Good morning everyone!
In order to disrupt all those "ZOMFG looks awesome!!!111" comments a little, here's my deeper insight into this mappack. As you can probably imagine, at first I didn't expect to see too much interesting stuff here... I still had the first UT99.org mappack in mind.^^
However, this one really surprised me in more than one way, so much by way of introduction.
As for the start, I will comment the thing that I'm going to refer to several times later:The "UT3099" Pickup System:
So, what do we have here? First of all, it's not a completely new system, in fact, most of it is not
new, at least for those who played all parts of the UT series. "UT3099" is more like a mix of the pickups from these three generations of UT, with a decent focus on UT3.
On first sight, the entire code is written in a very nice and advisable way, so it's easy to find your way around in the scripts. Also the models are done well, I especially like those jumping Vials.
What I don't like though are the skins of the "old" armor models... Those yellow things look more like T-Shirts created by a fashion designer on ecstasy, than like iron combat gear. And by the way, I would have rather liked to see more "own" ideas concerning the pickups in general.
Anyway, the balancing, or let's say, the effect on gameplay, is good over all. In my opinion, the Berserk is a little overpowered, but that's the fault of the mappers who used it in "way too small" maps.
Another bad thing is that "UT3099" isn't fully compatible with other custom weapon mutators, especially Berserk doesn't work with those. Yes, I am aware that it's impossible
to solve this problem, as Berserk requires special weapons which are exclusively coded to work with it. But still, even an unsolvable problem is
One more point should be mentioned about the Pickup System, and that's the huge documentation included within the ZIP-file. I don't know if any mappers plan to use "UT3099" in the future, but if they do, the tutorial is already there.
Now it's a little difficult to rate the System, as criteria for rating maps don't work here. But since we have a lot of good working content, let down by only minor problems in balancing and visuals, I think 75%
So, now let's go on with the maps...CTF-UTR-Attempt:
Huh, now this map is an "attempt"... To do what exactly? It's not more than two rooms housing the flags, two further rooms where the players start, and two corridors to connect the red and blue "bases"... Yeah, this can be seen as an attempt to get used to the editor, but I'm pretty
sure that this wasn't the authors intention. However, although some hardcore (InstaGib?) gamers might like this one, it's simply not enough for an entire map.
And that's not only for the layout, the visuals are quite similar. While architecture is nice at least, the lighting is just damn boring... There are exactly 45 (FOURTY-FIVE!) light actors and a ridiculously bright zone-lighting for the whole map, so it's no wonder that everything looks the same. By the way, the best parts of the map are the outdoor areas, thanks to a creative use of "phantom shadows". But sadly, you can't even enter these areas.
Well, I should mention that bots do their job here... Which is quite obvious in a map without any z-axis and exactly two possible routes.
All in all, it's really no more than an attempt, and the attempt failed. I'll sum it up to 35%
, most of it comes from the acceptable architecture.CTF-UTR-Dargrok:
This one is the exact opposite of Attempt: It's gigantic! Not only big, but so huge that you could spend most of the time running around even in a 16-player-game. The problem is, I simply wasn't able to play this map with 15 bots... Although my machine is fast enough to run Arken (you remember?) fluently, here I had framerates like in 1999. :/
But even if you have a killer-PC capable of handling this map, you won't have to much fun probably... The layout is really weird: First, huge outdoor areas, where enemy snipers from around ten different positions can blow your head off before you walked only half of the way. And then, indoor corridors which are so damn tight that you get stuck every two steps. Not my cup of tea, seriously...
The visuals are strange but all in all quite good. The castles have an "oldschool" style like the one you know from original Unreal, they are just "a little" bigger. Some nice elements can also be found in the interiors, my well-known favorite: RTC forever!
Lighting is somehow so-so... The outdoor theme is impressive, mostly because I wonder how Dave managed not
to make the editor crash when using these big light-radii. Inside the towers however it's much too colorful for my taste. Orange torches, red/blue lamps, green slime, purple teleporters... Holy shit.
In the end, I mostly miss both a coherent style and gameplay. Being huge alone doesn't make a good map, so this one is no more than average, or in numbers, 50%
Oh no, not another Face-Remake... Ok, honestly, Otherworld is a bit more than that. The layout is similar but not exactly the same, as there are platforms on both sides of the main area, accessible by jumppads in best "w00t" tradition. Plus, the flags are not on the ground floors of the towers like in Face, but on the second floor. Unfortunately, they can only be reached be using lifts... BAD
The central area and the mentioned platforms are even, so once again, there is no real z-Axis fighting... Like in Face. The difference is that there are many palms, wall pieces and big amounts of grass, so at least you have appropriate cover on your way between the bases.
The visuals remind me of Attempt though... Outdoor architecture is good (except for the chunky rocks on which the entire scenery is based), I like the look of these towers. But again, the indoor parts are just flat and boring. And, even worse, also this map's lighting is FAR too simple... Guys, would using moderate amounts of radial lights be too much to ask?! Here we have 66 (!!) lights in a map of 10000² UUs magnitude, and on the side platforms, there is exactly NOT A SINGLE LIGHT ACTOR!... Come on, are you kidding me?
So once again, we have a CTF map that might be good for hardcore gamers or Face-fans, but seen as a whole, it's not enough in different ways. There is a fact (the blue base has "land mines" while the red base doesn't) that makes me think this map isn't finished, but as it's part of the pack, I will rate it as I see it, which means 40%
And again... Two flag-rooms, two spawn-rooms, two corridors (and a third corridor in the center, wow). Seriously, what's so damn difficult about building a decent CTF-layout?
At least, the layout is a little more exciting than in Attempt, as first, there is z-axis in the flag-bases, and second, the trap in the center is a really cool thing. Beyond that, the map has not much to offer gameplay-wise, but on the other hand, the visuals are done very well. Good architecture, good decorations, and - hell yeah - good lighting! Only the spider webs would have looked much better if they were not
set to "Unlit".
And there's a pretty nasty logic error: Why are those sun rays (good method of building them by the way) pointing in two different directions?! If no one told you before: The sun is "pretty" far away, so its rays should be "pretty" parallel.
Another "bonus point" for the fact that bots know how to use the trap... Sounds like this should be obvious, but I've seen many
maps where it was forgotten.
After all, we have another small, "arena-like" CTF map here, but this one can convince with nice visuals and some good ideas. I'll give 65%
, being quite sad that the map is so much let down by the layout, because other than that, it could have easily reached a higher score.