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Reviews: 22nd March 2007 review 1

Game - QUAKE
Map - Orlmap Series 2: The first half [3 map episode]
by - Orlando Crispaldi
Download -
Overall Verdict - Decent series of original swampy/castle themed maps.

note:No start map so set skill level manually by using the console.
0: easy/1: normal/2: hard/3:nightmare.

Map 1 - oms21: Genocide Village
This is an average start to the episode, the theme is a green/brown colored village, complete with good swampy rivers and wooden structures, opening out into a fairly standard rock area, albeit one which is reasonably original in both texturing and architecture.
The layout is quite average, around small to medium nice, but some of the architecture and rockfaces look rather plain and more variation and detailing might have helped. Gameplay is also average overall, although is made harder and more exciting by only having the single shotgun and nailgun. Ammo and health are also quite well balanced against monster count, so that the 2 shamblers that show up during the map are good fights. Nothing outstanding for a first map in an episode but at least the theme is a bit different.

Map 2 - oms22: Sacred Grounds
This is a bigger, and better built and crafted map than the first level, but doesn't quite live up to its potential due to some flaws in gameplay. The theme is a kind of a castle/temple, but unfortunately the 3 different texture themes of brown brick, Egyptian green hieroglyphics and a large grey brick room at the end don't really merge together very well and make the theme seem a little disjointed. That a shame, because this is a big and interconnected layout with some well built sections such as long spiraling staircases and some of the starting castle area with some nice archways and turrets, and some good burshwork on the castle walls.

Gameplay is basically standard throughout although health is too generous in one section about halfway which makes it too easy. The flaw of the end room which is full of monsters which you can just run through to the exit also makes an appearance here, such an ending is always a bad and unsatisfying way to finish a map, so i must also deduct points for that.

Map 3 - oms23: the Murky Morass
A good map all around, and an improvement over the previous 2 maps in the pack. This map essentially combines the swampy green plant/jungle theme of the first map with the brown stone castle theme of the second map. There is one large swampy area, which has some nice details such as the green trees, vines and plants. These transition nicely into various hallway into the brown castle, with green moss and plants growing on the castle walls. The layout itself is average, fairly flat but reasonably interesting, and of a medium size.

Gameplay is noticeably better designed that the previous map: better monster placement overall, although the one huge room is easy enough to turn into a huge monster infighting session. Still its fun, and the rocket launcher adds to the sense of carnage, there are also some nicely placed and well used respawns of shamblers etc into previously cleared areas to keep the player alert and increase tension. The health and ammo is also well balanced and the ending is better also than the previous map, with a tricky final fight at the end to get the gold key and escape to the exit.

Overall Scores:

oms21: Genocide Village 11/20
oms22: Sacred Grounds 13/20
oms23: the Murky Morass 14/20

Overall Orlmap Series 2: The first half: 13/20