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Reviews: 9th March 2004

Game - QUAKE
Map - ac: Adamantine Cruelty.
by - Vondur
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Overall Verdict - A large, superbly inter-connected, catacomb of terror. =)

Vondur follows up his recent "Nastrond", with a big, [around 200 monsters on hard] beautiful Q1SP project. This one doesn't have the custom textures of Nastrond, and i thought the uniform greenish brick texturing was the one slightly weak point of the map architecturally. There could have been more variety in textures i thought.

However, the actual map layout, brushwork and lighting is very good, definitely the main appeal of the map, really. Its a unique and unusual 3d catacomb [in this sense, slightly reminiscent of Februus Depth], set underground in a series of brick-walled rooms, towers, and connecting passageways. Nothing in this map is square or boxy - all the rooms are well constructed in angular shapes, with interlinking pathways often across water, running through cool, solid looking archways.

The map in general features lots of curving walls, with ascending and descending steps, and there are a number of well built expansive rooms and caves consisting of multiple vertical levels which you sometimes revisit. The inter-connectivity is superb and very clever, and encourages a good sense of wonder and exploration. At many points its literally possible to go in nearly any direction you want. Having said that the player will eventually realize a linear pathway needs to be found and followed through a traditional blue key/gold key progression to the [main] exit.

In gameplay terms the map features a relatively hard start, with only the single shotgun being supplied and the player immediately facing lots of ogres and hellknights.Once the double shotgun and especially the two Nailguns are obtained, after about 30 or 40 monsters, gameplay becomes more balanced and hence satisfying.

Overall enemies, health and ammo is quite well balanced, but having said that there seemed to be a weak spot around the gold key and gold key door area, where there seemed to be an overabundance of health. Apart from some small points such as this, gameplay in general was very good, monster placement is well thought out [ogres are especially predominant and effective in this map] and there is a good, full, mix of a wide range of quake enemies which always keeps the player on his guard.

Another interesting aspect of the map is that there are two possible routes to finish it; one way which is simpler and easier is too simply find the main exit after killing about 150/200 enemies. The other is to actually "complete your mission" as hinted at in the small start map: to find a secret, lost abandoned base section within the map. This base area is a medium-sized, well built, angular sub-section, with traditional idbase textures and base enemies, and provides a significant extra challenge and twist to the map. It features some cool octagonal type rooms and areas such as those shown in the above right screenshot.

Overall a very good map exhibiting many great qualities; lots of cool ideas, architecture and exploration.

Overall Score: 19/20