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

4th of February 2013

Cathedral | Single/Multi | Author: Alejandro "Arrovf" Arroyo | Download

Description: A medium-size city map that revolves around a huge cathedral.

Design: The map impresses as soon as it starts. You're planted at the edge of a huge outdoor area, with the cathedral not too far from your position. The map is as conceptually grand as it gets. The cathedral is easily the most eye-catching building around, having exactly the kind of sense of scale a cathedral is supposed to impose on a pitiful, mortal human being. Variety abounds as the player moves from apartment buildings to sewers and recreational beach areas, with a bit of swimming and ledge action thrown in every now and then. The map's sunny atmosphere and tall buildings create ample opportunities for effective lighting and the author doesn't miss that opportunity, relying on stark contrasts between lit and unlit surfaces. Overall, the map looks very polished and carefully planned, as maps of this scale tend to require.

Gameplay: As expected, you have to go through the surrounding locations before entering the cathedral. There's a bit of wandering around at first as you familiarize yourself with all the locks and doors. Monster count is noticeably low for a map of this size (or rather, scale). It gives you more opportunities to admire the scenery but still, at times it felt as if monsters had been added as an afterthought. Add to that somewhat lacking ambient sounds and the map feels strangely quiet. Items are adequate but that depends on whether you end up with the shotgun 30 seconds into the map or much later. Moreover, recent EDuke32 versions seem to fuck up the item-monster ratio in the dozens of maps that rely heavily on custom-colored aliens. It's not known whether the author was aware of this change but the map does have quite a bit of grey Pig Cops.

Conclusion: Cathedral is a very well designed map, housing one of the most impressive structures in a Duke3D map to this date, but it is somewhat lacking in the gameplay department. As it is, this 15-minute map feels bit sterile. Nevertheless, all the eye-candy is more than enough to make you enjoy the map.

Rating: 92

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