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Review: Camelot: In Memory of Guinevere

The infiltration of the keep is a challenging task, but doable and rewarding.

Project information

Camelot: In Memory of Guinevere
Robert Wey
Stalker 3000
Single Map

Main review

As Project Zephon's case has showed us, multiplayer arenas if constructed properly may translate to single player quite efficiently. Camelot: In Memory of Guinevere, originally a deathmatch map from 1999, revisited nine years later by the author and two individuals by the names of Stalker 3000 & DJ_Skaarj, just might be one such map. Is it?

Wey's original design technique certainly helps in that regard. As the author himself acknowledges in the release notes, he aimed not for a typical fragfest arena, but for a setting and this, just as in the case of Konosus, made it easier to turn the level into a single player endeavor which turned out quite neat.

A bridge seen from below

Camelot is a large, several stories tall castle dedicated to the memory of Queen Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur - or so the story goes. While it can be seen that this is the author's first map, subsequent revisions have upgraded the visuals to a decent level. While oldschool and somewhat simplistic, the construction is proper and varied. The castle makes actual sense, there's a storage compartment, a small crypt, a courtyard, a drawbridge... all the characteristics are there and they work well to ensure the level feels authentic. The area isn't just about indoors either: the rock formation the castle is built on is surrounded by water and further rock formations that can be explored once the opposition's been dealt with. The impression can be somewhat spoiled by the occasional visual glitches, especially the skybox in one spot, but they aren't plentiful, nor big.

As far as the audio layer is concerned, there are certain flaws. While the use of ambience is scarce, it is proper and the environment feels more lively with all those chirps, running water and other SFX out and about - but the music while initially fitting the map (Nali Chant track) grows tiring in time, especially given the level takes a lot of time to complete. The action section of the track is left unused despite many situations warranting its use.

The keep interior

The gameplay factor is the toughest part to pull off when dealing with MP-to-SP porting, as I already mentioned with Konosus. As a solo adventure usually revolves around searching for a way to unlock the next portion of a location by doing something in the previous area, leaving too many routes open might prove problematic. Luckily Camelot manages to avoid that fate. The level is fairly linear: your task is to reach the top of the castle and unlock the large sewage system on the other side of the level. How you do it, it's up to you... theoretically. I've found three five ways into the castle, but three converge into one so they can be counted as such and the remaining two are defended heavily enough for the players to skip them outright. Especially the frontal assault is utter idiocy, with the almost immortal titan wraith around. The game essentially forces the player to improvise. Storming the main gate with just a dispersion pistol, when there's two snipers on the ledges above, several krall, a Skaarj and the aforementioned titan on the drawbridge - that sounds like suicide and it essentially is. The only way is from below and even that is dangerous enough to make the approach hard. Almost gruelling. Things improve once the player finds the dispersion pistol power-ups and grabs the first weapons located on the lower levels. There's just about enough health and armor to keep the player going... if they know what they're doing and they're not rushing into the unexplored areas like a mad bull. Trust me: if you're a mad bull type, there's more than enough toreadors in there that are perfectly capable of putting you down. Play it safe.

Lack of any translator messages is a waste of potential, but the level's setting and release notes do introduce a feel of exploring an ancient castle taken by the enemy. While this isn't much, it can't be written off as nothing at all. This isn't a big problem though: with such a setting and inventive gameplay, the level's already pretty good.


Camelot works much better as a single-player endeavor than for deathmatch and that is true even without an actual storyline implemented into the level. The gameplay can prove punishing for players that tend to rush through the level without thinking twice, but if you choose to use your gray matter, you'll be pleasantly surprised - the infiltration of the keep is challenging but doable and rewarding. Strongly recommended.

Build (23%)
  • Architecture
    Imagination, realism and detail of structures used in the design of the level.
  • Texturing
    Use of textures in the level. Technically speaking, alignment and scaling. Choice of textures, and quality of any custom textures used.
  • Lighting
    Lighting of the level: does it look cool? Use of light colour and other effects, and sourcing of lighting (no light out of nowhere).
  • Sound
    Use of ambient sounds and event sounds to give the level atmosphere, and the quality of any custom sounds. Appropriate use of music and silence to complement the atmosphere.
  • Technical Execution
    Technical soundness of the level, i.e. no visual glitches, no random deaths or other gameplay bugs, and a good framerate.
Cast (22%)
  • Conceptual Grandness
    Scale, imagination, awe & originality of design and layout, physical foreshadowing of future areas.
  • Story Construction
    Backing story & progression via translator, subplots, and script of voice acting where applicable. Logical choice of opposition.
  • Story Implementation
    Progression of the written story via the events of the level, and performance of voice actors where applicable.
  • Gameplay Awe
    Quality of scripted sequences, originality and staging of combats. Maps that force the player to "learn by dying" will be penalised.
  • Gameplay Balance
    Balance of weapons and items to creatures, including difficulty settings. Most importantly, fun factor.

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