LEVEL: WARZONE: CHAPTERS 1 & 2
CH.1 AUTHOR: Mark Jones
CH.2 AUTHOR: Tom (Magi) Smallwood
Download it here: download map file
BONUS! Download Part 3 (not reviewed) here: download map file
3D Gamers Edge: Seal of Approval Winner!
- Superior creativity
- Exceptional Story
- Hugely ambitious
- Great plot advancement
- New 3do's, sounds, cut-scenes, cogs, textures, etc...
- Challenging puzzles
- Non-intuitive puzzles
- Uninspired architecture
CHAPTER 1: Rebel Storm Rising
The level opens to a new cinematic introduction, complete with a scrolling text message and space battle. You begin gameplay having been dropped off atop a dam. You make your way through the area via a series of winding tunnels. Navigation is a bit confusiong - though not frustrating - and it will take some attention to solve the puzzle to get into the main compound. Once inside you must find Mari Hari and get her aboard your shuttle. The layout of the map is well done - though at times it is somewhat lackluster and repetative. Texture use isn't varied enough and at times the winding tunnels and hallways become more cumbersome than challenging. There is some good action to be found - though the focus is on puzzle solving and exploration. The level is good and solid and well thought out, it just needs some spice. More variety in enemies, attention to architectural details, and a bit more action would have made for more fun in the gameplay. My main complaint with the map is that near the end you must hit a switch to drop a force field allowing access to the cell where Mari is being kept. The switch is on a control panel which didn't appear to be functional in any way. It wasn't very intuitive, and I actually had to use the walk-through to figure it out. At one point I also encountered a situation where I tried to open a door and got the "Locked" response. Suddenly the door opened, so I ran inside. Once in, the door closed, trapping me within. That aside the map is solid and well made - with great opportunity for exploration and some cool secrets. Once you resuce Mari you are treated to another cinematic in the form of a cut-scene and you are on you way to...
CHAPTER 2: The Intruder
By far and away the most ambitious user-created map for any FPS ever. I was simply stunned by the huge amount of creativity poured into this project. The map scores many points for it's sheer potential and ambition alone. I would have loved to see what this group of people would have come up with given the proper time, equipment, and resources. The map opens to a scenario where you must make your way to the city rooftops and access a shuttle. The gameplay features intense puzzle solving, plenty of secrets (including a must-find Temple), and an awesome ride in a hover-craft with Weegee at the helm (and boy is he a bad pilot!) while the Imperial forces are in hot pursuit. The shuttle takes you into Jerec's flagship, the Vengence. Inside you need to find a way to drop the shields and disable the power-core. Once you manage to complete these two tasks, the Rebels can overtake the defenseless ship. The focus of this level is puzzle solving and story developement. The puzzles are tough - very tough. Luckily there is a walk-through available at the author's website which can guide you past the puzzles and show you secrets. The map plays like a movie. You get a helping of action, followed by some puzzle solving, and then a plot update and/or cut-scene. I really love the way it flows. The design of the map is very believeable and very well laid out. You will do a lot of moving around, which is quite appropriate for the size of the ship you are in. The architecture is a bit squarish at first, but as the map progresses, the architectural creativity increases in quality. Complaints include: Many of the puzzles were rather unintuitive, and I was forced to use the walkthrough much more than I'd have liked. The voices in the cut-scenes feature some static in the background, and at times are choppy and hard to understand, the cut-scenes are also a bit unpolished and choppy. A few misalignments in textures, and an elevator (lift) which didn't run on any sort of tracks, and even ran over the switch that activates it. One very unusual problem was a room near the end of the map the caused random serious problems (from crashes to level re-starts) upon entering it. Bottom line: This project, though imperfect, is incredible. The focus is on puzzles, which can be extremely tough at times, but the on-line walk-throughs are a big plus. There is plenty of fun to be had, and several impressive innovations. Despite it's problems, I've decided to award this map my Seal of Approval, based upon the incredible scope and vision of the designers. The FPS editing community could all learn something from this incredible project. It shows that the limitations of the original game need not be a factor when designing levels, the only limits are in the mind.