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Monday 28th February 2000:

Base-x2: "Basex2"
(Size: 320 k. No Alternative downloads.)

This is the latest industrial base level from Tiddles, and follows the same trademark style exhibited in Outpost-alpha, Strong-hold, and Valour (all reviewed). Fairly simple designs, all sticking to the same strong theme: grimy concrete and rock walls, lots of metal trim, with plenty of grilles, vents, and hi-tech lights as details. Add some crates, season with lava, stir in plenty of base enemy, garnish with the usual professional build quality, and serve on the TEAMShambler menu for hungry Q1 SP diners. This theme is becoming formulaic now, but it still works and provides a good level. Architectural highlights include a couple of good open rooms, the bigger pillared one is quite impressive, and the long corridor with angled vents above lava "shelves" on each side is an interesting design. Otherwise, the designs are simple - sometimes too simple and square - but good details like lights and pipes make them attractive. This level would definitely benefit from more spectacular architecture, but what's here is done well.

Gameplay provides an equally straightforward experience, with no secrets to find and no exploration along a linear route to the exit. There is some backtracking through the map, but a few reinforcements keep you busy. Combat revolves around the usual base enemy, with a few Ogres to spice things up. Enemy tend to attack in gangs, which works well with base enemy, in particular the cool sentry posts. These are sealed rooms with long narrow slits from which multiple Grunts snipe at you, a good test of your aiming skills to kill them quickly. Elsewhere the combats are quite obvious, though the plentiful enemy can provide a fair challenge, with careful sniping being a good tactic. However the ending is weak - you get an unnecessary Perforator (until this point, weapons and health are well balanced for the combats), and although it's fun slaughtering the Grunt cannon fodder, there is no satisfying climax to finish. But for a quick burst of Quake action, it's a worthy map.

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