21st of March 2006|
Red Rock | Single | Author: Markus "Suppressor" Schopf | Download 120kt
Description: "Red Rock" had me completely by surprise. It's a magnificent city/canyon/base map with plenty of things to do and architecture to admire.
Design: This map is huge - not in terms of longetivity but in terms of size. All cramped indoor areas have been washed away only to be replaced by big, open outdoor areas (a bit like William Gee's outdoor levels but with more details and originality). There's some amazing stuff around such as a partially destroyed building, a cool looking sprite bridge, a construction site and much more. The map eats almost every sector/wall the original Duke allows and there's plenty of complex spritework. The mountains are all red, which adds a bit of originality without looking out of place, and the terrain is well detailed and looks realistic.
Gameplay: Again - brilliant! The amount of monsters is just about right for the first two skill levels (I didn't test the others). There are, luckily, no portable medikits or atomic healths (oops, according to Build, there's one) and the level's secret places have the right kind of stuff to offer. There's plenty of monsters around - even Commanders and a Battlelord. The puzzles were, for the most part, quite simple although you might get lost once for a brief period. Well balanced and rewarding.
Innovations: There are some neat tricks and plenty of original architecture such as the bridge, a construction crane and so on. Not much that hasn't been done before but the map doesn't seem to borrow much, if any.
Conclusion: Looks brilliant and offers well balanced action for 15-20 minutes. If I had to look for something to complain about it'd be the amount of invisible walls that surround pretty much every rock formation.