Star Wars: Dark Forces enjoys an iconic reputation among PC gamers. It was the first major video game title set in the Star Wars universe to adopt first-person Doom-style controls and, unlike the myriad of Doom clones that were flooding the market at the time, Dark Forces was really good. Even better than that, it told a completely original story in the Star Wars universe at a time when the EU was just in its infancy and the nerds were hungry for new Star Wars, in whatever form.
Now that classic game is getting a remake, but not official. Obsidian Senior Developer Jason Lewis is working on the recreation of the game and has posted art on your ArtStation page. All images shown are his property.
The artwork is beautiful. Lewis isn’t a character artist or modeler, so it’s unclear when we’ll see a playable game, or if he can even secure a release (he’s working on a stormtrooper, depending on Pc gamer). Not all companies have been willing to play nice with fan re-enactments and remakes. But Dark Forces is an iconic and incredible game, even if it’s somewhat overshadowed by its sequel. So why do I call it “terrible” that we are seeing this happen?
Because the last thing is an IP as deep and rich as a damn Star Wars It should depend on games and experiences is a fan remake of a 20+ year old title. But that’s what we have.
Once upon a time (read: mid-1990s to mid-2000s), LucasArts licensed or self-developed a wide range of Star Wars titles. While some of them were pretty horrible, classic games like X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and the Jedi Knight trilogy earned praise. Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel (when unofficially patched) are two of the strongest RPGs ever made if you can look past their age. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron might not have been a shooter or deep combat simulator, but it brought a lot of arcade fun to the table.
And in the years after? Mostly junk, with a few exceptions. Battlefront was a nice snack, but it offered little playability or depth. Battlefront II went off the rails, courtesy of the loot box controversy. EA has canceled several projects, such as Star Wars 1313. We have heard of other projects that attempted to revitalize the genre, all of which have caught fire.
It’s kind of crazy, when you think about it. Nor is it related solely to the existence of the cinematographic universe. The great Star Wars games debuted in the 1990s, when the only movies were reissued special releases. KOTOR and KOTOR 2 debuted when the prequel movies were… in theaters. But as the years have passed, the number of good (not to mention great) Star Wars games has steadily declined, with little interest in reversing the trend, or so it seems.
It’s great to see such a classic piece of Star Wars history get updated, either way, but it would be even better to see Disney et al building new adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Given the wealth of intellectual property, it’s appalling that fan-based campaigns, wonderful as they are in themselves, are apparently the scope of work being done to provide good single-player Star Wars games. None of the players on the corporate stage are exactly lacking in money, skill or experience. How about letting some of them do something with it?
Featured Image of Jason Lewis. All art on this page by Jason Lewis. Jason Lewis presumably by his parents at some point.