Dark Forces: Classic Star Wars Shooter Gets 4K Overhaul Thanks to Fan Remaster
A classic Star Wars shooter has received a significant overhaul thanks to The Force Engine, a three-year fan project in the making.
Billed as a complete rewrite of LucasArts’ Jedi Engine from the ’90s, The Force Engine is actually a 4K remake of the original Dark Forces meant to replace the DosBox emulator used by the Steam version. . While it still supports 320×200 native resolution, Shadow Force can still be adjusted up to 4K. It even includes support for ultra-wide screens.
In addition to the improved graphics, Dark Forces adds a whole host of modern conveniences including a full mouse interface, reticle, and a new save system. Naturally, all these features can be disabled or simply omitted for the classic Dark Force experience.
Released in 1995 at the height of the Doom craze, Dark Forces was a first-person shooter set in the Star Wars universe. It marked the birth of Dark Troopers – Terminator-like Stormtroopers would go on to appear in various installments of the Star Wars novels, including the Palestinians. At the time, it was criticized for its lack of multiplayer and lighting—both of which will be remedied in sequels—but is highly regarded today.
To use The Force Engine, you must own a copy of Dark Forces. After downloading The Force Engine’s UI from GitHub, you can easily set the source folder and play.
Going forward, The Force Engine is planning cross-platform support for Linux and Mac in 2023, as well as support for Outlaws — a western-style shooter that also uses the Jedi Engine. It requires Windows 7 and an OpenGL 3.3 compatible GPU to play. When you’re done, check out where the Dark Forces are on our list 10 best Star Wars video games of all time.
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Thumbnail image credit: Ron Lussier
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN and a Nintendo Voice Chat co-host. Got a tip? Message her directly at @the_katbot.