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Reviews: 16th December 2005

Game - QUAKE
Maps - red777: Red 777, ne_marb: Crescendo of Dreams, ne_deadcity: The Rats in the Walls.
by - Kell, Necros.
Downloads - Quoth expansion mod pack [required for all 3 maps]:
Overall Verdict: 3 individual maps of varying quality making use of the newly-released Quoth mod pack.

These 3 maps are individual, standalone maps, and have been reviewed and scored as such. They are NOT meant to be played as a coherent episode, they are simply all grouped on this page for neatness and convenience. These 3 maps were initially released with the/at the same time as the Quoth Expansion Mod Pack. All 3 maps require Quoth to run and play properly.

Quoth custom monsters rated:
Death Guard 5/10 too easy.
Death Lord 7/10 neat but speed is slightly slow.
Drole 10/10, Great modelling and animation. Excellent movement speed and melee/long range balance. [originally from lost chapters]
Flying Polyp 8/10 good, original, fading in and out is cool.[originally from lost chapters]
Gug 10/10, huge, ambitious and great sound effects. 3 types of attacks, and the death animation is brilliant.
Night Gaunt 9/10 very detailed and well modelled.
Voreling 6/10 neat modelling and good speed, but possibly too easy too kill.[originally from lost chapters]
Apart from the Droles & Gugs, I decided all the models worked slightly better when they are grouped in packs of 2-4 etc, they are a little too weak and easily picked off if its just 1 individual. This may be a conscious design choice, of course.

red777: Red 777

OK, lets get the fundamentals noted first. :) This is a Kell map. That means the architecture of this map is excellent, with very neat, well proportioned rooms, areas and corridors. Beautifully and consistently textured and presented, with lots of superbly built and textured detailing on the floors, walls and ceilings. Being a Kell map also means its packed with well hidden but fun-to-find secrets, this map has 14 secrets, which make the map a considerably easier challenge if you find them. The Architecture reaches it high point (both literally and in quality terms) and the top of this map, with an open area of beautifully modelled towers, walkways and castle domes and spires. Overall its a medium sized layout with 95 monsters on hard.

Gameplay is quite easy at the beginning, due to not many enemies and plenty of ammo, health and armor. Once the later stages of the map are reached it becomes harder, although even then its not too hard if you are careful. The custom flying attack monsters (Night Gaunts, flying Polyps) which attack in groups, and some tricky death guard/lords placement should keep you busy. The 3 gug ending IS hard however, look for the armor and health supplies as soon as you can to complete this ending. A very good map overall, i only wish there was more.

ne_marb: Crescendo of Dreams

Someones been playing Doom a lot. Crescendo of Dreams, is clearly and predominantly in the style of the original Doom game in both gameplay and (even more definitely) architecture, especially at the start, although it does become more Quakey and complex and it progresses. The dominant texturing themes is lightish blue/green marble stone floors, walls and ceilings, with chunky wooden sliding doors interconnecting a medium sized castle/outdoor layout. The marble areas are occasionally broken up by green grassy outdoor areas and also small brown wood textured rooms. This mixed layout also evokes a Doom feel in its essentially abstract, random-ish design. The architecture is often typically imaginative and original from Necros, with some good constructs like the rising Dias, gear systems and lifts. But some of the smaller rooms are relatively plain and boxy, and it also sometimes feels like glued together disparate rooms and areas rather than one coherent map.

The medium sized layout is populated by a good number (108 on hard skill) of custom quoth and traditional medieval quake enemies. Droles and shamblers provide the toughest challenges, with the flying Polyps also being fun to fight against. There are a number of tight gameplay fights in tricky areas, in other words just like some of the "tricks n traps" from the original Doom. Analyzing the gameplay further reveals it to be a bit like the architecture of the map: functional, fun, but not overly ambitious or sophisticated. The finale is a multiple-gug battle on a cool floating blood stained area/platform, the 3 Gugs providing a challenging end to an enjoyable, original map.

ne_deadcity: The Rats in the Walls

A small quick fight through a few monsters is all this map is. Whats here is quite good, its just a shame there isn't more of it. The best point of the map is the oppressive, dark, texturing theme of brown brick and stone walls, and checkerboard floors, with the groaning zombies crucified on the walls, and the neat well built rooms and tall, arched windows. Spread over a large map this would create a really strong atmosphere of dread. The layout is essentially 1 small, flat area filled with mainly zombies and some death guards. Once you get the plasma gun, its also much too easy. The easiness extends to the final area, where only 1 gug can be easily overcome due to over-generous supplies of ammo and health.

Overall Scores:
red777: Red 777 16.5/20
ne_marb: Crescendo of Dreams 15/20
ne_deadcity: The Rats in the Walls 9/20