Terracity by Qmaster

This is a large, oldschool map, somewhere between ORL's maps "Neighboring Alzazar's" and "Conflagrant Rodent," which may not be surprising since the author rated Conflagrant Rodent a 5/5 on Quaddicted in December of 2010. The build quality is better than "Alcazar's" but not quite as good as "Rodent," what "Terracity" has in common is the Red Brick theme (although here it's done with mainly id textures as opposed to ORL's custom ones, and also a few metal and blue brick areas are mixed in for variety) and the large, open, layout making use of water-filled grottos and temple atriums. Other common elements include heavy use of ogres on different vertical levels in open areas, and certain similarities in architectural style and motifs, although this map generally seems to take a more abstract approach to architectural reference (for example, the cistern area).

The map begins in a vertical atrium of stacked architecture, reminiscent of the "768" maps from a few years ago, a trend started by negke (and indeed the opening atrium is somewhat reminiscent of some negke maps as well). I always liked this idea, as well as the "ascent"-style route used here, so making my way up the various levels over e1m5-style moving beams, broken stairs and e3m4-style transport platforms was definitely fun, although the lighting here (and elsewhere) seemed a bright too bright and rushed. After this section you entire the huge main atrium, and then there is a moodier section with low lights that ends in an ascent and siege of what can only be described as an "Ogre Turret" on the way to the gold key, probably the gameplay highlight for me (also featuring a quad run earlier on). I got stuck for a bit before I figured out to shoot the altar - no complaints though, it's 2013, this should be obvious. The climax of the map is a pentagram run involving lots of Shamblers, where you need to play your cards right (only place I died in the map). Generally there is a lot of health and ammo, and usually you can get more than you need by backtracking, so that secrets aren't even needed, but the secrets are fun to find (5/7), sometimes with rocket jumping, and the unusual abundance of supplies except at the end lets you play the map in a Doom-style way rather than a Zerstorer-style "be creeped out and explore" way. As the author mentions, the abundance of supplies (and hordes) should make this a good map for coop. Overall, while the visual quality (mainly lighting, but also texturing/detailing/etc) could be higher, and not everyone likes blast-fest maps, I really liked this map; despite the homage to "Conflagrant Rodent" and the fact that the build quality (detail, lighting, etc) it has plenty of its own charm and there's never a dull moment.

Score: 18/20