level reviews index page

"i" reviews

22 feb 1997
author: "Psycho". this is a very functionally-built level, with definite attention paid to game flow and pacing. the very beginning's a bit on the tough side (i was wishing for a nailgun and about 40 nails) due to a conspicuous lack of ammo, but after the first courtyard it gets better. most areas are well built and easy to move around in. four secrets in this level (i found three) and the ones i found were pretty well-marked. this level has a very definite linear progression. the endgame is novel, though i would have liked to explore the raised areas i was being shot at in the beginning... the access to these areas must have been the secret i didn't find. an enjoyable level.

22 feb 1997
author: Neil Manke. this level extremely slowly at the very beginning (spikes to nine on the timegraph), and the first open area was nearly unplayable for me because of this. the flow is somewhat linear, though you're allowed to roam around freely for quite some time before either key is required. the ammo and monster mix has been finely balanced, as i had just enough of everything to do the job. thematically, this level is absolutely marvelous; it feels like some sort of haunted mini-castle. the secrets are hidden, sometimes cleverly so; i found four of the five. messages were informative and strikingly poetic at times, which made them interesting to read and memorable. the puzzles they gave clues for could be a bit difficult to decipher, however. thematically and architecturally excellent, this level would be most fun to play on a really high-end machine... but i don't have a high-end machine.

Jawbreaker JAWBREAK.ZIP -- 936k
9 aug 1997
author: Matt Sefton. this level has been done in the base style, and it has been done most excellently. the architecture is airy and spacious without running too slowly, and it looks, feels, and plays like a base should. structures are well proportioned and believeable, and some of the structures are among the "thickest" i've seen. (check the custom slots in the walls in the long hallway for an example of this.) the flow is linear and the pacing is excellent; you're lulled into a false sense of security just when the next set of monsters jump you. secrets are hidden well and marked clearly; i found all of them. the weapons placement and pacing fits the base theme, though i still think the perforator is a bit much against grunts and enforcers (hi Matt!). the texture selection is interesting and varied, and the alignment is superb; the "veined" wall texture going up the ramp near the end is a good example of this. plenty of stuff to climb around and jump on, too. the endgame will take you by surprise, but it's balanced and survivable. all in all, this is Matt's best work, and it deservedly belongs on anyone's top ten list. download it now!

this level kicks ass

Jim's Dungeon JDUNGEON.ZIP
22 feb 1997
author: James Garrett. one "walkmonster in wall" and one "bonus item fell out" error at the start. this level runs really slowly at the beginning, and a few entities (doors mostly) flicker in and out of view. a little GreyFlash, too. this level has a fairly simple layout and some decent combat, but i have no idea, from looking at it, why it would run so poorly -- you really don't have a clear line of sight to most areas, the architecture isn't that complex, and the author hasn't overdone the lighting effects. the overall design is clean, though, and the author clearly understands how to effectively use the space provided; some real potential here, if that slowdown demon could be conquered.

House of Jilted Boys JILTED.ZIP -- 1,521k
6 apr 1997
author: "Bario". this level comes with an extraordinary amount of .mdl files (eighteen), along with the level itself and another eight text files. installing it is a bit problematic due to the author including directory information in the .zip... just don't use the -d switch (or uncheck the "use folder names" in WinZip if you use that). the level starts you out in some shallow water behind what looks like a sewer grate. the larger part of this level is extremely dim, and it can be difficult at times to see where you're going or where shots are coming from. the skins range from some of Rescoe's work (scrag, zombie, regular knight) to some i've never seen before. on the whole, i didn't particularly care for most of them (the fish were really bright), but something about the death knight appealed to me. this level sports some extremely linear play, and most areas run to the small side. some of the bigger necessary weapons (rocket launcher, perforator) are concealed behind shootable panels that aren't really marked. plenty of ammo, though. with a bit more work on gameplay and balance (along with checking for brush seams), this level would have been great.

Joseph's First Level Ver. 2 JOSEPH.ZIP -- 149k
24 jun 1997
author: "Joseph". as the title states, this is a first release from this author. the level is extremely linear, and there are no keyed doors. weapons have been placed somewhat arbitrarily, but right before you need them. the lighting is uniform in the places it's not nearly pitch-black. monster placement (there are 10 on Hard) is fairly arbitrary as well, as neither the texturing nor the architecture follow any theme. this would be a good base for a level, perhaps, but as a finished product, it sorely lacks too many vital items for me to recommend it.

in the .txt file, the author notes an earlier version of this level was sent to Gamer's Alliance, but that they didn't put it up on their page. for this, the author calls him a "jerk". this, to me, is simply unacceptable. to Joseph: in my opinion, he would have put it up if it had been a finished level, but as it stands, this level can barely be called a beta with a straight face. before releasing your next level, try and finish it first, okay?

Area 51 JTKMAP6.ZIP -- 1,093k
26 aug 1997
author: Juha Koiste. the .bsp in this archive is titled "area51.bsp" due to there already being an area51.zip already on cdrom.com, so remember to run "map area51" from the console. :) this level has been done in the metal theme, but it segues very nicely and smoothly into the base theme near the end. the architecture has been done well, and the lighting has been applied with a deft touch -- each area has its own look and, more importantly, feel. flow and pacing is good, though you may feel a bit overpowered at the beginning as you have to face some of the more durable monsters with only the shotgun. there are some great structures in this level -- of particular note are the storage area with all the crates as well as the teleporter/slipgate modules. i really liked the one at the very end of the game. there are four secrets (of which i found three) and all are clearly marked. all in all, another quality level from Juha. highly recommended.

this level kicks ass

"k" reviews