Single Status Update
Some thoughts on Marathon:
-The floaty movement system is the most blatantly offensive aspect of the game. Unfortunately, it logically follows that the maps would've been designed around it, and trying to improve it will only break the game.
-I think half of the complaints about Marathon's level design can be traced to people trying to play Marathon as if it's Doom and paying little attention to the terminals, because in all of the maps I've replayed so far (and Marathon's maps are pretty big), I found myself essentially following a straight line from objective to objective. That being said, Marathon's level design does have some pretty serious problems.
-The most immediate problem that comes to mind is that there are virtually no recognizable landmarks in any of Marathon's maps whatsoever. In Doom, all areas of each map were very distinct from oneanother while still being part of a unified whole. In Marathon, all areas of every map had roughly the same color scheme and lighting levels with very little contrast.
-Marathon's maps were mostly hallways with little in the way of height variation, which offered little to no opportunity to engage enemies in creative ways in addition to adding to the visual monotony.
-The texturing scheme is downright horrific. Two completely different textures on the same wall with no transitions does not look good, especially when they aren't even aligned. This is a shame because quite a few of Marathon's textures are actually reaaaaaaaally nice.
-The enemies were all very boring to fight and ranged from cannon fodder to doors with health. There's little in the way of creative enemy placement, and the enemies in many areas feel like they were simply plopped down haphazardly to give the players something to do.
-I understand the mentality behind having save terminals scattered throughout the level rather than allowing the player to save wherever he likes, but I completely disagree with it.
-Overall, the combat and level design feel like they were done with the sole purpose of connecting terminals together in order to advance the plot. That being said, Marathon's plot is fantastic and in my opinion is enough to carry the game by itself, which is no small feat.
-In order to change settings, the player has to quit the game entirely. There is no excuse for this.
-I have no problem with Marathon's health system, but I think it's worth pointing out that Doom's "health-and-armor-bonuses-as-coins" item placement added an extra fun factor that Marathon missed out on.
Overall, I think Marathon is worth a play, but only for the plot and absolutely nothing else.