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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 6-20-1998
LEVEL: SLAUGHTERSHIP
(sltrship.zip 3,442K)
AUTHOR: Neil Manke

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RATING
120

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
Wow. This is without a doubt the most creative user-created map available. Neil has shattered the mould of traditional Spq2 map making, and set new standards in scope, creativity, attention to detail, and quality immersive experience. The game actually begins with an engine-created pseudo-cinematic cut-scene which generates curiosity and tension, while setting the stage for the experience to come. Gameplay takes place aboard a large Strogg supply shuttle. Your mission: take over the shuttle, and uncover clues as to the whereabouts of missing POWs. Making your way through the shuttle requires attention to detail, creative problem-solving, and of course, skill with your weaponry. No simple running from room to room here: for example, Neil locks the player in a room, warns of an imminent explosion, and gives you a few seconds to figure out a way to survive. The situation causes panic, and has one of those solutions, which, once discovered seems obvious, yet takes a while to solve. And then there are the secrets. Well placed, creative areas, which once again, require a sharp eye for detail, and creative problem-solving. I mean, it's the kind of stuff that has you admiring your own cleverness at having found it. Excellent, excellent work. As for the structure this is taking place in: it's fantastic. Good solid construction, alien feel, immersive sense of really being on board an alien spacecraft, brilliant lay-out, nice architecture, and the moment when you take the elevator down to the room controlling the power supply is one of the more dramatic and majestic ever created in Quake2. I couldn't help but feel that Neil knew exactly what he was doing when he made that lift slowly descend, taking the player into the heart of the Strogg shuttle. He was creating near cinematic quality dramatic presentation, where you control the 'camera'. It was, in a word: brilliant. From start to finish, every detail in these 2 maps will make the player feel and believe that they are in a real place. The action flows well, with great placement of Strogg, weapons and ammo. It's a challenging level, and made me re-start many times. Frantic fights, Strogg that take you by surprise, and chaotic action that gets hectic at times, but avoids being frustrating. Neil keeps the game flowing along nicely. Well spaced action sequences make way to calmer moments which allow the player to explore the Strogg craft. There is a definite sense of progression, generated by a developing story line. Neil uses the F1 updates well, and adds in a new twist. The story also unfolds as the player reads Captains Log data and other information contained within various computer terminals throughout the shuttle. This is a great touch which gives the player the ability to solve the mystery of the Strogg shuttle through their own actions. It adds a new dimension of interactivity and immersiveness not found in other Q2 experiences. I rate my levels on a 1-100 scale. I occasionally award a score of 101 or 105 to levels that exceed my expectations. In my mind, the quality of the id maps in the full game would translate to a score of 125 in my system. This gave me the luxury of rewarding good levels with good scores, and not having id maps be the measuring stick of a perfect 100 score. Well Neil, you can congratulate yourself. I never expected to award a map a score this high, and I can only hope that I get a chance to do so again. Spq2 players, do not deprive yourselves: play this map.