The demo for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed hit the XBox Marketplace this week, and it just might be the most fun demo ever released for the platform. In The Force Unleashed, you play as Darth Vader’s secret Sith apprentice between episodes 3 and 4 of the Star Wars saga. As a Sith, you’ll have free reign to wreak havoc on Rebels and Imperials alike as you carry out clandestine missions for Vader. The demo drops you into an abbreviated level where you have to fight your way through a lot of Stormtroopers and other Imperial baddies in hallways and a hangar bay. Available to you in the demo are several abilities, including a Force push, Sith lightning, super speed, super jumping, the ability to lift and throw pretty much anything (or anybody), and of course your trusty lightsaber. All of those powers and abilities sound daunting, but it’s all very manageable after a few minutes of play to get you coordinated.
I’d seen a lot of gameplay videos and even videos of people playing the game, but nothing had prepared me for the feel of actually ripping through a level myself. If you haven’t checked out the demo yet, I strongly urge you to do so. I was sold after the first time I hurled a screaming Stormtrooper against the ceiling, then the floor, then the wall, ala Mr. Eko versus the smoke monster.
My only complaint from the demo is that the soundalike they got for Darth Vader rather decidedly does not sound like James Earl Jones. That aside, the overall presentation, gameplay, graphics, and sound are fantastic and have me itching to play the full version. It’s one of those demos that ends at a high point with you having just done something super cool.