The first game that stood away from Id's FPS crap
This is a First-Person Shooter of the oldest age, yet it was solid enough to spawn the trilogy that was just getting better and better. I remember first time I played this game, I merely enjoyed first couple of levels and then tossed the game away when it came to those swamp stuff and such, guess I was under impression of games like Doom and such, didn't even stop to consider that LucasArts is smarter than to make that sort of crappish deja-vu with monsters and such. They just added various creatures from Star Wars universe to break away a bit from all the vast Stormtroopers you get to meet across the game.
The story itself isn't that bad, and it especially sounds good if you read the prologue in the manuals, and get to know the infamous Kyle Kattarn we all know from numerous sequels to this game which started it all. The only thing this game missed from its universe was the Jedi powers, but adding those would be too much, since Kyle was just a mercenary at the time. Jedi Knight takes good care of continuation to that matter. It was also the first such game where enemy actually communicated with you, even through the insults. There was no just yiking and groaning like in Id's games, but some cool Stormtrooper's yells like "Stop Rebel scum!", or "Surrender immediately!". None which had any meaning, 'cos they'd shoot you on sight anyway, but it was a neat boost for the atmosphere.
Levels are very rich and vary constantly so you can admire the scenery all the time, and occasional cinematics are just as cool, especially with Darth Vader in them. It's a great miss he wasn't in Jedi Knight though, when cinematics were made with live-actors and were really dazzling.
I was quite unfair first time I played this game, but hey, I was only fifteen back then. It wasn't until 21st century that I bought this game, and played it fully around the time second Star Wars movie was in the theaters. Amazing as it may seem, I enjoyed it at that time as much as I would some recently released game with cutting-edge technology.
The Bottom Line
Star Wars universe is rich. The reason we like it's movies because they are rare (what, 5-6 altogether thus far) and hence they are done with utmost level of details, there are no SW series of all kinds like there are ST ones. However, on games' account, Star Wars franchise is rich and prosper and it entangled almost every genre it could, except the pure adventure (real pity, though), and these games amass almost all the time. Why do people like them? Sometimes they just create a feeling of being in the movies facing Lord Vader himself, sometimes it's just a part of the franchise, so why not getting it, and sometimes, just sometimes, the game becomes something else than the big whoop and actually presents itself two steps ahead of the others. Star Wars: Dark Forces is on of those SW titles, that breaks the mold of just being a part of the well known franchise, and becomes something more.