'Star Wars: The Force Unleashed' Demo Hands-On

Screenshot from the 'Star Wars: The Force Unleashed' Demo for the PS3

“*cooooo…CAH* Where is your master?” we hear Lord Vader spout in the darkness. And with that, all is forgiven, the sub-par prequel movies vaporize into nothingness, and I am a pure unadulterated Star Wars fanboy again. After the opening cinematic with Vader giving me, his secret apprentice Starkiller (incidentally, the original last name George Lucas had in mind for young Luke) my first mission, I take control in a tie-fighter production facility.

If it were MTV’s Cribs, my next line would be “And this is where the magic happens.” The controls are mapped out with two things in mind: Ease of use, and utter destruction. Gamers that have played the Jedi Knight series will find a similar experience, but with the powers themselves amped up. Starkiller runs through a couple hallways and destroys blasts his way with nothing but force push to get into the hangar bay. Dispatch a few dozen Stormtroopers, learn a new force power, and then you get to pull tie fighters out of the sky.

The demo, all told, lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on just how much you decide to destroy, and it was 5 hours of the most fun gaming I’ve had in a long time. That’s right; I’ve played this demo well over 10 times now, from start to finish, on every difficulty level. The gameplay just doesn’t stop being fun, and this is only a very early mission with very immature force powers.

The “everything’s destructible” phrase is becoming a common promise, and here, LucasArts does not disappoint. There’s a great sense of discovery as you see just what your force powers can do. Big Star Wars fans will especially get a thrill the first time they bend an entire archway out to knock a tie fighter out of the sky. The combos are cool looking and easy to figure out as well. Every move you make can be supercharged with combinations of force powers and the light saber, making for some explosive attacks.

One thing we unfortunately do not get a taste of here is saber vs. saber combat in a Jedi duel. They have to save SOME things for the full game, of course, and the prospect of throwing entire vehicles and parts of buildings at each other has me chomping at the bit.

Honestly, I don’t know how this game can be anything other than amazing fun. The demo is fantastic, and reminds me what I love about the Star Wars franchise. This is as close to a flawless gaming experience as it comes, and even with all the hype and expectation, this lived up to it all. Until September 16th, (a couple days more for European or Asian readers), I’ll be re-playing the demo, honing my Force skills, and just having fun blowing up tie fighters by throwing electrically charged Stormtroopers at them. If you have a PS3 or an Xbox 360 and Internet access, go download this demo immediately. This game is looking to be a must own, and the demo alone is a must play. May the Force Blow Your Mind, indeed.

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