Star Wars: Dark Forces has been remastered courtesy of The Force Engine, a reverse- engineered and rebuilt version of LucasArts’ Jedi game engine for modern systems from developers luciusDXL, winterheart, and gilmorem560, who released the 1.0 build of it today following three years of work, allowing fans of the 1995 classic to replay the game with various improvements, including higher resolutions, widescreen support, modern control schemes, greater performance, and more.
“For Dark Forces, the goal is for TFE to act as a viable replacement for DosBox and the original executable for most players, to be used to not only play the vanilla levels but also the many user mods developed for the original game – and I believe that goal has finally been met with the release of version 1.0,” the developers wrote regarding the release.
“The Force Engine provides modern conveniences and control methods and removes the need to set up DosBox and deal with cycles-based bugs such as getting stuck on ice or having the missiles that the final boss fires move too fast or not move at all. While TFE supports modern GPU and high resolution software rendering – the original 320×200 fixed-pointe renderer has been preserved – keeping the DOS experience for those who want it.”
Support for Outlaws, the only other game that utilized the Jedi game engine, is being planned for the version 2.0 release of The Force Engine.
The Force Engine brings the following to Star Wars: Dark Forces:
- Full Dark Forces support, including mods. Outlaws support is coming in version 2.0.
- Mod Loader – simply place your mods in the Mods/ directory as zip files or directories.
- High Resolution and Widescreen support – when using 320×200 you get the original software renderer. TFE also includes a floating-point software renderer which supports widescreen, including ultrawide, and much higher resolutions.
- GPU Renderer with perspective correct pitch – play at much higher resolutions with improved performance.
- Extended Limits – TFE, by default, will support much higher limits than the original game which removes most of the HOM (Hall of Mirrors) issues in advanced mods.
- Full input binding, mouse sensitivity adjustment, and controller support. Note, however, that menus currently require the mouse.
- Optional Quality of Life improvements, such as full mouselook, aiming reticle, improved Boba Fett AI, autorun, and more.
- A new save system that works seamlessly with the existing checkpoint and lives system. You can ignore it entirely, use it just as an exit save so you don’t have to play long user levels in one sitting, or full save and load with quicksaves like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D.
- Optional and quality of life features, even mouselook, can be disabled if you want the original experience. Play in 320×200, turn the mouse mode (Input menu) to Menus only or horizontal, and enable the Classic (software) renderer – and it will look and play just like DOS, but with a higher framerate and without needing to adjust cycles in DosBox.
“Behind a veil of secrecy the evil Empire is creating a doomsday army – one that, if finished, will become the final cog in the Empire’s arsenal of terror and domination,” reads a description for Star Wars: Dark Forces. “Your Mission? Join the Rebel Alliance’s covert operations division, infiltrate the Empire.”
Star Wars: Dark Forces is available for $5.99 on Steam at the time of this posting.