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Reviews: 8th July 2007 review 2 [Reviewed by Tronyn]
Game - QUAKE
Map - tcoa: The City of Angels
by - Trinca
Download - tcoa.zip
Trinca's latest is a cool outdoor city that feels like a throwback to classic Heretic, particularly The City of the Damned - Ironic since this map is called The City of Angels. You begin outside the city and soon find yourself traversing the canyons that surround it. There are quite a few enemies present, and so you won't be able to just rush in or you'll soon find yourself fighting fiends, ogres and death knights with nothing but your axe. Supplies are spaced out around the map's perimeter, so it pays off to cover all the ground outside the city before entering.
You are given in reasonable progression the supershotgun, nailgun, grenade launcher and then the perforator (once you're most of the way into the city). Inside the city, gameplay continues as it was outside: medium-sized groups of monsters that will combine into hordes if you don't deal with them one at a time. Ogres, as always, snipe at you from the background and create chaos among the melee monsters. Speaking of which, both rottweilers and knights are used very well in this map - the areas are small enough to give them a chance to get to you before you can stop them all, keeping the player on edge throughout.
The outdoor architecture is complex enough but lacks variety: the canyon walls are always at a steep incline and basically surround the city in a giant square. Inside, things are better: the city generally has two floors, but with a lot of rounded towers and varying walls and buildings, the aesthetic appeal is quite nice. The texturing is quite uniform, but a nice variety of stainglass windows and "furniture" such as torch-holders, bookshelves and tables keep things interesting and provide a good sense of place.
The map becomes more challenging with the introduction of a fair amount of vores later on, whom one encounters both up close and from afar. Once the player gets the rocket launcher though they aren't quite as much of a problem. There are a couple noteworthy mixed hordes in perhaps expected places, infighting with Shamblers here is helpful and maybe necessary. The map builds to a nice climax travelling along the tops of walls and walkways and finally to a nicely built clock tower.
Overall, the map appeals to some tastes more than others. It is all outdoors, and the outdoor walls correspond to buildings you can go inside. I like that, I feel that is a strength (the best example of this on a large scale is Scragbait's Estate). The architecture is nicely put together, and decently textured with no real huge setpieces although the view from the top is cool. The ground is almost all flat and the canyon walls are fairly repetitive, and some may find the texturing that way as well. However, the simplicity of design in this way is made up for by fairly intricate indoor exploration and complex courtyards. Overall, this is an oldschool challenge, the kind of map that predates even Quake (think Heretic's E1 and maps like Citadel): a large, flat rambling medieval level which provides good fun in a stylized setting.
Overall Score: 15/20