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June 12 2008
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
17/9/2008ActivisionLucasArtsLucasArts
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$TBA
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The Lightning looks awesome.
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Using the Force powers.

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The Apprentice takes on a Jedi!
With the Star Wars prequel trilogy now long gone the focus now turns to how George Lucas intends to keep the Star Wars universe alive. We'd give our right arm to see a sequel trilogy with familiar faces such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo return but that isn't likely to happen. Instead, in the short term George Lucas, and his many companies, have two exciting prospects about to be unleashed.

The first is a new movie - this time animated - called Star Wars: The Clone Wars which is due out in mid-August and will lead-in to a animated TV series in future. A month later we will be getting a new video game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which has the potential to be the biggest Star Wars game of all time - certainly in terms of narrative.

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One can only hope this runs smoothly!
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed bridges the gap between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope and George Lucas has had a hand in the storylines development. Darth Vader has a secret apprentice, Starkiller, who is sent across the galaxy to track down and eliminate the last of the Jedi. It's an interesting storyline, and with a couple of decades to fill in there is plenty of story to tell including the creation of the Rebel Alliance, and more details about Princess Leia. The developers are even promising multiple endings for the game.

Locations in the game confirmed to date include the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Darth Vader's Super star Destroyer, a TIE fighter factory, junk planet Raxus Prime, Nar Shaddaa and Wookie homeworld Kashyyyk. We expect there will be plenty more remaining under wraps at the moment. In terms of the apprentice players will be able to upgrade and use the four core Force powers including the Force push, grip, repulse and lightning. These force powers can be combined together for even more devastation.

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Another screen from The Force Unleashed.
LucasArts are using a range of technologies to ensure Star Wars; The Force Unleashed has everything in place. The game uses LucasArts' own proprietary engine known as "Ronin" but expands upon this with Havok to handle the physics, Pixelux Entertainment's DMM (Digital Molecular Matter) for destructible objects, and Natural Motion's Euphoria engine (which was also used in Grand Theft Auto IV) for character animation.

Beyond the actual engines pushing this game it's clear that LucasArts have gone all-out to make this the best looking Star Wars game yet. The characters look wonderful, as do the numerous locations and we expect the cut-scenes to be equally impressive. Let's hope with all the destruction and effects the PS3 version retains a solid frame rate.

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Going in for the final kill.
As with any Star Wars property the audio will play a key role in making the experience tie into the movies. The music has been composed by none other then John Williams and the 90 minute soundtrack has been recorded by the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra in late 2007 with mixing done at Skywalker Sound. Naturally the effects used in the game will be taken straight from the vaults from the Star Wars universe.

I, like so many other people, will be hoping that this game delivers all that is promised. LucasArts are taking their time in delivering the game to us which isn't a bad thing. Fortunately we'll find out if they have succeeded in making a great game when it hits the shelves around the globe in mid-September.