A demo can sell or break a game in the eyes of the undecided masses. The original Viva Pinata demo was awful: too bogged down with pop-ups and explanations to give anyone a true idea of the open nature of the final game. Compare this to the Force Unleashed demo, which so swiftly grabbed my interest in a universe I usually ignore that I actually bought the game day one, and you couldn’t have two more polar opposites in my eyes.
There are touches of the Devil May Cry and Too Human about Force Unleashed; you play Darth Vader’s secret apprentice and hack and slash your way through the Star Wars universe, ridding it of any Jedi you may find and wielding lightsabres and force powers as you go.
What this game does have over the other hack-and-slash games I have played recently is the ability to challenge you. After the first level that beds you in, the enemies are no walk over and you need to employ your arsenal of combos mix things up and get around their defences. This is opposed to the two games I’ve mentioned where I felt I could get through them in their entirety by just hammering a single button, their combos only being for show.
I have already had some immensely satisfying tussles. Ignoring the fact that some enemies can resist your force powers at times, you can find yourself blocking enemy swords strokes, countering with a force push to give yourself some space and then finishing them off with a crushing courtesy of a lightning coated droid that you sent spinning across the room. With the variety of attacks and combinations with which you can string them together available, the longevity of Force Unleashed’s combat system may be proven to be a winner. Of course I’m sure I’ve said that before, so we’ll see.
There are elements of platforming to keep level traversal interesting and boss battles that you’ll want to just swear (that are also really satisfying when you see them through), but overall things are looking good.