I haven’t really had the chance to play many games recently, especially since I have examinations coming up for university and really don’t have much free time. I got a little time to play around on my iPhone, and one of the games that I’ve had installed is Force Unleashed for iPhone. It’s available for under £5 through the App Store (there’s also a demo available, which is what I played).
The game has practically hit every single platform, but fortunately LucasArts, the developers, decided not to go for a generic approach and attempt to make all the games play the same way. They obviously identified the capabilities of the iPhone, and made the game appropriately.
For starters, the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 versions had great 3D graphics, and lovely environments. Unfortunately, the game itself wasn’t very good for a number of reasons, such as repetition and many glitches that plagued the game. The iPhone uses pre-rendered backgrounds and then has 3D character and object models moving over this background. This works very well, however at times the difference between the 3D models and the backgrounds becomes too obvious and seems out of place.
The controls work very well on the iPhone. Unlike the console versions of the game, you don’t control any movement. The character moves around the different environments himself, and you simple have to worry about attacking and defending. In typical Star Wars fashion, you can use force powers, and these are (at least in the demo) the primary method of attacking.
The demo is limited to using force grip, which allows you to hold objects and people. After that, you may throw them in a direction. There isn’t much choice given in regards to where you can throw them (which was a satisfying part of the PS3 and 360 version!), you just have to follow the screen prompts.
So the game works in a pretty simple fashion. Your character moves from screen to screen, and enemies present themselves. Above the enemies will be a pattern that you can input on the screen using your fingers (like a circle type pattern, or a straight line in a certain direction). Doing these makes your character perform certain commands, such as use force powers to hold an enemy or object, and then throw them.
There will also be red patterns above the enemies when they are going to attack you, pointing in a diagonal manner. You must quickly draw a diagonal line in the correct direction in order to avoid or deflect the enemies attack.
Using these basic constructs, the combat actually works quite well. It’s a nice way to control your character and they’ve certainly put a lot of through into how the controls work. As the game progresses, I’m certain that more force powers are unlocked and usable.
It’s an enjoyable little game, and not terribly expensive. It doesn’t quite go the same as the console versions when it comes to plot, so even if you have played the game on another console, there may still be surprises here. Even if that wasn’t the case, I think the control scheme and the way the game plays really does make it unique from the other Force Unleashed titles.