Star Wars: Dark Forces was one of the first video game entries to incorporate elements of the expanded universe. Built on an enhanced version of the DOOM engine, Dark Forces reset the bar for first person shooters. It introduces the lasting character of Kyle Katarn into the universe and proved that you don't have to be a Jedi or a starfighter pilot to make a successful Star Wars game. An epic storyline, combined with memorable characters and impressive level design makes this game a must have for any Star Wars fan, or those looking for a sense of nostalga about how far gaming has come.
The graphics were top notch at the time of release (1995) with smooth animation and distinct sprites and textures. Digital voice work is crisp and helps to give the characters a sense of personality. From the filtered 'halt!' of stormtroopers to the anamalistic groan of the Diagnosa as you wade through raw sewage, you will always know exactly what is hunting you.
Gameplay is standard fare for shooters of the time. you have a wide variety of weapons - pistols, blaster rifles, thermal detonators, along with more exotic weapons such as the fusion cutter or the assault plasma cannon. Health is non-regenerating and must be restored from medkits, along with shields.
Sound direction is excellent. The music features remixes of well known Star Wars tunes along with new music. Each tune fits the level it is attached to. Weapon sounds are unique, giving every gun its own feel.
Overall, this is a geat game for retro lovers. Solid gameplay, a memorable story that has influenced many other games in the franchise, and characters with actual personality makes this a good choice.
On the technical side, this game comes bundled with its own auto-loading version of DOSBox, meaning that it will work on modern systems. Confirmed functional on all systems up to Windows 7 64-bit, with reports of it working properly on Windows 8 systems.