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

10th of August 2008

WGSpace Episode | Single/Multi | Author: William Gee | Download 1.6Mb, Mirror, DukePlus launcher

William Gee's action-intensive space levels have been put together to form an episode. But, at least according to the txt, the episode was formed with weight on multiplayer (co-op) gaming. I can see why - Gee's maps have always been heavy on monster count and playing through all of them just by yourself is a tedious task.

Visually the levels are stunning. There are tons of blinking lights, attracting architecture, small rooms, big rooms (Gee is good with these, just see his WGRealms episode), rich texturing and so on. The levels are also rich in ambient sounds (there are some new ones too; the voices of children sounded pretty eerie). Variety is a bit so so. WGSpace 1, 2 & 4 all look pretty similar and after playing the episode you probably can't tell one from another. WGSpace 3 is an ice-moon, the only "surface" level of the pack, and WGSpace 5 is a cool alien space station (the best of the pack). The last level is a brand new one, made specifically for this pack. There are also two secret levels, both of lesser quality than the rest of the pack.

But gameplay is a major problem. WGSpace levels were a bit tedious and boring already as single usermaps and joining them together doesn't make things better. It's not so much the quantity of enemies but their quality: too many Battlelords and Commanders and they're hardly ever alone. Being constantly fired at with mortars & rockets is simply not fun, even if your arsenal of weapons is never scarce, and too many of these fights are close combat. Some monster spawns are irritating too: after clearing out a room you don't want to see it getting filled with monsters again. (This isn't an argument against the use of spawns in general, of course, since spawns are essential.) Other than that, the levels are pretty straight forward: finding keys & buttons.

Gee's choice of soundtrack for the pack is fitting. There are no new textures, only some new sounds. The levels, although they're quite well connected, have no storyline. I think a short intro level and a storyline that carries on throughout the episode would have helped a lot.

If you have or have not played WGSpace maps separately, you may or may not want to play this episode. If combat frustrates you, I say play one level at a time. Also remember that there's a level in the pack you haven't played. Every level is certainly worth playing but not necessarily in this format. WGSpace Episode is less than the sum of its parts.

Rating: 90