After over a year of being hyped as a full-fledged installment in the Star Wars saga, The Force Unleashed finally shipped to stores last week. So far, though, the game's reviews have been decidedly mixed. While the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable editions garnered mild plaudits from critics, the Wii, DS, and PlayStation 2 versions received unflattering write-ups.
Despite the less-than-glowing praise, The Force Unleashed has been a huge success at retail. Today publisher LucasArts--which self-developed the ambitious game before trimming its payroll--announced that over 1.5 million copies of the game were sold worldwide in the game's first week on the market. So far, LucasArts has shipped 4.3 million copies to retailers internationally, but is ramping up production to meet "unprecedented demand."
The Force Unleashed's retail milestone makes the game the fastest-selling title in both LucasArts and Star Wars history, according to the publisher. "The record-setting sales of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed shows the undiminished power of Star Wars and its popularity across all media types, including video games," said LucasArts president Darrel Rodriguez. He succeeded longtime president Jim Ward, who oversaw the expansion of LucasArts' internal development team for Unleashed. Ward resigned suddenly in February, citing personal reasons.
Set between the films Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, The Force Unleashed casts players as the secret apprentice of Darth Vader. Tasked by the Sith lord to rid the galaxy of Jedi Knights, players must use a host of Force powers to hunt down and rub out the rebellious do-gooders. However, along the way, they are faced with choices that may lead them to wonder if the dark side of the Force is all it is cracked up to be.
For more on The Force Unleashed, read GameSpot's full review of the game.