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

18th of October 2004

Aquatic Hive | Single | Author: Devastator | Download 143Kt

Description: This one's a huge Alien/Hive level from Devastator - with three endings. Uses almost all available resources and weights over 470KBs!!!
Note: If you encounter 'Too many sprites spawned' error check the readme file to avoid the error.

Design: Once again Devastator surprises us with a bunch of brand new ideas and his original style. 'Aquatic Hive' looks fantastic and is full of colors, details and surprising new ideas. It's not just the indoor alien-tech organic style which looks good but the outdoor areas are even more spectacular with their strange structures and spritework. Walls move, cyclers cycle and Sector Effectors provide us with effects. Expect to see a lot of innovative spritework as well (sprites used in the kind of a way you haven't seen before).

Textures: Not so typical texturing - There are hardly any new combinations or such things but the way textures have been used - particularly on the sub - is impressive. Lots of toying around with colors & stuff.

Gameplay: Just my opinion but I wouldn't mind seeing a bit less eggs. The idea of having three possible endings works very well. The first one I discovered was the boss fight with Queen which is probably the easiest ending. The second one with lots of Octabrains got a bit tough since you have to push yourself through a bunch of them in a very small tunnel (shooting at them will only kill you) hoping that they won't bite you. The third ending with the huge portal/gate thing was well balanced although it was a bit unclear what to do once you have revisited the sub. Monsters offer a good challenge since there's a chance you'll run out of ammo & health a few times. Some of the combats are very hard The new ideas (read below) spiced up the gameplay a lot.

Innovations: If you think about it - the very first 'innovation' that will draw your attention - the submarine approaching the alien base - is not that new and has been used many times. But it still looks damn fantastic - You step into a sub in your own small hangar and take it to the alien hive. The next thing you know is that you'll find yourself staring at the alien organic scenery in awe.

Conclusion: Very good looking & surprising alien level with three endings.

Rating: 95