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Reviews: 28th December 2002. Review 1 (scroll down for more reviews)
Game - QUAKE
Map - simmer2: Simmer 2
by - Qubix
Download - simmer2.zip
Overall Verdict - A solid, medium-sized base map, infested mainly with grunts and enforcers.
This is the 2nd map by Qubix in his "simmer episode", the first ("simmer"), was relatively small and dark, but this is a larger, and more importantly, higher quality map. Architecture is neat and involves some nice details and additions, without being spectacular. Solid looking, large rooms and hallways, sometimes opening out into big, split level areas are the main theme of the map. The textures are a nicely understated stone/metal/base mix. A pleasing greyish/metallic look to them creates a suitably harsh, cold feel to the map. There are some nice details too, like the final machinery room and some laser-firing turrets which are tough to destroy. More variety in room design would be better, i.e. arches, curves and detailing; the map has a slightly *boxy* feel to it. However, overall the inter connectivity is good and the build quality decent enough.
Gameplay in many ways mirrors the architecture. Solid, and well put together, but lacking slightly in variety. One of the good points about the gameplay is the decent challenge provided (especially on hard, with a total of 171 monsters). Grunts (with custom skins, not bad) and enforcers are (by far) the most dominant enemy type, (this is a base map after all) but a greater variety of monsters would be better. There are a couple of nice ambushes where fiends spawn in, especially one where 2 fiends attack after bursting through an exploding wall.
There is quite a bit of enemies spawning in behind players and in this respect the map crawling, consistent nature of the gameplay reminded me slightly of a typical Kona map, just without the variety of monsters. Only at the end does 1 Vore and 1 Shambler finally make their appearance.
Ammo, health and armor are very well-balanced overall, a definite strong point in the gameplay. I liked the fact there was no RL,GL or LG available (unless they are hidden in the secrets, i only found 1/3), this increases the challenge of completing the map. Overall an enjoyably straightforward, uncomplicated base map.
Overall Score: 15/20
Reviews: 28th December 2002. Review 2
Game - QUAKE
Map - space: Technophobia
by - Paul Murphy
Download - space.zip
Overall Verdict - A small base map set in space.
A small base map, with a difference: the "base" happens to be the insides of a spaceship. Not many quake maps venture out into this area, Neil Manke's Starship 1&2 are two notable exceptions.
This map has nowhere near the style, scale or expertise of those maps, but its still nice to see someone using their imagination to make something a bit different from the norm.
Architecture and brushwork can best be described as "basic". Mostly small blocky rooms in the standard id base textures. There is also some strange blindingly white texturing, and a bad totally untextured black wall (when the player takes the shuttle ride from one spaceship to the other) which may confuse and irritate some players. These are simple mistakes which should be easy to fix should the author so desire to. The overall map layout is small and relatively straightforward but there are some strange teleporter tricks and instant death traps which could be confusing and annoying, particularly for novice players.
Gameplay is likewise decidedly simplistic. Only grunts and enforcers are used throughout the map, so variety in gameplay is not a strong point. There are 44 monsters on hard skill but overall this map is too easy, for example there is no need for the Quad Damage near the end of the map. The puzzles will provide more resistance than the enemies. In summary, this is a basic map, but its enjoyable for a quick run-through and i encourage the author to make more Q1SP maps.
Overall Score: 10/20