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Reviews: 4th August 2007 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - src: slime refinery complex
by - JPL
Download - src.zip
Overall Verdict - And JPL decided Doom 3 would comes to Quake. And it was very good.
PL's latest level takes the Quakeguy to a dark military base, underground and probably on another planet (or a certain moon perhaps). The start chamber is a small spaceship hangar. The entire level is done up in converted Doom3 textures, a highly impressive feat as these textures were converted to Quake by JPL for this map and were never available in Quake before. Coupled with subtle coloured lighting, this is a really unique look in Quake as the Doom3 base stuff relies almost exclusively on gray/silver as opposed to the brown/red/white of Quakebase (id,ik, hipnotic etc).
Sometimes, this does make the Quake monsters/items/etc look out of place, as they are much more brown than grey, but the paler monsters (enforcers, ogres) seem to fit in pretty well. As well as the textures and the lighting emulating Doom3, the architecture imitates it as well, with the level being mostly made up of fairly detailed corridors. There are also a couple specific nods to Doom3 level design such as curved catwalks. So basically, this is a very Doom3-ish Quake map!
Of course, not everyone loved Doom3, and it's fair to say that the strengths and weaknesses of Doom3 both carry over, to some extent, to this map. On the one hand, it does look quite good throughout, and all that darkness and subtle lighting (really well done, JPL's best job on lighting thus far hands down) really helps the mood. Also, the attention to detail in the architecture is nice, with pipes and highly detailed walls.
However, the corridor-based layout doesn't really do it for me (and didn't in Doom3 either), I like a sense of central/exterior, upper/lower or just some sort of visible logical progression in maps (basically that you can see places you will go, and from places you are you can see where you were). To me that makes a level something more coherent than just a collection of horizontal corridors, which Doom3 really was. Essentially I feel that the major weakness both of Doom3 and of this map is layout, and that a more complex and interesting layout is required. However, not everyone will agree with me on that and certainly this is a fun map regardless, because you get your requisite Quake monsters in a unique and cool setting.
Gameplay is quite good, fighting grunts, enforcers and their quoth variants for the earlier part of the level before other monsters are introduced. Once again demonstrating the diversity of Quake's bestiary, the monsters fit in well with the scifi setting. Quoth's scifi additions are also featured, the hovering 'bot and the more powerful humanoids. The drones provide good combat, with a spread of lasers that need to be dodged (different from a hellknight) while the extra attacks from the new types of grunt/enforcer keep one from becoming comfortable. I died a couple times from well-placed shotgun blasts by these guys. I found health pretty slow, but ammunition in decent supply although the nailgun was introduced a little late (the GL, when you get it, is a godsend). The difficulty does climb towards the end with vores in particular posing serious problems. Players may die a few times during the finale; without much room to run away you'll be hard pressed to avoid the swarms of monsters entering the area.
All in all, this is a cool looking novelty for Quake, with good use of Quoth monsters, if a little on the hard side, and JPL deserves credit not only for the nice architecture and lighting but for introducing yet another new setting to Quake.
Overall Score: 16/20