Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Level, Costumes Available for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

LucasArts announced on December 5 that a new mission and additional costumes are now available for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed through the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network. The new mission, set in the demolished Jedi Temple on the planet Coruscant, allows players to guide Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller through the rubble of the demolished building to learn more about his Jedi lineage.

In addition to the new single-player stage, LucasArts has bundled nine new costumes with the mission pack, including:
-The Apprentice (Temple Exploration Gear)
-The Apprentice (Cybernetic Reconstruction)
-The Apprentice (Sith Training Gear)
-Mace Windu
-Darth Maul
-Qui-Gon Jinn
-Dark Stalker
-Lightsaber Training Droid
-Combat Training Droid

A new standalone costume pack is also available, which includes:
-The Apprentice (Utility Combat Suit)
-The Apprentice (Animated)
-The Apprentice (Spirit)
-Republic Trooper
-Luke Skywalker (Tatooine)
-Ben Kenobi
-Plo Koon
-Count Dooku
-Jango Fett
-C-3PO

I had my issues with The Force Unleashed when it was first released in September, but having picked it up again after learning about this new downloadable content, Ive realized how much fun it can be despite its flaws. If one can get past the camera issues and the shoddy targeting controls, The Force Unleashed provides for some decent hack-and-slash gameplay set against an aesthetically well-constructed Star Wars backdrop. There’s also a lot of cathartic joy to be had in frying Imperial Stormtroopers with lighting and tossing them to their doom with the Force.

With a newfound appreciation for the title, I purchased the Jedi Temple mission and while it shouldn’t take anyone very long to finish—it runs at about 30 minutes to an hour—it’s worth playing for fans of the game. There’s some fairly intuitive puzzle-solving and platforming involved, and its best moments are reminiscent of Luke Skywalker's Jedi training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, when he is forced to confront his innermost demons.

On the Xbox Live Marketplace, the Jedi Temple Mission Pack costs 800 Microsoft Points ($10), which is a little pricey but worth it for fans of the game. The standalone costume pack costs 400 Microsoft Points ($5), which is not entirely justified since the costumes are merely character skins. They don’t change gameplay in the slightest. However, if you can’t resist the humor in seeing C-3PO wield a lightsaber, then by all means pick it up.

For more information on The Force Unleashed, visit lucasarts.com.

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