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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 5-19-1998
LEVEL: STRUCTURAL MECHANICS DIVISION
(smd0898.zip 2,668K)
AUTHOR: David Hyde

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RATING
115

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PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
David is back (yet again!), and has once more completely rebuilt his level. This time out it's a finely tuned product that stands out in the user created Spq2 crowd. Taking place within a building loosely based upon Dave's workplace, you are to set off a series of explosive devices (fun!) while battling armies of Strogg in an attempt to save all of mankind. You will begin your journey inside of the front office area of the building. Despite the small rooms and narrow hallways, Dave has managed to make the best of the room available and created a high action fast paced atmosphere. As you fight your way through these rooms, you will not be able to help marvelling at the fantastic office equipment contained within. There are PC's all set to play Q2, a photocopy machine mass producing (illegal?!?) copies of the Q2 manual, finely crafted desks, an amazing drafting table, and an equally impressive overhead projector. There is a lot more than that contained within the offices, and you are sure to have fun exploring the realistic environment Dave has built. Out on the shop floor is plenty more eye-candy, and some hectic action. The Strogg placements are nearly perfect - making for a very tough time on Skill2, yet there are no battles that cause frustration. Gunners perched above will rain down grenades as their comrades below attack. Great thought to placement is evident there, as the Gunners below will not attack their bretheren above - leaving you to fend for yourself in what turns out to be an incredibly fun battle. The pace never lets up, the Strogg are always attacking and at times they pop up in the least expected places. If that's not enough to pique your interest - how about traps? There are more than one - and they are fantastically creative as well as horrifyingly frightening. Imagine yourself dropping down onto a conveyor belt which is pulling you towards a circualar saw with a blade that is easily 6 feet in diameter... oh yeah, and there is a Gunner just around the corner! The flow generated within the map is great as well. You begin inside of the cramped office areas, make your way out onto the more spacious shop floor, and then get a breath of fresh air in a few well crafted outdoor scenes. Every area of the building has been exploited, and is given it's own particular personality, challenge, and goals. You'll be climbing the walls, running around in the attic, dropping into the basement, and spending a few moments inside an 18 wheeler (well, OK, I didn't actually count the wheels). With all of these objects and areas to explore, you will be challenged to find every area and secret in the level, and sometimes it requires a keen eye and some exploration just to get to the next area of the game. It's a rare map that provides this much action, and still makes you stop and think a little. On top of all this, the map looks great. New textures, a new envio map, cool architecture, and exceptionally well crafted objects are all in place, and will amaze you. Who wouldn't be impressed to see a working photocopy machine in an Spq2 map? Every aspect of this level has that extra special attention to detail that gives the player a feeling of having an experience, not just playing a game. The architecture, variety, challenge, goals, secrets (and there are some damn cool ones), gameplay flow, attention to detail, and action elements all combine to form a wonderfully cohesive product. The only problem I experienced, was at one point during some extremely hectic action my PC froze up for a full 5 seconds. It didn't lock, or crash, and this may have been an isolated incident that will never happen again, but I thought I should mention it. Dave took his old map, eliminated all the problems (most notably, this map now plays smooth as silk on my P200, 64 meg, Voodoo2), and added a lot (and I mean a lot) of new fun surprises. If you played the previous release, and are considering passing this by - think again... this map is a rare one that stands out in the crowd - get it, play it, enjoy it!