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24/10/2016 - "The Hidden" by Paul C Roberts

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7910
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: 24/10/2016 - "The Hidden" by Paul C Roberts

Post Posted: 24 Oct 2016, 23:27

Map Title: The Hidden
Author: Paul C Roberts
From: Hollow
Filename: hollow.unr
Music Files: Kran2.umx

Video Playthrough:

Synopsis: You are in this underground prison.


User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 825
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42

Subject: Re: 24/10/2016 - "The Hidden" by Paul C Roberts

Post Posted: 26 Oct 2016, 00:05

Ah yes, this mappack!

Well, The Hidden is the only great map of the campaign and as such it's a bit of a shame that it comes first. Although I'll add that the penultimate level has a cool setpiece à la Half-Life, had to mention it - it's great as a transition level!

But let's look at The Hidden: good atmosphere, quite big, took me over an hour on my first playthrough, and I do remember the smart use of Pupae which gave me a fright or two. It's quite hard the first time round because of the rather obscure progression, especially in one particular area which, I'll freely admit, I never managed to pass the "regular" way: I didn't cheat mind you, but after clearing the surroundings, I would just rely on the fact that I had enough health/armour to drop down onto the ledge on the side of the corridor you need to access across the lava pit - the video provided here finally revealed to me the way I was supposed to do it! Still, being able to drop down from above can be useful if you want to reach the exit considerably faster than you would otherwise.
The dungeon-like environment is convincing, especially in that old school way, but even then it's highly imperfect: some areas are too bland, there are some BSP issues as well, etc. Lots of repetition as well in the last area, and although the atmosphere remains good here, it drags on for too long (especially with those simple Nali chants).
The lack of story is also problematic, but that's more of an issue in the following levels.

Overall, shows its age, has its limits, but still a great old school map.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Semfry
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Posts: 2047
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 02:43
Location: UK

Subject: Re: 24/10/2016 - "The Hidden" by Paul C Roberts

Post Posted: 29 Oct 2016, 19:01

I've updated the video playthrough with a new one.

The one map of Hollow I like a lot; it does a great job feeling like a decrepit prison and the dark corners in the side areas (with an early searchlight to minimise any gameplay frustration) and greenish lighting in the main area give it an intimidating and slightly surreal atmosphere in a way I don't think other Nalicastle-textured maps have really captured. It's semi-linear layout is also interesting, although it doesn't seem to be entirely intentional. A lot of stuff doesn't really hold up to closer scrutiny (like the cubic tunnel with BSP holes on the way to the first key), but the overall impression sticks with me. Outside of one or two high points, it's a shame the later maps come nowhere close to this one, (along with having no real ending) because Hollow could have been a classic set if it kept this sense of style throughout.
Formerly Mman

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