Birds fly. Sun shines. And brother? Brutes shoot people.

Review: Apocalypse Threat

Project Information

  • Title: Apocalypse Threat
  • Author: Crescent Moon Software
  • Platform: Unreal
  • Category: Small Campaign
  • Review Score: 10%

Main Review

Architecture could be described as barely above the minimum

(Author's note: This is a very, very old review that hosts a range of awful sentences, bad grammar etc. It is definitely up for re-writing, if anyone feels up to it.)

Apocalypse Threat is the second map pack by "Crescent Moon Software". The simple storyline is born from the player's assignment to stop the Mercenaries from firing three rockets that can destroy the entire galaxy. After the player's mission fails, he finds himself on a journey through many of Na Pali's different locations, including a Mercenary base, a mountaintop Nali temple, watery underground caves and many more.

Architecture could be described as barely above the minimum. Most rooms are empty, typically without any details (mostly being "cube rooms"), although rare examples of extra decoration can be seen every now and then. I have seen a total of two Nali lamps in the whole pack, which were placed entirely out of context, movers lack any detail - it is obvious that the authors didn't bother to use the 2D Shape Editor or Vertex editing to make doors actually fit their textures, for example; and since the skybox was made with the standard "ring of mountains" method, it doesn't look too realistic if combined with a mountain scene where you can look down the cliff you're on, your sight on the bottom of the skybox unobstructed.

A really awful thing kept through the pack is the use of textures and decorations in locations where they weren't meant to be. At the start of the pack the player wakes up in a room made of metal (which means the same metal texture on walls, floor and ceiling), on a bed of metal with a table of metal and a Nali lamp.... standing in the corner. Assuming that the map was supposed to be some kind of human base, it was rather stupid to add that particular lamp to the room.

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The second map is described as "Mercenary Base". After the player leaves the first map with a little transporter, he starts in the corner of a castle themed wall maze with a few big.. buildings or what they were supposed to be (see screenshot above). There is completely nothing in the map that reminds one of Mercenaries.

While proceeding through the pack, I got in a few usual Nali themed corridors, which lead to doors, similar to some in the Terraniux, which is quite strange, since the authors failed to explain that the area was occupated by the Mercenaries and turned into an outpost.

I could continue with that list of wrongly used of textures in the pack, wood textures in Mercenary bases, Skaarj runes in Nali temples etc etc etc, you know enough.

The lighting in Apocalypse Threat is too simple, there maybe are around 3 different light colors in every map, which isn't too great.

The pack features lots of custom music, which itself is cool, but in most cases doesn't fit the map setting and location. There hardly are any music changes through the maps, and a few maps don't even use any music at all.

[image:2]

Regarding technics you should know that Apocalypse Threat includes a few custom pawn types, like a slightly modified Slith with a bad chosen texture (You know what I mean if you saw the Unreal 1 mod "Aura"), and a few recolored normal pawns with probably no great code changes. The maps hardly have any scripted sequences with the exception of a scene where a Skaarj slaughters 2 Nali right under the player's nose while he is running down the stairs to kill him.

Gameplay-wise there is not much. The most appearing enemy in the pack was the Mercenary, a few maps also feature other pawns, which don't seem to be used after the maps, but after their function, like Krall being enemies for mass attacks, Brutes being big baddies, even when being on a pure Mercenary ship. In the first couple of maps you get to jump around on platforms hanging in the air pretty much, what isn't quite logical in a large underground Mercenary base. I don't think the Mercenaries would waste their time building pointless platforms to make movement through their base difficult. Sometimes there were overpowered hordes of enemies - like if for example you trigger a alarm, around 12 Krall surround you, while you barely have ammo. Talking about the ammo, in the maps at the beginning you get enough ammo for both your weapons (AutoMag and Stinger), later in the pack you won't find too much, even after getting additional weapons.

Summary

It maybe was cool at the time it was made, but looking on it today it lacks. It had some nice ideas which weren't executed too good, textures, decorations, settings etc. were totally mixed up and plain didn't fit to the scenarios they were put in. I didn't really enjoy playing it.
Review Scores
BuildThe combined value representing the technical quality of the level's construction.12% CastThe combined value representing the imagination and reasoning behind the level's conceptualization and design.8%
ArchitectureImagination, realism and detail of structures used in the design of the level.1 Conceptual GrandnessScale, imagination, awe & originality of design and layout, physical foreshadowing of future areas.0
TexturingUse of textures in the level. Technically speaking, alignment and scaling. Choice of textures, and quality of any custom textures used.0 Story ConstructionBacking story & progression via translator, subplots, and script of voice acting where applicable. Logical choice of opposition.1
LightingLighting of the level: does it look cool? Use of light colour and other effects, and sourcing of lighting (no light out of nowhere).1 Story ImplementationProgression of the written story via the events of the level, and performance of voice actors where applicable.1
SoundUse of ambient sounds and event sounds to give the level atmosphere, and the quality of any custom sounds. Appropriate use of music and silence to complement the atmosphere.2 Gameplay AweQuality of scripted sequences, originality and staging of combats. Maps that force the player to "learn by dying" will be penalised.1
Technical ExecutionTechnical soundness of the level, i.e. no visual glitches, no random deaths or other gameplay bugs, and a good framerate.2 Gameplay BalanceBalance of weapons and items to creatures, including difficulty settings. Most importantly, fun factor.1
Final Verdict: Very poor
Score: 10%

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