Last year, it was revealed that the masters of remasters at Nightdive Studios have taken on the task of bringing the beloved 90s classic Star Wars: Dark Forces to modern audiences. The remaster is set to release February 28 on PS5 and PS4, nearly 30 years after the release of the original game from LucasArts in 1995.
Similar to Nightdive’s previous endeavors with titles like Quake II and Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Remastered, Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster honors the strong foundation of the original while updating it for modern consoles through the studio’s proprietary KEX engine, allowing the game to run at up to 4K resolution at 120FPS on PlayStation 5.
With this, fans of the original as well as a whole new generation of gamers, will be able to experience Star Wars: Dark Forces and appreciate what made it such an essential title within LucasArts’ (now Lucasfilm Games) impressive catalog. Further honoring the work that went into its initial development, it’s been revealed that Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster will feature a special Vault jam-packed with never-before-seen content from the making of the 1995 original!
With improved spritework and remastered cutscenes, those looking to dig deeper into a truly unique story within the Star Wars galaxy will be able to enjoy a visually pleasing narrative experience as they join protagonist Kyle Katarn, a defector turned mercenary for hire working for the Rebel Alliance, in foiling the Galactic Empire and its secret Dark Troopers Project.
As much as we’d love to continue gushing over why this has been such an exciting project for Nightdive and must-play title for fans and newcomers alike, let’s dive deeper into the fascinating history and behind-the-scenes work of breathing new life into Star Wars: Dark Forces with Nightdive’s Project Lead and Producer, Max Waine.
Exploring The Vault
PlayStation Blog: What was the most exciting challenge you faced while working on Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster?
Max Waine: For me, it was bringing something new and worthwhile to existing fans of the game. Our way of tackling that was by bringing in The Vault. It was imperative that I find and present interesting snapshots of the development of the game. From there, it was a lot of coding to make it all work, conversion of various assets to be able to load in the remaster, and a great deal of text to write for the titles and descriptions; balancing being informative of what I did know from the development files without drifting into speculation proved exceptionally difficult.
When diving into the Remaster, what details about the original LucasArts spritework stood out to you from a historical development perspective?
From a development perspective, Dark Forces seemed to have a relatively typical way of approaching sprites for the time and genre. A combination of touched-up scanned models, hand-drawn sprites, and rendered 3D models (from 3D Studio) are ordinary fare. The software they used for spritework, DeluxePaint Animation, was also seemingly pretty standard. One interesting detail is that many of the human sprites seemed to be mostly hand-drawn but would use incredibly basic models to provide things like poses and such.