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Reviews: 8th July 2007

Game - QUAKE
Map - FMB_bdg: this onion
by - Mike Woodham
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Overall Verdict - A hard but fair challenge awaits in this large custom medieval map.

Mike Woodham is a long time quake mapper, responsible for some excellent Q1SP maps over the years, including the fmb series. This is a return to mapping after a break, and the map is large, well constructed and tough level to play through. Gameplay is hard, but this improves the excitement in my opinion. A couple of areas, notably the slaughter room and the ending, you will die at least a few times. But in all cases, if you use a some intelligence, planning and skill the challenge can be overcome. Crucially, although the gameplay is hard, it is never unfair, if the player dies it is their fault.

Gameplay is based around the standard medieval quake monsters, Hellknights are used heavily and show how tricky they can be as an ememy when placed this well. The same is also true for the vores in this map. Additionally, the base medieval monster set is supplemented by some of the truly superb quoth customs monsters, including the Drole, Voreling and Night Gaunt. Mike's experience in making quake map shows here the excellent monster placement and usage throughout the level. There is here the constant, relentless pounding, hard gameplay experience that reminds us of classic quake 1 SP maps of the past, although maybe not as well tuned as it could be in some places. Gameplay is very good though overall though, and the quoth monsters really add to the experience, i urge more mappers to use them.

As for the main architecture, layout and design, this is a large, highly interconnected, underground black stoned complex. The textures are cool and quite unusual, to me the unrelenting blackness was quite oppressive, i think that was the plan. The uniform black is broken up by some nice detailing in place (rows of lights, key markers etc) and also by the sparkling red lava that waits everywhere under bridges and walkways to keep the player even more on their toes.

Build quality is good, and theres some very nice big open rooms with clever layout and rocks as well. The interconnected layout is also clever. There are some good structures, rooms and beams, without anything too huge or ambitious. Lighting is also well done, the shadowy corners and numerous dark rooms and corridors really add to the gloomy, intimidating atmosphere.

Overall, this is a well built map, notable mainly for its excellent monster placement and tough challenge, which pushes the gameplay into a higher level, reminiscent of some older classic Q1SP levels.

Overall Score: 16/20