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Reviews: 4th August 2007 review 2

Game - QUAKE
Map - Q1SP Episode: Digs01-03 (9 maps)
by - Digs
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note: digs 01 is 7 map episode map pack. digs 02 and digs 03 are standalone individual maps.

digs01 is a 7 map episode in itself. The indivdual maps and a summary of the episode are outlined below.
[d1: first camp] A small base map, with uniform and rather ugly texturing and small square rooms. It all pretty basic stuff and there are some major problems in terms of gameplay and map build quality.
[d2: captivity of demon] A medium sized medieval map, architecture and gameplay are both a bit more advanced than d1, but this is still fairly basic overall. There is also too much armor and health throughout the level which makes it too easy.
[d3: shamblers den] A castle layout, with again small boxy rooms and poor texturing. Still, gameplay is actually better here due to a few good little traps and ambushes and better balanced ammo and health supplies.
[d4: Dark Tower] Another smallish level, but featuring some neater texturing and a better layout. Combat also is slightly better balanced than previous maps, providing some decent fights.
[d5: first rocket] A small cramped and quick level, not much of note here.
[d6: path to light] A clear improvement over earlier maps, this is a medium sized coherently constructed base level. Custom blue and red enforcers with rocket launchers provide more of a challenge and fiends and ogres are also used and place quite well. There is still too much health and armor which takes the gameplay down a bit, but this is probably the best map in this pack so far.
[d7: the Lair] This final base map is a significant improvement over all the previous maps again. Layout, texturing and lighting are much better than in previous installments, in fact they are so much improved it feels like a different map episode than the early maps. The gameplay is better thought out as well, with more of a challenge and better use of enforcers, ogres and vores. This map is pretty much id quality and even more noticeable is the author is beginning to develop his own style of mapping and gameplay, rather than just producing generic bland maps like the earlier levels.

Digs01 summary:
Taken as a 7 map episode this is a basic effort, showing a beginning mapper learning the basics of quake 1 map design. In fact probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the clear progression in map design as the player moves through the episode, you can experience and literally see the learning curve the mapper is going through as the maps get a bit neater and more sophisticated in their design and gameplay with each successive map.

Nothing too exciting or original here unfortunately, Although the last 2 maps are definitely more enjoyable and just about reach ID standard at least. Architecture and particularly texturing/lighting is a clear weak point of the early maps. Taken as an episode, the gameplay overall is average, sometimes to simple, and also has the flaw of often being too easy due to much armor/health in certain areas, but it does improve significantly in the last 2 maps.

digs02: the Virtual World This map is a virtually (sorry) unique looking quake level, the easiest way to describe it is for you to look at the screenshots. =) Its a medium size layout and although the theme is certainly not traditional or classic Q1SP in any way, points have to be awarded just for originality. The actual map layout is mediumish sized and decidedly average however, as is the gameplay. Overall then, this can be classified as more of a novelty map than anything else.

digs03: digs03 digs03 is by far the most fully rounded and complete experience of all these maps. It a fully fledged and large sized metallic windtunnels map, which is nice to see again as this goes back to classic older levels and is also a theme which doesn't get mapped much any more. The layout is large, very well interconnected and is impressive in its old school feel and consistency. Texturing is very appealing with the suitably rustic metallic feel looking good and solid throughout with some nice detailing. The texture theme is a rusting metallic feel with green/brown coloring. Lighting is for the most part a bit bland and more shadows and lighting effects would have been welcome. The large squarish rooms and corridor are broken up by some decent curved piping, steps and doorways, as well as the windtunnels themselves.

Gameplay is for the most part good, the slightly basic monster layout is enhanced by a relatively slow progression to obtain weapons which makes fighting more fun. The gameplay is broken up and highlighted by some fun quad power-up carnages, often on exiting a wind tunnel. Standard base and medieval monsters are used here, and for the most part the challenge is average if not particularly hard. A few more tougher enemies like vores and Shambler, especially towards the end may have been more exciting. Still, in the final analysis this is a very nicely constructed windtunnels map, with some fun gameplay and a good interconnected layout, providing a traditional Q1SP experience with a good gameplay flow.

Overall Scores:
digs01:(7 maps score overall) 12/20
digs02:the Virtual World 13/20
digs03:digs03 16/20