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Reviews: 6th January 2008 Review 1
Map - sickbase2: Three Towers And A Sick Base!
Overall Verdict: A good custom base map with some intense gameplay.
Note: this level was initially poorly released in that you have to run it in nehwarp engine due to engine limits, and Aguire fixed a lot of stuff after the map's initial release to even make it properly playable. There will also probably be some frame rate issues on older computers. I am going to emphasize that all maps at time of release (not relying on being fixed after release) should ideally be playable in a standard quake engine like Fitzquake.
The good news is once you can actually get the map to start, its a good custom base layout, which shows lots of promise for future levels from this author. The layout is a little strange, as its basically one huge boxed base (therefore the problems with various quake engines). The actual idea and theme of the map is quite nicely implemented, however, with the player having to ascend 3 towers and press 3 buttons to open up progress to the blue/gold keys & areas.
Architecture is quite good for a first map, leaving aside the technical issues mentioned already. There are some very good looking curving structures and archways and some interesting and inventive platforms, arenas, lifts and rooms although brushwork is a bit messy in some places. The id base theme with a few custom texturing touches is consistently done in the mostly medium sized rooms and areas with lots of crates and a few lifts/platforms. One problem is the lift design in the map, (which in a vertical map like this are obviously an important design issue), which require 2 buttons presses to activate properly and the lifts are confusingly designed in some places. Texturing for the most part is good and consistent, although nothing otustanding. Lighting is average.
Gameplay is of the swarms of monsters style, mostly base enemies try to swamp you with numbers but theres a large amount of health and armor lying around which makes gameplay for the most part nicely balanced. Skill levels are effective and have a significant difference on th emonster count and gameplay experience, skill 1 Normal is significantly easier (and recommended for most players) than skill 2 hard. Most of the gameplay is fun and the size of each pack of enemies is well judged. Custom quoth monsters (we want more gaunts!) are included to add variety and challenge, there are also the custom grenade/rocket firing enforcers.
One flaw in gameplay is that the lifts often have large packs of enemies clustered in a tiny space at the top of the lift which reduces these fights to examples of luck and *random combat* (a bad thing). In general however, as the level progresses more quoth monsters appear and the gameplay increases considerably in intensity which makes for a nicely increasing difficulty curve. The ending sections feature some very good and intense gameplay, with hordes of monsters being countered by lots of weapons and ammo at your disposal. Technical map build issues aside, this level showcases considerable potential for this author's future Q1SP mapping efforts.
overall score: 15/20
Reviews: 6th January 2008 Review 2
Map - distract: MSQ1 Distractions
by: Mikko Sandt
Overall Verdict: reasonable IKBase map.
This is a medium sized custom base level, using the classic custom IKBase textures to create a well designed and interconnected layout. This is a very good map for a first public release. All the texturing and architecture is well built and smoothly put together and there is some nice detailing in the consoles and textures, the layout is nicely interconnected with some solid chunky looking base structures and lifts. The darkly lit tunnels and small rooms were also well done.
Gameplay is also good, especially on hard skill with 104 monsters. Monster placement much like architecture is again good for a first map with intelligently placed base enforcers and grunts shooting at you from logical and tricky positions on outposts and upper level positions. Every so often fiends or shamblers ambush in or surprise the player to spice up the gameplay. Health supplies and ammo are also very well balanced.
Gameplay flows along nicely with no annoying areas or obvious mistakes. The finale of spawning waves is also decently implemented, but more waves or a harder challenge would have been preferable here.
In summary, this is a good first map, informed by the authors intelligent map design and understanding of map layout and gameplay, hopefully more ambitious maps will follow!
overall score: 13/20