Mixed or average reviews - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 74
  2. Negative: 1 out of 74
  1. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is flawed, cursed with anti-climaxes and a sprinkling of disappointment. It's not the game we all hoped it was going to be, it doesn't reinvent anything, it's certainly not original and the main tenant upon which its sold - that you can 'kick ass with the force' - is often forgotten in favour of tedium and annoyance.
  2. Although Force Unleashed does deserve your money to a certain extent, be aware that your patience for technical and design issues will be tested.
  3. 40
    The concepts are solid, the story is excellent, and the characters sustain. Aesthetically it is a beautiful piece of work. It's just not all that much fun to play, especially when bugs have left parts of the game incomplete.
  4. This isn't just another franchise game: it's the closest thing that you'll ever get to a sequel to the movies. It's not the cleverest game ever made, but there's certainly enough excitement, intrigue and massive explosions to keep you interested. [Oct 2008, p.74]
  5. Straight-forward lightsaber action meets first class story. But what sounds like a must have game reveals a lot of frustrating sides and small bugs.
  6. As a fan you will want to experience what The Force Unleashed has to offer. It's just a shame that while there are occasional moments of brilliance when everything falls into place, they're not quite enough to back up the game's delusions of grandeur.
  7. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an entertaining romp through the Star Wars universe; just don't expect something of The Empire Strikes Back brilliance.
  8. If you like the idea of messing with some storm troopers to the extent that it verges on Force-fuelled torture we recommend you give The Force Unleashed a look.
  9. The combat is fun and visually rewarding, if a little glitchy, but at the end of the day it's Star Wars, you probably already know if you're going to enjoy this game. [Issue#37, p.80]
  10. The fancy technology powering the experience is impressive, as is the performance by actors who lent their voices and likenesses to the game's pivotal characters. That's mixed with rote game mechanics -- hack, slash, fight big boss, level ends -- that can easily grow tiresome, and a leveling up system that's more distraction than a way to create a customized character.
  11. For anyone who considers themselves a fan of the series I would recommend a purchase, there is definite replay value in repeating earlier levels with newly gained abilities, and many of the game’s flaws fade into the background when your character is powerful enough to dominate a level.
  12. A great game if you can stomach the bugs, but that’d be like trying to ignore somebody choking you from across the room.
  13. Front end presentation is pretty dreadful. The menu system, which you'll see plenty of as it is also used for levelling up, is a shoddy mess. It looks like something from ten years ago or placeholder graphics that the developer didn't have time to replace.
  14. 50
    It's all the more disappointing because you can see, mired in the boring levels and bad cameras, glimpses of fun ideas.
  15. 90
    Inconsistent, occasionally maddening level design may turn off hardcore gamers, but this potent mix of vicarious thrills and a compelling drama that bridges the third and fourth films is exactly the videogame Star Wars fans have been looking for.
  16. Star Wars: Force Unleashed was very much an enjoyable game. The hack and slash gameplay was pleasant and the graphics are the best I’ve seen from a Star Wars title to date.
  17. For Star Wars fans, The Force Unleashed is required playing to continue your membership in the Star Wars geekdom.
  18. It is great to see the franchise is back on form once again.
  19. The gameplay is electric and fun, and the plethora of awesome new enemy types will make Star Wars action figure collectors salivate.
  20. Overall, SWFU is a great concept and does belong in your Xbox 360 collection, especially if you are a Star Wars fan.
  21. This is one of those games that doesn’t meet all the technical makeup’s of a great game but at the end of the day is one hell of a good time to play through, specifically for fans of the Star Wars saga.
  22. Unleashed offers the best Star Wars yarn that involves the original characters since the first trilogy.
  23. For Star Wars fans, there is a lot here to love. The game looks great, controls well, is fun to play, and has a great storyline that you won’t want to miss.
  24. 85
    The unlockables and amazing force powers offer plenty of replay value, and the story is top notch. Anyone who calls themselves a Star Wars fan needs to experience this game, if only for the narrative which really adds a lot to the main canon.
  25. Force Unleashed is one of the finest Star Wars games to hit consoles yet. A must buy for Star Wars fans the world over.
  26. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a great Star Wars action game, with an interesting story and a lot of potential for fun, so long as as you can look past some moderately annoying issues.
  27. The thing is that when I look back on the time I spent playing the game, and it was a longer play time than I expected, I don’t remember all the bad stuff. I very much enjoyed the journey and the superbly done story and, without any critical failings in the game mechanics, then that’s a great thing to be able to say.
  28. While the Force Unleashed might not completely live up to the incredible hype befitting a Star Wars title, it is still a worthy entry into the Universe.
  29. As a Star Wars video game, The Force Unleashed just takes too many missteps to be a masterpiece. But as Star Wars canon, The Force Unleashed does very little wrong.
  30. Overall, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a pretty good game. If you are a Star Wars fan, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection.
  31. The playability should have been better, considering the technology behind it all, but it still manages to offer some hours of unadulterated entertainment.
  32. For gamers who have never gotten into Star Wars, this game warrants a look, if not for the Star Wars franchise, then at least for the great gameplay!
  33. Despite of being repetitive, The Force Unleashed is a really interesting action title. The AI defects and the reiterative form of resolving combats are aspects which should not distract us from the fact that the videogame is attractive, ambitious and full of action.
  34. The disappointment from playing Force Unleashed comes from some really high expectations, ones that the game sets up itself in the early going. The storyline is so good, the graphics simply amazing, the whole thing just so classic Star Wars that it almost hurts when I think about how much the game pissed me off.
  35. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an enjoyable game with plenty of action and mementos to keep fans happy for quite some time.
  36. The Force Unleashed is more of a highly impressive tech demo with a great narrative tagged on, with any actual game present inserted only as an afterthought.
  37. 76
    Some overlong levels, repetitive enemies and the inconsistent effect of your powers stop this from being great. As it is, it's a lot of fun but once you've played through it a few times it's hard to imagine dusting it off years or even months down the track.
  38. When the game caters to its strengths, it soars; when it deviates, it flounders. Regardless, it's still a more than worthy entry in a long line of licensed Star Wars games, and a good action game in its own right.
  39. With its non-branching storyline and no multiplayer, Force Unleashed is certainly less ambitious than the classic "Jedi Knight" games - and ultimately, its design makes it feel more videogame-y and less of an all-engrossing Star Wars experience than Xbox entries like "Jedi Knight II" or "Jedi Academy." But when the game is on, it's on. [Oct 2008, p.70]
  40. What you wind up with when all is said and done is a neat little chunk of Star Wars fiction wrapped up in a mediocre action game package.
  41. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a decent enough effort and will be more appreciated by the fans of the saga.
  42. 75
    Both an enjoyable flash in the pan, and a memorable and officially approved Star Wars story. The general cinematic quality of the game is very high, and for enthusiasts it is a must just for that.
  43. 75
    With excellent presentation, entertaining gameplay and a classic story, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is the lightsaber-wielding adventure we've long been waiting for.
  44. 75
    This is a Star Wars game that reminds you how brilliant Mr. Lucas’ creations can be. But I can’t stress this enough – there are plenty of frustrations to be encountered amongst the brilliance too.
  45. The audio is fantastic, and the graphics will impress more often than not. The fun combat system and epic story are moderately spoiled by a poor targeting system, bad enemy AI, and some glitches.
  46. A solid game with fantastic sound and visuals. However, unpolished aspects of gameplay will cause frustration. Ultimately, Force Unleashed is unlikely to be remembered for anything other than its excellent story.
  47. It's a decent game, although not nearly as groundbreaking as we hoped. Once you complete it, I'm afraid there won't be much to lure you back.
  48. 73
    Uninspired level design and some tedious enemy battles mar an experience that gives you power over the Force like we've never really seen before. While it's far from perfect, Star Wars fans will find that it's worth playing through simply for its story and the ability to use the Force in fairly awesome ways.
  49. Without a doubt, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a masterpiece of storytelling and fits magnificently into the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately, as a video game, the gameplay issues in The Force Unleashed are extremely noticeable and hinder a lot of the enjoyment that is derived from the narrative.
  50. If you want to play an average Star Wars experience, The Force Unleashed is par for the course. Those of you looking to have an engaging video game experience, may want to invest time looking elsewhere, or rather, replay God of War, since this is practically the same game.
  51. A seriously surprising entry into Star Wars canon, the storylines is largely strong, and whilst there are several issues with the gameplay, The Force Unleashed is not the Phantom Menace we thought it would be.
  52. As long as you're prepared for that you'll enjoy a great Star Wars story with incredible graphics and a bunch of ultra powerful Force Powers at your disposal.
  53. 70
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a good game that could have been great.
  54. An essential play for any fan of George Lucas’ creation. Unfortunately, the gameplay feels a tad repetitive, un-ambitious and never quite lives up to the superb storytelling.
  55. It initially delivers on its promise, but it erodes over time due to the monotony and meager difficulty that discourages exploring the combat’s complexity.
  56. There's no feeling of being "unleashed," and the actual implementation of Force powers is drastically inferior to older games like Jedi Outcast.
  57. Lucas Arts can't fill the high expectations for his awaited game, presenting a product that contains the great idea of incarnate Darth Vader's secret apprentice and a fantastic visual representation of the use of The Force, but that fails victim of a repetitive level structure, plenty of bugs and a lack of real incentives to play it again when the player completes the 6 hours of insatisfied entertainment that it offers. Only recommended to the Star Wars fans for the script and the events included on it, despite all of the new characters cant compete with the Jedi and Sith introduced in the movies.
  58. 60
    It's not what I wanted, it's not what I expected and it's fundamentally broken in many different ways. It's a callous cheat of a game, it's shallow, short and has a man doing a crap Darth Vader impression.
  59. In short, I was satisfied with the game, but not overly impressed. The faint thrill of Jedi-dom was indeed there, but in the end it's just another action game in a vast, overflowing ocean of them.
  60. 60
    Awkward controls and handling largely dilute the fun of "kicking ass with the Force," especially during a few big moments toward the end. The Force Unleashed spins an entertaining yarn, but its gameplay prevents it from becoming a rich contributor to "Star Wars'" interactive tapestry.
  61. The story is the main thing that I'll remember about The Force Unleashed--I found it to be more satisfying than the last three movies combined. Though you go in sort of knowing how it has to end, since it has to lead into Star Wars, there are plenty of significant events occurring throughout. It's enjoyable to watch it all unfold. That said, it's unfortunate that the game isn't a bit more even, because the constant flips from too easy to too hard really drag things down and prevent The Force Unleashed from being great.
  62. Being let loose with the Force and given some spectacular scenarios to work with makes for an excellent game in premise, but LucasArts just haven't nailed the basics. Disappointment of the year? Quite possibly.
  63. The Force Unleashed is simply the best thing to happen to the Star Wars franchise in decades.
  64. As good as the game is - aside from the targeting issues and the falling to your death over and over - the story that unfolds is the definite high point.
  65. Unfortunately, though beating the crap out of Rancor is cool, it's quite flawed, thanks to the wonky camera and targeting system.
  66. 50
    A more appropriate name would've been "Star Wars: The Force Mildly Contained" -- rarely does the Force truly feel like the ultimate weapon, something that separates you (Darth Vader's not-so-secret apprentice) from the rabble of stormtroopers, Rodians, and Felucians.
  67. 70
    Make no mistake: you can have a lot of fun with The Force Unleashed. [Oct 2008, p.88]
  68. By even allowing the choice between simple hack-and-slash gameplay and the more complex mix-up combos, LucusArrts has ensured that many will never view the title’s full potential. [Oct 2008, p.104]
  69. The more you appreciate Star Wars in general the more you’ll get from this occasionally inspiring run-and-slasher. True, the touted technology is never really used to do more than put on a fine electric show, but what a show it is. But as for Anti-Force Fields? Well, they’re one way of making Jedi and Sith characters somewhat redundant, and just one example of how Force Unleashed goes against 30 years of lore in order to shoehorn a game together.
  70. If you take a player to the extremes of in-game power, giving them the equivalent of a god mode against standard enemies, how can that be turned into something more engaging than a temporary plaything? [Nov 2008, p.90]
  71. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed takes the use of the force to a new level. Sometimes all the overpowering abilities can make the game feel a bit too easy, but luckily the balance is usually well preserved. It would've been fun to see a bit more lightsaber action, but Force Unleashed is still entertainingly fast and furious ride where you finally get to do something real with force. Throwing stormtroopers to chasms with force grip just never gets old. [Sept 2008]
  72. Not much cop as an action game, but as a Sith simulator this is dreamy fan service. [Nov 2008, p.68]
  73. Embracing the Dark Side of the Force, this is a game plenty of action, memorable locations e a few surprises in the Star Wars world. It has some technical issues and an incoherent difficulty, but it’s still an experience that no fan should miss, also deserving the attention of the action gamers. [Sept 2008]
  74. An ambitious--yet ultimately dissatisfying--effort. [Oct 2008, p.82]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 343 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 115
  2. Negative: 19 out of 115
  1. Dec 16, 2011
    It was interesting and it did have potential but it was a poor start. Starkiller (a terrible name BTW) is a boring character, The story isntIt was interesting and it did have potential but it was a poor start. Starkiller (a terrible name BTW) is a boring character, The story isnt interesting, Its too repetitive, Short campaign, and using force powers does get old rather quickly. It also has a bit of uneven difficulty as well. It had its moments but the game is an overall fail. Full Review »
  2. Tjthegamer
    Nov 12, 2008
    While the games concept is good, and the force powers work perfectly. The game suffers from bugs and issues that seemed would be the least of While the games concept is good, and the force powers work perfectly. The game suffers from bugs and issues that seemed would be the least of the devoloper's problems in making a force game. Such as impossible camera, targeting system, and difficulty issues (the games second boss is still the hardest for me even after 4 cycles). Boring locations (a grand total of 4 themes), Repetitive gameplay, and dumb A.I. (They fall for the same moves time and time again) means this game is an average game. It gets a 6 because you can at least take out your frustration by flinging a storm trooper 100 yards at 50 mph into a boulder face first. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2014
    Terrible Game. This game destroyed Star Wars as a gaming franchise. Do not buy this game unless you are one of those people who are spoilt andTerrible Game. This game destroyed Star Wars as a gaming franchise. Do not buy this game unless you are one of those people who are spoilt and your parents give you money every week and you like to buy games and sell them instantly. if you actually like this game. You need to see a psychologist. Full Review »