review: hrim_sp4 – for love of evil

saturday, sky cloudy, air thick with moisture.  not a nice day.

time for quake! :)

two turtle maps and one full map.  a start map is included, although not very useful as you should restart each time to wipe your weapons and ammo clear (the maps were not designed to be played with previous kit).  simply choosing to start a new game from the menu works well enough, even though each of the maps brings you back to start on their own.

Voidscape

using unreal rock textures, as the name implies, this is a void map.  an island of rock floating in space.  according to the readme, this map was created in two days and unfortunately, this shows up in the build quality.

there is some very nice terrain work here, interesting shapes with a natural look to them.  sadly, it’s spoiled by brush misalignments and poor clipping. also, some places look as if brushes were forgotten or neglected.  you will be walking along a nice sloping area only to come to a completely flat cliff or square hole in the ground.

monster placement is fun, although the terrain makes dodging voreballs a chore at times.  there is plenty of health and armor, so it’s not a big deal, just annoying.

progression is interesting, favouring climbing and jumping down cliffs as opposed to just handing the route to the player.  this led a small amount of confusion on where to go after killing the first vore.

a map that had great potential but is brought down by poor brushwork and unpolished elements (such as mismatched door sounds).  still, a fun little map to blast through that may serve to inspire others.

Brownie

Another turtle map, this one is clad in rtgnosis along with (i think) modified middle evil textures.

the route consists of a circular path surrounding a very large outdoor pool of lava as you ascend to the top of a brown stone castle.

as with Voidscape, this map also suffers from unpolished entities such a doors missing sounds and doors visibly clipping through world geometry.

gameplay is good, plenty of health and ammo to go around.  Sniping ogres isn’t all that fun, but they do a good job of getting you to move around to avoid their grenades.

the exit could have been a little more visually distinctive rather than just a circular hole in the ground that opens up later on.  still, due to the small size of the map, this isn’t really a problem because there are not very many places that the exit could be at.

For Love of Evil

the proper map in this pack. :)  a large q1met textured map.  although this texture set has been used countless times, the author’s use of girders and suspension bridges as well as almost gothic flying buttresses give it a unique look.

it starts off feeling like a very mediocre map but quickly becomes much more.  the first medium sized nondescript metal rooms give way to impressive halls and large atriums with metal structures suspended inside them.

the use of wind tunnels instead of teleporters to bring the player back to appropriate areas gives the map the feel of more connectivity.

there is also an entertaining func_train ride midway through that is quite fun as well as some crushers and a few other traps.  none of the traps are instant kill (well, aside from falling off the func_train, but that is entirely avoidable) and they aren’t frustrating or annoying.

brushwork is a little flaky at times (the wind tunnels in particular are misaligned a bit such that you get stuck on corners inside them) but overall well done.

texturing is a bit hit and miss.  because the map has such a unique look, sometimes the textures seem to not really fit (for example, using a 32×32 metal plate as a main wall texture or covering large swathes with the 8×8 rivet texture).  at times, it gives off a ’97 vibe, but this is the (rare) exception, not the rule.

gameplay is good, with more of an emphasis on vores and spawns.  the spawns can be annoying (and i got passed the last two by exploiting world geometry) but they are usually placed in well lit areas or in large open spaces so that avoiding their death explosion isn’t a chore.

an excellent map providing solid gameplay and a unique take on an old texture set.

Hrimfaxi’s site with screenshots and download link.

Release thread on func_msgboard.

ps: note the post date on my comment in the thread…  it took me this long before i could play it. -_-;

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