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Reviews: 2nd November 2002: Review No. 1
Game - QUAKE
Map - marine: Ultramarine
by - Shaun [Kona] Ross
Download - marine.zip
Overall Verdict - A very good largish, 2 level stone map, with cool textures and a decent challenge.
Another Q1SP level from Kona, who turns maps out at a remarkably consistent rate.
This level is a traditional Kona level in the "alk" series, what this translates too is split level architecture and a consistent barrage of id and custom monsters. He has used some interesting textures which are the modified Q3 Gothic textures that the Fresh Team used in their Gothic Resurrection Q2DM pack. They give a light blue (or even Ultramarine, DOH!) theme and color scheme to the map, and there is also some grey mixed in too, along with big fanciful doors that slide open and shut with a hugely satisfying *bang*.
Most of the architecture is solid and nicely proportioned, although some areas seem *slightly* plain. There are plenty of open rock faces mixed in with the walls and corridors. With its blue textures and typical 2 level kona design this map might remind some of the veteran Q1SP players of one of kona's previous maps - "Grizly Manifest"(alk11). This map is not as long or as hard as that previous map however.
The Gameplay in this map is slightly more forgiving, although it still presents a tough challenge, particularly on hard skill (115 monsters). In addition to the tougher knights, Axemen and Nehahra barons, there are also the "Nail Ogres", which were in Grizly Manifest. These guys are really hard enemies, and one of my personal favorites, due to their very fast nail attack, when you have been on the end of one of their long-range nail attacks, you remember what a powerful weapon the nailgun can be. They can also move faster than regular ogres, which can make for some nasty shocks. Gremlins also spawn in (often behind you) and ambush you, and if they steal your double shotgun can be nasty, they are a decent challenge when enough of them attack the player in packs.
A couple of shamblers provide a nasty shock too at one point. Gameplay is further improved by a very low amount of health throughout most of the map, this increases the tension as the player is often playing with very low health, e.g. i was often down around 5-30, which always makes things a bit more exciting!
My only criticism of the gameplay is the final arena, just before you enter this area you are again (as in Fearcraft, although there you get the Rocket launcher much earlier) given a RL and 45 rockets. I found all these rockets made the final battle simply too easy, which for me was slightly anti-climatic.
Otherwise another excellent and fun Q1SP level from Kona with his distinctive and relentless "alk" style, featuring a steady stream of good battles and set-pieces, still very clearly intact.
Overall Score: 17/20