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Reviews: 28th January 2004; Review 1

Game - QUAKE
Map - februus: Februus Depth.
by - czg
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Overall Verdict - highly original, catacomb map with a great atmosphere.

Czg's new Q1SP project is a highly original level; the grey rock catacomb/maze-like layout is brand new to Q1SP maps as far as i am aware, of course many subterranean maps have been done before and this map reminded me slightly of czg's own ceremonial circles or soe2m2: The Ogre Mines from Soul of Evil.

Still, this map has it own unique architectural theme, mainly huge grey stone blocks of repeated archways mixed with natural, organic grey rockfaces and caves. Brushwork is always neat and often imaginative. The subterranean network of tight winding passageways and bigger open caves twists and turn through a number of closely interconnected areas, often going up and down by stone stairways as well. Orange Lava offsets all the grey quite nicely, and yawning plummets into the lava must be carefully avoided at certain key points. Lighting is darkish/shadowy and atmospheric. The brushwork of the organic rocks is well handled and the inter connectivity of the level is a tribute to the skill of the mapper.

Gameplay is a tense, tight, claustrophobic and often brutal experience, due to the tight turning corridors and passageways. The superbly visceral, brutal gameplay of Quake 1 is emphasized in this sense. Due to clever monster placement [an art form in itself which cannot be under-estimated in successful map execution], the player is always wondering what is around the next corner or lurking above/below him. Ammo and health is well balanced, there are also a large 7 secrets, but they are difficult to find and attain.

At some points, i found the gameplay *slightly* repetitive, and perhaps there could have been a greater variety of monsters: shamblers [especially] and also fiends [none at all in the map] and possibly a few more vores; in gameplay terms i felt the map doesn't quite reach the [admittedly very high] standards of previous czg masterpieces like Numb Nimbus, Ceremonial Circles or Insomnia, it lacks those maps ambition as well. The ending battle is nicely done however and well-balanced difficulty-wise.

Overall superbly original in architectural terms, and a very good gameplay experience but not quite as good as some previous czg maps.

Overall Score: 18/20

Reviews: 28th January 2004; Review 2

Game - QUAKE
Maps - Nesp16: R_speeds Be Damned!
by - Necros
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Overall Verdict - Unusual experimental map with standard gameplay.

This is a deliberately, abstract and experimental map from Necros. The architecture is decidedly unusual, basically a jaggy, pointy stylistic feel, with lots of blue textures, give the map a fairly unique feel. The skills involved in the brushwork are obviously quite complex. There are lots of jaggy, serrated walls and floors. The actual size of the map is quite small, but due to some clever backtracking and the map's reasonably good inter connectivity its made to play larger, and manages to squeeze 82 monsters into its unusual design.

The map has no "roof", being just a black empty skybox, which detracts slightly form the atmosphere, a good starry skybox would have been better. Lighting is pretty flat and standard, maybe to make sure the player can see the unusual architecture. There are a few neat little lifts and suchlike but overall nothing too complex. In terms of the architectural concept of an abstract, experimental, the map succeeds in creating something unusual, and stands in its own right compared to more "realistic" settings. The texturing theme is overall slightly haphazard however, and could have with more detailing and a stronger, more consistent theme.

Gameplay is classically Necros style; lots of the harder enemies; nasty fiend, vore and shambler ambushes and spawn-ins, clusters of hellknights and so forth. Nasty ambushes abound right from the start of the map. Necros has a talent for *combining* monster placement well: a vore ambush in a small tight area pushes you back, down a corridor, into an adjoining room where other enemies are waiting for you. This ensures exciting gameplay, although in this map the scope of gameplay is reasonably standard, nothing too amazing or vast here.

Overall Score: 15/20