reviewed by b-nutz
speaking, very few maps are released and cause
waves throughout the mapping community, and most
are lackluster attempts at mimicking levels that
have been somewhat successful and show very
little creativity. Spasm, by Casey 'Warpig'
Hawley, seems to 'almost' fall into the latter
category while at the same time displaying some
level creating talent.
The level itself appears to be a mixture of three
different themes. There's some sub-level cave
areas, some 'greek' looking areas, as well as
your typical Half-Life 'industrial' complex
setting. While the level flows fairly nice,
almost reminscent of an old school Quake or Half-Life
level (*cough* Snarkpit *cough*), the 'greek'
looking areas almost ruin the flow. There's too
much of a contrast between a rough, 'industrial'
setting and a sunny, 'greek' style courtyard with
crawling vines. The 'industrial' areas of Spasm
are laid out very nicely with a central courtyard
area overlooked by surrounding stories or levels,
providing many areas to shoot and/or be shot from.
I think the cave flows very nicely from the
'industrial' setting as well. Exploring the
level, you will stumble upon a room with a
shallow body of water, a control room, and a
gluon on the ledge. Upon investigation of the
control room, you will find a button and upon
pressing this button, the path up to the gluon
becomes apparent. Brilliance.
While the structures are quite simple, the
texturing seems to have been done with great care.
They are aligned nicely and appropriate, in most
instances, for the layout of the level. The
lighting is done well, too. However, it is a
little too dark in some of the cave area. The
author has made excellent use of lighted textures
and the light_environment entity.
I feel that this level could have used a bit more
ambience. Sounds, in my opinion, are just as
important as lighting or structure design. While
the author used a few sounds, like a desert wind
and a squeaking snark sound, most of the level
seems very silent. I think a few more dripping
sounds in the caves and some sort of generator
noise would have 'brightened' this map up greatly.
Again this is just a bit of my two cents.
R_speeds could be a possible problem for some of
our slower PCs, but this is not the fault of the
author. While not incredibly high, the r_speeds
did briefly jump over 900 in a couple of areas.
Again, this shouldn't cause any problems, but
should be kept in mind. Another thing that I
found is a brush (in the 'greek' fountain) that
seems to be tied to a func_door entity. Upon
touching, it moves outwards and looks very odd.
This level should play very nicely with alot of
people. I think that it could easily handle 15
people and should be a blast. There appears to be
plenty of weapons and ammo to go around. I can't
help but be reminded of a certain, older Half-Life
level (*cough* Snarkpit *cough*), which certainly
isn't a bad thing. I just can't place what it is...
(*cough* Snarkpit *cough*).