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Sunday 25th July 1999:

Valour: "Steel Valour."
(Size: 280 k. No Alternative downloads.)

Tiddle's third recent level, and one pretty much identical in style and quality to the previous two, though of couse different in layout and gameplay situations. This is quite a simple map in an industrial metal style. Thus it's made from concrete or stone walls, heavily covered with metal beam and grille trims, structured with some subtle angles and a few pillars, and detailed with hi-tech lights, grilles and crates. All of this is very cleanly made despite the grimy style. It also has quite a bit of lava, and some nice solid bunker-type doors. Unfortunately there are no impressive room designs (the pillar room is probably the best), and no spectacular structures either, but for a simple map, it's very well done and quite appealing. Progression is simple too, just a matter of finding the right switches to open a mostly linear route - there is a minor route choice round the pillar room, but no secrets.

Combat is fairly straightforward and pleasant, facing plenty of base enemy as well as a few tougher monsters. It's mostly facing Grunts and Enforcers straight on, where retreating and letting them come to you is the easiest tactic - and this level is fairly easy overall, perhaps because of it's simple design, and ease of retreat. The tougher monsters provide more of a challenge, and can surprise you a few times - including a particularly amusing "behind you" trick. The weapons selection, ammo and health were all well balanced, with not too much nor too little. The gameplay progressed well throughout, though some more staged combats and a tougher ending would have provided a more excitment. This level doesn't have skill settings either, so maybe the slightly easier gameplay is a good idea, but more challenge and skill settings would be better. Still, a nice, well made level.

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