Catatonic Fits of Despair by RickyT23

This is a medium-sized, simply constructed metal map; it's a bit of a throwback. It was built in less than two weeks, so given its size the lack of detail in architecture and texturing is understandable. It is kind of like a giant speedmap. This is not to say it's ugly to look at (some speedmaps are indeed quite pretty, but they tend to be small and have detail, or repeat sections), but it's clear that not a lot of work went into the design. The texturing is pretty bland, for example textures without lines or rivets or any kind of marking, that thus require no alignment at all, cover much of the architecture. The lighting tries to make up for this some, by being generally gloomy, and coloured (mostly red) with a red fog as well. This adds some appeal to the looks, but these days, after all the impressive stuff that has been done with the metal theme by many mappers, looks ought to be up to id-standard level of detail at least, and some unique touches would help to put a distinct stamp on any metal map. One area, a giant circular tower, has a certain aesthetic appeal in its scale and simplicity, sort of like something you might find in Doom. The outdoor area at the end has a lot of spikes and is vaguely reminiscent of early Necros style. It's the design highlight.

Gameplay was better, mostly because there are some fun Quad slaughters, and you can get infighting going most of the time - including for me the satisfying experience of getting a knight to kill a tarbaby, or a couple knights to kill a hellknight. I tried the same thing again at the end, but a Shambler gibbed my valiant champion knight with one giant bloody hand. Most of the medieval/runic Quake monsters are used for their strengths; gameplay's a bit predictable but challenging enough to be fun. There's no hiding and sniping here, you can blast your way through the map at a fast pace, which adds to the Doom-like feeling. It would have been nice to have the supershotgun earlier. Anyway, while this doesn't really measure up to some of the other maps by the same author, think of it as a giant speedmap with some fun Quad slaughters and an interesting ending setpiece, and you should enjoy this release which will hopefully usher in some more Quake maps after a slow summer.

Score: 13/20