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Added 11-2-1998
LEVEL: DEFIANCE
(defiance.zip 2,051K)
AUTHOR: Dave Waters

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RATING
120

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
Wow, I didn't see this one coming! Dave has produced some good quality maps before, but this is a real treat: a six map Unit that will blow you away. The feel of the Unit is more of an "adventure" than any I've played in a long time. It plays as a cohesive whole, the grabs hold of the player and immerses them in a wonderful experience they will not soon forget. The game begins in the Landing Zone where the opening scene is perhaps the most clever I've ever encountered. Right off you'll notice that the challenge is high, and the architecture is a big step ahead of Dave's previous efforts. Be sure to find both secrets, they are very clever, and you'll need the items. The next map, titled the Installation serves as a hub for the four maps that surround it: Black Hole, The Axial Phenomenon, Metamorphisis, and lastly, The Great Escape. Each map is exceptional, and the attention to detail will amaze you. The challenge is brutal throughout, as ammo and health are kept to a minimum, and the Strogg are placed very deviously. I was always trying to conserve ammo, and was almost always at or below 50 health. Each map also features incredibly wonderful secret areas. The best I've seen in a long while - they are not impossible to find, but require attention to detail and some experimentation. The kind of secrets that make you feel good to have found them. The architecture throughout the Unit is wonderful as well. Each area looks good, appears realistic and functional, and displays a sense of style. The use of colored lighting is deft and visually stunning. Layout is fantastic as well. The player is kept in constant motion, and there's a simply wonderful feeling of exploration. Not only are the secrets great, but there are several 'hidden' items and areas that don't register as 'secrets', but are hard to find, and very rewarding as well. Be sure to pay careful attention to your environment - since you won't want to miss anything. I found every secret in the Unit, and believe me - it was well worth the time and effort. Defiance has more to offer than the above though, there are plenty of new ideas and surprises that will startle you, amaze you, and have you thanking Dave for producing such a great Unit for free. Perhaps the most notable is in Metamorphisis where you'll witness some amazing transformations, as well as a lesson in Strogg culture that is amusing, yet quite insightful. That's not the extent of the extra features though - you'll also take a ride in a cart over a beautiful river of lava, hear great new sounds, see beautiful new textures; encounter great uses of rotating brushes, and triggered events - and the ending is so good that I literally sat back in my chair and applauded (yes, I really clapped my hands - no joke) Mr. Waters as I watched it unfold. And the battle you must fight to exit the Unit is a pleasure as well. High action, very satisfying, and a fitting end to a great experience. The only tiny little nit-picking complaint I could find is one that I got Jack Davis with once before as well. There is a waterfall the flows into an area with no outlet for the water. The area should have been flooded. Yeah Dave, I can hear you groaning already :) Despite that, this Unit is a wonderful treat that had me enjoying Quake2 in a way that only happens once in a rare while. Bottom line: download it now, do not miss out. Thank you Dave, I had a great time.