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[u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 22:23
by Delacroix
Map Information:

Map Title: Infestation
Map Author: Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders
Reviewer: Delacroix
Review Score: 34%
Tagline: For a first try, surprisingly decent.

Main Review:

Infestation by DOMiNiON comes from the times of the golden age of Unreal mapping - from 1998. Right after the game's release, many have tried their wits with the new editor and many landmarks of early Unreal SP mapping days come from that era. Now is Infestation such a landmark? We shall see.

For a first try, Infestation is surprisingly decent. From the visual side, it's not a squarefest, the brushes' shapes are quite varied, the textures are aligned correctly and not overstretched. The lighting is not that great, but it isn't a pain for the eyes either. It's worth mentioning that although the level utilizes various movers and is multi-layered, there are no visible construction flaws. Such a thing is rarely seen in first attempts of Unreal mapping.


The starting area.

It is a puzzle though as to what is the purpose of the infested area we are to clear out. The hi-tech constructs and texturing suggest a facility or outpost of some sort but lack of any kind of storyline in the readme or in the level itself doesn't help to clear things out. Therefore, we face yet another purposeless technodungeon similar to many other technodungeons all over the world. No visible concept for the place.

Infestation doesn't try to infest our ears with anything either. There is no ambience in the level, other than grunts of the monsters we'll soon be silencing. The "Shared Dig" track does fit the location surprisingly well, though, and since the author made sure to change song sections as the players progress through the place and did so sensibly and that's rare for first-timers.


I wonder if anything ever hits the fan...

The gameplay aspect is quite well done. The standard find-them-kill-them-go-forward fare is spiced up by the occasional traps set by enemies. These are featured prominently as pupae jumping out of ventilation shaft openings both above the player and at their feet. There's not enough of them to kill somebody if the player retreats a small distance and picks 'em off with any gun at their disposal but if underestimated, they can do quite some harm. Also, another advantage is that the monsters have actual patrol routes. They don't stand in place like witless idiots but instead they move about the level and there is a chance they'll see the player before being seen themselves and that opens them a window for a surprise attack.


The finale.

One thing about this level is that it is too damn easy. The player is more than sufficiently equipped to do battle with any opponent present on the level and while the Stinger-toting Skaarj trooper encountered fairly early on the level can do quite some damage, nothing else will have the same chance as new weapons are found quickly and pretty much nothing can match the player once they get their hands on those.

Summary:

DOMiNiON's Unreal debut, albeit simple and short, does demand some respect. Many of his peers have failed to think of something so seemingly obvious as patrol routes, shuffling music sections or care to build level geometry properly. DOMiNiON may have failed to provide something of value in terms of concept or storyline but he did succeed in offering players fifteen minutes of decent entertainment. It's too bad he never tried again, otherwise we might've received some really high quality content from him.

BUILD (50%)
Architecture 4
Texturing 6
Lighting 3
Sound 3
Technical Execution 7

CAST (50%)
Conceptual Grandness 2
Story Construction 0
Story Implementation 0
Gameplay Awe 4
Gameplay Balance 5

Total Score: 34%

Download links:

infest.zip - Dropbox

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 22:35
by UnrealGecko
Nice review, but there's a problem: the pics disappeared :(

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 22:52
by Delacroix
The pics and the link to the map itself will go live in 8 minutes. They didn't disappear, they were still uploading... :/

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 06:10
by UnrealGecko
Ah yes I see them now...
That dropbox is really getting on my nerves.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 06:47
by Delacroix
Why? I just needed to upload stuff to it, it sometimes takes time. It's not the Drobox's fault, it's entirely mine I'm afraid. Or more properly: my ISP's.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 08:29
by UnrealGecko
Radi (who made that DM-FakArena map but did something to the link) and Ferali explained why http://www.ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5190&start=30

Basically, DB has a rude 401 error message.

Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Infestation" by Justin 'DOMiNiON' Saunders

Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 14:50
by Delacroix
They didn't explain nothing of relevance, shows that they mostly don't know how to utilize Dropbox :/ OK, let's end this offtopic :P