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- great challenge
- good action
- excellent variety of locales
- great layout
- excellent health placement
- great strogg placement
- a fast, furious, and fun little map
- a bit too small
- too tough secrets
- linear play
A mapper for 6 years who has never before submitted a level to a review site, DAV sent me an email providing me (and all of you) with with a link to an spq2 map he has titled q2 caves. your mission is as simple as it is familiar: find the red key to exit the map - and eliminate any resistance you encounter.
simple yet effective, q2caves is a decent challenge on skill 2. emerging from a 'slime well' you find the entrance to a strogg construct effectively guarded by well placed gunners and enforcers. it's a brutal battle you'll need to win in order to gain entrance. inside you travel along a walkway into a very nicely designed 'battle arena' style building. within you need to collect the red key while defeating a number of strogg who appear in a clever and and very fun fashion. lastly, you take the key to the final portion of the map and try and make your escape.
i was really quite impressed with this offering. despite the low strogg count (38), placement is good enough to have caused me to reset the level a few times. the action is fierce and paced very well. health placement is nearly perfect, and ammo and weapons are a bit indulgent, yet not overly so. the architecture is simple yet effective and several notches beyond merely being functional. the 'battle arena' building is especially nice. aside from the challenge, the best that q2 caves has to offer is the amazing amount of variety of locales for such a small map. although it's a bit odd to enter a strogg stronghold via a 'slime well', it's so entertaining and refreshing to see the blend of environments provided that i really didn't care.
on the downside, the map is very simple with no real plot, linear gameplay, and no real sense of adventure. the secrets were so tough that i could find either of them (and i am fairly good at hunting them down usually), and the map is over after only a very short amout of play.
despite all fo that, this is a very fun map and well worth the short download time if you'd like a quick fix of good strogg bashing in a small yet nicely designed play arena. give it a try, and be sure to send DAV an email encouraging him to keep on making q2 maps. thanks for the submission DAV!