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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 10-8-1998
LEVEL: THE BLOCKADE
(blockade.zip 1,036K)
AUTHOR: Michael Shand

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RATING
102

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
Being the first ever single player Fugue State release, it looks like we have a lot to look forward to from this team. The Blockade is straight forward, high octane, Strogg shoot-em-up in a very well constructed map. The first thing to draw my attention in this map was the architecture. It is contructed on a scale as to make the player feel small, with high ceilings, stout pillars, and wide roomy corridors. Shand's construction is simple yet very clever - check out the supports in the earthen hallway. Also thrown in are some dashes of originality - as in gaining access to the Strogg compound not by opening a door, but by making the Strogg mad enough to open the door for you! Another trick I don't think I've ever seen is that there are a few constructs which, after they are destroyed, leave pieces behind. A nice touch. Other stand-outs include a cool computer room (with enough wiring for all of Stroggos :), and the ceiling at the top of the elevator ride is one of the most complex I've ever seen. I liked the sense of depth and realism it added to that area. From start to finish I was admiring the great look, and powerful feel of the architecture - and with the large scale used there is plenty of room for action! Strogg are placed very well, and spaced out in a manner as to keep the player moving along, progressing through the map, and in constant battle. You are sure to be surprised on several occasions, as the Strogg are bound to appear anywhere at any time. Ammo, health, and weapon distribution is also well done - no big overkill weapons, sparse enough ammo to be challenging (but not too little), and health that is very well placed. No +25 boxes here, you'll be constanly scooping up what scant supplies are available. Flow is broken up nicely by inclusion of an intense battle mid-way through the map (which outshines some endgames I've played), and a brutal endgame before you exit. Not content to just drop in the Makron, Mr. Shand makes the player earn the exit with a series of increasing challenges. Complaints include: No story, no goals or computer updates, and a very linear map. Taken for what it is: a no-brainer action-fest - this map is great fun, and very pleasant to admire. Bottom line: a great map, plenty of fun, and with the recent Spq2 drought, it's a must have!