LEVEL: SATURATION POINT, THE SOUL FORGE, SUB LEVELS
AUTHOR: Jim Hughes
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- Stylish architecture
- Great action
- Huge, 3-level pak
- Good use of secret areas
- More variety would've been nice
This is a 3 level map-pak, consisting of Saturation Point, The Soul Forge, and Sub Levels. I choose to review these maps as though they were one large level, as they all have a similar style. This pak is quite an experience. Three huge sprawling maps, each with a very crisp, clean, industrial style of architecture. For a first-time Quake2 author, this is a pleasant surprise. You are supposed to be in a pumping station, and this pak will make you feel that you really are there. The look is very realistic, and sturdy, with wonderful pipework criss-crossing throughout the ceiling. Ambient sounds are well used, creating a very watery, damp atmosphere. If it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get, as the Strogg are prepared to defend their station with maximum force. There's a guard around every corner, and more than a fair helping of chaotic cluster attacks to force a re-start. And, one of my favorite techniques, having a Strogg suddenly revealed from within a secret hiding space, is used very nicely. Items are well placed, health is just right, but the ammo is a bit over abundant. If you're a fan of well made secret areas (as opposed to secret panels, with a single item behind them), this pak will not disappoint. They aren't particularly difficult to find, but it takes a good eye, and they're worth discovering. Two things that would have really pushed this pak over the top would've been perhaps a bit more variety in locales, and more rotating brushes, or clever contraptions. The pak isn't visually exciting and wildly diverse, but it's a good, solid, well constructed adventure that provides an excellent challenge. Don't wait, get it now!