Star Wars: Dark Forces

a game by LucasArts
Genre: Action
Platforms: PC, Playstation
Editor Rating: 7.5/10, based on 3 reviews
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: All Star Wars Games
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces

Before I begin this little five-page opus into the merits and/or cons of this much-awaited space-age shoot 'em up. I need you our precious reader, to do something. Don't worry, it won't hurt. I simply need you to turn your minds back. To remember. To remember the first time you played Doom and the subsequent emotions that racked your body for hours afterwards. Do you remember the adrenaline that pumped through your veins? The nerves that stood momentarily on end every time you opened a new door? The beads of sweat that formed across your erudite brow after surviving a particularly vicious onslaught? These were primitive emotions, the very stuff of man. Doom was more than just a violent action game, it was a game that appealed to the very deepest reaches of our subconscious mind. A game that brought our prehistoric heritages directly to the fore. Man's deepest hidden desire is to kill - the very first tool we ever picked up was a weapon. Doom had no real pretensions at a plot, at a logical, thought-provoking challenge. It was simply kill or be killed and. as such, it captivated us.

Where I'm going with this is that every Doom-inspired game that has come since has failed to recreate these feelings and addictions simply because they constantly try to better the original by adding new features, more of a storyline, larger and more complex puzzle: to solve. And all the time they fail to recreate the true essence of Doom, the basic, simple need to turn living matter into its exact opposite. So. does Dark Forces manage to address our primitive desires? No. sadly it does not.

Enough psychology, already!

Right you are, on with reviewing it as a game. Despite not being able to capture the original "Holy shit, this is f***ing amazing!" feelings that Doom ushered into everyone's workday lives, it does hold up as a challenging, involving and atmospheric game. Just a game mind you. nothing more than that. Dark Forres doesn't look set to become a major way of life or anything, just a damned fine blast to be getting on with until the sequel appears (not that there's any news of a sequel - it's just a figure of speech).

You are a rebel agent, a sort of laser-toting James Bond, devoted to overthrowing the Empire and freeing the universe of its icy grip. This is accomplished (or as much as possible within the constraints of the larger Sltir Wars storyline) through a series of challenging missions, from obtaining the plans to the Death Star to freeing prisoners from Jabba and blowing up Imperial manufacturing plants. The ultimate aim - and this is hinted at throughout by different elements of each mission - is to seek out and destroy the Emperor's latest weapon, the Dark Trooper.

Oher small points worthy of note are the annoying size of the guns and their difficulty to aim, the apparent emptiness of some levels and the lack of movement options pioneered in System Shock (for which I would have thought it was d-e rigeur for every Doom-game creating team to rip off). You can jump and crouch/crawl in Dark Forres which isn't all bad, but I would really have loved to have had the total movement experience that Origin offered in System Shock. Being able to flatten yourself against a wall and cautiously peer around the corner would have actually made some of the later levels feel more Star Wars-like.

It would also have been nice if the bad guys had tried to be a little bit more than the mindless cannon fodder they've turned into. Having Stormtroopers ducking taking cover, trying to pin yoi down and the like, a basic bit of enemy AI as it were, would have put Dark forces way above the rest of the Doom games currently available. The ultimate test I was giving the game was to see if it could create something dose to the scene in Star Wars when Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie were trapped in that prison block. If a situation like that had produced itself anywhere, I would have been jumping onto the rooftops of a Chipping Norton housing estate and proclaiming Dark Forces as king. It didn't, so the residents of Abercrombie Terrace were able to sleep peacefully at nights. There is one "minor point" that stands head and shoulders abov the others, though. One feature that by its omission is causing howls of anguish in magazine offices everywhere. Read on...

Doom got 96

And Dark forces gets 95. Does that mean it's not as good? Sort of. It's as good as. It doesn't have that sense of total originality that Doom offered, but then nothing ever will again. That's why Doom scores slightly higher. You'll never be able to recreate those feelings of raw emotion. Other than that Dark Fotres is as good as. if not better than Doom, simply because that's what time does for a genre. Things will always progress and people will always produce slightly better product than before. Dark Forces is Doom with nicer graphics, more complex puzzles, a few neat extras and a storyline. With a multi-player option it might have got 97. But it doesn't, so it didn't. Live with it.

Download Star Wars: Dark Forces

PC Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Remember wanting desperately to be Han Solo? Sure, Luke was cool and everything, but Han had such a great attitude for being a scoundrel. What's better is that underneath all of that machismo was a really good-hearted guy. Plus, he flew the Kessell Run in 12 parsecs How much more of a man could he be?

If gamers agree, they'll surely get a kick out of playing the role of Kyle Katarn, the Han Solo-esque star of Dark Forces for the PlayStation.

Katarn had a hard life and like Solo he once worked for the Empire as a non-aligned mercenary. His parents were killed by the Empire and it's because of this that Katarn is now a valuable member of the alliance and a perfect character to star in a first-person shoot-'em-up in the Star Wars universe.

The game is broken up into 12 missions, each going along with the story line. Cutscenes using film footage break up the action. The game features hand-drawn and rendered backgrounds and characters straight from the trilogy--Jabba, Boba Fett and Darth all make appearances in this title in one form or another.

The story starts right before the Death Star plans are stolen. Is Katarn that thief? Either way the first mission of the game is to steal the plans from an Imperial base. After the plans are stolen and the Death Star is destroyed, the Empire makes another strike against the rebels. This time though the weapon is unknown. That's where Katarn comes in again. The gamer controls Kyle through a rebel base that has been practically reduced to ash. What weapon could have caused this much destruction? As the story progresses. more clues are given and players finally meet the Dark Trooper face-to-armored-face, which is never a good experience.

The game has 10 weapons including: the fist, a phase, a storm trooper assault rifle, land mines, thermal detonators, a light gun, a rocket launcher, a Dark Trooper gun and others. Each weapon (except for the fist) has a secondary function. This makes the weapon shot different-and usually more powerful-than the standard shot. For example, a mine layed normally will go off in five seconds. By laying a mine using the secondary button, the mine will not go off until triggered by an enemy. Check the Gamer's Edge for more info on secondary weapons.

As mentioned before, the game features characters that gamers will recall from the films. Bossk and Ree-Yees make many an appearance trying to stop your advance on the Imperials.

The levels have plenty of hidden areas to explore and special weapons to find. These weapons aren't necessarily new, but getting a rocket launcher in the first couple of levels could help in later ones!

To be dropped right smack-dab in the middle of the Star universe is something dreams are made of. To battle the Empire single-handedly is unbelievable but perfect for a die-hard SW fan. Finally gamers will be able to walk around the Star Wars universe as a rebel ally and once again stop the Empire from taking over.

  • MANUFACTURER - LucasArts
  • THEME - Action

Dark Forces, a Doom-like shooting game that features a vast array of Star Wars enemies, is nearing completion on the PlayStation. Although the graphics were choppy in the version we played, the team at LucasArts is hard at work correcting all the visuals.

Gameplay & Fun Factor !

Dark Forces beats Alien Trilogy for best-licensed Doom-clone on a console system. It's more satisfying to plow through Stormtroopers than Aliens. Everyone who enjoys a good shodter should use this Force.


Although slow in the preview version. the frame rate is being adjusted and maximized for speed. Another potential problem could be with the buttons--the six on the PlayStation controller must handle the many functions available for the PC version, which are executed prP marily through a keyboard.


LucasArts plans to improve Dark Forces' pixelated graphics. Still, as they now appear, the game's graphics are close in quality to Doom for the PlayStation. The inclusion of Stormtroopers. Gamorrean guards, and other Empire lackeys made the graphics impressive.

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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