Elements by Vondur

Vondur has returned once again from the dark corner of the internet he lurks in, with a nice new Q1SP map.

"Elements" is a neat, interesting little map built up of simple, tidy rooms and hallways with several vertical levels, and themed around three elements. I was expecting four elements (water, air, earth, fire), but the first two are followed by lava which combines the last two. The architecture is fairly repetitive, squarish, and generally lacks decorations (except light-based ones like skylights and cross-light insets), and the texture selection is limited with only id textures and only a few of those at that. This makes it all the more impressive that the map comes across as consistently interesting and elegantly designed - every area has enough detail, and is well-designed enough to maintain visual interest. The different-yet similar designs of the three different elemental areas add nice variety branching on the same theme.

In terms of design it's a nice break from all the massive, asymmetrical levels lately, and the same is true of the gameplay: there are a few difficult places (the "air elements" area is a bit tough if you rush in, and you have to be careful near the end), but overall it's a pretty laid back map. What we have here is a nice run through an elegant little map which presents a characteristically Quakey, oldschool but unique environment.

Score: 16/20