Star Wars: Dark Forces is the latest classic Lucasarts game to have new life injected into it courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. Fans already have a high-end remake of the classic Star War Episode 1: Racer to salivate over, but now they can download and explore this impressive re-imagining of the beloved shooter before Disney inevitably puts the kibosh on it.
First released for PC in 1995 and PlayStation in 1996, Star Wars: Dark Forces is a first-person shooter set before the events of A New Hope. It takes heavy design cues from Doom, which had popularized the genre at the time, though Dark Forces boasted its own innovations. Players could jump and look up and down, for instance, which was pretty impressive at the time. The beloved game is perhaps most notable for featuring the debut of protagonist Kyle Katarn, an Imperial officer turned mercenary and, eventually, Jedi. Katarn’s popularity led to him starring in multiple Star Wars games, books, and other media.
YouTuber Bluedrake 42 featured the remake in a recent video. The project comes from Jason Lewis, a senior environment artist at Obsidian Entertainment, as well as others designers. The team worked on the remake in their free time. Bluedrake 42’s walkthrough shows off an impressively detailed Mos Eisely docking bay. We get a look at the beautiful scenery sprinkled with droids roaming the streets (including an R2-D2 cameo) as TIE fighters soar overhead while an immaculate Millennium Falcon serves as the shot's centerpiece. The appropriate sound effects and several pieces of the John Williams soundtrack breathe even more life into the remake.
A note from the team upon booting up the demo explains that it is neither a game nor is a prototype for an upcoming game. Apart from listing known technical issues and disclaimers, the notes state the project serves as a test to see how much geometry and texture could be squeezed into Unreal 4. If it's still available, you can download the demo for PC here and give it a try.
Unfortunately, a Star Wars: Dark Forces remake of this caliber likely won’t come to pass anytime soon. Fans can at least look forward to the upcoming reveal of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order by Respawn Entertainment. There’s also the unknown Star Wars project that arose from the ashes of the canceled open-world title by EA Vancouver. Whatever the future holds for Star Wars in video games, hopefully the games hold the same amount of care and polish as this hypothetical experiment.
Source: Bluedrake 42