Friday, March 1, 2013

Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995) Review

Star Wars: Dark Forces
, the first video game in the long-running Kyle Katarn saga, is one of the first FPS games and the first Star Wars FPS. The game contains 14 missions, one of which is connected to the events of Episode IV. The protagonist is Kyle Katarn, a rugged Rebel mercenary who spends his time infiltrating Imperial facilities for the good guys. Due to the age of the game, the graphics are highly dated yet still good enough to be completely playable(for some people, at least). There are a few gimmicks though, such as the lack of a save button(there are checkpoints), no way to tell how many lives you have left or some of the worser puzzles. The game does have an amazing level design though(It was the first FPS to have multiple floors in a level) that completely sucks you into the Star Wars universe, a storyline that makes sense and feels canon. All in all, this is Star Wars: Behind The Scenes.

The first level takes place right before Episode IV, in which Kyle Katarn infiltrates an Imperial base on the planet Danuta and steals the very badly guarded Death Star plans(single-handedly, mind you.). The rest of the game takes place after Episode IV, in which the Imperial General Mohc designs a new batch of tough Stormtroopers called Dark Troopers(basically Droidtroopers) with black armor. The project is overseen by Darth Vader himself(his presence in the game gives us this feeling of familiarity.). Kyle spends much of the game taking out the Imperial facilities that supply the Dark Trooper project until finally Mohc and Vader send Boba Fett after him. Kyle, unbelievably bad*** even in this old game, takes out Fett, kills two Kell Dragons with his fists, takes down the Dark Troopers and General Mohc and blows up a big Imperial ship no sweat. At the end of the game, Darth Vader comments that the Force is strong with him, foreshadowing his future rise to Jedi Master.

Like all Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games(maybe except Jedi Academy), this game is cool, action-filled, smart and Kyle gets to be totally bad***. Even though the game itself is old and clunky, I recommend it to everyone, it gets you in the SW mood from the start and I forgot to mention that this Kyle Katarn game has something all later DF/JK games lack: the Dark Forces main theme. This theme is beyond fitting.

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