The force is with us this Christmas, as The Force Engine's 1.0 update has just been released after three years of development. This means that you now have a much better way to play Star Wars: Dark Forces on modern computers. How? Well, the project is meant to be a "viable replacement" to DosBox, providing "modern conveniences and control methods," which sounds great. It also gets rid of annoying bugs like getting stuck in ice and gives players a way to still play the game in the traditional DOS experience if they want to. Essentially, everyone wins.
But what is The Force Engine 1.0? It's a project that has reverse engineered and rebuilt the Jedi Engine, which was used for two games: Star Wars: Dark Forces, and Outlaws. The 1.0 version of the Force Engine means that Dark Forces support is complete but Outlaws is not yet playable, with full support coming for that title in version 2.0 of the project.
The Force Engine provides a lot of modern features that you'd expect from a modern game. These features include a mod loader, which will allow you to play mods, as you'd expect. There's also high resolution and widescreen support, as well as full input binding, mouse sensitivity adjustment, and controller support. The controller support is especially rad, but do remember that the in-game menus currently require a mouse.
You can also use full mouselook and an aiming reticle, enjoy improved Boba Fett AI, take advantage of autorun, and more. These last improvements are optional quality-of-life tweaks, so you can turn them on or off whenever you'd like. If you'd like to download The Force Engine, be sure to give it a look here. You'll need to own Star Wars: Dark Forces, of course.
It's a great time to be a fan of retro first-person shooters. Not only is Dark Forces getting a boost on modern consoles, but the long-lost 2001 version of ill-fated shooter Duke Nukem Forever will also be playable via a fan restoration project very soon, too. For more information on cool modding projects like this, stay tuned to TechRaptor.