2 - 3 players | Reviewed by GrindSpire - Sunday 15th October 2000 @ 3:28pm
Imagine a beautiful and grand castle, it has libraries, stained glass windows and grand halls, now imagine the same castle 15 years after everyone has moved out and the decay has started to set in. Welcome to QurneL’s Forgotten Castle.
The layout is one smallish three storey atrium with corridors running away from it to reconnect at a different height. Only the bottom two floors have corridors connected to them with the third floor only consisting of a raised area on one side of the atrium and a small alcove opposite that is only reachable by rocket jumping. Movement between the floors is by either one of two lifts, one at either end of the map, or by staircases between floors. There is also a teleporter leading from the ground floor on the outer edges of the map to the middle floor right at the heart of the map. The majority of fighting on the map takes place in the central atrium and the corridors close by, very little fighting seems to take place in the outer reaches of the map. This is due to most of the main weapons being placed either in the centre of the map, or like one of the rocket launchers which is placed by a teleporter, easy to get back to the fighting from.
The items are placed so that to get stocked up you need to head towards the centre of the map, as the best weapons are available there, although you can get any of the Quake weapons if you look. Two rocket launchers help add to the carnage in the map and make it the weapon of choice. The red armour is also found at the centre of the map, although it is placed in an alcove on the top floor and must be reached by a rocket jump. Any other armour is found close to the main room with one green armour found in the central room on the bottom level and the other green armour and the yellow armour found just off of it. Ammo is well placed so that you never get overloaded but you don’t have to worry about running out too quickly either. There is enough health lying around to keep you at a respectable level without being so plentiful that it is almost impossible to kill someone, like the ammo, a good balance.
The level is textured to look like a castle but with a twist, it has been abandoned for quite some time. This effect has been achieved very well with bricks missing from walls to reveal the grime beneath and stones lying on the ground where they have fallen from the walls. There are also slabs missing from the floor in various places. Despite the unevenness of the floors and walls though I never got stuck due to the good use of clip brushes and making the protruding stones into detail brushes. The pools of water further heighten the feeling of a run down castle and the tufts of grass poking through also help add to the atmosphere. The best bits though are the things you don’t really see, like the hole in the wall with a tuft of grass in it or the bricks missing from the walls above the sky light.
Lighting is well done with some nice definitions between light and shadow throughout the map. Light is mainly from the sky lights as well as the windows that run along the walls. In the places with out windows such as near the teleporter the areas become more shadowy rather than just having unsourced lights. This further adds to the feel that the map is a real place rather than something made in an editor.
The map plays well with either 1 on 1 or 3 player FFAs, but 4 players starts to be too crowed and 5 players if definitely too many. Overall a good map for smaller games either online or during a break at a LAN.
4.5 out of 5.0