Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster Review

Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster Review

When you were a child was there ever a game that you couldn’t beat no matter how hard you tried? Was there a time when trying to beat it, whether you tried a different jumping tactic, moved stealthfully, or worked on your accuracy, you still failed? For years, only three titles have alluded me in completion due to playability; those three titles were Superman 64, Battletoads, and Star Wars Dark Forces.

While the first two games were console-locked, Star Wars Dark Forces was available on PC and PlayStation. As a child, I loved Star Wars so my mother bought me a bunch of Star Wars games for our PC since I didn’t have a console; certain games like Star Wars Dark Forces were a headache to get used to; now almost 30 years later, I finally had the chance to go back and cross one of those white whales off of my list thanks to the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster.


Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster
Developer: Nightdive StudiosLucasArts
Publisher: Nightdive Studios
Platforms:  Microsoft Windows (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S (Reviewed)
Release Date: February 28th, 2024
Players: 1
Price: Base: $29.99

If you are an older gamer, you know that we are in a golden area of video games the graphics for games are always improving; there is almost a limitless amount of games to play and there are subscription services to give you access to a multitude of game for cheaper prices than a game on sale each month. Despite that, many gamers complain that there are not enough gamers to play, that there is no originality, or they long for games from their past.

When it comes to remasters/remakes they can be rather hit or miss. Last month, we reviewed the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection and Rose & Camellia Collection. While the Rose & Camellia Collection revitalized the original games and offered a fun spin to the gameplay; the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection spit on the grave of the thing many Star Wars fans and gamers around the world loved.

With these two games in mind, I was a bit jaded at first when reviewing the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster; would I be able to conquer my own white whale or be left frustrated?

Upon booting up the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of customization options available before even starting the game. Players can change the control bindings, vibration settings, stick responsiveness, and the run and crouch mechanics.

The game also features enhancements to upscale the cutscenes, sprites, and the game’s rendering. The accessibility options feel like they have the least amount of options. Players can edit bobbing, weapon and H.U.D. flashing, subtitles, and mission-ending engagement. The biggest accessibility issue is that the game does not offer any colorblind mode options.

The reason the colorblind accessibility option is so important is that the game uses multiple variations of green, red, and blue color tones. Even without colorblindness, some of the colors were hard to see at times.

Additionally, certain objects would blend into the game’s environment and be difficult to see. This was primarily a problem when a path was hidden and you had to look for it. Some of the color schemes and the way it was laid out made it difficult. In order to get around this, I utilized the map.

Outside of the color coordination and colorblind issues, the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster has done an excellent job of upscaling the game’s overall graphics and providing a more well-rounded experience.

The game’s visuals do switch a bit but in a way, it almost adds a charm to it; it reminds you of where the game came from rather than being a fully polished new item. The game’s graphics make it at least more playable than the Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection.

Once, we were able to figure out the controls, we were off to the races and made progress; the only problem was getting turned around. The biggest thing that the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster could have used is a tutorial system.

Yes, that was not in the original game and would have had to been built from the ground up, but it would have made things a lot less confusing. The game doesn’t explain how items work or how to solve puzzles; it is up to you to figure everything out. If you want a game that doesn’t hold your hand, then this should be on your wishlist.

The story itself is passable but the game does a poor job of explaining where events fall on the Star Wars timeline. You can guess where they fall but you have to pay attention to context clues in order to figure it out.

About midway through, the story gets interesting with the inclusion of Fett and Darth Vader included, however, neither plays a massive role outside of the base narrative. The story chapters are easily consumable, however, it is fairly easy to get lost and turned around in a dungeon.

Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster Vader

Although the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster may not be a ground-up build, it still is faithful to the original game and provides players with an upgraded experience.

For a game that is almost thirty years old, the core gameplay is still fairly solid, however, the game’s lack of instructions can make it a bit difficult for players. Players can choose to play the game either in the original graphics or using modern graphics.

At the end of the day, Nightdive Studios has done a great job with the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster and would make Lucas Arts proud compared to some other Star Wars titles. Yes, the game isn’t for everyone, but the developers have done a good job of making it accessible to most. The lack of a colorblind mode does seem like a failed oversight when you look at everything they did add, but it doesn’t make or break the game experience.

I had fun taking Star Wars Dark Forces off of my white whale list and maybe the Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster can help you take it off yours.

Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster was reviewed on an Xbox Series X using a copy provided by Nightdive Studios You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Star Wars Dark Forces Remaster is available on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S 

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The Verdict: 8

The Good

  • Variety of Accessibility Settings to improve the experience
  • Gameplay has been fine tuned and polished
  • Sound effects and Audio has been updated to create a fun and intense soundtrack
  • Gameplay art and designs can be seen in the Vault

The Bad

  • Story is average overall
  • No colorblind accessibility options
  • no tutorial or instructions to help the player

About

Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.


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