Backsteingotik by Sock

Backsteingotik is probably Sock's most unique-looking Q1SP map yet: whereas his previous levels have been modified/unique takes on id medieval and id Runic, Backsteingotik is, as far as I know, the only brickwork wind tunnel map in Quake. Sock has already developed a very distinct build style - very tidy, well-proportioned, multileveld atriums decorated with modified id textures and with a consistent level of detail. This style works very well for this map, with its angular wind tunnels, grimy old bricks, eerie green lights, and bloody metalwork. It is probably Sock's most atmospheric map, it feels about as "Quakey" as possible, given how well a mysterious and ancient dungeon is portrayed. One touch I really liked was areas where the floor or the ceiling just fades away into the mist, giving a sense of vertigo very appropriate to a Wind Tunnels map.

As with Midnight Stalker, the map features its own skill select, and the layout is highly interconnected and full of secrets. It also contains numerous traps and moving pieces, some of which can be used to kill monsters (cool!). It's also clear that a lot of effort was made so that the player doesn't get lost, which I appreciated (and which can be especially important in a wind tunnels map). This map also features larger groups of monsters than Sock's other maps, there are a few places where the player faces hordes (or almost-hordes) of monsters in epic confrontations. Medieval monsters are used diversely and well, so that you often have several different threats coming at different angles at the same time. Some of the traps are reminiscent of oldschool traps in Quake or even Doom, which is always fun to see. As with metlslime's Antediluvian, this map is a great reminder that wind tunnels were one of the coolest, most interesting features of Quake back in 1996. Congratulations to Sock for coming up with a unique and atmospheric take on the idea.

Score: 19/20