26th of October 2003|
Arc_Nova Base | Single | Author: Zaxtor | Download 916kt
Description: Quite big space level where you have to find tons of buttons and travel long distances - A mission based level with some innovations.
Design: The first thing you'll notice is the beauty of the space station - from the outside. Its outer surface looks brilliant - lots of spritework and excellent architecture. Unfortunately I can't say the same about its indoor locations. Some sectors are empty while others have some good details and design features. Lightning could be better - Light sources are missing at times and the level could use more clear shadows - There are tons of windows which could generate some brilliant shadows coming from space. Doors all look the same and they're big - but that's pretty much okay this time. What bothered me more was the trimwork inside the doors. However I can't say that the design is bad - it's not. In fact most of the time it's enjoyable and there are some very good looking locations. Just that there are some flaws.
Textures: Texturing is the biggest flaw in this level. The level uses tons of different ceiling, wall & floor textures of which not even half fits the theme. Good trimwork could balance things up a bit but unfortunately trimwork is missing as well. However I can't say there were any ugly textures in this level - just the kind of textures which shouldn't be there.
Gameplay: I had a very fun time playing this level. While puzzles are unlogical and confusing at times the level still managed well to keep my interest up by offering interesting locations and even the puzzles were at least partly interesting - you never know what you'll find next. There are tons of buttons - You press one and door opens a million miles away from you. Only some buttons have been directly linked to their doors by using different signs. So this is quite much like Doom 2. However it's not that bad - It's interesting and the 'puzzle' in the end - involving the shuttle escape and your mission - was very creatively done although it took some time (and help from the author) to figure out what to do (mostly because you don't see things like that in Duke3D levels very often). Monster/ammo balance is good. You have to deal with your pistol in the beginning - all other 'main weapons' - shotgun & chaingun are given simultaneously at one storage room.
Innovations: Design follows strictly Zaxtor's own style. There are some fresh design ideas and what got my attention was the shuttle escape and your mission which involved destroying those four reactors. You'll face a countdown in the end - you have a bit over a minute time to escape the base with a shuttle untill everything melts. Nicely done - but in the end you might end up wondering - 'what now?'.
Conclusion: Although the level has its flaws with some rooms and particularly with texturing, it still manages to entertain you - thanks to its interesting ideas, interesting locations and good ending.