The Force Unleashed Switch Review

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed left its mark on the franchise when it was released in 2008, at least as far as video games are concerned. Many are still hoping that Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 3 will be announced one day, which is unlikely to happen. That doesn’t mean the sub-franchise is completely dormant, though, as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is headed to the Nintendo Switch on April 20. Here, players take on the role of Galen Marek, better known as Starkiller . As Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller trains to become a full-fledged Sith Lord and help Vader kidnap Emperor Palpatine, but of course, that plan goes awry. There are Light and Dark side endings to the game, but Star Wars: The Force Unleashed made waves at launch for letting players become a Sith. This resulted in not only a unique game but also a strong and devoted fanbase. As such, putting Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the Switch is an intriguing prospect, especially since players will be able to view the galaxy far, far away through a different lens. It may not be canon, but many nostalgic fans want a reason to return to it. Newcomers will get a chance to see Starkiller and his raw power unleashed for the first time. On paper, this all sounds good, but unfortunately, the execution is incredibly flawed. vader starkiller was forcibly released What fans should know from the start is that this is just a port complete with motion controls—not a remake or even a remaster. More specifically, it is based on the Wii version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which made some changes from other platforms due to its technical limitations. Many consider it weaker than the PlayStation or Xbox versions, and unfortunately, it bleeds into this Switch version. Many visuals in the Switch version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed come across as muddy, especially when playing in handheld mode. It’s a bit better when docked, but otherwise it can be hard to make out any differences at a distance. A red flower and the world’s health vials are so similar that they could easily be mistaken for one another, and everything from Kashyyyk’s forest to Starkiller’s clothing choices is a miss, visually. This remains a constant issue at all times, but it is perhaps most noticeable during combat. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed’s combat feels dumbed down. The motion controls are nice, but they don’t really back up the engaging combat. Starkiller can use Force Lightning, throw his Lightsaber, empower himself with the Dark Side of the Force, fall to the ground, and unleash deadly combos, but the Switch port fails to capture all of the raw that Starkiller power. It gets lost in translation somehow, and with sponge-y enemies capable of taking multiple Force bars worth of lightning, it’s not fun to play as Starkiller. force motion controls It’s a real shame, too, because his powers are a major part of Starkiller’s character. Starkiller does a lot of things in this game that weren’t and still aren’t seen in the franchise, and even one of his most powerful appearances in the game—taking on a Star Destroyer in Raxus Prime—loses all power here. Instead of exploring the struggle and triumph of this moment through gameplay, it just happens without real emphasis, and that says a lot about the game. There’s a lot going on, and there’s really no emotion in this port to bolster plot points or gameplay elements, from the lackluster combat to the stale facial animations. RELATED: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – How Long to Beat Players will also spend more time fighting with the camera as often as Starkiller does with Storm Troopers. This is most noticeable in battles with large creatures, such as against machines or Rancors, but the camera will focus and zoom out at the worst possible times. The camera will also do a complete 180-degree turn after Starkiller is knocked down. If players stand facing one way, the camera will make sure they’re actually facing and move the exact opposite—for no reason. This makes dodging any follow-up attacks nearly impossible. Forcefully Released lightning For the most part, the relatively short level design of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is good for those looking to play on the go. The game will only last a few hours, no matter how well you get the Lightsaber crystals and other collectibles, even players will find themselves in the exact same setting several times. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed’s levels often involve walking through certain areas, fighting enemies, and moving on, which can feel overwhelming at times. This is especially true when paired with the visuals and combat, as the game can get dull and repetitive really fast. The level design is ultimately a mixed bag, and while it has a lot going for it, the technical limitations of the Wii are reflected here on the Switch. Duel Mode, despite sharing many of the same shortcomings, is probably the best feature. It’s a lot of fun playing as Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Maris Brood, Vader, and many others, and it supports local multiplayer for family fun. The problem is that the game doesn’t offer incentives to check out the mode, and when they do, it doesn’t expand beyond its initial concept. star wars force unleashed duel mode Star Wars: The Force Unleashed’s biggest draw is nostalgia in this Switch port. Many have fond memories of the game from its original release in 2008, but unfortunately, this port fails to honor this beloved IP. Perhaps worst of all is that there are plenty of great games on the Switch, and there’s little reason why this can’t be one. This could have redeemed the bad Wii version, but instead, it may have exacerbated its shortcomings. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was released for Switch on April 20. Today Technology was provided the code for the purposes of this review. MORE: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Could Use a Full Remake

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