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[u1] Custom Map Review: "Lapetus & Outpost 5" by }TCP{AngLoiD

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User avatar Delacroix
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Subject: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Lapetus & Outpost 5" by }TCP{AngLoiD

Post Posted: 11 Nov 2013, 23:06

Map Information:

Map Title: Lapetus & Outpost 5
Map Author: }TCP{AngLoiD
Reviewer: Delacroix
Review Score: 47%
Tagline: A decent oldschool romp.

Main Review:

AngLoiD of The Clan Punishers is a well known DM mapper in the Unreal scene. Maps such as DmChillville or DmRelic6 are recognized instantly. He did however make two sets of single player maps and today I'm going to take a look at the younger of these.


Johnny Depp is a Skaarj now.

Lapetus & Outpost 5 comes from 2005, a time when Unreal Tournament dominated as a development platform of choice. With both large and small projects alike having been released as far as a year or two earlier, the game was considered a no-brainer choice as a development platform for single player projects, however AngLoiD, while obviously borrowing a lot of resources - mainly textures - from UT, decided to keep his project compatible with the original Unreal and that demands some respect.

On the visual side both levels can be described as "above average". The constructs, while fairly simple, are quite realistic and well-textured. The outpost is filled with various machinery of unknown purpose and also contains a large hangar filled with small planes looking like transport shuttles. A lot of the textures are obviously from UT, however they don't stand out like a sore thumb but blend in quite nicely. The lighting is also quite decent - the areas are neither too dark nor too bright and lights don't come out of nowhere, but each has a proper source. Additionally, the use of fairly simple architecture certainly helps to avoid construction problems: BSP holes and HOM effects are inexistent. Certain movers such as placed-in-water lifts may come across as irritating but as long as the player holds the jump button, they just might function properly. Also, the final battle arena's roof has no collision which means you better use those jumpboots to get topside as soon as you enter it, otherwise you might just fight the final Warlord forever.


The starting area. Purpose unknown.

The second map however hits us with a clash of themes - the modern, high-tech outpost all of a sudden receives wooden doors or rundown grates, to eventually end in an ancient area similar to a dungeon of sorts, that however might be explained by the fact that most likely the outpost was constructed in that building and its vicinity, with the ancient structure being used as base and replaced/covered as the work progressed - that however is pure guesswork on my part, quite simply because there is no synopsis behind the levels. The entire storyline aspect is composed of a few typo-riddled translator messages that are either the protagonist's comments or logs placed next to the other unfortunate runaways' corpses. All of these can be shortened to this: you have arrived to the outpost for some unexplained reason and now must leave it. That's all there's to it. This is still better than The Keep (AngLoiD's previous work) which contained no messages whatsoever.


The coolant tubes. Don't look down... Or wait, you just might have to.

The sound layer is however just as second-rate as the storyline of Lapetus. Ambience is barely there and the music tracks (WarGate in Lapetus and Guardian in Outpost 5) quickly start boring the player as they provide no actual dynamic to the gameplay. Plus, they don't really seem to fit the setting all that much. This is a good place to use K_Vision or Isotoxin, tracks I normally find sub-par, but sadly, AngLoiD didn't consider these.


The generator room... I guess.

The gameplay is where the level shines, as a typical oldschool run-and-gun romp. Don't expect a cinematic feel with lots of cutscenes and conversations - it ain't there. Lapetus & Outpost 5 are constructed in a classic, proven formula: kill it, explore the area, open up the new areas, kill it, explore these areas, rinse and repeat. It sounds boring now that I wrote it - but it isn't. The opposition is varied and fairly challenging, however never too challenging. The player is never unequipped or unprepared as there's enough weapons and ammunition to eliminate the entire opposition and enough health and armor lying around to save oneself in case the player gets hit. The opponents aren't sitting ducks most of the time, they can get under the player's skin if allowed to do so.


The final battle arena.

My main gripe with the level is that AngLoiD hasn't bothered to flesh out the actual concept for the place he built. Of course, there's plenty varied settings there but the author never stated their purpose and not everything can be figured out by the visuals alone. So, Lapetus & Outpost 5 from the player's perspective will remain purposeless techno-dungeons without actual rhyme or reason and that's a damn shame because it leaves the player unsatisfied despite the levels' potential.

Summary:

While the concept behind Lapetus & Outpost 5 remains a mystery, this pack remains a decent oldschool shootout romp and if the player does not expect too much, the playthrough will certainly not be a letdown. However if you expect the construction to make actual sense and the storyline to be engaging and well written, steer clear.

BUILD (50%)
Architecture 5
Texturing 7
Lighting 6
Sound 2
Technical Execution 7

CAST (50%)
Conceptual Grandness 3
Story Construction 1
Story Implementation 3
Gameplay Awe 6
Gameplay Balance 7

Total Score: 47%

Download links:

Lapetus.zip - Dropbox
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User avatar Jet v4.3.5
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Subject: Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Lapetus & Outpost 5" by }TCP{AngLoiD

Post Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 00:07

I played this map quite a while back intending to try and review it. Beat me to it (made it easy for you though). I don't know if I was ready to review anything like that anyway, though now a second opinion is open so I might end up doing that at some point. Good review, anyway :o
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User avatar TheIronKnuckle
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Subject: Re: [u1] Custom Map Review: "Lapetus & Outpost 5" by }TCP{AngLoiD

Post Posted: 12 Nov 2013, 01:09

Good review. I swore I already played these and always passed over the download links, but after seeing these screenies it's obvious I was mistaken (I think I was getting this mixed up with the alien levels). Will have to give this a go next time I can.
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