[Kona] originally designed this level in 60 minutes for a contest but after playing it he decided to do some more work on it and release it ‘properly’.
The map consists of two main atriums with various rooms running in a ring around the edge of the map. The two main atriums are separated by a single dividing wall with a bridge running through the wall and onto the pathways at either side of the atriums. There is a Mega Health on top of the bridge in the lightning gun atrium. This coupled with the lightning gun and the central positioning of the atrium mean that this room sees a lot of fighting. Leading off of these two atriums are various corridors and smaller rooms that form a ring around the level. The rooms are a good enough size to provide some interesting combat opportunities but unfortunately the same cannot be said for all of the corridors. While some of the corridors are a nice size others are very cramped and it is easy to get snagged on them. This was a definite problem as getting stuck on the architecture in the middle of a fire fight is not a good thing. It is even worse as it could have been fixed so easily by widening the corridors slightly or clipping certain areas off. I assume this is a legacy from the original 60-minute version of the map (which is also downloadable from [Kona]’s site) but one that should not have been overlooked in the process of remaking the map.
The items are well placed, with enough goodies in the main atrium to draw you to it without having it so well stocked that if you spawn in there you become unstoppable. The Mega Health and the lightning gun provide enough attraction on their own without other powerful items needed. It is nice to see the red armour put near to a medium power weapon (the super nailgun) rather than something more powerful such as a rocket launcher. The rocket launcher is definitely the weapon of choice in this level due to the fact that there are several scattered about. When coupled with the various raised areas means it is much easier to get a frag through splash damage rather than using a line of sight weapon such as the super nailgun or the lightning gun. Health and ammo are plentiful within the level and I didn’t have difficulty finding either mid-game.
The level is textured using a mixture of unreal textures and a sky and light from Fingers’ ikbase texture set. The textures are well used throughout most of the level except for one thing, the trim. In most places this is done well and looks like a beam holding the level together, but in certain places it is just on one edge of a beam making it look fake and painted on. Also in some places it appears in the middle of a wall which looks even worse than the painted on effect. Apart from that the textures work really well and fit together nicely. I especially like the rock fall next to one of the rocket launchers and the yellow armour as this makes the map seem more real, as if it really is an abandoned temple or something similar.
The lighting in the map functional with most of the map well lit, but with some nicely shadowed corners to hide in while waiting to ambush your opponent. These shadowy areas are well positioned though so that as soon as you reveal your hiding place you are trapped in and vulnerable to the splash damage from a rocket. My one problem with the lighting is that despite the light fittings scattered around, it doesn’t give the impression of coming from any particular source.
The map plays well in 3-5 player FFAs as well as the recommended 1on1 although obviously you will need to turn on DeathMatch 3 for four or more players. Overall a good map that plays well but is let down by some clipping problems and slightly dodgy texturing, but one to get all the same.