Monday, April 19, 2010
This medium blue metal base as a unique feeling it doesn't offer a great challeng nor an impressive gameplay but the fact the author added several custom futuristic design and several other thing make it well enjoyable
Design: particular let say even the starting of the map with the entrance into the main room from the top was well done, the archtitecture may look basic in terms of direct layout but provides a lot of particular object or stuff to come accross: elevator, some decoration object crossing brigdes an so on.The team mostly oriented on blue metal texture cretes something special enhance by the good use of limited but perfect lightning. Travel will offer you to activate trigger that will interconnect the whole map making sometime the search for the next step not evident.
Gameplay is correctly balanced with not a lot of surpise, most of the items and enemies are well places with some, awaiting you from an upper position and other put on lower that will make you go for the direct confrontation (schambler in the central room), the path to follow isn't that evident and teleport event if smart doesn't really add something interesting to the map. Challenge isn't present in this one because you will recieve everything what is needed to make it not that hard... search and hunting for secret places is well balanced with easy to find and more tricky ones.
In conclusion: even if I can critisize several point and the absence of some background of a strong storyline the unique theme and presence of some innovative architecture features really make a expeirence to play also by the fact it's not a difficult map to accomplish.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Level name:Operation Deus Ex Machina
Author: Andrea Rosa
Release date: 15 january 2006
Size: 10 054 ko
Number of maps: 8
download page: author's page
At the beginning of the Strogg War the Earth forces gambled essentially on two factors: the destruction of the Big Gun and the assassination of the Strogg Leader. While destroying the major planetary defense of Stroggos gave us a considerable tactical advantage, killing the Makron did not sort the expected results. We sought to drive the Strogg Warlords into internal struggles by eliminating their leading mind, however no turmoil happened. Instead of choosing a new Makron, the Warlords revolutionized the political structure of Stroggos, abandoning the old hierarchies and turning their world into a collection of feudal states. That way, they could continue to keep firm control over the strategic locations they were given and were able to organize defensive positions independently.
Operation Deus Ex Machina:
You are part of a small group of TCM marines currently scouting the region of Stroggos we refer to as Ishtar Chasmata. Headquarters have been monitoring this area for some days since evidences of anti-matter experiments were detected. If the Strogg can develop anti-matter weapons the equilibrium of this war could be drastically changed. They could even be able to restore the interplanetary gateway between Stroggos and Earth and launch a terrible counterstrike. We urgently need to know their plans, thus your primary task is to infiltrate the underground arsenal and steal whatever weapons designs or schematics you may find. Once you get the secret information, you’ll need to find a Com Center and transmit your data to the mothership. Intelligence will elaborate further strategy and orders according to your findings. You will be likely sent further deep into Ishtar Chasmata to find the source of that a-m relief and attempt to neutralize it. But beware, it won’t be easy. The local Warlord will surely track your moves. He has a loyal and well-trained army at his disposal, and he’s ready to deal with you with his own hands, if necessary. We wish you the best of luck in accomplishing this mission.
This episode made of 8 maps including some feature only available through lazarus engine is the first one from the author and even if the srart may look a little average it really grow up while you progress and will make you cross some intense and great looking area.
Design: For a first release and even if the author took some inspiration from other well done level (this is mentioned in the html included in the zip file), I was definitely impressed. At start and especially for the two first maps the design looks OK with some interesting detail features but honestly is quite average with a feeling of putting together some squared placed well interconnected but lacking spirit and atmosphere. After and when you enter the base the author slightly and surprisingly increase is mapping skill and the size of places you are going to travel through, it’s not just the design but also the use of moving things the way gameplay is oriented, the traps, the secret places everything just catch you attention in the way we like this game (first screen)… it will not just continue on the same level till the end and some place can be minored by a simple use of repetitive texture and minor lightning but this happens not too much and is normal to all human who are working on a whole unit to have some decrease in inspiration.
Gameplay: is most of the time correctly balance but sometimes, and especially at the end of level 3 and start of level 4 the challenge was put a little too high (with the help of the quite harmful turnable canon) and nearly turn into frustration. The use of the new feature coming with the lazarus engine really put an interesting additional point, also the way you need to travel cleverly through each level never look confusing and add a immersive feeling to each level you need to travel. Features are always well put together (included ammo, weapon you receive and health) but the fact that at the middle of the episode there were some tight moments, when you receive something extra, you just keep it, so that both end battle look somewhat easy to accomplish due to those extra quad damage and invulnerability… The search for those secret features and secret places was also well put together to add more stuffs to people who are looking for everything but without letting the one who won’t take too much time without nothing.
In conclusion: for a first attempt, Andrea really creates an enjoyable and challenging experience in a mostly well put together environment, it’s not perfect but not far from it so this is a mission that everybody should test if it wasn’t done before.
Playtime: 3 hours
Rating: A B C D E (90%)
Note: for the one interested in the statistic releated with the release here are the details:
map 1 : Hydroponic labs_________54/54______ 1/1__________ 2/4
map 2 : Greenhouse____________24/25_______ 1/1_________ 1/2
map 3 : The Arsenal____________70/73________2/2_________ 0/4
map 4 : Terminal 2______________62/62_______2/2_________ 4/5
map 5 : Spare parts factor________56/55_______5/5_________ 2/3
map 6 : Factory Engineering_______29/32_______1/1_________ 0/2
map 7 : High tech academy________80/80______3/3__________0/1
map 8 : Inner City______________134/136_____1/1___________0/0
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
alternative download: note that the readme was include in the pak2 file so I have recompile it with 7z
17TH SEPTEMBER 20--
MESSAGE FOR: AGENT SHEPHERD, ADRIAN
WE AT THE UNIT ARE GLAD YOU DECIDED TO JOIN US, RATHER THEN SPENT A FEW MORE MONTHS IN CONFINMENT. YOUR MISSION, WHICH YOU WILL ACCEPT, IS TO INFILTRATE THE BASE OF THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS 'DOUBLE HELIX'. THEY HAVE BEEN LINKED TO A NUMBER OF RECENT THEFTS AND SABOTAGE OPERATIONS IN SCIENTIFIC ESTABLISIHMENTS ACROSS AMERICA. MOST RECENTLY, THE ORGANIZATION KIDNAPPED 5 OF THE WORLDS TOP GENETIC RESEARCHERS. YOU MUST RETRIEVE THESE SCIENTISTS WITH DUE HASTE.
BE WARNED, THE ORGANIZATION IS A VERITABLE ARMY THAT BEEN RECIEVING FUNDING FROM SOME UNKNOWN BENEFACTOR FOR SOME TIME NOW. FURTHERMORE, WE BELIEVE THE GROUP HAVE BEEN CONDUCTING A NUMBER OF ILLEGAL GENETIC MUTATION EXPERIMENTS. YOU MUST STOP THESE IF YOU CAN.
AFTER YOU HAVE INFILTRATED THE FACILITY, BACKUP FORCES WILL ENTER THE REAR ENTRANCE OF THE BASE AND RENDEZVOUS WITH YOU. GOOD LUCK, YOU'LL NEED IT.
OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR,
THE OMEGA UNIT
this is the third releae from Richard and it's certainly also the best, He took a lot of attention to the remark that were done regarding the previous release but at then end this one miss a lot of cohesion through poor attention to fixable details and to something just fluid and not a collection of well designed area.
Design: is a mix between some well layout scene and lots of tiny detail missing like more than one missaligned texture...This was something that really estonished me after playing and looking to the screen...you will travel through a lot of well designed area not perfectly crafted but well atmospheric but the way they were put together just miss a good fluidity and storyline, in additon you have a lot of missaligned texture floor and corners witch is really sad regarding the good general design and also the something poor map change and especially the last one that make in adition the game returning to OS more thatn one time...
Gameplay: is well balanced nothing is really hard here but it's really fun thats why it won't take a long time to get to the end of this one, that, except the minor bugs was quite enjoyable, all feature were well matched and I only will regret that there was no more use of ambushes, traps or simply better use of OF features (under others, new enemies, weapons, and puzzle associeted)
In conclusion: This collection of maps was fearly enjoyable but could have been a lot more fun if the author would have put some more attention to detail and set of gameplay. for playtime is still well worth to give it a try.
Playtime: 40 minutes
Rating: A B C D E (61%)
Level name: Q2 episode 1 base
Release date: 8 january 2010
Size: 208 873 ko
Number of maps: 3
download from filefront: here
None it's a remake from the first part of Q2 converted to Quake 4
Design is quite what it should be so the conversion is a good reproduction from the original Quake2 it's fun to play through this classic FPS for all fans through a more accurate game...it only lack a little from originality, make a new intro cutscene in place of using the the Quake2 associated with the quality of 10 year ago, a 'not so close to the original' approach a better integration of original texture expecially through the fact that there is a high resolution project available and finally the mission of good sound effect in place of this repetitive till boring music background
Gameplay is well balance and fun to play even if the enemy damage is sometime put quite high witch caused some really thaught challenge but never unbeatable, I would have hope to find back those 'secret place'and have this backward/forward travelling from map to map like it is available in Quake2 but those minor issue could perhaps be more difficult to solve.
In conclusion: the author spended a lot of time (4 years) to try to convert Quake2 to Quake4 witch seems to have been quite difficult the result even if it suffer from minor issues is quite enjoyable and so if you have still Quake4 install and would like to have a good action fighting in a not perfect but above average environment, this experience is for you.
Playtime: 1 hour
Rating: A B C D E (68%)
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Date: 3/2/3 PBM (Post Black Mesa)
Assignment: 20316A- RETAKE AND INVESTIGATE
Subject’s History: 3 years after black Mesa, Adrian Shepherd was been assigned to a remote outpost on an outer Xen Moon. Reason For Assignment: Convoys to inner Xen world bases have been disappearing, confirming the reports that the massing Xeno Armies have been strategically attacking and taking control of the Terran Space Force bases.
Objectives: Primary- Retake Xen Base Alpha
Secondary- Investigate the source behind the massing of forces and the attacks on the TSF bases.
this team wanted to send back caporal Sheperd to an outpost called xen but most of us didn't really like this HL part wish was certainly a part of the challenge of this addon to make us like something that we didn't too much like
Design: is most of the time pretty average and sadly decrease in quality when we reach the end (last maze before the end scene) several location looks ok but never enhance the quality for this release several touch where still enjoyable but more on an external way to put the storyline through on text message and cutscene the way the team also wanted to stay to close to xen original theme and is lak of original texturing also make the whole unit suffer from creativity.
Gameplay: is well challenging most of the time and also sometime try to be not too classic by integrating some team fights, puzzling but hopefully no jumping. For the puzzle they also may look frustrating through the fact it's not always easy to understand what to do and especially with the Tentacle (just keep in mind that you need there to find the barnacle , that is needed after for another puzzle, and kill the tentacle) but expet this experience it never turn to frustration and was quite pleasant. regarding the fludity of the gameplay the items placement and special cases it was OK
In conclusion: This addon felt just a little bit to light in mapping consistance, gameplay feature and interest.
I think like in a big amount of maps and mod authors really were immersing into there job for the first part and after that wanted to make it more and more perfect but this leads to an increase in time spending that at the end turns to a rushing to finish stuff because of loosing interest regarding the time spend. It's not from great quality but if you have an our or two to spend playing something it could satisfy you.
Playtime: 2 hours
Rating: A B C D E (58%)