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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 3-26-1999
LEVEL: Dark Undergrowth
(du.zip 3,996K)

AUTHOR: Christian 'guf' Cummings

Download it here: Download!

Or try one of these: Mirror#1 Mirror#2 Mirror#3

RATING
120

3D Gamers Edge: Seal of Approval Winner!

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
NOTE: you will need to be running the latest version of Quake2 to play DU with all of the proper textures. You can download the Quake2 version 3.20 upgrade here

Here it is at last! In the making for nearly a year now, Fugue State captain Christian 'guf' Cummings is finally ready to unleash his project 'Dark Undergrowth' upon the masses -- and everyone comes out a winner. Dark Undergrowth follows the adventures of a Marine who is seperated from his comrades and discovers (unintentionally!) a mysterious underground Strogg dwelling. (Hint: be sure to read the story in the text file to help flesh out the experience these maps provide). Once in the Strogg lair, you must undertake an awesome journey and fight your way back to the surface. The first thing you will notice about DU (Dark Undergrowth) is the incredibly unique vision Chris had in his mind while creating it. Drawing influences from H. R. Geiger, a mysterious environment has been built in which the biological and mechanical have melded into one. You will journey down oddly shaped corridors and into creepy caverns with great colored lighting effects. Ambient sounds (created exclusively for these maps) add to the wonderful atmosphere - and are true to the biomechanical theme. During your journeys you will constantly be aware of the excellent archutectural creativity, and the feeling that you are often inside of some kind of living organism. One of the coolest examples is when you actually get to witness a structure "grow" and become a serviceable (and necessary!) device. There is eye-candy aplenty here, so prepare for a visual feast.

Digging beneath the aethetics of this adventure, you will not walk away disappointed. Far from being satisfied with just producing a highly original and visually breathtaking adventure, Chris has also poured in an amazing amount of effort, recruited some of the best beta-testers in the world of Quake2, and finely tuned these maps into one of the best Q2 gameplay experiences you can have. Paying close attention to layout, there is nearly as much vertical space as horizontal. You will also do a lot of travelling, and move back and forth between maps several times. While DU is large enough to get lost in, you probably won't because of the unique look of each area, and the intuitive ease of navigation the layout provides. Within this great layout takes place some awesome Q2 action. Strogg placement is fantastic, and nearly every battle is brutal - yet never frustrating. The balance of health, weapons, and ammo is right on the money. You always have enough ammo and health, but never an overabundance that can make you become lazy or wasteful. On top of that there are some wonderfully scripted fights that just blew me away. Not just pure Strogg brutality, but a clear plan of Strogg placement has given DU some of the best action sequences I have ever encountered. Strogg appear when and where you least expect them - and will keep even the most advanced players challenged from start to finish.

So -- we have a unique creation with great looks and killer action... everything anyone could ask for in an SPQ2 map, right? Wrong. This adventure also has the little touches that push it way over the top. New ambient sounds give a huge boost to the immersiveness. Plenty of out of the way items make for gameplay that highly rewards the explorative player. There are many clever secrets, which always offer a substantial reward for their discovery. Every single room and corridor has it's own unique style and personality - nothing here is a copy, and everything is a pleasure to admire. To sum up: these maps scream quality from start to finish.

As for my complaints? Well, the only thing I can dredge up is about the ending. It is a tiny bit abrupt, and I wasn't ready for it when it arrived. Is that really a complaint? or is it my own greed for this adventure to have continued on and on? I'll let you, the reader, judge that for yourself. Well, what are you waiting for? Click that link above and start downloading this awesome adventure and see for yourself!

Oh, and email Chris and give him some feedback... he spent a LOT of time on this!

Dark Undergrowth is dedicated to the memory of Megan Cummings: February 28, 1980 - January 27, 1999