Oh boy. This map was a real pain in the ass to build and really is full of terrible design practices that I've since erased from my build process. I also released the final version with a couple of bugs in the skybox that weren't present in the earlier builds, hooray!
As for the gameplay, well, I fairly warned everyone in the readme that this map is no cakewalk. It was designed to be a tough slog, especially on the harder difficulties. I was aiming to not only provide a challenge for seasoned veterans, but cram as much gameplay value into the map as possible by making almost every area a combat area. Even with this in mind, though, there's very little you CAN'T do to proceed. You have lots of choices on how to approach any given situation, plus a really great "immediate fix" tool for when you get overwhelmed - the rocket artillery cannon.
I'm curious: those who found this map unreasonably difficult, what difficulty did you choose and what level do you normally play SP maps on? If, say, you find Unreal difficult on Hard and you played TLF on Hard or Medium, well, you should probably have played it on Easy instead.
TLF was meant to be way harder than stock maps due to its setting, theme, and the fact that it is a single map but treated like a larger campaign's finale. I didn't spend time ramping up the difficulty over the course of a map pack - I cranked it all the way to maximum right from the start. But I don't think it's unfair, either. I can get through the whole map on Unreal difficulty with ease, and that's not because I know where all the enemies and items are. Many of the enemies are randomized (albeit in predictable locations, i.e. snipers in the moat wall windows, which ALSO have lower health than normal and die from a single Eightball), so even *I* don't know what I'm up against most of the time!
Basically, if you treat this map the way you would treat the final level for most other FPSs where you are in the heart of an enemy stronghold that was designed in every way to prevent your progress, you'll do fine. You just have to be careful and scope out enemy locations well in advance - use that sniper scope! (But save your rifle rounds for when you can get a one-hit headshot kill.)
The climbing stuff was definitely kinda wonky, but that's more due to engine limitations and the fact that I didn't have any idea how to script a climbing actor myself. You shouldn't be climbing in combat, either - that's another reason you need to maintain your situational awareness at all times. Scope out the surrounding area before you begin climbing, because you're going to be vulnerable while you ascend (or descend).
The boss battle was also sorta awkward because I built the map first and just sorta worked in the gameplay to fit rather than building the map FOR the gameplay, which was a personal challenge I set out to meet. I think I did a pretty good job overall, but definitely had to improvise (weird shield thing? lol) to make that last battle doable. Probably would have been better if I knew as much about pawn scripting as I do now, too.
Can't believe it's been almost three years since I built this thing. I've gotten so much better at every single aspect of design since then it's kinda crazy, especially at making castles.