vrack - fredrik johannson
The first prize this map might win would be in the 'Names That Make Me Grin'
category: the word 'Vrack' sounds rather like an expletive to my mind, and it's
great to yell out when you're particularly annoyed. ;-) Now on to the map itself.
This map is essentially a space station, hanging up there in the heavens like the
International Space Station will be when it's done, and you're exploring the inside
of it. And what a lot there is on the inside! This is certainly the biggest map
that I've been asked to review, and playing through it is a real pleasure. It's
built in a fashion that spans Doom2 (because of the theming etc.), S*T*R*A*I*N,
and Descent. It's not overly hard to find the exit, although if you're like me
you may become slightly confused and lost around the beginning.
Gameplay is pretty damn' good, as there are plenty of monsters to go and shoot
like a madman (about or over 300, on UV) The gameplay is quite fluent, except
for moments when I was learning the map when I got irritated when the doors
opened half-way. :-) There are four secrets to find, and some of them are quite
a challenge to hunt for. An early-ish SSG makes this map fun to play to a
great extent. (Man, I love that weapon!) A downside would be
too many early cacos at the beginning and not enough ammo to defeat them with.
The other is a VERY irritating area in the northwest with thick pillars in
slime with switches on them. I personally think that's the only bad part.
Oh, yes, one of the secrets is rather special, see if you can find it, it's got
the word 'HISSY' written on the floor in red letters :-)
Of course, in the style of all truly great maps, there are no bugs whatsoever
(at least, none that I've spotted :-) I'd like to take a lesson off Fredrik
about how in Heaven you you make sky all around, including the floor, without
HOM and stuff?
As far as aesthetics go, this map is just about perfect in its styling. One
of the best, if not the best, in its 'genre'. To give you an idea of how good
it is, the screen shots on and all over this page were the best of about six
really memorable and inventive areas. It was hard picking them!
The bits I like the most aesthetically are the areas like the middle one
on this page, where you have the starry sky underneath and outside. It
really adds to the feel of a true space station. Look out, too, for the
VERY nice blue corridor shortly after the blue key.
Thing placement is pretty good, ammo is sometimes in short supply, but
overall well done. I can't really talk about thing placement, it's such a
restrictive subject to start conversational gambits within :-) Oh, yes, one thing
that's just generally about the map, rather than thing placement specifically:
There is a number has special significance, see the textfile. This number is 43. ;-)
Pros: One of the most beautiful maps ever IMO, plays well, just about everything
Cons: That part with the blocks in the slime!
One of the best maps I can recommend to my readers! Incredibly well
detailed, nice building style and varied usage of light-levels and
such. A sure candidate for the all-time memorability archives.
Yes, I KNOW I said many of the same things about Dark Star!!! :-)
Error fixing: 10/10|
Thing placement: 8/10|
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