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Reason Enough to Buy an Xbox 360: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Oh, snap! IGN has a behind-the-scenes look at the latest Star Wars video game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and the report is chock-full of images (Star Destroyer crashing into a planet, anyone?) and details on gameplay and ground-breaking technology. Flipping your enemies around in the air with special powers hasn’t been this much fun since tossing Combine baddies with the gravity gun in Half-Life 2. Witness the awesomeness of the powers of Force Grip, Lightning, Push and Repulse, and find yourself giggling madly with anticipation:

Using only some debris and my force powers to take on a TIE Fighter? Battling a Rancor beast with the lightning that bursts from my fingertips? Sending helpless, wailing Stormtroopers flying through the air and into hard, immovable objects? I think I’m going to cry.

The game also introduces a couple of very sophisticated new technologies that should make the games more immersive and entertaining. From the article:

Part of bridging the gap between games and film meant adopting two revolutionary technologies – ‘Digital Molecular Matter’ or DMM, and ‘euphoria’.

DMM, created by Pixelux, simulates the physical properties of real-world materials, such as wood, metal, jelly, flesh and glass down to a molecular level. In real terms, the effect is that planks of wood strain and splinter with impressively natural response, and metal can be dented, warped and bent realistically. “No two impacts will ever produce the same result,” Blackman claimed; the literally-groundbreaking technology is exclusive to LucasArts until 2008.

Ok, that sounds very fancy, but you can’t fully appreciate the technology until you see R2D2 demonstrate it (against his will, by all appearances):

More on the new technologies:

The second technology, ‘euphoria’, by NaturalMotion, allows characters in the game to automatically take their surroundings into strategic, reactive consideration. If the room shakes and tilts, the character will shift his or her footing and centre-of-gravity. Likewise, if the player hurtles a DMM-fused object at the character, they will do their best to deflect or dodge the assault. If they fail to do so, they react to the impact as naturally as any human being would – falling over, clinging to ledges and exercising amazing self-preservation skills.

In layman’s terms: You never knew Stormtroopers could be so comical. They’re practically the new Marx Brothers.

Apparently, the game’s producers are consulting directly with George Lucas to develop the storyline. As we all know, that approach is a total crapshoot.

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