The Anomaly by Digs

This map's simple title is entirely appropriate: The Anomaly is the only Elder World base map I know of. Like id's most experimental and troublesome episode, The Elder World, The Anomaly features numerous powerups, strange, confusing and creepy settings (like Tower of Despair), different styles of theme in the same map (consider The Pain Maze), lots of powerups, weird forces at work, cool secrets, and plenty of weaponry. The base here is dressed in a variety of id, hipnotic, ik, and nehahra textures, with the odd addition from hexen II (rocks/grass). There are a variety of settings: dark tech-hallways, open courtyards, subterranean rooms, winding interconnected stairwells and atriums, and rust/copper-themed sewer segments. It's not entirely clear how the areas relate to each other, and the next place to go sometimes opens up in an unexpected place. The interwinding layout also means you'll often be surprised to find yourself visiting a previous area from a new angle. The coolest part of the design/ layout is the "warped" sections - tilted or even inverted base rooms (you'll have to see these yourself), including fighting and puzzles which can be tricky.

The gameplay is very Elder-world: Vores, Shamblers, Tarbabies, Fiends and so forth are present in force along with Ogres, Grunts and Enforcers. Early in the map there is a courtyard where base monsters bounce around while attacking you. id did this with Vores in episode 4, but Vores obviously have some weird link to elder magics that make no sense, whereas the whirlwind of grunts and enforcers in this map seems as confused as the human player they're attacking even as they are tossed around. A humorour and unusual moment for sure - and make sure that that pesky autoaim is turned off! Probably the most fun in the map is the quad runs (of which there are several!) - one fragging zombies with quad lightning (that was my weapon of choice anyway) is particularly good.

This is indeed a unique map, with some great quad blastfests and peculiar/interesting designs. 2011 is off to a good start!

Score: 16/20