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Reviews: 1st March 2004 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - oblivion: Oblivion.
by - Rich Carlson
Download - oblivion.zip
Overall Verdict - a series of floating islands in a black void.
This is an interesting map, from way back in 1997. In every way, it's bizarre. It's setting is a series of floating islands in a black void, making it one of the first "space maps" ever (along with Hipnotic's The Edge of Oblivion). However, it is still unconventional today because the islands are not connected: this is platform jumping, side-scroller style, only in 3d so it's much more interesting and ominous.
Whereas the "space map" genre (as seen in, for example, the Coagula series for Quake or some of Quake III's levels) often has a series of structures or walkways in the void, this is actually a series of islands. Another way it is original is the monster count: on normal, 7 monsters in total. The real danger here, however, is not the monsters (though they can certainly cause trouble), but rather the environment: it is very easy to fall into darkness, and you certainly can't blast everything and run into the exit.
The few monsters there are, are chosen well. The vore in particular becomes a foe of merit and not just cannon fodder in this setting. Zombies annoy you, while hinting that there's got to be some way to kill them. More scrags might have been nice. Supplies are adequate for the task are placed in suitably challenging locations.
Visually, the map is actually fairly intricate. Each island isn't just a brush or two, but rather a nicely crafted structure with a lot of subtle touches (small rocks are the most common one). The small size of the map and the intricate solid designs can lead to some player movement problems, but they're marginal and it teaches you to be careful with your space. Interestingly, slime, lava and water are all featured in this small map, something which is different from most space maps that I've seen. Lighting is good, with pulsing and flickering styles used well. The small building is also visually appealing; as a whole the level looks good.
What you've got here is a small but unique level that definitely warrants a download and a play or two. The gameplay is original and challenging, and the overall style is very original.
Overall Score: 16/20