Variety has a pretty epic story in their March issue that delves deep into LucasArts upcoming Star Wars game The Force Unleashed. Writer Frank DiGiacomo does not only an amazing job of shedding light on a hotly anticipated game, but also manages to lead the uninitiated on a quick tour of both the history of video gaming and the problems the emerging medium still struggles with. The story then quickly plunges into the making of the upcoming game and some of the issues the devs have run into while trying to blend new tech with old for the game.
The story does mention a few things interesting to the hardcore as well, like the fact that they had to play down the game's realism because if a person was really hit with a force blow it would be like being smacked with a cannon ball, and perhaps a bit too gruesome for the T-rating they are shooting for.
The article says that Force Unleashed, which is meant to tell the story of the time between Episode III and Episode IV by fleshing out Darth Vader, has a plot twist "almost as good as the "I am your father" moment from Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back." The game also contains surprising revelations about the birth of the Rebel Alliance.
There isn't, actually, a ton of detail about the game's play in the lengthy three-page article, but it ends with this gem of a description of a play through on the PS3 of the prologue:
The Dark Lord of the Sith is on Piper's screen, his black cape billowing, his death's-head helmet gleaming in the computer-generated sunlight. Piper guides Vader forward using the game controller and eventually arrives at a narrow rope bridge of lashed-together logs. As the Wookiees begin to charge across the bridge, Piper mashes buttons and summons up a ball of Force energy that, in a nice artistic touch, withers the plant life beneath Vader's boots. Then, pushing another button, he hurls that energy at the furry, fanged Wookiees. A bunch of them go flying off into space, causing the D.M.M.-enabled bridge to start rippling like a water bed. This sends more Euphoria-infused Wookiees toppling over the sides while those that remain struggle to regain their balance. They are only prolonging the inevitable. Using a more personal form of the Force, Vader hoists a struggling Wookiee into the air and dashes him against a wooden support beam, which cracks and splinters with remarkable authenticity. As another warrior is lifted, he grabs on to one of the remaining beams and hangs on for dear life, but Vader dislodges the wooden buttress and hurls it, with the Wookiee still attached, over the bridge.
I highly recommend either picking up the magazine or clicking over to the link to read through the article. DiGiacomo's fresh look at some of the issues video games face as they strive to recreate life on a screen are quite poetic at times and his take on the merging of Euphoria's AI and Digital Molecular Matter with the physics of Havok are alone worth the time. There are also plenty of screens and interesting images.
I'll leave you with this wonderful description of the process of making a video game, to hopefully convince you to go read the article:
To observe the men and women of LucasArts in action—aside from noting their propensity to wear their security badges on bright yellow lanyards—is to realise that the process of making a video game is really the fulfillment of French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes's dream of putting "the world into equation," in the words of LucasArts lead software engineer Cedrick Collomb.
The Game Has Changed [Vanity Fair]