23rd of September 2023
Site B | Single/Multi | Author: Philipp Spahn | Download
Somehow Duke ends up at "Site B" on Isla Sorna, the island from Lost World where the dinosaurs were created before
being transported to Isla Nublar (the location of the park). I've actually read Lost World twice, once shortly before
the movie came out, then in about 2007 or so, but I don't remember much specifics except that 1) it was a very enjoyable
read that 2) had little to do with the (inferior) movie.
Anyway, Site B sees the light of day 25 years after the author urged his audience to "Watch out!" for his next map in the readme file of his previous map, Tower Block. Rather than having been under construction all this time, the map was trapped in amber for 25 years until the author dug it out earlier this year and resumed working on it. This is apparent, as the quality of Site B is noticeably uneven. There's plenty of good lighting around the map, including effective use of colors and sharp angles familiar from the original 3DR maps. Texturing is fit for purpose, being consistent, clean and including some basic trimwork. There's some nice detailing too (I was surprised by some of the windowed doors, as even I've been too lazy to ever put these in my maps), but overall it's a bit blocky. That may be fitting for the server room and such, but less so for the natural terrain that surrounds the map. Furthermore, the scale of the map's rooms and hallways is also a bit too large. A side effect of this is that in the absence of heavier detailing it makes the map seem emptier than it'd with a more fitting scale.
The map's layout is a bit unimaginative with long horizontal hallways everywhere. Still, Site B is quite easy to navigate, as you never have to figure out what a button or a key is for, and good use of respawns further helps you figure out the correct way. Combat is also fun. First there's a monster-less build-up, allowing you to explore the abandoned facility until all hell breaks loose. Sometimes you'll be fighting groups of respawns. These are easy to get wrong, resulting in a feeling of length-padding, but here you're given enough explosives and Expander ammo to take these monsters out the fun way (plus, as mentioned above, the respawns function as a navigational aid as well).
In conclusion, Site B shows a lot of promise, but its long development cycle has resulted in an uneven quality. While a lot of the map looks at least decent, especially the large outdoor area at the start (and end) of the map is too blocky and, with respect to both height variation and lighting, too flat. Scale is also something that's important to get right from the get-go, as it's one thing that's hard to adjust later. Still, Site B is well worth playing, being a fun and decent-looking map throughout that gets a tiny bit of extra mileage out of its theme.