First thoughts

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  • rnlf

    So, I just started and played the first two missions.

    One thing I noticed right away, compared to DOOM is its higher production value. Much smoother sprite animation, proper cut-scenes, interesting sound design. It’s obvious there has been some Lucas Star Wars money in this.

    At first glance the game’s engine looks a lot like they took DOOM’s feature list and just built the same. But there are actually a few things the engine does that DOOM couldn’t.

    Most notably, there are actual 3D (polygon) objects in the levels. In the first one, there’s small maintenance droids whizzing around, there’s the ship that picks you up at the end of a mission and I bet the rotating sections of some levels are also done this way. Quite impressive, especially considering this was not from a studio like id that specialized in engine development.

    Engine seems to be somewhere between DOOM and Build, feature-wise, which makes sense, given it was written between the two.

    Another immediately obvious difference is jumping and crouching and crouch jumping. Actually thought Half-Life invented the latter, but apparently not.

    Gameplay seems solid enough so far, backtracking to the extraction point gets old very quickly, though.

    The story contradicts the canon explanation of how the Death Star plans got into Rebel hands.

    Can’t say much about the story, yet, but it’s cool enough there actually is one (and not just: there’s daemons, rip and tear!)

    So, all in all I think I’m going to enjoy this one 🙂


    For some reason, based on little to no evidence, I was expecting the gameplay and controls to be janky, slow and awkward, but it struck me just how smooth, agile and playable it is.
    I even find the laser weapons to be more fun and satisfying than expected.

    I seem to recall a few years ago there was a misconception going around that this game was actually made with the build engine, given how similar it is.

    A lot of the reviews describe it as being fully 3D, but so far (apart from the aforementioned 3D sprites), I haven’t seen any evidence of that. It seems, again, to be like the Build engine (2 and 3/4 Dimensions?) which allows sectors over sectors, so long as they’re not all visible at the same time and you use some smoke and mirrors.

    So yeah, I’m enjoying it. I especially appreciate the emphasis on story – so rare in action games of the era.
    There’s a lot that can be said about the old, now defunct Star Wars extended universe, but frankly I’d take Dark Forces over episodes 7, 8 and 9 any day.
    (But is this better than Rogue One? Ask me again when I’ve finished it. The jury is still out…)


    Played 5 missions so far using the force engine (because i cant be arsed to play it with archaic controls. It’s pretty for it’s time although so far the levels are not that distinctive. The missions are kind of fun although some sections that are in the dark are annoying even with the goggles or headlight (because i forget to turn them off and then when i go back my batteries are out 🙂 )


    Playing back in the 90s I recall it was both great to have a coherent story (and Star Wars) yet frustrating puzzles. As an adult it’s mostly better than I remember, probably because of more puzzle experience and getting over my everything-must-be-fully-3D mentality.


    There are some hilarious parts in mission 8 when you are on a conveyor belt and the imperial officers are all yelling “stop right there!” but you are on the moving conveyor wich makes it really hard to comply! Also they yell “You’re not authorized” like there’s supposed to be people on the conveyor belt just not you.

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