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Reviews: 7th January 2005 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - cmc: Cheyenne Mountain Complex
by - JP Lambert
Download - cmc.zip
Overall Verdict - Large base/military map.
Here's a pleasant surprise from JP Lambert. Cheyenne Mountain Complex is a large (166 monsters on normal) Q1SP experience set in what is presumably a military complex buried in a mountain. There are several interesting set pieces, including an underground garage. Texturing comes from a variety of sources, including utilizing standard Quake textures to create a non-standard environment: for the most part this works quite well. Later, the original theme veers into traditional idBase, which is good for some variety, but it may have been better for the map as a whole to stick to one particular color scheme / texture theme.
I might be rusty, but I found the map to be a good challenge on normal skill (I found one useful secret, and missed killing 6 monsters). I actually died several times. Throughout the first areas of the map I was hoping that some more demonic Quake enemies would appear (as opposed to the "standard base mix") and I was not disappointed. Fiends and vores started making appearances, and by the time the finale rolled in there was a large group of shamblers and vores to contend with! I thought supplies were always reasonable, though a few places being sniped from afar by grunts and ogres, it would have been nice to have some better armour.
Lighting was a mix of 2/3 effective and 1/3 amateurish/overbright. There were many areas with distant, vaulted ceilings fading into gloom, something that I think is largely responsible for the great atmosphere of many of Quake's original levels (think of end.bsp). This added to the feel of being underground in some sort of immense bunker, with huge airspace but even huger amounts of rock above it. The layout was surprisingly interconnective.
Despite the relatively "rooms-and-hallways" type of setup here (mainly due to the lack of any outdoor area, which I'll address later), the layout was interconnective and going through the level didn't feel tedious or confusing for me (though I'll admit, it may have confused some). I guess I am just the kind of player who likes to blow things away, but I would've liked to see a bigger weapon (the SNG actually) earlier in the map, and more low-level monsters everywhere. And a bit more nails and armour. That way, while a risk remained, you'd be less likely to be sniped off by 3 grunts far across the room and could concentrate more on killing things in the immediate vicinity. As it is, though, running through the large underground crate-strewn rooms of the complex killing stuff certainly was fun.
Both the estimation that goes into creating good gameplay and the overall build quality seem to be improving on a release-by-release basis with this author. Besides the aforementioned gameplay tweaks, a couple of additions (these are just suggestions reflecting personal preferences) could have lifted this release into an higher level. The first is the addition of more functional architecture. More computers, crates, functional-looking areas and specifically parked vehicles in the garage or in the roadway tunnel, would have contributed much to the atmosphere here. My second suggestion is similar, that at least one outdoor area should have been included. It would have been nice to see all the different levels of the complex peeking out of the side of the mountain, overlooking some concrete bridge or valley. I guess these comments just reflect a personal obsession with setpieces. All in all, it's the author's best yet, with an original visual theme, mostly well-thought-out gameplay, improved build quality and a surprisingly good layout.
Overall Score: 15/20