Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mistake for Half-Life


Level name: Mistake

Author: Body

Date of release: 28 October 2007

Size: 27 530 ko

Number of maps: 13

website: none

download: At plantphillip.com

Story : none

Review :

In this release you will try to travel to the exit of a kind of psychiatric hospital. The ambiance take some inspiration from classic movie but also from recent game like F.E.A.R.

Design is really creative not only focus on environment (textures) but also on HUD, menu, sound and models that have also been modified. The ambiance create through this whole release is immersive, the custom content and the way it was build together, makes it sometimes difficult to recognize it was build on the HL engine. Ambiance is visualy good but misses perhaps some more anyoing sound some content and especially the enemy models are a little disapointing but don't really alter the general pack

Gameplay is a mostly straight forward progression (enhance by flashlight if you find it) it's just a succession of small thinkings, key searchings and some minor combats with a knife. Everything is quite obvious and is more enjoyable through visual effects till the interesting ending.

In conlcusion: regarding the easy gameplay, the enjoyable experience and even if it's far aways to be perfect this one should be tested by all fans of nightmare games

Playtime: 30 min

Rating: A B C D E (74%)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Distraction for Quake 1


Level name: Distraction

Author: Mikko Sandt

Date of release: 23 September 2007

Size: 1001 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: here


Story : None

Author's Note :

My first Quake map. I’ve been playing Quake since 1996 and I always wanted to make a level. Well, better late than never, eh? I’ve been building mostly Duke3D maps for the past ten years (sad, isn’t it?) so Worldcraft was somewhat new to me. This may be one reason why the level is somewhat x-axis and blocky (not that that was my intention - it’s just something that happened subconsciously). Naturally, I had to learn the editor as I worked on the map. It’s not so bad - there’s a fair amount of details, the texture set is lovely and the gameplay was tested (by The Silent & Sielwolf) before release.


I know 'virtually' the author for arround 10 years now, since my favorite game Duke Nukem. He has a marvellous site for this game and provide always good feedback for all the request i made, especially with beta-testing my map.

Back to the subject, Distraction is the first quake release by Mikko and it took quite a long time to be release. The main team is industrial/complex and feature all what a good map really need to be enjoyable.

Design is good, it even impressed me knowing that Mikko mostly used the duke nukem engine to create map and that worldcraft as a totally other appoach. The strucure of the map is really familiar to DN based map: it's quite limited in open space as a 'key to progress' gameplay and as a less gothic to medieval approach (not only regarding the theme but also in relation with the architecture). All in all the texturing, atmosphere and theme was pretty well handle to create a no linear map with a mix between outdoor and indoor, not limited to the main floor, using some on text messages to increase the ambiance and showing enough variety to make it not monotonous.

Gameplay was another suprise through mikko's approach but sadly I was disapoint with that. The gameplay was for me too much challenging (but this is always intended with Q1 releases), health and ammo was sparely provided with the progression but traps and ambush make it more a quest to survive that the kill to progress experience. All objective are easy to achive (except the quest for secret places) and is more a key or button switching progress ... the last place to fight like all good release is always linked to the apogee of a fighting quest and in this place you should be warned, it's gonna be a nightmare.

In Conclusion: I really like most of Mikko's releases and this one is not an exception through it's design and atmosphere, he ones time more succeed in create a excellent map.

Playtime: 30 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (79%)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recon for Half-Life

***this review was previously available at Alejandro Mapping Center***

Level name: Recon

Author: Michael Sisk

Date of release: 8 November 1999

Size: 3 348 Ko

Number of maps: 9

website: none

download: At Planetphillip.com


This level picks up after Aggregate Pain. If you played that level, you know that you escaped in a jet. Anyway, as you are flying back to your base, you receive new orders to head back to an adjacent part of the base. You are to find a satellite that the enemy has constructed and then destroy it. As you'll soon find out, your flying skills are a little rusty; you end up crashing the jet and your bio-hazard suit is fried to a crisp. Don't worry though, you'll find a new one soon.


Recon is the third release of Michael Sisk. It’s really much better than sepulcher and an improvement from Aggregate pain which was already a good experience. This time, Michael gives us an entire mission to complete from a plane crash to an end battle on Xen. Even if there are some problems (R_speed, enable to save at the end of the train station, missing some cut scenes), It is really well designed, providing ambushes (not a so onbeatable as previous release) and secret places in a really fluid mission pack. Progression is obvious but increases in difficulty as you get closer to the end. It also somehow follows the original game but never with the feeling of playing a bad copy. End battle on Xen is honestly challenging.

In conclusion: With some more added cutscenes and less relation with the original game, this realization could have been a top classic…It’s still a more than enjoyable mission.

1 hour

Rating: A B C D E (80 %)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Instinct for Half-Life


Level name: Instinct

Author: Richard Martin

Date of release: 19 July 2007

Size: 10 548 ko

Number of maps: 10

website: none

download: here

Story (taken from Planetphillip):

“Otherwise… well… I can offer you a battle you have no chance of winning…..rather an anticlimax, after what you’ve just survived…”

Take the job. All that you had to do was just take the job. But, no. You decided that your pride was more sacred than your safety. And thanks to a teleport malfunction you are back right where you started… four kilometers underground in the darkest corner of the Black Mesa Research Facility.

When you regain your conciousness, sirens and screams are all you hear as you wake up to the reality of utter chaos and destruction. Corpses lie mangled in pools of their own blood.

Hallways and staircases are sealed - collapsed by airstrikes. To top it all off, most of the inhabitants of Xen have used their natural instinct to migrate here since the destruction of their home planet, and rifts in space time continue to throw Xen creatures into the bowels of Black Mesa.

Now your trapped in an alien-infested hole in the ground with only one objective - reach the surface alive. Unfortunately, that may not be as easy as it sounds, because the military has decided that rather than kill every witness individually, they are going to simply seal off all of the exits…..and then set off a thermal nuclear weapon.

Now its a race against the clock as you fight your was through infested alien nesting grounds and military blockades while constantly trying to reach the surface and get out of here alive. Hopefully you make it to the surface soon, because in about 12 hours, the entire facility will be reduced to radioactive dust.

“No regrets, Mr. Freeman.”

Review :

This episode to age to be release like the effort it was put in sadly the other decided on one day to release it fully playable with any major bugs but missing a strong ending and perhaps also some cutscenes or oriented mission by on text message.

Design is mostly above average, with a good attention to texturing and layout even if some place on low computer may be the cause of slow down most of maps are well interconnected and cleverly build together (there are sometime different way to progress), the possibility to find some 'secret places' if you sneak arround is also something i really like in all custom releases. What only give me some frustration what the huge amount of boxes from all kind used everywhere sometimes in unpossible place to store them but apart from this, attention to a good mix with puzzles and combats also enhance to whole episode.
Gameplay is quite staight forward with a good progress in think you will encounter while you progress (like in the original game) becoming harder the way you move through the 10 maps after each taught combats you will have some time to breath or the think for enjoyable small puzzles. Combats are well balanced and can be tight in some places but they never are unbeatable, progression is easy to handle and won't make you loose lots of time some good suprise awaits se at the end, that was perhaps the major disapointment being little abrupt and unpolished.
In conlcusion: a lot of time and effort have been put in this one and even if it's clearly unfinished it was a great enjoyement playing this one. If you look to another black mesa style mission this one is certainly for you .

Playtime: 1 hour 30

Rating: A B C D E (82%)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Improving contents

Thanks to Mikko Sandt I will add a integrate feature of Blogger called Labels (it's still work in progress) this will make people able to directly go to a special theme (in my case Game associated with map or mod).
For the one who are not familiar with it at the bottom of each review will appear a label (Quake2, Half-Life,...) by simply clicking on it you will see all review associated with the game.

I will also try to add in the review (this will be more usefull for WW2 sp map corner a link in each review to other reviewed map from the same author.

Sorry for the lack of update this is mainly due to actual professionnal life and i hope it will slow down in the future.

Any questions or comments are welcome ;)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Premonition of Angron for Quake 2


Level name: Premonition of Angron

Author: Jonas N.P. Lindstrom

Release date: 14 January 1999

Size: 4 282 ko

Number of maps: 4

website: none

download: At Gamers.org


Warlord Angron has now gained power and command, this potent enemy to our civilisation has located his powerbase in an ancient retrofitted installation situated in a remote area of the planet Stroggos. In an early operation our Senior Commander JC was killed in action, Central Inteligence belive that Angron is planning to extract the information in Commander JC's head and use it to cripple our future operations.

Review :

This four maps unit is the second release from the author after Angron Installation. His first attempt that was short in gameplay and quite repetitive in design (especially regarding hallways) was a first good experience for whitch i just hope to come across a sequel.

Premonition of Angron was certainly what i was waiting for: Design is this time above average to even impressive in some part, the theme (Secret base) is well respected over the 4 maps with a good storyline and clear objectives. The is a whole of thing to explore (include interesting secrets area) in a huge complex base.

Architecture is well use and makes classic squared place mostly forgotten... linking through all those master place is not an addition of simply hallways (even if in the sewer part and the cave they are present) but makes a mostly prefect transition through all main places. Attention to detail though the sewer organisation or storing rooms (I really like the ammo on those palet box) make it's a not boring experience. All maps are well linked in a nonlinear way so that there is no oriented qwest at start (you need to collect and activate things but not in a certain order).

Gameplay is well balance between fights, traps and general objectives; the complex has really a filling of being huge and it's not always evident to find the correct short path to 'the next thing to do'. Even if sometimes you may think you're lost, the general progression in an enjoyable environment makes it not boring, Challenge is omnipresent and if you look for powerfull weapons you better check for secret places (all the ones i found where put in a constructive way arround the complex). The way you travel through place and kipping in mind not accessible place will make this release for some of us a real pain to complete but it's defenetly worth finishing it.

In conclusion: The second attempt from Jonas to make a Quake unit is impressive. It contains mostly original textures and doesn't real come with something unique but the way the complex was build and the whole interconnectivity through theme and gameplay make it really an enjoyable episode to play through. Pay attention not to be lost for age in this military base!

Playtime: 2 Hours

Rating: A B C D E (86%)

Note: for the one interested in the statistic releated with the release here are the details:

enemies ____objectives____ secrets_

map 1 : The Outer Compound______89/98______ 1/1________ 1/4

map 2 : The Power Instalation______62/62_______ 1/1________ 2/4

map 3 : The Inner Compound______64/64_______ 2/2________ 2/3

map 4 : The Palace of Angron ______70/71 _______1/1________ 0/2