An ambitious Doom
clone with mind-boggling level design and constant interactivity. With Dark Forces
there are secret areas to search for, traps to watch out for, some nifty environmental hazards to negotiate, puzzle solving, and navigating the map. Of course, you'll be shooting too, but Dark Forces downplays that aspect a little compared to other 90s first-person shooter
Compared to DOOM
, the gunplay is a bit hollow. The main weapon in the game is the inaccurate, automatic blaster rifle. It takes away a lot of what made shooting in DOOM
so fun when all you have to do is just spam an area with blaster fire. The horizontal auto-aim exacerbates this problem. Overall the shooting is average, but what you're doing most of the time is navigating.
I'm hesitant to call Dark Forces
clone' because you spend more time navigating the levels than you ever do shooting at enemies. The level design is very confusing, and people wanting a faster-paced FPS should look elsewhere. I found the boredom of wandering around is somewhat mitigated by the dynamic soundtrack. All that said, this game is playable, but maybe in bursts rather than all at once. One good thing about the complicated levels is that it adds to the replayability, and that is where this game really sets itself apart from its competitors.
After multiple playthroughs Dark Forces
remains fun to play because of the labyrinthine level design. It is hard to remember the layout of the next level because of its complexity. My opinion of this game continues to improve because it refuses to not entertain me. Overall, by far my favorite FPS of the 90s.
One last thing is this game's dialogue. This game is popular in the (now non-canon) extended universe for the memorable quotes yelled by Imperial troops when they spot the player. Various responses include "Halt!" or "Surrender immediately!" or "Blast him!" or the now slightly-famous, "You're not authorized in this area!" and the ever-popular "You're in violation of imperial law!" That last one is by far my favorite, because you usually shoot the person who says it before they finish saying it.