RA.ZIP -- 759k
10 aug 1997
author: Jussi Tuononen. unlike the name would suggest, this level isn't an homage to the Egyptian god of the sun. it's a very non-linear level, done in a "natural" (yet not medieval) setting, so you'll have to do quite a bit of searching and exploring to find everything you need. i strongly suggest you explore as much as you can in the water; there are many areas that you need to get to that aren't readily evident, and they contain items you will most definitely need (ammo). the architecture has been done well and is varied in both dimensions and flow. the transitions from one style to another were a bit abrupt in places, however. combat is good, if a bit on the heavy side sometimes, and the monster mix can be odd in places. it's harder than it looks and feels, but it plays well and is a lot of fun. it doesn't have a consistent theme, and there are no popup messages to guide you, and i found it easy to get lost, but i really liked this level. i just wish i could explain why...
|The Insurrection, Part IV||
29 mar 1997
author: Chris Mayers. great introduction to this level, and the overall flow and pacing have been done extremely well. combat is frequent and plentiful (which is the way i like it), but not overwhelming or sadistic. the architecture is great in most places, and in the others it's simply wonderful. some slowdown is present, though... most notably in the area coming out of the water in the "church" area. some traps are here as well, but they're simplicity itself to avoid -- they might have been tougher if they were a bit harder to avoid. two secrets are in this one, and i found both. the attention to theme and detail is, in a word, superb. plenty of health is present... almost too much, in places. the endgame consists of a slow-moving descending lift that contains some of the most extended-duration carnage i've played; packet overflow city due to all the gibs flying. w00p! this level rocks, plain and simple.
note: hey, Chris, if you're reading this... do you have any plans to compile these four levels so i can play them all at once? :)
RETTEAR.ZIP -- 1,714k
24 jun 1997
author: Warren Marshall. this level has been done in the "castle" style, and it has been done very well. the architecture is clean, consistent, and pretty large overall, and best of all, it runs smoothly through most of the level. monster placement is on the light side, considering the overall size of the level, but don't think it's going to be easy; the ogres in this level are placed so well, you'd swear there were twice as many as there are. the author clearly understands how to place ogres effectively. combat in this level is very fluid; since there are no doors and few obstructions, the monsters roam pretty freely once awakened. one place where a powerful monster wasn't very effective was through the silver-key grating; i was able to shoot him at quite some distance through the bars. the flow is linear, and since there are no doors, you're able to roam at will... but there is a definite path through this level, and you certainly won't get lost. the lighting and texturing is superb; it feels and looks like a real place. two secrets in this level -- one explorer-type, and the other marked well (i found both). the cross-connectivity and wide-open architecture would also probably lend itself well to deathmatch. all in all, a fun level, and definitely worth the download (though i don't know why the author didn't compress the level when he archived it).
|Escape the Base...||
RIT.ZIP -- 690k
17 sep 1997
author: Chris Burgess. this level has been done in the base style, and for the most part has been done well. architecture has been done well, with most of the structures and play areas being on the smaller side, though the texture choices are a bit odd in places and are misaligned in others. the flow is linear and the pacing is good; you're given more than enough weapons and ammo to do the job here. there are also plenty of areas to explore, which is always fun. the author has chosen to use quite a few flashing light effects in this level, and, as expected, they provide quite a framerate hit in many places. the presence of non-base monsters included somewhat arbitrarily, to my way of thinking detracts slightly from the overall base theme, and the endgame transition is a bit abrupt. three secrets in this level, and i only found one. all in all, a strong level with much potential that could have used a bit more attention to detailing and theme.
|Escape the Castle...||
RIT2.ZIP -- 590k
25 sep 1997
author: Chris Burgess. this level has been done in a combination of medieval and metal themes, and the blending, which is more than possible, isn't entirely accomplished here. the architecture is good, with many mostly-large areas than ran smoothly enough, but with no real theme to their existence. texture application in particular was a bit confusing and somewhat haphazard; for instance, green stone blocks were highlighted with shiny blue metal trim, and blue metal bridges joined green scalloped stone floor areas. the flow is linear, but the pacing is somewhat plodding, and monsters are grouped together in such a way that it is simple to encourage infighting. there were some interesting ideas and architecture present, but joined together as they were...
RJTY.ZIP -- 349k
27 apr 1997
author: Tyler McNamee. this level is a large one -- most areas are on the "sprawling" side. unfortunately, the monster placement is sparse enough so that most combat situations are easier than they have every right to be. flow is linear, to a degree, and the amount of backtracking necessary (through empty areas) gets to be rather tedious due to the overall size of the level. this level is another that has the rounded-top doors without the corresponding arch made out of brushes, exposing the flat brown texture color. with that said, this level features very few technical flaws; i found zero brush seams, texture selection and placement was consistent and aligned, and the running speed was acceptable throughout. with a little more work on area variety (size, lighting, and texturing) and monster placement and pacing, this author's next level should be good.
27 dec 1996
author: Scott McNutt. starts in a four-level courtyard, which is unadorned but eminently believeable. fighting your way up to the top level is fantastic. lots of good action and you're not denied the tools to do the job. the messages are relevant, informative, and appropriate. the slow-rising wooden lift has some intense combat. great pacing and architecture. lighting was a bit uniform, but that goes with the theme... it IS a courtyard that's open to the sky, after all. the endgame was a bit anticlimactic, but so what? this level is fun!