The license applies to MSDN text/images and to my levels

5th of April 2005

Another Big Base Attacked | Single/DM | Author: Maarten v. Oostrum | Download 716kt

Description: It has been two years since Maarten released his "Alien Planet X64-2". While ABBA is not as colorful or unique it still manages to surprise and amaze. As the name indicates the level features another huge base being overrun by aliens.

ABBA is a sequel to Planet X64-2 but the transition between these two levels is non-existant outside the story text unlike in Merlijn's (that other Oostrum dude) Red serie where one level clearly follows another. Story relies on scripted voice sequences rather than on viewscreen messages (although there are some). Voice acting is mediocre but does what it's supposed to do. Just pay attention and you'll get it.

There's no reason to go into design as we all should know what to expect from it. Lighting is realistic so that you won't pay much attention to it. This also means that you won't be amazed by it. Texturing & spritework is done in standard Oostrum/Roch style with numerous colored sprites/surfaces and neat new inventions (new ways to use sprites). I particularly loved the way some of the level's unreachable sprite balconies had been made. Outdoor areas look good although they could use stronger lighting. Rock formations are detailed and natural - and snow is as pretty as always.

Gameplay is good and the storyline (although partly lacking) & scripted sequences add a lot to it. I got lost a few times but nothing overly frustrating came across. The level has nearly 200 monsters on s2. It gets a bit tough in a few locations but usually there's always a pack of health near. The alien invasion near the landing zone is a fun way to end the level.

Conclusion: One of the best looking levels - mostly thanks to complex spritework and fine outdoor areas. Fun gameplay with some new innovations & scripted sequences.

Rating: 98