This article gets down to the nitty-gritty and answers some of the questions that have popped up over the last week.
First off, the platforms. The LucasArts site lists 'Next-Generation platforms, PS2, PSP and DS' among the systems capable of playing this game. So let's just break this down. PlayStation3 and XBox 360 are the next-gen systems. While those other platforms will have the game, the mechanics of gameplay will be decidedly different. Krome Studios will be making the PSP/PS2 version, while n-Space will be handling the Nintendo DS version. But what about the Wii?! Well, when they asked a LucasArts rep about that, the response was, "even if that version does happen, it probably wouldn't be 'the lightsaber game' that gamers have eagerly been awaiting." Bummer.
While this is distinctly a single-player game, there is multiplayer component but the details of that are lacking at the moment.
So gameplay and storyline are probably the next most important thing. Know that George Lucas was consulted as to the story for this game. This next game is the official "next chapter," says Hayden Blackman, project lead. It gets the treatment typically afforded to only the movies. Hence the similarities to 1996's Shadows of the Empire. The article then discusses the new, break-thru technologies that The Force Unleashed will use.
Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) will enable the game to act and react in a way that no game has done before. Euphoria is the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that allows characters to understand their environment and react accordingly. DMM is a replacement for game designers needing to animate the characters interaction with their environments. Rather than create a clean and broken column (for when a character is slammed into one), DMM describes the physics and physical properties of that column and damages accordingly. It's different every time! To see an example of the Euphoria engine and DMM in action, please check out the technical videos available at the official The Force Uneashed site.
OK, so the tech aspect's out of the way, now onto the plot. You are Darth Vader's "secret apprentice," or that's how they're referring to the player character at this moment. But, Blackman assures readers that, "he will be established as a distinct character and have a name." They just can't tell us at this moment.
What they can say, is that Shaak Ti did not die in Episode III (the scenes were cut, she survived the temple massacre, hip hip hooray!) and she is a antagonist of the player character in this game (remember, you're a Sith Apprentice!). Readers may recall seeing a 'Secrets of 07' image at StarWars.com, where Shaak Ti is charging a red-lightsabered individual, surrounded by Rancors. Well, she's controlling the Rancors and you must defeat them and her. The way the game is built, the designers are trying to create something different than what has been seen before. They promise Boss levels (such as this) where the boss isn't invulnerable until you execute your power moves x-number of times in a row. In fact, they describe the way in which the Rancors could be defeated as being swallowed by the Rnacor! "Once you are in its stomach, triggering a Force Repulse will send a shockwave through the hulking creatures body, tearing it apart from the inside."
You will also square off against new characters (Jedi General Kota, Maris Brood and her tonfa-esque lightsabers) in new and established locations (Felucia, Raxus Prime, Haroon the crystal moon). And what action-adventure game would be complete without your allies, which include a protocol droid and Juno Eclipse (the shapely female imperial pilot/love interest). Oh, yeah. And what of your master, Darth Vader? Is he playable as well? Well, Blackman won't reveal that yet, but he is a "prominent character in the game." You can't expect full disclosure yet, can you?
The game will feature multiple endings (with only one being canon, and presented in the tie-in literature) and potentially leave room for a sequel. But throughout the players should experience "the notion of mortality and the struggle of Light side versus Dark side" creating a unique experience in gaming, as well as expand the timeline and events post-Episode III.
So if you want to read all the details, and some some new and exciting designs, head out and pick up this newest issue of Game Informer, shipping now to subscribers and available soon on newsstands!