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Screen Shot Screen Shot Added 7-3-1998
LEVEL: THE VONDARAR EXCEPTION
(vondarex.zip 811K)
AUTHOR: Jeff Ashley, Jr.

Download it here: Download!

RATING
90

PLUSES

MINUSES SUMMARY
The peaceful (?) Vondarar ship has been taken by the Strogg, and you must liberate it. This map is Strogg slamming fun at it's best. The challenge is very high (skill 1 even challenged me), action rocks, and there are some unusual and creative fight arenas. Excellent Strogg placement in the opening sequence makes for a tough start, and (for me) re-start. Fighting is fierce throughout, and there are plenty of unique and fun combat arenas. Jeff has made this map a vertical experience as much as a horizontal one. My favorite was a room with large sloped edges and two large ramps flanking either side. All the angularity made for a very non-traditional fight with the Gladiators below, and I really had a great time in there. The ship is huge, and gameplay is very non-linear. You are given access to most of the ship very early on, aside from an occasional 'hit the switch' objective. The architecture has some nice touches, and in cases (as in the above described room) very inspired and creative, yet also has a somewhat blocky and light feel. It's as if some of the structures are too thin and brittle looking, and lack a feeling of depth and substance. Lay-out is creative and fun, with all of the vertical exploration, and there's a nice secret area as well. It didn't exactly feel like the interior of any sort of servicable ship, but hey, it is alien, and there is plenty of fun to compensate for it. Jeff has once more added his own unique texture choices, take for example the hallway out of the opening room... very unusal and eye catching. Gripes include: odd switches that do not visually move, or provide the standard audio signals when pressed, very limited story development, and a bit of animation via func_trains or rotating brushes would have added some life to the map. All told: action and challenge are the centerpiece of this level, and it delivers plenty of it. A unique approach to lay-out will throw the player out of any set patterns of play, and plenty of creative fight arenas will make the map a memorable one. Definitely Jeff's best map to date. Enjoy.