Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
TL;DR? Lots of polish, not enough substance. Disclaimer: I hate quick-time events. They're stupid, lazy, and thanks to undeserved popularity, trite.
The way The Force Unleashed (TFU) fits into cannon is great, though how they'll milk a sequel out of it is anybody's guess. The actual gameplay, however, does not measure up. While most of the Force powers are fun, you will end up using Lightning and Push, and maybe Repulse and Grip if you feel like switching it up. If you want to have fun, play on easy, blow through the game, and enjoy yourself. If you want a thorough and invigorating challenge, play a different game. TFU is frustration and counter-intuity masquerading as challenge. The lock-on gives no priority to enemies, so often you accidentally grab or push a box when you want to hit an enemy. The camera goes cinematic and fixed during boss battles, and the already loose controls drop even more in usefulness.
The icing on the cake is the trophies. Similar to the Uncharted games, a majority of them are killing enemies, and add to the tedium of the game, forcing you to repeat the first level grinding storm troopers with the vestigial powers. Lastly, the secret collectibles (called Holocrons) are not tests of intelligence, but rather an impetus to wander into every nook and cranny and repeatedly through yourself (headfirst) against the frustrating bulwarks of platforming challenges. There are no brain teasers or clever puzzles solved with interesting application of Force powers (no, stacking objects to get higher is not a puzzle). Also, sometimes the Holocrons are scattered around rooms to help you with difficult battles (they fully heal you if you grab one). This is a crutch, a hint that the game needs to rely on something outside of normal gameplay to get by.
Back to the story. While the narrative is interesting (though contrivances are made for gameplay), some things, like the romantic sub-plot, could have used more development (some emotional dialogue during her rescue would have been nice).
All in all, a quick easy game that fills a nice niche in Star Wars cannon. Not worth a purchase unless you find it dirt cheap. The Game of the Year edition only contains extra downloadable content, and since these are mere extensions of the games flawed mechanics, and not improvements on them, I can't say that affects this review at all.
Game Traits applied to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3) by Myznomer