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10th of September 2023

Urban Trouble | Single/Multi | Author: SilverScrub | Download

Urban Trouble is SilverScrub's second public release; the first one was his "rookie mapping contest" entry Industrial Factory. That map showed some promise, and I'm glad to tell Urban Trouble is a step (but not a leap) forward. It looks a lot like an unpolished 3DR type of map. You've got a range of typical urban locations from a night club to a sushi restaurant and then some streets, apartments and a sewer. In addition to its 3DR looks, what I like the most about the map is its layout. It's interconnected but linear in a way the originals were, allowing some leeway with respect to navigation but also not allowing the player to get lost. You'll be traversing streets, rooftops and sewers, jumping, using elevators and finding secrets in between. Combat is mostly balanced and fun with some good opportunities for taking out larger mobs with pipebombs, but a few areas could have used more monsters (especially the last huge street area made me expect more than just two Enforcers).
Unfortunately while all the ingredients are there, the map's visuals end up looking unpolished. Texturing and trimwork range from good to adequate, detailing could use a bit more work, but lighting is selectively applied and "2d lighting" is almost totally missing, resulting in areas that have flat shading. This is too bad, as the map's simple 3DR type geometry would allow strong lighting to be applied with relative ease. The second half of the map (after you jump rooftops) feels like it was rushed, resulting in relatively empty looking, slightly oversized areas with bland lighting. The layout is there, it just feels like the author wanted to get the map out of the way.
Anyway, Urban Trouble is still well worth playing, but there's a lot of potential here for more.

Rating: 83

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