(Size: 1.10 meg. No Alternative downloads.)
The result of a Fat Controller / CZG collabaration is a large, complex, tough medieval level, consisting of many rocky outdoor areas interspersed with medieval buildings, courtyards and corridors. The theme is a mixture of natural rock and grass, cobbled and pale grey stone walls, wooden structures and metal supports, all appropriately fitting the medieval theme while mostly avoiding the familiar browns and greens. Despite the level all adhering to one theme, there is lots of variety in designs .Within each section there is often good, interesting architecture, connected by a few plainer areas. In the outdoor sections, there are lots of well angled, good looking cliffs, with building fronts and structures built into them. These can look a bit plain, but sometimes rather impressive, at the end for example, and the complexity of some outdoor sections is good. Inside are fairly simple rooms and corridors, but with nice styles including curves and angles.
The overall design is liberally sprinkled with medieval touches like arches, wooden beams and stain glass windows. The main problem is that the diversity of the designs means the areas don't really blend consistently into one and another, and inevitably some sections look a lot better than others - it can seem a bit "thrown together". There are also a few scruffy texture uses, around windows and beams for example. Rather good, complex, map, but some refinement would have improved it. Progression is a matter of battling through the map to find a couple of keys, and at some points you do get to explore various route choices. There are a few secrets, mostly simple with one more complex.
Gameplay is distinctly tough in this map, with a lot of monsters and the bare minimum of weapons, health and ammo. Medieval monsters are usually attacking in large gangs - generally the monster positions aren't very refined or subtle, there is just a lot of monsters thrown at you. Combined with the weak weaponry (a grenade launcher at best), this provides a solid test of combat skillz. Compounding this is "just enough" ammo - enough to complete the map and little to spare - and fairly low health. There is a healing device at one point, however this useful idea is spoilt because the visible effect is of you taking damage, meaning most players will not hang around to use it. Thankfully skill settings are in effect, meaning players have a recourse if things get overwhelming. However, like the design, the gameplay could have been refined, with more cunning monster placements, and a more comfortable item balance. Still, it should keep players busy for quite a while, which is good value.
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