LORCH: Abducted | Single | Author: Sanek & Merlijn van Oostrum | Download
Description: Merlijn van Oostrum & Sanek make an odd couple but there it is. Lorch: Abducted is a medium-size city map where Duke is tasked, by yours truly, to rescue Alejandro Glavic, who's been captured by someone working for the evil Duke3D site.
Design: As far as layout is concerned, Lorch is a pretty standard hub-style city map with many accessible buildings. The street area looks very nice with detailed building exteriors and quite a bit of variety in their design. Moreover, it all looks deliciously creamy when viewed against the bright blue sky. Both authors' styles are clearly recognizable but it all blends together so well that the map never stops looking perfectly consistent. The map's scale is moderate, sometimes even cramped, but there are a few larger areas that manage to stand out (including one with an alien ship). The authors describe the map as Roch-like but I found myself thinking of Warz a lot more often.
Gameplay:The hub-style layout doesn't offer many surprises in the gameplay department either. You'll be picking up keys and backtracking but action remains balanced throughout and there are no excessive respawns. Some tougher opponents make an appearance, including two Red-style setups against Protector Drones. There's a plot but there are no plot elements beside a few viewscreens that could have used a bit of proofreading. The ending is abrupt but suggestive of a sequel, so the abruptness might be forgiven in the future.
Conclusion: Merlijn & Sanek have come up with a surprisingly consistent-looking team effort. While the map doesn't exactly invent the wheel, it's both fun and good looking, a Duke3D city map at its best with many locations to visit and plenty of aliens to kill.