Ok. First, awesome game. Second, the guys who made this don't know how to make games and they certainly don't play them.
That's a pretty harsh statement that would probably seriously offend the dev team, but while the problems in this game aren't huge they should not be present at all. We're not talking rookie mistakes or complex stuff that needed more time we're talking completely overlooking basic elements of almost any game.
Things that when implemented poorly you think to yourself 'did anyone play test this at all?' are almost completely absent here.
Lets take the targeting system. The thirty seconds of attention it got in the planning process would have been just enough time to say 'ok, so you move the camera with the right stick and lock on with the bumper, lets go get some lunch'. You can tell a minute into the game that is the exact amount of thought that was put into targeting.
I would not be surprised if it didn't even get that much. Odds are one of the programmers just did it that way in an early demo and it stuck.
Now its worth noting that they didn't screw it up. Its not some system where they've tried something cool and fell short. Its just the absence of a targeting system.
The specific issue that prompts me to say they don't play games is the knock-down effect (although pretty much every problem with the game could have been avoided with a gamers common sense). Basically I'd expect anyone making a third-person action game, specifically a third-person action game where you have super powers, with the Havok engine to have at least watched someone play Crackdown.
If you've ever watched Crackdown for more than thirty seconds you know what I'm talking about when I say knock-down effect. Something looks at you the wrong way and you rag-doll, usually followed by the enemies bombarding your lifeless body with rockets preventing you from getting up.
Now I'm willing to accept that its not an easy problem to deal with, but again they didn't even try. There's no attempt to work around it. Anyone who has played in an area with a sniper will tell you the developers were clearly oblivious to the whole issue.
Next on my list, loading screens and cuts scenes. Loading screens suck but sometimes you've just got to live with it. In the Force Unleashed however they've got loading screens on menus. Why? I've got no freakin' clue. There's a few 3D models but nothing that necessitates a loading screen to get around these extremely simple menus. If your menu is complex enough that it actually requires loading then you're doing it wrong!
Cutscenes are another annoyance. Nothing is skipable. Its a cool story, I really like it, but I don't like having to sit through a cutscene I've got no control over, especially when I've just died a really cheap death, again, and have already had to sit through it ten other times.
'Just crank up the health, rate of fire and make them immune to what ever power the player just got'. That's forgivable, except for when you couple it with the age old 'just put more of them in, that'll make it harder' approach.
Don't get me wrong. Its not an impossible game, but it will kill you with those two really shallow difficulty cheats. I love destroying a room full of enemies. I also love trying hard to get through a room full of enemies. What I don't love is a room with two snipers, two flame throwers and an AT-ST. Why? Because the snipers will get you when you're out of cover, the flame throwers will get you when you're in cover, and the AT-ST which takes forever to deal with also has to be dealt with before either set of troopers.
Lets see, what else is there. Ah, melee combat. Everything uses combos, that's great. The problem? If you screw up the first block you have to take every punch thrown at you recover. This is a HUGE problem when you've got two enemies attacking you in sequence. The three punches from enemy B are just enough to keep you disorientated until enemy A starts his second round of punches.
Also most of the time you can't interrupt the combos. If they take their first two swings and you hit them with anything other than Force Lightning (which stuns most things) they'll still go on to deliver the third blow.
Basically you get GTA fights when the situation demands God of War.
Pretty much everything they were required to think about was superb. The story is great. I only have one problem with the plot and that's simple, the romantic subplot isn't there. When it comes up in the main plot there's sort of a 'wait, they were interested in each other?' moment. Its like they left out a few cutscenes.
Apart from that I enjoyed it, and I typically get annoyed with Star Wars when it does anything that slightly conflicts with even the most obscure extended universe stuff.
So yeah. This game is sooooo awesome but you're constantly reminded that when ever anyone played this during development all they focused on where the tech demo aspects. If it wasn't ground breaking directly supporting something that was ground breaking it wasn't even on the radar.