level: tower of babel redux
click here to download the map
- beautiful architecture
- nice intro camera work
- boring gameplay
- not much audio
tower of babel redux is the second version of this map. it presents the player with a large outdoor arena filled with rockets and fiery pillars in which they must battle the Cyberdemon. you get to don your armor, scoop up as many rockets as you can carry and then head outside for battle. gameplay consists of positioning yourself for a clear rocket shot or two, then scrambling away for your next firing position before the Cyberdemon blasts you. what makes this difficult is that he moves faster than you (unless you use the 'sprint' ability, which is not unlimited), his rockets can kill you with just two shots, you have no health or armor powerups, and you have no weapons besides the rocket launcher, and it takes over 100 hits to take him down.
admittedly, the level provides a challenge. however, i do not enjoy this type of gameplay at all. i'm sure that plenty of folks out there will find this to be a fun challenge, but to me it has the same mentality of a platform jumping puzzle - make one mistake and you are toast and have to start over. if some health, armor, and most importantly different weapons were made available to the player i might have enjoyed this level. as it stands i find it boring becuase you really have no choices in terms of strategy.
the map is presented very well, with a cool tracked camera intro and some really excellent architecture and texture choices in a large and fiery arena. visually, this map is nearly perfect. as for audio - it is lacking. aside from the crackling of the fire and the sounds of the rockets and the occasional Cyberdemon roar the map is silent. a boss battle like this could use some rocking music to amp up the tension, or perhaps a liberal helping of demonic ambient sounds to increase the creepiness and atmosphere.
if the above description of the boss battle gameplay sounds appealing to you, you will likely enjoy this map a great deal. however, if your gameplay sensibilities are similar to mine you would have rather played the (nonexistent) campaign that this boss battle would be the culmination of.