(This is more-or-less a copy of my review written at the Quake mapping Discord.) A nice set of maps! Below are my individual map ratings. On some of the maps it was kind of hard to settle on a rating, like should I rate this map 3.75 or 4 and whatnot. My overall score (when weighted by map playtime) for the pack is 4/5, but considering the pack offered me over 2 hours of Quake goodness, I'd say it increases the overall rating of the pack to 4+.
My favourite of the bunch. Spectacular visuals, making it very enjoyable to explore. It has quite a few alternate routes to branch out, and some off the beaten path, often containing goodies along the way, which really encourages exploring, something which I love to do.
Combat is also enjoyable; nice use of Spawns to keep me on my toes. 5/5
Another beautiful map, that requires exploration to find all the keys to the exit. And since I like exploring every nook and cranny, it was right up my alley. Liking the E1M2-like visuals. It's not quite as tightly-woven as DraQu's map and doesn't have quite the same flawless flow to it, but still a really nice map! 4.75/5
Really creative map, forcing the player to use the environment and traps to take out the Shamblers. I loved figuring out the puzzles and finding the few secrets that I did, and some contained their own little puzzle elements within.
To some spoiler territory here in my criticism:
The catch of the map is that if you leave a lot of Shamblers behind, you'll have to fight them all in the final arena, which can be a gargantuan endeavor, like it was on my run, where there were something like 20-30 Shamblers in the final arena. The only reason I was able to survive the fight after a few dozen quickloads was because I found one little cheesy corner where the Shambers couldn't really hit me.
I think the idea was to have the player restart the map, if there were too many Shamblers left, but I would've liked the option of providing the player with enough equipment to manage a clutch victory more easily in the final battle even with many surviving Shamblers. Sure, there was equipment in hard to reach places, but I think a quad damage would've been welcome addition to the players, who had to fight 20+ Shamblers.
Besides the final fight, there was one puzzle where I was supposed to stall the Shambler advance with some raisable barriers, but on my first try I ended up stalling myself. Maybe more iteration would've been needed to make the mechanics more clear right from the start.
Even with all the criticisms, the map was just so unique and the final fight was actually kind of fun to figure out, even with plenty of Shamblers breathing down my back, that I can't help but rate this map rather high. 4.25/5
Another puzzle-heavy map, similar to HCM's map, but a little less brutal and more puzzley. I quite enjoyed the puzzles, even though I probably broke the knight maze puzzle. Very cool and memorable because of the clever and fun puzzles. Just a note, that you die immediately if you start the map on nightmare, so turn on hard mode, which in practice doesn't differ at all from nightmare in this map. 4.25/5
I was a playtester on this one, when it was still just in blockout phase. Very cool "Aztec" style that you don't see very often in Quake maps. I felt like Indiana Jones. The main room features some pretty interesting and intense combat scenes, which when combined with the great looks, make for a very nice map. 4.25/5
The main outdoor area is the standout feature of this map. It features some scenery in a natural setting and an intense fight that really kept me on the move. Quite an exciting and satisfying fight. Reminded me of the modern Doom games a little. The rest of the map was quite standard fare. 4/5
Quite a standard map, but it stands out with its gimmich, which is EXPLOSIONS, yeeeah! I like how the map teaches the gimmick right at the start. (It still didn't stop me from being an idiot later on in the map.) xD There are also plenty of regular exploboxes to have fun with in this map. 4/5
Doesn't work on nightmare, since you die right at the start. Cool and great looking start of the map! Reminded me of the beginning of Unreal. I also liked the looks of most of the rooms. I think the map looks a bit better than it plays. It feels a bit clunky to play, and I'm not sure if you can complete it if you're not quick enough with your biosuits. I think this one timed door event also felt a little bit too tight. Not sure if there's more time given in lower difficulties, in which case the tight timing is better defended in hard difficulty. 4/5
I was a playtester for this shortish and sweet map in an industrial setting. It has pretty satisfying secrets and cool combat encounters. Some of the fights could've used some refining to allow some of the monsters to shine. 3.5/5
Quite a short map that's just marvellous to behold. There are only 19 enemies, so the combat encounters are rather light, and powerful equipment is quite readily found to counter the monsters. But since the map is so pretty, I don't mind breezing through this little bite sized serving of dessert. 3.5/5
I was a playtester on this one. The best looking room and fight are right at the end. Some of the encounters could've used maybe a bit of tweaking, like aggroing some monsters by a trigger, so they wouldn't just stand idly, while their buddies are being murdered. The secrets could've also used some variety, but all in all, it's an enjoyable map with a strong ending. 3.25/5
I was a playtester on this one. The map takes you through a linear path consisting mostly of rocky caves sprinkled with fairly light combat until the end, where the combat picks up. Since it's quite a linear experience, it could've used a bit more memorable setpieces or intense fights along the way. But since it was a speedmapping event in the middle of the week, it's understandable that time was rather limited for such careful choreographing. 3.25/5
This map feels like a DM map customized for single play. It is quite a nice map, and it is quite tightly woven until the latter half, when I could cheese a good chunk of monsters from afar with rocket sniping. If it wasn't for that small lapse in design, I probably would've rated this map 3.5. I like the map's custom music track that sounds like tracker music straight out of the 90s! 3.25/5
Speaking of the 90s, this map looks like a custom map from that era, which brings a lot of charm to it. Outside the crude looks there are some pretty cool fights and platforming to be had. On my first run I skipped a good portion of the first area, missing the SSG altogether. I think it would've been nice to gate the weapon, to make sure the player gets it before proceeding to the next area, or then alternatively provide the weapon again later. Definitely give this map a go, if you're up for some of that 1990s custom map nostalgia. 2.5/5
An extra map behind a hidden folder. It provides a quick and quite a fun cathartic fight in a simple arena. The kill counter seems to be one off, because I didn't get a gold key after kiling all the enemies. 2.5/5
Most of times speedmaps are just that - speedmaps. But sometimes truly polished lookin' good maps slip in. Draque's and Mista Heita's maps both stole my heart. While in fact all maps are interesting in some way or another - skipped none, finished 'em all, never felt bored.