phobia - kristian käll

File size: 2.94MB
Author: Kristian "Ebola" Käll
Other work: Nimrod, Plutonia II map02

phobia image 1

Well, when I started to play this level, I was truly amazed when
Legacy loaded to see the dark and sinister buildings in the near distance
stretching out... it also helped that I played the map in GL mode. The
level has been very well made, with fantastically detailed architecture
with real attention to detail in it. The overall feel of the level is
of a Greco-Roman temple or hidden city.... There are some areas offset
from the rest that are rather well done too, such as the 'realm of
nightmares' seen in the top shot (VERY creepy, especially as I was
playing a piece by the Hafler Trio when I was playing the level, which
made it doubly scary!) and two areas where there are fractured pieces
of chess-board floating in the air (two? Yes, a secret area too.)
Those are the hardest areas for me, and the only ones I didn't really
like (because I kept missing them and falling to my death.)

The gameplay in the level has had a lot of attention paid to it. For a
start, the conventional skill levels are not implemented. There are game
modes instead. Skills 1 & 2 play like normal Doom (on UV skill) with
weapons, ammo, monsters.... Skill 3 plays without monsters (handy for
looking around and working out things in advance). Skills 4 & 5 play as
"Assassin" modes; you have reduced monsters, but only a shotgun to take
them out with. It is needless to say that this can get hairy. The map
itself is dead linear, so you can't really get lost or confused, which
can only be a good thing. (It also gives you the chance to improve your
route through and play again and again.)

phobia image 2

The only bug is a slight HOM in the north-west corner of the map, facing
the outside, with the huts down below. I don't know what causes it.

The aesthetic quality is most likely the strongest aspect of this map.
Although it's extremely hard deciding what the strongest aspect is.
This level does not look a great deal like it is a Doom level, or even in a
Doom engine game, it's so well built. The proliferation of new textures &
flats is what is mainly the cause of this (Kristian is a very fine artist)
One of the things that has been done best is the use of dark and shady areas
(like the bottom and top shots) with small, narrow, high light sources to
contrast with the darkness and gloom. The new sprites are excellent too;
especially the lanterns, which fit right in. Perhaps the only thing that
might count against the map is the fact that you really need a 3D card to
fully enjoy it, as it really doesn't look the same in software mode.

The thing placement is very good too; there are even things on the 3D-floors,
a trick that I've never been able to master (cf. my Nimrod level, and the
forthcoming "Cellar" map). The FraggleScript has been implemented well -
you see falling debris, etc. Very, very '445.333 x 3 + 1'. (grins)

phobia image 3


Pros: Realistic, creepy Greco-Roman style level. A lot of play
Cons: No 3D card? you're disadvantaged. Slows down lesser machines

Wh...! Essential, mindblowing stuff!! I really don't think there'll
be another level quite like it, at least not in my lifetime.

Construction: 10/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Error fixing: 10/10
Aesthetic: 9.5/10
Thing placement: 9.5/10
Overall: 96%

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