Red Slammer by negke

negke's new map is a medieval-textured map whose theme might be described as a cross between e1m5 and e1m6: that is, it has red and white stone medieval structures, yet bound together with metallic beams and decorated with metallic details and lava. As we are all accustomed to with negke's maps, the use of id textures on an unusually angled architectural style creates a unique look. There is also detailed, functional architecture, yet this does not prevent the map from retaining a sense of elder world strangeness, just as in Skinny Norris and Lower Forecourt. As you walk from room to room in this map, every section has new and interesting details in terms of lighting, architecture, and texturing. To give one example of the detail and creativity here, one room featuring lava-falls spewing down from metallic troughs has a green grass texture on the vertical surfaces of the brown grass, giving the appearance of lava-lighting but using only standard id textures. Design-wise, it's all about making new designs with old resources; and the ending of the map (where the reason for the title becomes apparent) follows this rule as well. There are also some traps reminiscent of e4m2, and a few tricks like incorporating monsters into the architecture. It is undeniably cool to see things like this in vanilla Quake.

The map features an in-map skill selector, and while Normal difficulty is pretty reasonable, you can adjust the difficulty all the way up to "Carnage" mode. The challenge is scalable. Monsters include all of the medieval normals plus grunts and enforcers, which makes sense given the techish/metallic twist to the medieval theme. There are a lot of secrets, of which I found hardly any, but this should prove satisfying for attentive players. negke's maps cast the player as more cerebral than usual, investigating a world whose sense or rules become apparent slowly. Without a lot of firepower (use of the lower-level weapons is common), the player has to rely on observation while exploring a strange and threatening world - and the end result is very Quakey.

Score: 17/20