Action Time On 7 | Single/Multi | Author: Michael "Micky C" Crisp | Download 234kb
The short list of releases that support Polymer lightning just got a tad bigger with Micky C's "Action Time On 7". The map also amply demonstrates why the list is so short to begin with. Most of the time the map runs at below 20 fps, dropping down to 5-10 when you're supposed to be dealing with enemies. This despite the fact that I wasn't even using the High Resolution Pack. (I also tested the map without Polymer just to see how the gameplay plays out.) DukePlus required.
As Duke Eternity demonstrated, Polymer can be utilized to make a Duke3D map look like something that could have come out of a relatively modern game. Unfortunately this isn't the case with Action Time. There are several good-looking areas such as the park (see the screenshot) and the office area but generally the map suffers from a low level of details, sloppy design (including tons of oversized objects) and poor trimwork.
Then there's gameplay, which feels a bit random as you travel from one exotic location to another. I won't hold the crappy fps I got against the map (as I didn't with Duke Eternity) but it certainly makes the overall experience hard to enjoy. The aforementioned park section, while it looks pretty stunning, is hard to navigate thanks to poor visibility and being constantly blocked by trees and enemies. The park also houses the Skycar but the park area is too cramped and small for it.
There are also several locations where you can get stuck permanently. First, right after a circular lava room there's an explosion that seems to hurt you no matter what which could be a problem if you're running low on health. Second, there's a vent section in the office area but if the vents are destroyed (they're made of sprites), as happened to me during both playthroughs, you better hope you've still got some fuel left in your jetpack which may not be the case depending on how much of it you spent during the park segment. Third, the Queen boss (the horror!) is incredibly strong-skinned (not to mention how hard it is in general to hit Queens) so you may run out of ammo before she dies.
All in all, Action Time seems like a typical beginner map but with good Polymer lightning that unfortunately renders the map nearly unplayable. In all fairness, this is Micky C's first effort and as such it's not that bad. The biggest problem is its below-average design. As any game with dynamic lightning shows, good lightning doesn't necessiate a low level of details or dull design.