RemakeQuake SP Demo1 by Remake Quake Team

I missed this demo, released in summer of 2009, because I was on a bike trip at the time. While the version of the RMQ mod on display here is antiquated now, I thought I'd review it anyway along with the new demo. The mod seems good; using hi-res textures for the map and for the items, the experience is very slick with Darkplaces. The feel of the weapons is better than the original by quite a bit; especially the nailgun is fun to use. Nevertheless, the mod still uses the old models, including the tree for example, and the old models as well. There is a new model for when monsters teleport in which looks cool. I am not sure whether the team plan to incorporate hi-res textures for all the models, this goal strikes me as too ambitious, and I don't mind the mixture of hi-res and low-res art in any case. The new sounds are mostly good, I don't like the axeman sound, but other than that mostly good. The use of friendly ranger soldiers is cool even though I ended up killing the few that survived the enemy by accidental friendly fire. The Q2 barrel is good, much better than the retarded Q1 barrel, but I think it needs to be recoloured (more brown rather than grey) to fit in with the Q1 base colour scheme. The monsters now dodge, which I found annoying in Nehahra, but they mostly die in one shot, so the difficulty is not unreasonable. Overall, the mod includes plenty of cool touches and general improvements, without straying too much from the original. As a note I think there was a general sound problem when I played. My system is not the greatest though.

Now to the map, e3m1rq. The map follows the layout of the original for the most part, but with several extra areas. The visual style is similar to the original, but smoother and more detailed in some places. There are some nice tech areas - the whole map seems more functional and convincingly technological than the original. There are plenty of cool touches which add to the sense of place. I wasn't too keen on the lighting, as there is quite a bit of pure darkness. I know some people don't like minlight, mostly because it can be used as a lazy substitution for real light, but I found the amount of pure black in this map distracting, since it sometimes made navigation problematic. id Software maps, especially in episodes 3 and 4, did have a fair amount of pure black (consider the Tower of Despair, for example), but they also had some dimmer diffuse lights so that it was possible to see what was where. That said this issue might just be due to my contrast settings. The use of rain adds a fair bit to the map, and I got the impression that the secret areas were more extensive than what I saw (which was already cool). My one complaint is that my favourite area in the original e3m1 - the hanging-platform-above-the-slime area, one of the coolest base spots in the original quake - seems to have gotten lost in this version - it's either too dark, or too remade or reduced to be really recognizable. In conclusion, this is nice improvement on the original and the mod is good, but the map still feels a bit tentative, especially the lighting. Nevertheless it's a fun preview of what should be the most important Q1SP project since Nehahra 10 years ago.

Score: 15/20