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Star Wars: Dark Forces (DOS)

89
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Chris Martin (1098)
Written on  :  Sep 07, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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Summary

A long time ago...

The Good

First off, let me say that I played Jedi Knight BEFORE I even looked at Dark Forces. But even after playing the sequel, I still enjoy playing the original.

The gameplay is quite simple. You play the role of Kyle Katarn, a mercenary-for-hire agent employed by the Rebel Alliance. Your first mission is the theft of the Death Star schematics (Kyle says in the game "Much too easy", and even of the difficult settings, the first mission is indeed a cakewalk). After this mission you embark on a series of missions revolving around a new breed of weapon that the Empire is developing called the "Dark Trooper". So you play through detailed levels trying to find out what is happening.

The graphics are very good considered the year it was released. The blasters look real, and the game has that Empire "Sterile" look to it, although that doesn't really work in the outdoor levels. The movement on my P233 is ultra-fluid, even with all the music, SFX's, and graphical detail cranked to full, so it is very immersing.

The sound is superb. Come on, it's Star Wars! John Williams infamous music is playing in the background, and sampling the sounds of the blaster shots give the game that "Star Wars" feel to it.

The control is good, especially the keyboard, when it setup for your tastes (more on that later)

The computer AI is okay, but fighting the Dark Troopers themselves can be very discouraging. They are tough on any level of difficulty.

The Bad

The control setup for the keyboard is extremely frustrating, mainly due to the fact that the setup is done OUTSIDE the game environment. For example, if you have the "Fire" key mapped to the "G" key, and you find that that isn't working well for you (let's face it: ANYONE who maps the "Fire" key to "G" has NEVER played a 1st person shooter before *grin*), you need to exit the game, run the setup program, change the key, save the settings, and restart the game. Come on LucasArts, even id could do on-the-fly keyboard mapping, and that was in Wolfenstein 3D.

The cutscenes were animated (much like the cutscenes in X-Wing). I find they were poorly animated, and the voice-over were sub-par. The voice-overs in-game were much better.

The Bottom Line

Despite all its drawbacks, You have to give LucasArts credit for its accomplishment on its very first 3D shooter. They managed to make a convincing environment to play make-believe in, even though it is rough around the edges. A great game all-around.