Friday, March 23, 2007

Catacombs : Part 1 for Half-Life


Level name: Catacombs: Part one

Author: Silent Rain aka 7Azimuth

Date of release: 4 avril 2006

Size: 2 202 Ko

Number of maps: 5

website: none


Story: none


This is a not so old release for Half-Life, it really remembers me the catacombs levels from RTCW and even if the ambiance especially sounds where a little lacking, I enjoyed it enough to make a small review of it

Design is correct but not really atmospheric, quite logic if you are in a cave: huge walls with same texturing making a sort of underground maze, texturing is repetitive and mostly straighforward so you couldn't really be lost... in some place you will encounter tombs, blocked passage or even see Barney runing (which was a little trilling) ambiance is quite dark but misses without no doubt more sounds and 'zombies' effect (like taking away sientist by holes).

Gameplay is quite basic some little puzzle quite easy button push (when it's a little hard there is an arrow...) to make you progression but, like in RTCW you can try to find secret places (5 to 6). Fights are limited to some zombies and headcrabs...hunting for weapon is not necessary but will make it easier.

The ambience is correctly set together but misses more sounds and traps or short scenes showing 'accidents'. What has also to be noticed is that situation are too static (all seems to have happened shortly before you arrive but you'll never face a real accident)
This is actually only part one and I really hope to see a sequel in the future.

In conclusion: A quite honest release with all put together an average construction that is highlightened here and there by some good idea (barney running, secret places).

Playtime: 20 minutes


Rating: A B C D E (62 %)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

UAC maintenance Department for DOOM3


Level name: UAC Maintenance Departement

Author: Eric Stenborg

Date of release: 25 september 2004

Size: 3 102 ko

Number of maps: 1




There is no real story behind It's just like if you were working in a maintenance department on a new Mars base and something when wrong. Your main objective is to find the escape port

Review :

First of all it's a quite old release back in 2004 and is part of the 20 first maps released. Taking this in account and the fact that all community grew and update a lot the way of mapping till then, this map should really be looked in a way the author has high potential of developping stuff.

The General Design of this release is certainly above average there is a good use of texturing (well mixed), squale is ok and general ambiance is not only focus in one theme but visit cotrectly the design of a complex. It's perhaps a little too dark (but it's part of the ambiance and gives more power too traps) and certainly miss some cutscenes or a more gore feeling buy travelling trough places where mess has put everything incide out.

Scripting is slightly present trough launch screen and pda use bot lack perhaps some more key hunting or activation panels.

Gameplay is well fitting the release increasing difficulty with progression and give the player some 'arena' fight that is part of doom history.

In conlusion: for a first release from the author it really got eveything to create an enjoyable release. Well worth to be tested.

Playtime: 20 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (72%)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lost Facility for DOOM3


Level name: Lost facility

Author: Robert 'BJA' Hodri

Date of release: 27 july 2006

Size: 59 209 ko

Number of maps: 3



Story: None

Review :

This is the second release from the author according Doom 3 (for the other check Genetic Review) and like the first one it's really a recommended release.

This time Robert create a 3 maps pack that include an immersive intro cutscene. Architecture is even better as in Genetic and crafted in a intense and solid concrete building that doesn't include a lot of dark area (always a good way to hide a little the architecture failure). It's so huge that you sometimes ask yourself 'did i already past here?' Texture and items are well place all over to make realism even better only doors bother me a little (DOOM3 steel door in a concrete crafted building look foor me a little out of context). Progression is straight forward and there is no real forward-backward moving through the complex, you will just revisit place by door that are

Gameplay is perhaps not enough challenging (but i highly enjoy this choice since i
don't want to reload 10 times). Puzzle are smart and easy to understand and in this
way (challenging and easy'puzzles') you will easily rush through this huge compilation is less than 1 hour.

Is there anything to complain not really except those door mentioned before (but it's just my opinion) and the unfishinished place monsters came out (if monster come from a vent which was not created like it should but just like a square box behind it, it let a feeling of unseable detail don't have to be drawn whish is sad). Also perhaps, except the end boss, the not enough challenging gameplay.

In conclusion: Like Genetic, this release is another eye candy you should miss, even if the gameplay through puzzle and action could have been more polished, it's defenitly another 'BJA' recommended experience you should try.

Playtime : 40 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (86%)