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Reviews: 8th June 2004 [Reviewed by Tronyn]

Game - QUAKE
Map - ariadat: Ariadat
by - HeadThump
Download -
Overall Verdict - different and difficult!

This rather eccentric map is the debut of Headthump. It is a large map in the theme of e1m3 and e1m4, a sort of stony green swamp. It's fairly large, containing over 100 monsters, with a variety of paths to take and some decent interconnective routes as well.

I found it actually rather difficult, which I think is because although most of the map's areas are large, most of that space is vertical rather than horizontal, and there are lots of small pillars, corners and other things to run into when trying to avoid, say, a vore's forepod or a fiend's claws. A lot of the time you'll find yourself retreating through a room or two to deal with the monsters in the room you just entered. Not nessecarily frustrating, just different and difficult.

A lot of the architecture in this map is just weird. There are many strange slopes and angles here, mostly on the walls but some on walkways and other surfaces that you will walk on. Odd bulks of solid wall, weird wall prefabs, strange machine-looking structures and oddly angled catwalks will keep you wondering. This actually reminded me of some of Rogue's swamp maps, which have a seemingly similar style.

This oddness is generally not problematic, until you run into little glitches like stairs that are slightly too high or buttons that are supposed to trigger something once, but come back out for another trigger after a second or two. There are also some odd visual effects, some to do with water (you can see the sides of water brushes in places), others to do with the level's construction. Mostly these problems are really just small curiosities though, and don't interfere with playing the map.

Lighting is good, though the outdoor spots could perhaps use some more contrast. The torches and indoor lighting works really well though. Texturing is obviously not exacting in this level, due to it's off-grid natu re, but the choices work for the most part. A few textures, like a gray button from the IKBlue set, however, look out of place.

Overall, this is an interesting map if not great. I was surprised that in a map this size there was only one secret (which I found), as given some of the odd-looking spots I was continually suspecting the presence of secret areas all over the place. The layout is a bit too random, but you won't get lost as the routes work well. Gameplay is probably a matter of personal opinion on this one.

Overall Score: 12/20