level: Hot Everest
download it here: download map file
- some decent action
- some good strogg placement
- ambitious concept
- learn-on-the-fly level design
hot everest is a three map unit with a lot of ambition but poor execution. it is obvious the author was learning the editor as he developed these maps, and the design gains in complexity as it goes (not that it ever gets very complex, mind you). you begin in an outdoor area near a small shack and make your way through lots of boring and repetitive corridors and uninspired rooms, interrupted by occasional outdoor settings. you face a fair amount of strogg, and the placement of them is at times rather smart and leads to a few interesting encounters. however, this is spoiled by really poor weapon and ammo placement. the lack of health in the first two maps ramped up the challenge somewhat, but that disappears in the third map when it becomes more abundant. a one-word description of the first two levels would be "boring". you run around shooting the too-sparse strogg, performing incomprehensible tasks (this button did what? where is the door i apparently just opened? why am i disabling this whatchamacallit?), and waiting for things to get interesting. arriving in the third map i noticed the architecture was beginning to look a bit more interesting and the layout was better as well. the action was getting a bit better too... but just as my hopes were raised they were dashed by a series of really bad choices. first of all was entrapment in a room that requires you to shoot through some really small holes and hit some really small targets. if you succeed, you get to have fun fighting off a super-tank with only 5 rockets and a bunch of grenades as your "power weapons". and that with no room to maneuver and no place to seek cover. very lame, and i had to "godmode" to get past it. shortly thereafter you face another insane fight with a flying-insect-guy, another insect guy, a laser trap, and a couple of gunners - and this is without gaining any new weaponry. shortly after that i managed to get into a boat and escape the level, ending this annoying affair.
there are signs of creativity and promise to be found in these maps, and there is even some fun to be had battling the 100+ strogg you'll face. however, the majority of gameplay is just plain boring, and there are some really annoying sequences and just plain dumb goals. avoid, unless you insist o playing everything.