11 December, 2011

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

  • Release Date: 1997
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Developer: LucasArts
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter

Imagine the pressure. The original Dark Forces successfully coats a doom-like first-person shooter with the veneer of the Star Wars universe, it delights gamers, sells well, and a sequel goes straight into production. The anticipation for the next installment of Kyle Katarn's adventures was through the roof, and LucasArts delievered a stunning shooter experience that integrated role-playing style, Jedi power progression, and story choices into a more traditional run-and-gun action product. And it introduced lightsabers, Oh, yes, the lightsabers.

A Fierce Looking ATAT
Building a system that would fluidly switch to a third-person perspective when Katarn draws out the big stick proved to be a significant technical hurdle that was executed perfectly. Katarn's story as a former Imperial officer turned mercenary takes a huge leap forward when he uncovers the force. Now he can learn new Force powers and choose whether to follow the Light or Dark path on a quest to find his father's murderer.

It's a gripping progression that invests the player with an important role in this post-Return of the Jedi story-line. Even after the single-player plot-line is exhausted, it's easy to replay, choosing different Jedi powers and experiencing the story from the other side. Then you can take those skills online in a multiplayer mode that pits Light against Dark Jedis in classic four-player match-ups.

This package set a new ambition bar not just for all future Star Wars games, but for the first person shooters in general. As three-dimensional graphics cards were gaining a foothold, this game was one very good reason to join the revolution, if you hadn't already. For fans of the series, all it takes is for that famous score to start playing, and the chills run down their spines.

2 memories:

Oh my god, the memories. :D

Brings back good memories! :'D

I miss that series, from Dark Forces all the way to Jedi Academy...

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