Star Wars: Dark Forces was one of the first PC Star Wars games ever, and it’s still considered one of the best by hardcore fans. Now, one fan-modder has released a total overhaul that allows the game to be easily played on modern systems, and it includes vital features like 4K support, better mouse-look, and a revamped save system.
Previously, the best option to play Dark Forces was using the DOSbox emulator, which only supports resolutions up to 320×200. Similar to popular “source ports” for old-school shooters like Doom, such as GZDoom, The Force Engine requires a copy of Dark Forces to work. The revamped approach to saves adds optional quicksaves and quickloads to the game’s checkpoint system.
Released during the early era of first-person shooters, Dark Forces is a true “Doom clone” (as they were termed at the time), complete with sprite-based enemies and simple 3D geometry. Though the Force Engine has hit 1.0, the modder’s plans aren’t quite complete. In the blog post announcing the move, they say that version 2.0 of the project will support Outlaws, a lesser-known Wild West shooter that was written in the same engine.
Notably, the project has no plans to support the well-regarded sequel Dark Forces 2, which was developed in an entirely different game engine (“Sith” rather than “Jedi”) and is more easily playable on modern computers. Dark Forces 2 added not only true 3D graphics, but a key element that fans missed in the original: a lightsaber.
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