10th of November 2023
The Cairo Dig - Part 1 | Single | Author: Wheaton Adams | Download
The Review: Following the events of Episode 4, the world has fallen into a severe crisis. On top of that, weird things
are happening at the Cairo Museum of Egyptology, and an AMC member of your choice (Zaxtor & Snowfall in my case) is sent
to sort things out.
This is the author's first published map, and we're naturally honored that it's for the AMC TC. The map utilizes a whole bunch of AMCTC features in addition to getting plenty of mileage out of advanced Mapster32 effects like TROR. There's also plenty of height variation and good use of the TC's assets that translate well into the museum's exhibits and such. Moreover, characteristically newbie "features" such as oversized objects are absent, and the author shows some proficiency in spritework and handling larger areas. The map makes good use of its color theme with plenty of lovely brown textures against an orange sky. Sprite-based lighting effects like spotlights and beams are a common sight and effectively used particularly in the map's bottom parts, but unfortunately "3D lighting" is noticeably lacking in many of the brighter areas (the outdoor areas are a good example). The skybox also could've used more work, as now parts of it seem a bit crude.
Gameplay is a bit on the tough side with plenty of deadly mercenary-type enemies and some (annoyingly loud) turrets that can deplete your health fast if you're not careful, so adopt a more tactical approach for this map. The map also seems to have a fondness for tripmines, which in itself wouldn't be that bad if their blast radiuses were a bit smaller. The museum's layout is interconnected but many of the routes need to be unlocked first: On one hand this makes the map's layout easier to approach, but on the other it also means there will be plenty of locked doors at first. Also, I spent probably ten minutes wandering around the place because I had forgotten that the TC's slide ability (sprint plus quick kick) enables you to reach places that mere crouching doesn't. The map takes a thematic but not an unusual turn midway through. I kinda enjoyed this change of scenery, and the transition between the segments has some simple platforming that provides a momentary lull from all the shooting. Only the countdown ending sequence had me a bit confused as to what was happening.
Conclusion: This is quite a strong debut map from Wheaton, and rather than playing it safe, the Cairo Dig packs a whole bunch of advanced features in it. The map has a strong sense of location and is fun to play. It has a few unpolished edges, but I'm sure even those will be gone by the time the sequel is out.