The Force Unleashed Demo Impressions

Well, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed demo was released yesterday, and me being me decided to try it. The demo is about 1.3GB on PSN - and it shows you exactly what to expect when the game finally ships in about a month's time. (It's the same demo in the exclusive GameTrailers videos and I think the same demo that was shown at GC2008.) The demo played exactly as expected, giving you a good sense of power, being able to throw around practically anything that isn't tethered to the ground, and the Force meter depletes in a very sensible way. What do I mean by sensible? It doesn't deplete while you are fiddling with something you've Force Gripped (at least in easy, didn't bother trying harder difficulties), which means plenty of leeway to fiddle with something in the full 3D space (yes, you can control it to move left, right, up, down, forwards and backwards relative to your character, and if you are forceful enough, you can get it to actually rotate).

The way Force Lightning is used seems like a pretty sensible evolution for someone who has a lot of energy to spare, imbuing your lightsaber attacks with lightning and even a small shockwave. You have a sensible air combo with which to attack enemies, and taking down larger more difficult enemies require QTE-esque button pressing, which is fine.

So, what's wrong with it? It seems that Western developers can never get the camera right. (Too Human being the poster child of high profile game with terrible camera. At least in the demo, I'm not gonna even buy the full game seeing how 1up and gamespot tore it up.) The camera isn't broken, but you do occasionally find yourself fighting with the camera since if you can't see the enemy, you can't lock onto them. This means that pressing the lock button in hopes it will give you sight of your next enemy is unfortunately not gonna work. This is actually perfectly acceptable, since you can lock on to quite the variety of objects, so that could cause a problem.

There is the occasional strange bug with the camera, where the camera can somehow end up stuck in a peculiar angle under your character, I'm not sure why, I'm not sure how, but it is annoying to have it just plain stuck. Thoughtfully, a camera center/reset system is in place and is triggered by pressing down on the right stick (PS owners will know this as R3.), which does remedy the problem, although it would've been much nicer if the camera didn't get stuck to begin with.

The game should be pretty good. It'll come down to level design and enemy variety, I guess.