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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 12-20-1998
LEVEL: EMERALD MOUNTAIN BASE
(tefdbl4.zip 1,879K)
AUTHOR: T. H. Johansen

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RATING
112

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
Well, it's been a while since I've played an Spq2, and this 2 map set was quite a pleasant return. These two maps wind all around each other with some truly exceptional layout and it gives the plaeyer a real sense of progress, motion and mission accomplishing. The maps both look very nice, with simple yet very realistic architecture and wonderful texture use and choices. The environment is highly believeable and a real pleasure to explore and admire. In short: the maps make the player feel like they are truly inside Johansen's Emeral Mountain Base. The F1 updates and your mission provide a comprehensive gameplay experience and the maps deliver plenty of it. Strogg are well placed and the maps are very challenging. The challenge is not stressful, but delivered through plenty of brutal action, and surprising spawned Strogg placements. I took a Railgun blast to my head before I even knew the Gladiators were there at one point, evidence of a well thought out game by the author. In every aspect of these maps, you have the feeling that the entire experience is scripted by the author, and the player is the real winner, getting a commercial quality experience for free. Another aspect that really appealed to me was the exceptional use of textures. They all work together to make a realistic environment, and are used so well that I was constantly admiring the Base. Another big plus is the use of secrets. There are a few 'shoot-the-panel' types, but several nicely done secrets that serve to take the player 'behind the scenery' into hidden areas which are fun to explore. My only complaints are the high system requirements which make this game playable only on a fairly powerful PC - due to the large outdoor courtyards Johansen has built. That, and a few misalignments which serve as minor distractions and take a bit away from the overall immersiveness of the game. Bottom line: this is a very high quality 2 map set, highly recommended, and at times it reminded me of the mission pack Zaero. Get it now.