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Monday 23rd July 2001

Soedemo: "Soul of Evil Preview Release"
(Size: 6.3 meg. No Alternative downloads.)

A preview demo for the Soul of Evil medieval project, which includes a fairly nice medieval start map, a deathmatch map, and this single player map. Naturally it's a medieval map, with a sort of town/village/castle theme, with various sections of map interlinked by caverns. In fact the layout is noticably logical and pleasing, you'll often pop up in familiar areas via a new route. Map designs are quite diverse, from little canyons and simple indoor rooms, to complex courtyards where ruined buildings are prominent - these can look a bit scruffy but that's ruination for you. There are plenty of good designs, particularly the nice little towers here and there, and the ruined sections certainly make the town courtyards interesting to explore around - lots of beams, collapsed stonework, fallen pillars and suchlike. Nice to have lots of "stuff" around, and the map mostly avoids simple room designs, which is also good. However some areas aren't as well designed as others, and some texturing is a bit poor - corner pillars with only one side, for example. Overall a good setting in an appealing style, that should be a bit neater.

The ruined style can suit exploration well, and indeed this map's exploration comes from jumping or creeping around beams and rooftops to find both secrets and normal items, which if you're okay with lots of jumps, is fresh and fun compared to the usual "shooting wall sections". There's also a secret level exit, which unfortunately misses out the finale if you take it. Gameplay is also fun, it's a well balanced map, with nothing too hardcore. Lots of Quakey fighting against re-skinned Grunts, Scrags, Ogres etc etc. The reskinned monsters are disappointing: Grunts and Enforcers with indistinct skins and inappropriate sounds ripped from Scourge of Armagon. Having them as cannon fodder in medieval maps is a great idea, but they need to be better quality. Some monsters are well positioned around the ruined scenery to cause trouble, but mostly it's pretty straightforward gameplay, with good supplies of ammo allowing a more confident approach, though health packs quite spread out. The ending is a bit more challenging with a horde of monsters, but it is escapable. Skill settings are well used so all players should be able to enjoy this map.

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