For Love of Evil (and associated maps) by Hrimfaxi
- Download: hrimsp4.zip
Everyone's favourite Norse Horse, Hrimfaxi, has released a trio of new Q1SP maps, accompanied by their own start. The start map is generally in the style of "For Love of Evil," but the entranceway to each of the other two maps is in the style of the map that it is an entrance to. The start map as a whole is spacious, dark, and well designed; nightmare isn't too hard to find, good stuff.
Voidscape is a sort of asteroid-type map, taking place over a variety of chunky, spiky terrain, with a few wooden structures. There are some floating rocks, including a "train" type one which is a fun ride, while fighting scrags. Enemies elsewhere in the map include Ogres, Hell Knights, some very nasty Vores, and a Shambler battle at the end. The map is fairly small (it is after all a turtlemap), but gets mileage out of its size and does some interesting things in a surprisingly underused setting (the only map I can think of in a "natural terrain voidmap" setting is Oblivion). Score: 13/20
This is another turtlemap, but it is on a much larger scale than "Voidscape." It uses the Day of the Lords/The Living End textures, a set which I am happy to see used more often as they are a unique, very Quakey set (dirty, monolithic, gothic, etc). The entrance to this map in the start is suitably epic, in true Hrimfaxi fashion, and the map itself doesn't disappoint. It takes place in a series of buildings stacked on different vertical levels around a central courtyard; one square court with two towers overlooks the central hub from a great height for particularly dramatic effect. The map as a whole has a great deal of vertical height, though this height could have been exploited a little more with walkways and so forth - but the effect as a whole is certainly looming/ominous. Gameplay is more difficult than "Voidscape," including some deadly fights with fiends. Elsewhere medieval enemies are a threat; and be careful around the lava, especially while under attack by ranged monsters. Overall this is a very nice map, if a bit hard in places. Score: 16/20
For Love of Evil
This is the main map in this release, and it is epic in terms of architecture and gameplay. Playing on nightmare, I died several times. "For Love of Evil" is a gigantic indoor Runic level, consisting of massive hallways and rooms, usually squarish but detailed with lots of arches, windows, and buttresses. There are some modified textures alongside the repeated architecture motifs that give the map a very unique look. The use of slightly angled beams throughout is a nice touch; and the map has many skylights which are complex, asymmetrical, and well-designed. However, despite the general texture detail, there are some areas where the map design's basic blockiness shows through - more beams/pillars/verticals could have brought these areas up to the general standard. Lighting overall is good, lots of long shadows from the sky and glowing lava below.
There are nine secrets contained in the map's spacious layout, so this is the best map for secret hunters in quite a long time. The monster population is quite dense throughout - and the constant presence of lava is another threat. There are also several classic Runic-style traps, including crushing ceilings, and a particularly cool train section above lava, with spikes coming out of the walls. There are several "arena" sections where you confront many monsters at once from different angles, including a couple sections with some wicked action against Vores. After the high-level challenge of this map throughout (especially with Fiends and Vores), the e2m6-style ending was not as big of a challenge as I was expecting; the scale of this could have been larger and more monsters used. Nevertheless, the slight break relative to some of the crazier areas earlier was welcome; this is a massive level and it will take you a while to complete.
The detail is lacking in places, and I think that despite the huge number of secrets, the giant, dark layout could have gained a little more mileage. There were several areas that I would have liked to revisit from a third angle, and it would have been nice to see a little more clearly how all of these areas relate to each other. In all, this is a great Runic map with its own style and a lot of lava, traps, and challenging combat. Score: 16/20
Overall Pack Score: 16/20