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Review of Hexwrench
"A massive, confusing, dark map filled to the brim with superb architecture....but its just not fun..."
While the name of the level sounds cool, that doesnt mean Hexwrench is going to be a blast to play. Admittedly though, it is a lot of fun to traverse the level just to look around at it, as there is a lot of visual appeal here.
Obviously the strongest area of this map is the visuals, as I had stated in the introduction. The rockwork throughout the caves is proof enough that the author spent some serious time molding this level, as it is very irregular, but clean as well. Patches of water are strewn throughout the caves, adding a little spice to them, as well as some much needed lighting. I cant describe how great the overall effect is in the areas with the water. Maybe its just the texture of the water, and the perfect hue of blue that eminates from it? Maybe its the fact that the water properly flows in the right direction, adding life to the usually placid and dark caverns? Oh whatever, Im rambling again. Anyway, once you get out of the caves (which make up about 2/3 of the level might I add), you enter into a base of some sort. I wasnt particularly impressed with this area. While a good variety of textures were used here, most of them were unaligned, and textures were just plain wrong for the brush they were on. Maybe its because I could actually "see" where I was going while in the base area because adequate lighting was provided? I better stop before I start this up again. :D
The layout is exceptionally confusing at first, due to the few dozen passages that link each room to the next. Some passages also just lead to dead ends. I suppose you might use these passages to store hidden spawns and whatnot, but they dont help out if you accidentally go down one of these passages while trying to run from an enemy (hehe *crunch*). Each room in this map is in the shape of a hexagon (six-sided rooms basically), which provides a somewhat comforting feeling that there is some possible way to navigate this level. God knows the map texture provided when you first enter the map doesnt help at all, namely because it just covers the basics of the layout, and not the vertical aspects of it. Might I also point out that you will be traveling in circles if you enter the caverns, even if you do know the map. Each room in the caverns looks pretty much the same, with no way to really distinguish where you are going (minus the parts with the water...thankfully). Spiders should stay in the caverns and establish their base here, because Humans will have barely any chance to get through to their eggs as long as obstacles are layed out. Once (rather IF) you find your way out of the caverns, you will end up in a very easy to navigate base. Its wise for Humans to set up base here, as it is the most well lit area, and it contains one of the best spots for putting their spawns; a nice high ledge with one very defendable access ramp. A few gripes though, it is very congested around some of the linking passages in the base, with boxes and strange metal objects blocking the way. I guess the author wants this map to be very Spider friendly. >:/
The r_speeds did shoot up a bit, mostly in the large outdoor area where the cavern and base entrances are connected. Many polygons are visible in this area, but I forget what the actual r_speed count was, as I havent played Hexwrench in a good while. The rest of the level flows very well, and nearly all of the rooms are connected in order to limit the visplane. Judging from the irregular brushwork used through the caverns and rock areas, I can only guess that there is A LOT of brush overlapping taking place here. I can only hope the author knew what he was doing, and was in control while constructing these areas.
After playing Hexwrench a few times, I had concluded that the map was strictly Spider oriented, and I was right for the most part. Many other players also agreed. Maps that are one-sided arent much fun unless youre the one on the one-sided team. >:( Its common sense, but I feel the author knew it was going to end up that way, and just went with it. I also feel that the author didnt actually plan out any of the layout for this map. It just seems like he made a few hexagon shaped rooms, added another level to a few of these rooms, then connected them in a variety of ways that would boggle probably even Sul. In fact, I bet if you displayed this entire level on a map editor in .map format, you could probably make Steven Hawking get up out of his wheelchair, stare intensely at the screen, and begin scratching his head.
The level looks fabulous, dont get me wrong, but its just not "fun" to play. There are too many elements and areas in here, which add to complexity. Gloom maps should not be complex, and history shows that complex maps dont match well with simple-minded players.
You're right, i just kept walking in circles in spider base, when i first... - Glibber [more]
/me has a orgasm on pesticide - Knuckles
Too dark >_< - Cataclaw
yes, if the map looks really hot, it sux, truth, i know, big is bad, 3 way... - Ranger [more]
Comment: Some decent variety of textures in the base, though they werent well chosen. The caves were a bit bland (and dark), and there were quite a few misalignments. Great use with the water textures and controlling the flow with them. The custom texture at the start displaying the layout also was a good feature.
Comment: While you do enter the game with a perfect view of how the level is layed out, it still wont help you until youve had some serious playtime with this beast. All rooms are in hexagon shape (hence the name of the map), and are linked together in some strange ways. Sometimes hard to navigate the level. Numerous building and relocation spots, as well as hidey-holes to store secret spawns. Games could go on for a while here...
Comment: The level is basically a base with some caves. Remind you of anything? Yes, every other Gloom map out there, hehe. But, there was a certain flair to this map that was incredibly attractive. The hexagon aspect of the map was also semi-creative in that I have never seen anyone attempt a layout by this method.
Comment: Hexwrench is a great looking level filled with many eye-catching features, but falls short in the gameplay area due to the sheer size and complexity of it. Getting rid of some of the rooms and multiple levels would be a good start, but even revisions probably couldnt help this. Sorry.
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