Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform: DOS/Windows/Playstation Network
Classification: ESRB: Teen (T)
Awhile ago my friend Brok discovered the site www.gog.com Good old Games which sells many classic games in an updated DRM-free format that can run on modern systems. His main objective was to gain a working version of the X-Wing and TIE Fighter collectors editions and we found there was not only those but a whole host of classic Star Wars games of which we purchased quite a few in bulk during the sale inc X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and the entire Jedi Knight series. For those of you who don’t know, Star Wars Dark Forces is the first games of the Jedi Knight series of games which also include Dark Forces II, Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy which you’ll know from a previous review. Once I had purchased them from GOG.com I decided to play them in order starting with Dark Forces.
|Hmm this hallway looks familiar|
|You can't quite see it but there is red haze|
|Kyle ship The Moldy Crow currently piloted by Jan|
|A shot-in-shot of the DarkXL and the original in the top right|
|Pew pew! Forcing entry into the imperial detention centre to find Crix Madine|
|Our hero Kyle Katarn, looking a bit older then he does in Jedi Academy|
|General Mohc, Darth Vader and the Republic Informant Crix Madine|
Me pew-pew-pewing with the Stormtrooper laser rifle on Tak base, an early mission
Other weapons included the Jet fusion cutter which was a powerful but slow firing laser bolt gun, the I.M mines which are basically claymores, the Mortar gun which speaks for itself, the Stouker concussion rifle which is a long range AOE blast that tore apart most standard enemies and the Assault Cannon which is used by Dark Troopers and shoots both Plasma and rockets. The last three I unfortunately didn’t use very much due to them not being implemented in the mod yet and me having to add them in using cheats.
|Fighting General Mohc with the Assault Cannon|
|As some places were multi-levelled, the map was had the ability to change which level you were looking at though it was still tricky. You also had the ability to view your weapons, inventory and objectives which was a great help.|
Me fighting Dark Troopers and other enemies using a variety of weapons about the Executor, this also shows me using the weapons supercharge and smuggling myself on the Arc Hammer
As I mentioned before the graphics for the original game were (understandably) quite poor as they only went up to 640x480 but the DarkXL mod you could have your desktop resolution which made it great looking and much sharper, whether you had the mod or not the locations still looked great, there was plenty of areas that I recognised from the movies such as the white interiors of some ships from that first scene in episode 4 and everything had that distinct Star Wars flare. The new engine was able to create gameplay and graphical elements such as fully 3D objects, atmospheric effects such as fog and haze, animated textures and shading which was evident in the levels as there were lots of things moving around such as bridges moving and ships flying around outside and many kinds of moving 3D objects. The textures do lack that flair that Doom had with the all the demonic imagery and gore but as this was a Star Wars game the developers had to stick to the content and the game being as old as it was you couldn’t do too much with just textures. The game’s retro sounding star wars score soundtrack really stood out to me and it was great when you recognised a tune and really added to the atmosphere and the situational music helped too, the sound effects were equally great, all in stereo as well.
|Some levels inc this ice level on Anteevy which features flowing water and moving assembly lines|
Although my experience with Dark forces wasn’t fully functional I suppose you say, I enjoyed it anyway and much more so with the Dark XL mod and when the mod is fully finished I dare say I’ll play it again. It was great to see the beginning of the Jedi Knight series one of which I am going to continue playing to see out the series. As I’ve said before Star Wars Dark Forces is not just a Doom clone, it has a whole new engine and many elements that make it different if not better and I will maintain that stance throughout the years to come. It’s said that almost every gamer has played an ID Software shooter in some form but this is a game every Star Wars fan of all types should play.
Things I liked:
- Overall storyline and missions designed very well.
- Level design very dynamic, multi-level system new for the time
- Fun and effective weapons and powerups
Things I didn’t like
- Control system obviously dated and not able to be configured enough.
- No save-anywhere feature, respawn system annoying when have to start again from game crash
- Level textures somewhat dull due to nature of Star Wars Universe
I fist a Kell Dragon and then shoot up Jabba's ship
Humble Jedi beginnings.