The Final Threat
You must get this map right now
I mean it. Than has made an incredible IK-style base, but better. Much, much better. Much, much, much better.
The story has you, on guard duty, investigating some strange goings-on in the not-quite-completed Dimension Complex. Then over your comlink comes the bad news...
Speaking of "bad news", Than was having trouble running the map in DOS Quake. I didn't have that problem though. If you want to try, make sure that you include -winmem 16 at the prompt. If you're running WinQuake or GLQuake, use -heapsize 16384.
Also note that this review is actually of a beta, which I downloaded the day before the launch. However, don't let it get you. You'll enjoy it anyway. Trust me.
Architecture Curved, tight and monumental
Than has done the seemingly impossible: Married the rectilinear IKbase texture set to some curvaceous brushes - the texture alignment alone must have taken ages. Not just curved walls, but sloping ceilings, curved light fittings and circular lifts all make appearances too.
Everything is tightly integrated. A computer station beneath a lift is incorporated into the pillar holding the lift mechanism. Outside walls follow the shape of the interior.
The course of events takes you from the bottom of the place to the top, with the first "round" spiralling about a huge two-level circular core structure. Side pods hold essential switches, lifts and keys, not to mention some frightening play, especially near the slime pools.
The level of detail is impressive. Huge crates trundle along on tracks in the ceilings, which are usually festooned with light fittings and rafters galore. id style computer stations whirr and beep (and boom). The rock walls of the outside areas are nice and irregular, and as for the silver key "hangar"... well, you won't believe your eyes.
The six secrets are mostly clustered towards the beginning, and generally contain supplies rather than power-ups.
I used the term "monumental" to describe the design, and that's exactly what it is. The first outside area seems to just rise up and up and... ...much like the first central "hub". HOO-AH!
QuakeC Just the Megaenforcer, ma'am
Originally Than wanted rotating dingleberries, forcefields and all, along with beefed up fiends. Eventually though these were discarded for just the Megaenforcer, that classic baddie from Zerstörer.
However, I've tried the map with the beefy fiends, and I must say that they're actually quite fun - and frightening! Pity they were removed.
Than has also (without using QuakeC) changed the sounds of a train "lift" in the core to sound like a platform. Unfortunately it does grate after a while.
Another clever trick is that instead of using the keys to open doors, you instead need keys to operate certain buttons to make things happen. Not a trick per se, but innovative nonetheless.
Monster load They snipe you here, they mob you there...
When the start lift reaches the bottom, turn around; there's an arrowhead pointing down. That's a hint, pal.
There's enforcers sniping from catwalks, sniper perches and windows; mobs of grunts and dogs lying in wait; there're also spawns, shamblers, vores and fiends making surprise appearances (the plot explains why, so they don't feel out of place.)
All monsties are well placed and paced to keep the excitement going. Much of the time I was limping around with a bit less than half health...
Walkthrough (a vague one)
Drop off the back of the lift. Get shot at. Exit to the outside from the bottom core level, enter second level after being shot at. Travel round to gold key region, mind the fiends, get key and operate button while being shot at and/or mauled. Ride lift to top floor and access to the slipgate hangar, first being shot at. Close down gate to get silver key while being savaged. Operate button to open exit.
Of course, first you have to go get the map first.