Short and sweet. Solid combat. Fun brushwork and details. Good balance all throughout. One nitpick and one critique:
- Nitpick: the .zip file could include a `maps` folder with the .bsp and .lit, so it can be launched conveniently with -game wlb +map wlb. The player can do that themselves, no problem. So admittedly, it's just a nitpick.
- Critique: the map is way too dark. It's not that the lighting is low. It's that there are too many pitch black spots which, even by turning gamma up, are still just pitch black.
I had fun with this map, and the progression and combat are fun. I'd just like there to be less pitch black areas (also, some fog would be nice, just to add depth; added fog myself via console - enjoyed it even more).
Solid vanilla-ish level with restrained, thoughtful monster usage. I'd concur with the author that it might be a little gimmick-heavy, but otherwise I had a good time with it. I even learned a few fun tricks myself ^___^
Hello, Had a great time. I could have happily spent a lot longer exploring and given I found no secrets on my first playthrough I probably will. I love the richly detailed environment and ambience of the level. Very economical and no wasted space. I really liked the backtracking and multi story walkways. Would platform here again.
I didn't have many complaints with the combat or movement, maybe not best-in-class but OK by me. The sense of place and exploration, use of color/lighting, and a bit of the routefinding early in the map were all really nice.
It's interesting to see some discussion of the "slime tunnel" in the reviews here since yeah that was one of the things I immediately thought I would mention in a review. One the one hand, probably annoying if you don't find the enviro-suit. On the other hand, that's what made finding the enviro-suit feel great. Hmm!
The way that the crypt area was set up as "do these three separate paths to unlock the exit" was slightly a letdown maybe? I think it would have felt like just a neat part of the journey if it had then led you back into the castle, maybe to a spot you had seen before but been unable to reach. As it stands though, it kind of feels like the end of the map has reduced ambitions.
Anyway, very good altogether. It seems like an alexUnder map has a distinct look-n-feel which works for me.
Except for getting softlocked out of map #2 (do NOT go near the lift wall in the final arena room or you will get teleported back behind a locked door), I rather enjoyed this. Guessing the author was trying to make an "explore further" option & a trigger brush sticks out too much. He definitely loves his knights! I would've only set up the folder a bit better by placing the maps in a "maps" folder & making a little start map, so one could simply drag the folder into the directory, type "game coldlight" & instantly get into the groove. Nice little vanilla episode in general though & a great first ep for TheADrain.
It's not avarage map. It's easily much-much more fun & intricate. It's very fun even for beginner on Easy. I perceive it as boss battle - cool boss battle without actual single boss and that's what I love about it
Maybe it's a lil bit too same rhythm all the way. Absolutely non stop battle. I am veteran HL player, not Quake or Doom player, and more used to discrit varied gameplay. But that's just personal preferences... idonno. To me the map was super fun
Woowwww this was neat. An adventure, like you say! Love the very distinct (and massive) areas. The environment lighting is quite a bit darker than "Quake standard", but cranking my gamma fixed that.
I always like ambitious use of underwater environments in Quake. Although it took me a second to figure out the ladders were "extras_r5 style" in how they worked! And generally items/vehicles made out of brushes (submarines etc.) is a thumbs up.
I did get stuck on finding the "air shaft" for a bit, but solved that through some spatial reasoning which felt good. The only puzzle-ish thing I really failed at, I think, was trying to get to the red armor just inside the main temple entrance. That one is a real mystery! (Although BTW it's kind of bogus that an invisible wall there blocks grenade-jumping.)
The final room is excellent, both the construction and also how you staged the waves. One bit of the fight was a little anti-climactic, where one of the last shamblers I had to kill was just way off on a staircase chilling by himself until I hunted him down... but that's the Quake AI for ya I guess.
This map won't be to everyone's taste but IMO you nailed what you were going for.
Tru vanilla experience. It's not perfect as let's say UDOB and PUN. But still extremely impressive & memorable experience. It starts plainly with a little 15 minutes map. Reminded me a bit of DOMA Astrologers starting map with all those floating stones in void & platforming. But even next map starts to show up exclusive leaning toward non-linear approach rarely seen in anything vanilla. Intricate cave system with multiple routes - 2nd map I mean. And 3rd map is the shiny diamond of it all! It's open big medieval city with no hand-holding, while goals are always clear and at least I never felt confused where to go, what to do. It's like Nameless City but nice non-ugly and actually feels like city. Tons of areas just for exploration, where you can get some extra armor or some other goodie. 4th map is gigantic. To the point it felt a bit tedious. But still it's veeery impressive
In general episode tries to be inventive with encounters. My absolute favourite is with cages near RL - when you will appear there, you will understand
Visuals are kinda vanilla. Simplictic and blocky. But at times some specific places look extremely outstanding. Final map especially. Jaw dropping moments are all there
Must-play! Will be waiting for next map or episode from the author
Aesopolis' Lightning Rod - very vertical and very memorable with its Shambler sequence. I didnt get the elevator memo first time around, so got blasted in final arena at skill 3 - Shambler seemed to be angry at me before I got upstairs and I had difficult time trying to even enter the final arena because of that. There also was that one small evelator close to the top, that didnt move up when stept on - almost died there while waiting for something to happen. Other than that - very well done! I really liked that the player can choose between racing the Shambler to the top or take the time and collect all secrets to ready yourself up for finale.
CommonCold's Exheres Monstrum - some setups felt awkward with monsters facing away from you, staring at a wall, and closing door behind the player felt way too cheap. Final arena probably needed at least one piece of cover from Shambler and Vores, and a couple more health packs maybe.
DragonsForLunch's Soggy Tower Trouble - visuals are spot on, engagements are fun, what do I even nitpick? Maybe that it ends!
Ish' Nakatomi Shaft - really interesting and challenging setups! But it took me multiple attempts and saves to get through, only because of how unforgiving ammo situation is. Also the map was a little bit too cramped and dark in first half.
Llanstoloq's entry - congratulations on the first release! While scale and some textures where off, and exit teleport lacked satisfying final battle, its an okay first map!
Magnetbox' Become Pure - simple but engaging. The only thing that I didnt like were spike traps.
Spootnik's Spears - one of the toweriest maps! Angled stairs were awkward to navigate, and exit door encounter is too easy to cheese, but everything in between was really nice!
Zigi's Mold Molester - THE toweriest map in here! Thick atmosphere, engaging combat, the towers! My only nitpick would be a quad run that was ruined by very slow elevator.
Here is the Youtube playlist with uncommented playthroughs, if anybody is interested.
I really enjoyed this map. Big fan of the setting and the dungeon crawling aspects. All the different environments meshed together as an organic whole and the lighting was lovely. Combat on Nightmare/evil difficulty was sufficiently brutal and claustrophobic. You're really fighting for space in the initial stages of the map with very good use of elevated crossbow archers and ogres to complicate matters. Ambushes, traps and environmental hazards combined with the somewhat limited health and armour give the map a hostile and oppressive atmosphere that doesn't let up.
The final fight is great fun and to go against the grain somewhat, I actually appreciated how awkward and cramped it was to navigate. You're given the opportunity to inspect the arena before triggering the battle and the placement of the inactive stone knights gives a very good idea as to what is going to happen, so an observant player can choose to smash the pots and clear a path for when it all kicks off. You have to be deliberate with any rocket shots to avoid self damage and decide when to switch back to the widowmaker. There's a nice tension between wanting to clear out the big flail wielding knights quickly with the rocket launcher and fearing a stone knight suddenly blocking a rocket at point blank.
The one weakness for me is that the secrets are probably too powerful: The early blast belt is extremely strong because it negates the damage from the gargoyle projectiles in the outer courtyard, allows for some aggressive skips and mitigates a lot of the risk from self-damage in the final arena. Similarly, the platforming section in the crypt is very tense and precarious in normal play, but the entire section can be bypassed with the secret enviro-suit at the start. There seems to be a secret for every major obstacle that really lets you overcome it without any strings attached. Personally, I prefer it when there's some sort of adverse reaction or cost involved with grabbing a high value powerup. That, or a need to think carefully about when and how best to use it.
I was also surprised that there was no payoff or acknowledgment after killing the boss in the secret area, though the fight itself was reward in itself and well worth the effort in finding. The guy just seems to be hanging out there for no real reason.
Quibbles aside, this was a lovely map. You've made a great map for copper, alkaline and now AD. I'm looking forward to future releases.
I pretty much agree with fw's assessment, though I think it's worth 4. I actually think it could have done with being a bit shorter, I didn't really get a feeling of exploration and the was a fair amount of very linear combat, which made me wish that the whole thing was a bit more compact.
The fact that all encounters are very dynamic and fun on one hand and completely skippable on the other makes for a great nonlinear exploration once you got the rocketlauncher and blast belt, which happened on like first quarter of my playthrough. With them and explosive barrels you can skip or fast forward to any section you like, or skip/speedrun the level altogether. I like this open-ended approach to level design. Didn't had this much fun with exploration in quake for a long time.
There is no armor in any non secrets until 20 minutes into the map combat is a slog up until about half way in but then you get to a bunch of cramped areas with detailing that serves no other purpose but to block you, it's challenging but in a way that only serves to frustrate you by lack of mobility.
I absolutely loved this map. I literally had just three issues: the 3-vore room gave me a really hard time for a minute, until I found more health. The room with the spiral staircase and a bunch of statues was tricky to maneuver when enemies started coming at me (bumping into so many statues got me killed). And the blood key area is easily accessible without the key (maybe intentional?).
Otherwise, this hits all the right notes of an AlexUnder map for me. Amazing lighting, cool architecture, challenging and clever encounters, fun traps, and a little creepy at times. Especially had me on edge with all the mini-vores. And I appreciate the moments where you avoided adding enemies in favor of setting the tone for a new area.
Good fun here! Very challenging rooms, filled to the brim with different types of enemies. If you know your way around a Quake battle, and are familiar with the Alkaline roster, it should take more than a few good tries to get through a room. Be sure to quick save.
My biggest concerns with the map are just lighting. A bit too dark in areas, and the buttons in the first room could be lower and more obvious. Aside from that, I had a great time. Thanks!
Verdict: Beautiful visuals and a neat adventure give way to tedious combat and labyrinthine level design.
The first bit of the map is pretty fun, circling around the large castle structure is a great time. The combat might be a bit plain for some but I thought it did it's job. And once you get into that all-out war at the outskirts of the castle it's a very fun spectacle of a time.
The second half of the experience (The Crypt) seems to be designed to make you frustrated. Cramped areas, a confusing layout, wonky geometry to make you slip into swinging axe traps or slime, tiny nuisance enemies... it's just not my speed at all. The visuals however stay really well done, some of this stuff feels straight out of an early 2000s 3D adventure game. Like a bit of Morrowind got shoved into my Quake- it's really nice.
This is certainly the higher end of 3 stars. THANKS.