The Game: Former Imperial officer Kyle Katarn has defected and joined the Rebel Alliance – and they intend to use him as an undercover operative. With his knowledge of infiltration and Imperial procedures, Katarn is the perfect choice to wreak havoc from the inside. But getting back in to an Imperial facility is the trick isn’t it? And it’ll cost you a little something extra – namely, a lot of pain, and a lot of time spent hiding, running, and blasting away at hordes of stormtroopers and a few other enemies, including bounty hunters Boba Fett and Bossk. If you can help Katarn survive long enough, he may discover the secret of the Empire’s legion of darktroopers, a new breed of stormtrooper with more advanced weaponry and almost invincible armor. (LucasArts, 1995)
Memories: Though clearly inspired by the Doom / Duke Nukem genre of first person shooters, Dark Forces won many a fan simply by virtue of being a Star Wars game that doesn’t involve spaceflight. I remember when Dark Forces first came out, I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t impressed. I guess this shows you what I know – Dark Forces has hit every platform that has existed since 1995 with the possible exception of the Game Boy, and it’s only a matter of time now that Doom has been ported to the Game Boy Advance.
With its reasonably simple controls and somewhat dated bitmapped graphics, Dark Forces isn’t overpoweringly difficult to play – and it may be the last game of its kind that merits such a description. Follow-ups have included Jedi Knight and Jedi Knight II – Katarn’s still swashbuckling his way through the Star Wars universe. Dark Forces also has the distinction of having action figures based upon it, specifically Katarn and the Darktroopers. Click here for the photographic evidence.