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

15th of August 2008

Delivery to Hidden Base | Single | Author: CarThief | Download 144Kb

Description: A well designed, BobSp/Quakis type of indoor hi-tech facility. Requires EDuke32 (or Jonof).

Gameplay: The level is a good first release but in terms of gameplay I found it pretty irritating and frustrating. There are several issues with the gameplay. The first issue deals with size - the level is awfully cramped. You get stuck in corners, you get fired at without a cover in sight and this never really stops. And yes, there are Commanders & Drones occupying these hallways so you're almost bound to get violated. Oh yeah, there's even a Battlelord fight. The problem only gets worse. The level is filled with doors and they all get closed pretty fast which makes combat even more frustrating. The second problem is the level's ammo/monster ratio. You're pretty much forced to deal with several enemies with a pistol only which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself except when taking the first issue into account. Health is not that much of an issue. The third problem concerns bugs. The level first crashed two times and then it started crashing every time I took a look at the 2D map. Entering one elevator (outdoor area with a blue lock) was hard since you first had to open a door and then call up the elevator but calling up the elevator caused the door to come down. When I tried to "force" myself into the elevator the game crashed. The second time I was killed by the door. Then I somehow made it and guess who was waiting for me in the elevator? A Drone. Then there's a yellow lock that's hard to operate. Getting killed by doors is not uncommon. The fourt problem is the fact that there's quite a lot of backtracking. When you get a key or push a button you may have no idea where you're supposed to go next. This problem is not mitigated by the fact that, in terms of design, one corridor is like the other so navigating is not easy.
The gameplay has a few positive aspects though: There's a good build-up until the monsters arrive and the level has a few ideas of its own. I also liked the train ride near the end, maybe because it was so different from the rest of the map.

Design: Good but repetitive (and, as said, cramped). It's BobSp influenced, grey, detailed but lacking rich lighting (the level practically has one brightness level). Too many corridors are more or less each others' exact copies and there are only a few small outdoor areas. There's some good spritework but only aesthetically: spritework tends to be in your way.

Conclusion: This review may sound awfully negative. CarThief definitely has what it takes to build a good map. There's an interesting storyline, the level has a good start, design is good despite the fact that it's repetitive and gameplay aims for originality. My guess is that the level was not tested and as anyone who's built maps knows you really can't estimate how gameplay works in your own level: you need an outside opinion. My suggestions: More variety, more open areas and a better balanced ammo/enemy ratio.

Rating: 86