Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Feb 01, 2005
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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A Good Port Of A PC Classic.

The Good

As a game, "Dark Forces" was one of Lucasarts' first titles for the PSOne, and provided a solid translation of the PC title. It retained the gameplay, the graphics, the secrets, and the storyline which made the title so popular, and actually handled itself well.

The game managed to work well with the PSOne controller. Kyle Katarn was easy to control, and the game flowed at an acceptable framerate. What made the game so interesting was the numerous "Star Wars" gadgets at your command. Everything from Stormtrooper rifles to thermal detonators were at your disposal, and it was necessary to fight against the various aliens (as well as a clash against Boba Fett) and the Empire's secret Dark Troopers.

The sound effects were also lifted directly from the movies, and if you knew where to find them, the programmers snuck in a few amusing in-jokes.

The Bad

There were a few things that definitely detracted from the overall experience, however. The music is ugly. Weak, tinny MIDI versions of popular "Star Wars" themes were painful to the ears, especially when games of the time such as Nintendo 64's "Shadows of the Empire" provided better sound samples (even when that game used tiny samples of themes).

Load times were an absolute bear, leading into long waits when loading the game or going between levels.

Cut-scenes were equally as bad. They looked painfully outdated then at the time of its release, and look no better now. The graphics haven't aged as well, either. The characters are blocky and pixelated with stiff animation. But without a shadow of a doubt, they are still easily recognizable.

And while it was simply the design of the game, in comparison to "Doom", "Dark Forces" was simply a game that screamed for multi-player play. But that's not the port's fault.

The Bottom Line

"Dark Forces" the game was always "Doom" done "Star Wars" style. The PSOne has a commendable port of "Doom", so it's only fitting that "Dark Forces" would appear shortly after.

The PSOne version was an earnest attempt to bring this title home, especially since "Dark Forces II" never graced the console scene. The game had its share of problems then, but it remains a fun game. That in itself is a testament to its overall solid design.

It's a fun game, though it has a few hang-ups that show its age, especially in regards to how far the FPS genre has come in the last few years.

A good game for classic game fans, or "Star Wars" enthusiasts.