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Anthony Capone
25 May, 2008

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Preview

Wii Preview | We go hands-on and test the motion-sensitive lightsaber controls.
To round out PALGN's time with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (click here to check out the Xbox 360 preview), LucasArts was kind enough to give us some hands-on time with the Wii version. While The Force Unleashed on the Wii does not incorporated next-gen technologies like Euphoria and DMM, it does have one thing that Star Wars fans have long craved for – motion-sensitive lightsaber combat. So, armed with the Nunchuk and Wii Remote, we were ready to put our sword-fighting and force skills to the test.

Before vacating the floor, LucasArts Producer Dan Wasson provided a quick rundown on The Force Unleashed for the Wii. While LucasArts' own development teams are handling the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, Australian-based Krome Studios' is developing the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii games. Wasson nonetheless seemed at home on the console, slashing and stabbing his way through countless hordes of stormtroopers with ease.

Wasson provided a tour of the level inside the Jedi Temple – one of five missions unique to the Wii version. Players can perform the same attacks with their lightsaber and the force regardless of the version they buy, but the most obvious difference between the next-gen games and The Force Unleashed on the Wii is the graphics. The visual representations of force powers were quite impressive, and overall, the graphics on the Wii were fairly decent. Nonetheless, they weren't the most ground-breaking we have ever seen.

In duel mode, you play as a classic Star Wars character.

In duel mode, you play as a classic Star Wars character.
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However, the main focus of The Force Unleashed on the Wii is the controls. Once Wasson finished his presentation we were free to test out the game's only multiplayer component, called 'duel mode'. Duel mode pits players against each other in lightsaber skirmishes. You can choose from over 20 different Star Wars characters, such as Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, and a number of familiar locations, such as the freezing chamber on Cloud City. Once Luke Mitchell had selected Darth Maul as his character, we were ready to hit the dunes of Tatooine for the ultimate PALGN showdown.

The best feature in duel mode, and the rest of the game for that matter, is using the Wii Remote to swing your lightsaber around and perform stab attacks. Players shouldn't get too immersed in the lightsaber combat though, as you can quickly get thrown off your feet with the pool of Force powers at your disposal. Powers such as lightening and force push can be unleashed at the press of a button, and movement of your character is controlled with the Nunchuk's analogue stick.

Lightsaber combat is important, but don't forget force powers.

Lightsaber combat is important, but don't forget force powers.
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The Force Unleashed's controls were very robust and easy to learn after a go or two. Gesture movements give the impression of wielding a lightsaber, but whether or not The Force Unleashed will prove to be the definitive Star Wars Wii game, it is difficult to say. Nonetheless, our duels were still very entertaining, and it even got intense a few times as our characters zapped each other with lightening and throw objects using the force.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Nintendo Wii is shaping up as fun ride. Duel mode looks as though it will provide hours of entertainment, especially for those who want to come out on top every time. Though it may not prove to be the ultimate motion-sensitive lightsaber game, if you own a Wii console and are a die-hard or passing fan of Star Wars, The Force Unleashed will probably be a rewarding experience. For more information of the Wii version of The Force Unleashed, head over to our interview with the Lead Programmer, Trevor Powell. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will be available on all current-generation consoles and handhelds on September 17.
Overall:
With solid gesture-based controls and a fun multiplayer component, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed may become the latest craze to sweep the Wii. Feel like a Jedi you may not, but entertain you the game will.

Related Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Content

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Interview
22 May, 2008 We speak with the Lead Programmer on the Wii version, Trevor Powell.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed coming this September
04 Apr, 2008 If only Nintendo could follow such a well-planned release.
Wii version of The Force Unleashed getting exclusive levels
29 Jan, 2008 But 'groundbreaking' technologies on PS3 and 360.
4 Comments
5 years ago
Thanks heaps Anthony! I hunger for this one and will most likely pick it up across multiple formats if the promise of a different storyline experience for each system is a true statement.

Are you able to be a little more specific in telling us exactly how elaborate the motion controls are? Do they translate well or is it just a random swing fest? How accurate are the sounds out of the Wii remote?

Have Krome pulled off something truly wondrous and fun or is the Wii control more like a gimmick than anything else? Can you compare it to other titles on the console that rely on motion control in a similar manner such as Red Steel?

Other than that, thanks for taking the time to update us with your findings. This is very exciting stuff.
5 years ago
S.Jaworski wrote
Are you able to be a little more specific in telling us exactly how elaborate the motion controls are? Do they translate well or is it just a random swing fest? How accurate are the sounds out of the Wii remote?

Have Krome pulled off something truly wondrous and fun or is the Wii control more like a gimmick than anything else? Can you compare it to other titles on the console that rely on motion control in a similar manner such as Red Steel?
Swinging the Remote around or stabbing makes the lightsaber do the same. The controls really do translate well - there aren't too in-depth, but at the same time you aren't swinging the Remote around like a headless chicken. The thing is that you have force powers as well, so lightsaber combat is only a part of the game. Together, they help balance the game out. As for sounds, we weren't playing in the quietest room ever. icon_wink.gif

The game is really fun, but will TFU be the Wii lightsaber game? Needless to say, controls aren't just a gimmick. Also, I haven't played Red Steel yet, but I'm looking foward to seeing what happens when with the second game is released. icon_smile.gif
5 years ago
I want this, but not sure if I will get it on the PS3 or the Wii, might get both.
5 years ago
*drools*

This looks awesome! I want to see what the end-production edition looks like tho.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  17/09/2008 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Activision
Genre:
  Action Adventure
Year Made:
  2008

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