What is 40 minutes' worth of alternate Star Wars history worth to you? Whether you download the Tatooine Mission Pack for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed hinges on your answer to that question, as this incredibly short downloadable content sells for 800 Microsoft points ($10) on Xbox Live Marketplace. If you buy it, you get a tight microcosm of the fun and occasionally uneven gameplay that personified the original release, as well as a topsy-turvy, non-canonical story that answers some of the "what-ifs" you may have considered at the end of The Force Unleashed. But no matter how sweet some of this DLC's moments are, it's a shockingly bad value in light of the many superior, similarly priced add-ons and stand-alone products available from Microsoft's service. Please be advised: This review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and describes events in the Tatooine Mission Pack that may also constitute spoilers to some readers, given the content's short length.
At the end of The Force Unleashed, you faced an important decision: Sacrifice yourself and save the Alliance from Palapatine, or kill Darth Vader and take the slain lord's place at the Emperor's side. The Tatooine Mission Pack assumes you chose the latter and sends you, as Starkiller, to Tatooine to recover the stolen Death Star plans. During your mission, you'll slice up rodians and jawas with your lightsaber, have a quick chat with Jabba the Hutt, slaughter innocent wookiees, and face a persistent Jedi master who won't allow death to be his final hurrah. This is all of the fun Force Unleashed action you'd expect, condensed into a tight and enjoyable package that keeps you on the move. Excellent, subtly stylized environments provide a lovely backdrop to your malevolent deeds, which include pushing a sandcrawler off of a cliff, using the metallic remains of an old friend to your advantage, and carelessly flinging around Jabba's guards with a simple wave of the wrist.
However, the main game's frustrations have carried over to the add-on. Selecting your intended target remains an issue, even during the otherwise amusing boss battle. Because the camera remains fixed during the DLC's two major battles, targeting and zapping your rival with lightning, or using force grip, can be a hassle in the midst of the action. In spite of the irritations, the combat is relatively easy. If you play on Sith Warrior difficulty, you will probably breeze through without dying once, so Force Unleashed veterans will want to stick to the harder difficulty levels.
The Tatooine Mission Pack's greatest drawback, clearly, is its price. No matter how much fun you may have in the dry desert environs, you won't have significantly more fun than you would replaying the main game's best levels, something Force Unleashed owners can already do without spending another nickel. This 40-minute DLC is appealing, but it's not $10 worth of appealing--not when other games get significant content updates for the same cost, or less.