Hosted by:

TEAMShambler Quake Level Reviews

Style and info
Submitting levels

Latest review
Reviews by date
Reviews by zip name
Reviews by map name
List of old levels

Design Theories 1
Design Theories 2
Q1 SP Articles

Speedrun demos

Level help
Site FAQ

Friday 12th January 2001:

Rc3: "Towne"
(Size: 1.1 meg. No Alternative downloads.)

A great map in the tradition of Village and Shadow, compared to which it is less dramatic and diverse, but much more refined and polished. It's set in a medieval town (gasp!) spread between the docks at the end of Rc2 and a final temple building. The map follows from Rc2 but is playable individually, and it comes with a cool, Quakey, and witty story. Architecturally it's very pleasing and convincing - a maze of streets between many interlinked medieval buildings, varying from typical townhouses and stables to more splendid mansions, and a few castle/gatehouse sections, and even a hidden dungeon. Peaked roofs, lots of windows and doors, wooden crates and cobbled streets all give it a strong theme. Two other visual aspects stand out: Dramatic lighting from torches provides an atmospheric contrast between their bright pools of light and the eerily dark alleys. And interior and exterior details like support beams, railings, desks, stone arches, and trim around openings, all contribute to the sense of place. Build quality is consistently good, with only a couple of small texture errors. A few buildings are repetitive and could have more individuality, but otherwise it's a classy, good looking map.

The layout encourages some good exploration around the central section, and inside the occasional building (unfortunately only a few are accessible) for items - which you'll need. You also need to keep your eyes open and read messages to progress, which adds interest. 2 secrets, the one I found was in plain view with a cool way to reach it. Gameplay is pretty challenging and occasionally tense as you wander around the streets. Lots of medieval monsters (and a few Grunts, there is a reason for them) are used, often in small gangs for the Knights and Deathknights, with tougher monsters used sparingly. Generally you're not dropped in the action, but rather discover things lurking or patrolling around corners, with some surprises and teleporting monsters. The map is reasonably balanced, though the central section is slightly easier than the first and last sections - ammo can be quite tight initially and finally. Health is also a bit sparse given there's 120 monsters on Hard, though there's several armours. The ending is a very OTT arena combat, which unfortunately requires very specific positioning and ammo usage, meaning it's hard to survive first time, and can be quite frustrating. A pity a more appropriate combat wasn't chosen, but aside from that it's a fun gameplay in this enticing setting.

Lthsp2: "Backwards Compatible"
(Size: 1.8 meg. Includes an updated version of Lthsp1. Alternate download: Lthsp2.)

Note: This map follows on from the included version of Lthsp1

A small, Rubicon textured, night-time map, with an abrupt transition from Lthsp1's daytime Ikbase theme. This small-scale map consists of just a few well-used rooms surrounding a central hub. It has a space-station vibe with the starry sky, hi-tech style, and features like crates, proper lifts, and a cool angled window. The compact nature also fits in a "less space to waste" way. However many areas are lacking this sense of place, being somewhat arbitrary. The architecture is nice, if simple, with a consistent style, subtly angled pillars and passages, though again it lacks complex details or striking designs that would have enhanced the setting. Aside from that, the lighting from spotlights, sky, and a neon strip around the skylights, is quite good and contrasting, the textures and build quality are all neat. A good level in a simple way, but it could have been more thematically and architecturally exciting.

The small size allows little exploration, but with the layout set around a starting hub, there is a lot of back-tracking, and you're kept busy with reinforcements all the time. There's 5 secrets, unfortunately obscured in the status bar by the map name, so I didn't go looking for them - since the gameplay is challenging, they should be useful. As this map follows on from Lthsp1, you start with some weapons and ammo, which will be needed straight away as the gameplay is pretty tough from the start. Lots of enemy in close quarters, and a blend of both snipers and plentiful gang ambushes, means the fighting is continual. Custom nailgun Enforcers, reasonably skinned, and the same Deathknight Enforcers from Lthsp1, are used occasionally (Enforcer's laser blasts now make nail sounds when they hit walls, which is daft). Occasionally the fighting is too cramped, making combats awkward when you are trying to move or dodge. The balance is smooth, leading to a good arena ending against Enforcer "bosses", which is moderated by good supplies.

Ammendments to Lthsp1:
Further to the review of the previous version Lthsp1, this version features the following changes: Improved trim on the wall fittings, and the addition of a Hard skill setting - which features more enemy and thus more challenging gameplay, with an occasional sparsity of ammo.

- - - - - -
Previous reviews
- - - - - -