Saturday, December 7, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 160 - Star Wars: Dark Forces

Star Wars: Dark Forces on PC was a solid shooter that spawned some of the best Star Wars games ever in its sequels. Dark Forces on PS1 is an ugly blocky mess with a motion sickness inducing framerate that kinda sucks. Guess which one we played. Ah, it's OK. It's still Star Wars-y. Read on for more and to watch gameplay.

Back before Disney was all "Hey, we can make more money if we throw established canon out of the window and make up new Star Wars lore as we go", books and video games filled in the gaps of the Star Wars story. A very important story was of the hero of Star Wars: Dark Forces, Kyle Katarn, who starts out as a normal Rebel soldier who steals the Death Star plans and ultimately becomes a Jedi Master and helps Luke Skywalker train a new generation of Jedi. He was intricately entwined in the core of the Star Wars story. Now he's a nobody and none of this happened. Thanks, Disney.

As a game, on the other hand, Dark Forces hasn't aged especially well. It's basically Doom with a Star Wars skin, which isn't actually as cool as that sounds. It's clunky and stiff and the level design is awful and it's kind of not fun. Maybe the PC version holds up better, but on PS1 it's pretty bad.

It also looks ugly as sin on PS1 and the performance is awful. The game is very chunky and blocky looking and you can barely tell what you're looking at unless you're right on top of it. The framerate also makes me feel motion sick, which is why the video isn't any longer than it ended up.

I did enjoy the fact that the sound effects in Dark Forces are the same that were used in Shadows of the Empire a year later. Those blaster sounds and Stormtrooper grunts are freaking classic.