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Tuesday 7th December 1999:

DOTD4: "Dawn of the Dead"
(Size: 730 k. No Alternative downloads.)

A new level that came out of nowhere, by an established Q2 DM mapper, this is a fairly large, mostly Id base style map, with some sewers styles mixed in. The Id base theme is a distinctive one, and this map sticks to it consistently, without introducing any new elements. The sewer section, with slimy green walls and rusty pipes is also a strong theme, but still fits into the level, due to it's location Architecture is good, appropriately solid looking, and definitely well made, however it could be more impressive in some areas. Good aspects include heavy, solid buttresses and ribbing, angles, well chosen textures, and some nice details, as well as a complex layout that has you revisiting various areas at various levels. Some areas are fairly plain though, and some more spectacular designs and structures would have improved the look, as well as a few more details. Overall it's pretty good looking, with high build quality. Progression makes good use of the layout, there is a lot of running around pressing switches and fetching keys - all areas are well used. Secrets aren't marked in the total, but there are definitely a few areas that qualify as secrets - I only found one.

Gameplay is where the map really shines, as the combat is as solid as you could wish for, with it's own consistent flava. That flava being loads and loads of base monsters - 138 to be precise - attacking in large squads and often larger ambushes. The combat situations are good, as there is always room to escape if you want, but health and ammo are restricted (you get a lot off the Grunts anyway) so the map provides a good consistent challenge that is more a matter of attrition rather than any particularly hard fights. This certainly makes good use of base enemy, and provides plenty of fun dealing with the waves of enemy. The gameplay progresses smoothly, as you gradually get worn down by the fights, and the ending is quite good, though again it's easy to retreat. A couple of things can spoil the gameplay: Skill settings are not very effective, so lesser players might find it too hard, and there is one section where you must swim in slime - and if you don't have 20% health, you will die, so some more health should have been supplied before that. Other than that, a good map for some honest, entertaining, action.

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