206b84d5df91737eeff4495c31ae0c3885104f096bde59317b8878d862cbbc22

206b84d5df91737eeff4495c31ae0c3885104f096bde59317b8878d862cbbc22
overall_rating 4.136363636363637 22

Review

Very high quality brushwork, consummate aesthetic, tight architecture & great environmental storytelling with a really delightful eye for detail. Some very cool secrets: I liked the consistent hiding mechanism. As others have mentioned, the enemy positioning is ingenious on an individual basis but unlike the secrets — where the consistency is a clever aid — the constant ambushing becomes monotonous.

I couldn’t finish it though. I found the gate but it was barred; I backtracked through the complex and found no new triggers that I was aware of; I returned to the gate, backtracked again, then encountered newly spawned enemies — so I must have triggered something at some point, but it wasn’t obvious what.

Overall the fine detail is gorgeous and the architecture is brilliantly done, but the environmental storytelling & richly detailed encounters paper over a core ludic experience that feels disjointed: confusing and circuitous without much reward.

Critique

There is an anxious claustrophobia to the thing which isn’t necessarily bad but left me unsettled: everything is so continuously tight and yet there are constant suggestions of things opening up: the (very cool) scrags drifting past the window near the spawn point imply there will be large outdoor spaces; the beautifully detailed axe / ogre / nukes set-piece tantalises further outdoor detail, which again, can’t be reached; the space shown in the poster image reveals the beautiful exterior of the tower in which pretty much everything happens, but the space is too small to appreciate it. All of these things demonstrate such inventive & beautiful craftsmanship but end up dissapointing because they tantalise greater spaces to appreciate them within that never materialise.

The megahealths contributed to this: both times I saw these I assumed I was in the vicinity of a big battle or large gauntlet, but no: they’re just a couple of megahealths.

The light barriers blocking the exit are so aesthetically out of kilter with the gate I thought they were a map / engine bug: are these strange light-barrier bollards a security device preventing me from accessing the nether dimensions behind the gate? To what end? Along with the tiny outdoor areas and the machines + humanoids inside / beasts outside, it feels like there’s so much lore to be told by this level… I guess this is my way of saying I want more lol.


Great work!

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Top notch map. I wish it lasted slightly longer

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