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Reviews: 15th June 2003. Review 1

Game - QUAKE
Map - guncotton: GunCotton (2 map PAK)
by - Shaun [Kona] Ross
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Overall Verdict - 2 smallish maps with great textures and imaginative architecture.

Another release from the prolific map maker Kona, this one is a smallish pack featuring 2 small/medium sized levels [plus a tiny start map].

level 1

gun: Guncotton
The map layout here is the *trademarked and patented* [Kona] two level winding maze/pathway through various open areas and indoor sections. Its a relatively small map [43 enemy count] and shouldn't take too long to find your way through. The Architecture in terms of both style and texturing is very good, a fairly unique look. The textures are particularly original, a kind of metallic/machine/industrial mix, colored in muted browns/green/blue. There are some nice door designs, door textures and detailing on the walls. The brushes tend to be anything but rectangular, everything kind of has dents in it, or consists of pillars and buttresses of angular design, to give the architecture a consistently angular, solid and chunky feel and look. Lighting is decent as well, and there is a greenish custom skybox.

Gameplay is more straightforward, the enemies consisting almost entirely of custom/modified grunts and enforcers. The modified enemies have custom skins (good, they fit in well with the map) and include red-skinned nail shooting grunts which can be tricky to deal with. There are also some grenade grunts as well. These modifications are good and add some much needed challenge and variety to the standard base enemy. I still found the map quite easy to play through on hard skill, more challenging gameplay might have helped here, although having said that, armor/health is quite well-balanced.

level 2

gun2: Guncotton
A better map than the first, slightly more ambitious architecture, but more significantly much better gameplay. Again, the actual map size is small, here we have 2 or 3 medium sized complex areas, typically consisting of a low rocky floor, surrounded by the metallic/stone walkway/path. Lighting is again good and expertly done, the darkness in certain spots adding to the atmosphere. The room designs are imaginative as well.
Gameplay is better, because it is harder, essentially. Enemies often spawn in to surprise you, and are strategically well placed on the high pathways to attack you. Wisely no Rocket launcher is immediately given to the player, instead you get a Grenade launcher and a super nail gun. Ammo is well balanced. As the map progresses you encounter more and more of the nail shooting grunts, then grenade grunts and finally rocket shooting grunts, they combine to form a real challenge in the final area, which is good fun as a result.

Overall this is a good Pak, deliberately small in scale and scope, but featuring great custom textures and imaginative, fairly unique architecture. The gameplay is also good after a slightly slow start. In these respects the pack reminded me *slightly* (although its not as big) of a previous Kona release, Necrobrood.

Overall Score: 16/20 

Reviews: 15th June 2003. Review 2

Game - QUAKE
Map - chain2: Twisted Fate
by - ChAiNeR
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Overall Verdict - A decent medium sized medieval map.

Chainer's Second released map is a significant step up from the first, Dead Cell. This is mainly thanks to much more challenging gameplay. Architecture and texturing is classically medieval Quake episode 2. Although there is a fair amount of metal added in as well. The Architecture is solid without being special, but there is some nice variety in this medium-ish medieval layout. There is a decent outdoors section, a nice rising/lowering platform section and a decent lava area. Overall more imagination would be good, and more variety and details in the texturing would be an improvement, but map inter connectivity and scale is decent enough. Lighting is average.

Gameplay starts off fairly easy, with only knights and dogs. However as the map progresses in classic silver/gold key style, more ogres, fiends and Hellknights provide a harder challenge. I recommend playing this map on hard skill. The player moves through a series of set pieces and ambushes, some of which can be nasty. The one secret helps here, if you can find it. Ammo and health is nicely balanced and correct weapon choice is important. Monsters are better placed in this map than dead cell and as a result are more dangerous.
The final lava section is quite a challenge and provides a good, fun climax to the map. Certainly worth the download for some good back-to-basics quake action circa 1997/1998.

Overall Score: 14/20