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Reviews: 11th May 2008 Review 3 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Map - Dragon: Lair of the Dragon Ogre
This is a nice break from the larger maps released lately. It's a small, id-metal map, with a simple layout. The level centers around a tall atrium, with numerous spires and a crucified body in the center. There are some hallways which connect to this area and wind around it. To a large degree, the map is symmetrical, even the hallways are mostly the same sections repeated, so that the map can look repetitive. However, there's lots of detail with gargoyles, grates and arches, so it still looks good.
The lighting is all well sourced, with wall lights and many torchholders, again good. Combat is a lot easier than many maps lately, it's nice to be able to run around blasting enemies, as opposed to the more cautious style necessary in larger, tougher maps. There is a fun Quad run, as well. Overall, this is a good map for its size, a brief blast well worth playing.
overall score: 13/20
Reviews: 11th May 2008; Review 4 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - bod: Tower of Dal Gurak
by - spy
Downloads - bod.zip
This map takes after Kinn's The Marcher Fortress, using many of the same textures, and some of the same modifications and monsters.
You begin in a large outdoor area, the only real outdoor area in the map, and from there you make your way to a fortress, a large bell marking your entry into it. The onslaught immediately begins. The map uses Shamblers, Vores, Scrags, Imps, and Hellknights, generally 5-10 at a time, so there is a definite challenge. The large scale gives you room to maneuver, and there are often pillars or corners to hide behind, so even fighting multiple shamblers you have a fair chance. There are also some sections which utilize zombies, and of course other custom monsters from Marcher.
The large scale is nice to see, although detail is often lacking. Some areas have stainglass windows and bookshelves, which gives a better sense of place, but the rooms are generally fairly simple. Also, minlight is used too much - there is some sourced light, particularly with ceiling lights (chandeliers and so forth) which is well done, but the lighting in general is too bland. More could have been done, even with this scale.
Most of the map consists of running and gunning through large hallways. After a while, the gameplay does get repetitive, you win about three large fights, and then get a full restock of spikes, shells, and health. However, what really keeps this map interesting, is a steadily satisfying feeling of going up - ascending toward some big finale at the top of the fortress. As almost all of the map is indoors, you don't often get to see how each part of the map relates to the rest, but the corridors and rooms crisscross each other often enough for you to be able to gauge your progress. There are a couple novel sections which switch things up a bit, and the finale is great.
With a map this size, the amount of lights, entities and brushes for decoration you can use does become fairly limited. That said, I feel that this map could have been made even better if detail, lighting, and perhaps more unique gameplay situations, were pushed into it. The map as a whole, is fairly coarse, again partially due to its size. That said, there are a lot of really cool secrets, and the gameplay remains tough, leading up to a satisfying and difficult finale.
Overall Score: 16/20