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18th of June 2023

Downtown Militarized Zone Remake | Single/Multi | Author: Ivan Petrosevic | Download

The Review: It's a sunny day somewhere in downtown LA when the aliens attack, this time with the aid of some tanks. A few minutes into the battle the downtown has been torn apart, leaving behind an area reminiscent of Warz. Downtown Militarized Zone Remake is, well, a remake of Downtown Militarized Zone from 1998. A quick peek at the original shows the layout has barely changed, but the map's design has improved considerably with added details, improved texturing, better lighting and a lot more stuff to blow up. Gameplay-wise DMZR a bit tough, just like the author's previous release from two years ago. You can set off a lot of explosions to deal with large groups of enemies in a most satisfying manner, but you also need to be mindful not to blow yourself up as well. But it's really the lack of health combined with its somewhat high monster count that makes the map tough. For sure, it may feel a bit "artificial" to make a map harder simply by limiting the amount of health pickups, but on the other hand it's not such a bad idea to nudge the player toward approaching the map less like a Rambo and more like a soldier aware of his surroundings. (Granted, you can partially compensate for this lack of health by "eating" guts - see the readme - but it's a bit clunky.) Still, occasionally I struggled to find cover (probably owing to its Dukematch origins), resulting in some rather annoying situations. Navigation-wise the map is pretty straightforward with an open-ended start, leaving you free to explore a large chunk of the map before having to worry about finding keys.
As said, the map occasionally reminds of the classic Warz with its cityscape filled with destruction and mayhem. There's some good use of lighting too and a few notable details along the way. (There's also one secret worth finding, as it reveals a larger area of the map.) But some of the map's rooms could have used more "3d lighting", as rooms (or streets) with every wall sharing the same low shade value (=bright) just look wrong, like a "fullbright" Quake-engine map.
In addition you've got a new soundtrack that goes hand-in-hand with the incessant action, but it does get a bit overwhelming the longer the map goes on, so you might want to play this with a reduced volume. There's also an altered game.con file that throws more blood and guts into the mix; not essential, but definitely fun!

Conclusion:A good single-player remake of an old Dukematch map with some key improvements in terms of design but that also could have used more work in the lighting department. It's a bit tough and not necessarily for all the right reasons, but mostly DMZR is plenty of fun to play with its focus on guts and explosions.

Rating: 90

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