulty settings.

On the Switch and Wii versions, there are motion controls, but they are not optional and conventional controls can be used instead if preferred (conventional controls by default).

While the text in menus and text boxes is large, clear and of high contrast, the subtitles occasionally blend in with the background, making them hard to read. Subtitles are enabled by default and cannot be turned off.

The game has several visual events that cannot be disabled. When performing certain moves, the screen shakes and your field of view changes quickly. In menus, selecting individual sub-menu categories releases a spark of force lightning behind the category that is very bright and cannot be disabled.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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