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

14th of April 2024

Memories | Single | Author: Zykov Eddy | Download

The Review: Zykov Eddy is back with a map that starts off as what appears to be a safe & sound return-to-form Duke3D urban map, but it doesn't take long for the map to take a Lynchian turn and go off the deep end. What follows is a series of Build-editor and con-code tricks, the kind of stuff that has marked Eddy's production since A.dream trilogy, only perfected and refined now. I was most impressed by all the visual "filters" and use of audio that seemed to break the 4th wall and turn the map into full-blown meta, a play on Duke3D itself and the memories we have (or think we have) of the game. The map's use of horror tropes is less impressive this time around, however, as I have played quite a few horror games over the past few years, so while Eddy's Slender Man mod terrified me years ago (I actually had to stop playing it), Memories felt far more predictable and not really scary at all - even if its use of horror tropes is very competent and should get a kick out of those less familiar with the genre. (I've also found hyper scripted, jump-scare based horror less impressive after the more "organic" horror of Alien Isolation.)
Compared to Eddy's production in the past, Memories seemed to pack more secrets and alternate endings. On my first playthrough I found a hidden message that took me to what appears to have been a relatively early secret ending. I then gave the map another playthrough, ignoring the message this time around. This one ended on a game crash after a visit to the Death Row chapel that I at first thought was intended, but a quick peek at online commentary indicated this wasn't meant to happen, so I grabbed an updated copy of the map (and EDuke32; somehow I had ignored the "Latest EDuke32 required!") and gave it a third playthrough, this time managing my way to two more satisfying endings. So, there's quite a bit of replayability here, but due to the one-way nature of the map's separate segments, you cannot simply go back to find what you missed, instead having to restart the map from scratch.
There's a good bit of variety here too, as between all the audiovisual trickery you'll be solving some simple puzzles, running from scary things chasing you and, naturally, shooting things.

Conclusion: Memories is a map that likes to play tricks on you and your memories, becoming metacommentary on Duke3D and the player itself. It's got the secrets and variety to make the map good for at least two playthroughs, and Eddy's technical competence and finesse are admirable. I'd like to shower the map with nothing but praise, but exposure to similar works (including Eddy's own) over the past decade or so does water down the map's impact somewhat, especially in regards to the map's "horror" content. I'm divided between admiration for what the map is and just wanting to continue playing the supremely typical but oh-so-lovely city map from Memorie's first few minutes. Your mileage may vary considerably, hence the open-ended score.

Rating: No rating

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