Dark Emperor I
Mission Type:
Post Date:
Luke Skywalker
March 20, 1999
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
74 / 100
April 11, 1999
65 / 100
75 / 100
80 / 100
First Impressions
The first two levels of this series are enjoyable ones. The second two however, were a major disappointment. Out of the four levels of the series, only the first two are worth talking about in this review. The last two level were outrageous battles where you had to fight Luke, Max and six of the seven original Dark Jedi at once. So when I say ‘this series', I mean the first two levels only (since the second two are not really worth taking seriously).
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
The architecture of the Dark Emperor series was decent. It was a bit boxy throughout the whole thing, and for the majority it lacked special details like beams, sloped surfaces and other interesting features. However, it did have some good things. The first level takes place in Nar Shaddaa, and in many places you can look out at parts of the city skyline instead of a wall. Also, there are ledges that overlook open areas, and lots of stairs and ramps. The change in elevation did a lot for the level because it kept everything from getting boring and endless. The downsides of the architecture were the huge, boxy rooms, and the distinct lack of sloped surfaces. The texturing for the first level was quite good. I thought there was a great variety, and each choice complemented the others well. Furthermore, they also lined up correctly nearly all the time, and they just made the level look really nice. The second level took place in an underground mine, but the architecture did not quite fit. Most of the tunnels were either rectangular or neat octagons. It didn't look too natural, even for a mine. There was an absence of details that would appear in a mine, like broken rocks and outcroppings. The second level had a limited texture variety, and a large amount of the time they were not aligned correctly. With the exception of a few areas, the second level was largely a task of navigating an endless series pitch-black tunnels.
Dynamics / Interactivity
Enemy placement in the first level was admirable. In a couple of areas there was an excess amount of enemies, but for the most part it was really good. The difficulty was perfect. The level offered some challenge, but it was not aggravating because of impossibility. It actually turned out to be really enjoyable, especially when you grip a Rodian and he squeals! The enemies were also placed well. Instead of standing around in huge groups, they are sneaky. Rodians, Gran and an occasional Tusken hid behind crates, stood on elevated ledges, or lurked in shadowed areas. The second level had fair enemy placement. There were definitely a few too many enemies, and this time it was almost aggravating because every few seconds you had to stop and grip a Tusken, or slash him with your lightsaber. Some areas practically overflowed with foes, and replaying these areas got annoying. Item placement in both levels was decent. There was a sufficient quantity, and in the first level, they were placed well. They were on top of crates, or resting in niches or ledges. Though a good deal of them were laying in the corners of the rooms, the good placement outweighed the bad. In the second level, they were basically laying on the ground all the time, but that's understandable because the mines aren't exactly civilized places. A few rested on tables, but they were only in the tiny residential area near the surface. Enhancements were pretty fair in the Dark Emperor series. Troop transports could be boarded, and they would fly you to a distant place. In the first level, it was really funny: you enter a room with a conveyor belt. Civilians are riding it, but they hit a spot that looks like some sort of flash heater, and they all start screaming and dying! A few seconds later, in a different room, civilians are tossed to their deaths from a hole in the high ceiling. Hehehe! You don't know the power of the Dark Side! The second level featured a real bacta tank that can actually be entered to conduct healing.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
The Dark Emperor series had a good atmosphere. When I was playing, I felt like I was in an adventure, not sitting at my computer playing a game. The first level felt like Nar Shaddaa, the second really felt like a mine. It was dark and dreary, and you could almost feel the enemies lurking in the dark, waiting to ambush you. Unfortunately, the first level's lighting was weak, as it was basically the same level throughout the whole mission. Gameplay was excellent for both levels; it was a quite fun series. I just have to reiterate how much fun it was to grip those pesky Rodians! The levels were also interesting because they gameplay was not boring. You had to jump up on crates and beams to find areas, and you had to backtrack after you retrieved a key or opened a door.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
I thought the first two levels were quality, enjoyable levels. Download them now! Unfortunately, the second two are very bad, so after you beat the second level just quit (unless you want to fight 6 Dark Jedi simultaneously). I also think it is a mistake to put Max in a level, especially as a foe that you must kill. Enjoy!
65 / 100
75 / 100
80 / 100