Wide Open Spaces | Single | Author: Sanek | Download
Description: Sanek's third release in a short time span (the two previous releases are not available on MSDN at the moment), Wide Open Spaces is, as the name indicates, an outdoor map with a few random weird scenes.
Into it: The first part of the map consists of you trying to find a bunch of blue keys from a night-time road site. The setting is pretty moody and there's some focus on areas outside the gameplay area. You need three keys in order to access a house with a teleport. The keys you need are all blue which means you've got to make a trip to the locks every time you get a key. This makes no sense since it only increases tedious travelling back and forth.
The map goes a bit bizarre once you enter the teleport, taking you to some kind of a blue mountainous dreamland. These parts are pretty cool with some good cycler effects and moody music. Soon after this you enter a hi-tech base which is, apart from its reactor room, the weakest location in terms of design. You're also expected to face a Battlelord in a relatively cramped location. The base, supposedly inside a mountain, looks weak from outside. After a tedious, one-minute-long elevator ride, you find yourself in another dream-like scene which takes you to the end of the level.
Item/monster ratio is pretty good but once again Sanek fails to provide anything beyond an RPG. Sanek still overrelies on the shotgun while the player would not mind alternating between weapons.
Conclusion: Wide Open Spaces is a slight improvement over 1999Russia, and quite similar to it in a number of ways, but both gameplay and design suffer from several elementary mistakes. Still, the map is a relatively fun and moody ride.