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16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 16 May 2016, 16:57

Map Title: DemonCrater
Author: Shane Caudle
From: Unreal
Filename: DCrater.unr
Music Files: Crater.umx




Video Playthrough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtiL5HQmN-k

Sypnosis: A gloomy warehouse is the last thing in the way of finding the source of the Skaarj invasion.

Discuss!
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 17 May 2016, 01:03

Good music, hardest level in the game, first time you see mothership, good mood and lighting. What's not to like?
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 18 May 2016, 18:04

Once you figure out how to use the Invisibility the map isn't that hard anymore (and even then Terraniux and ExtremeLab still has bigger bullshit).
Either way a spectacular map and the only one in the game which takes a stealth approach.

Kinda sad the outdoor section was never implemented.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 18 May 2016, 23:20

UBerserker wrote:Once you figure out how to use the Invisibility the map isn't that hard anymore

Too bad I was low on Invisibility on my last playthrough (on GODLIKE skill this time), I almost used it up back at Dasa Pass. My ammo supply was short also, I used up all sniper rounds and minigun ammo for the Warlord, and even having 200 health wasn't enough for going against Skaarj Troopers armed with Eightballs. It was trial-and-error then, with most useful weapon being... the BioRifle. But after all - I played the map on 227's Godlike mode, on regular Unreal difficulty it was a piece of cake.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 20 May 2016, 02:34

A short level but the tense darkness, lighting-based set piece and vague stealth feeling gives it a unique style. It also gives you a nice reward for getting through with the view of the immense mothership, followed by the moment where you realise you're going inside (even if actually getting to walk there would be better, but there were obvious technical/time issues with that). It's also nice how the game's ending calls back to the last room here.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 23 May 2016, 10:37

I'm going to run this for a day more considering what we have next

Also one thing - is it possible to "extract" the mothership out of this map's terrain in the editor? Not well versed on things regarding pre-existing brushes and the whole mothership is part of the terrain.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 23 May 2016, 14:50

This is one of those maps which make Unreal something really special, not because of the graphics or layout, but because of the gameplay. On a first playthrough the darkness is devastating but luckily with the flares the player can find his bearings relatively quickly.
But then, the bloody ants all over the place - this is a level in which they really excel, and the distraction caused by the Skaarj is disconcerting.
Basically this kind of fight (even on lower difficulty levels) could be a complete gamekiller, but somehow it never felt that way and the more I played this map (it's one of the few I used to start a a map by itself) the more I liked the whole setup.
Another nice thing is the puzzle ;-) how the heck to get the shield or the other upgrades with only one set of jumpboots.

It's not map which I tried to push to the top 5 (or even 10) in the Hurt Heal topic because I always felt it was too simple in layout but it does stand out as one the really memorable maps.

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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 23 May 2016, 18:27

UBerserker wrote:I'm going to run this for a day more considering what we have next

Also one thing - is it possible to "extract" the mothership out of this map's terrain in the editor? Not well versed on things regarding pre-existing brushes and the whole mothership is part of the terrain.


You could do some janky intersection work, but that's tedious. This is probably a better alternative.

This map has always been a curious one for me. The music and mood is pretty unique, and stands out in tone and gameplay, doing several things that no other map in the game really does. Without thinking too much about Unreal's level set, I would have assumed this style of map was more prevalent throughout the game, but it's really the only one.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 24 May 2016, 01:37

Not sure I agree about this map being the hardest of the whole campaign (I had more trouble with the Queen the first time round, that's for sure!), and I don't remember dying here, but yes, the fighting is serious so it's definitely not easy and the general tension is palpable - the darkness certainly contributed to that, pretty sure I freaked out on my first playthrough, and as everyone already mentioned the view of the Mothership and the lightning from the storm surrounding Demon Crater proper is awe-inspiring, and it doesn't stop there as you get another "wow" moment once you teleport inside as shown in the 4th screenshot. The beautiful art direction (and technique, for the time) of the game shines here like it does in the other more memorable maps of the set.

On my second only complete playthrough of Unreal about a year ago, I was really surprised by how fast (about an hour and a half, and I always take my time) I got to the end of the game from this level, as in my older memories (when we were all far, far less experienced) I had the distinct impression that the Mothership-collection of maps was looong - probably due to being pretty noobish at the game back then! :P

EDIT: also, since getting back to Unreal/UT in 2013-2014, I have of course been able to experience community mappacks that push the concept of the Mothership levels much further (in size, build and/or challenge), so I just wasn't as impressed when I went back to the original material.
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Subject: Re: 16/05/2016 - "DemonCrater" by Shane Caudle

Post Posted: 24 May 2016, 15:02

Jet v4.3.5 wrote:
UBerserker wrote:I'm going to run this for a day more considering what we have next

Also one thing - is it possible to "extract" the mothership out of this map's terrain in the editor? Not well versed on things regarding pre-existing brushes and the whole mothership is part of the terrain.


You could do some janky intersection work, but that's tedious. This is probably a better alternative.

This map has always been a curious one for me. The music and mood is pretty unique, and stands out in tone and gameplay, doing several things that no other map in the game really does. Without thinking too much about Unreal's level set, I would have assumed this style of map was more prevalent throughout the game, but it's really the only one.


Thanks!
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