I've finished Batshit Insane
and so here I am with my impressions. It's going to be pretty high level, I'm not going to enter into technical details much, but I do want to share my feelings about the campaign as a whole and about each individual map. I haven't seen much discussion about individual maps from BI
on the forums except for Gameite2260's thread on the first three maps and the one special Map Of The Week on Hellcastle
(of course UBerserker wrote a thorough tips list but that's different), so hopefully this will serve some purpose.
Of course, this relates to v5.03. Yes, it's a beta and yes, it will be obsolete soon.
First of all, the campaign really lives up to its name: it's really insane
and for me all the more due to the fact that previously I had never really played anything like it (such as the Serious Sam
franchise - or even the original Doom
games). Honestly, it sometimes felt too much, but then again there was enough warning as to what to expect!
With my new computer, everything is set to max with the EXUOpenGL renderer, and permanent decals and carcasses are set ON
. No slowdowns whatsoever, hurray! Just to be done with the purely technical side of things: saves can be lost, yes, it's not too bad but it forces the player to be a bit more cautious here (reminds me of Legacy
, in my experience the only other campaign that had this problem when playing with Oldskool). Another bug is the occasional UT shutdown when saving due to the engine "shitting itself" as I believe Waff put it
it's kind of random and only happens maybe once in every two to three hours of game time.
I absolutely love the introduction to the game: Hellcastle
... as the map's subtitle says, HOLY SHIT
!!! It's simply one of the best maps I've ever "played" (there isn't even any real gameplay here!). The scale, the architecture, the evocative power
of the setting... And it's not just the castle proper: the skybox is nothing short of AMAZING. When I started playing Batshit Insane
, this was the best skybox I had ever seen in this engine (despite it being completely static)!
And I was really happy to explore the place, to "just be there", and it was only after a quarter of an hour or so that I realised that this level was some kind of hub map meant to immerse you into the game before choosing the difficulty setting. At first, I didn't use the navigation system and conveniently, I found the Medium Difficulty portal first... which is of course the setting I always go for! Then I used the navigation system (which is a nicely implemented idea by the way) to check out the areas with the remaining portals.
The atmosphere is excellent... to the point that, when I first began going down to the dungeons (before discovering any portal and before giving a closer look at the selectable navigation beacons - thus, I didn't yet know about the purpose of the map), I backtracked after a chill went down my spine and I started to freak out, convinced some bad shit was about to happen! The music, here, both helps along to build this great atmosphere and also somewhat doesn't maximise the effect, in my opinion. It's a good track, dark Sci-Fi music is very moody, but after a while I also felt like I was on drugs or something. Probably an intended effect, it makes the exploration of the castle rather stressful, even though there are parts of the track that are more suited to contemplation. There are moody tracks that are quieter that would help elevate the atmosphere even more in my view, but I'm nitpicking here.
Fantastic views and all. Funnily enough, exploring everything makes this a rather long level: it's not necessarily easy to make sure you've checked everything, and at first I didn't manage to get to the max difficulty portal because I took a wrong turn inside the big white tower, which initially had me thinking the Unreal Difficulty portal would only be made accessible after finishing the game once on a lower difficulty setting!
(pure blasphemy! perish the thought, some would say!) It was only after passing for the first time to the next level, getting killed immediately and reloading my save from just in front of the Medium Difficulty portal that I went back to the big tower and was more thorough... and got to the top!
Overall, I spent just over an hour in Hellcastle
on both playthroughs (I got to the third "real" level during the summer, got PC issues, and started again from the beginning with my new PC).
I'll continue this later...