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Review of Xeno Research Lab
"A bold attempt, but this map is like a car without wheels..."
Xeno Research Lab has made a few appearances on the server lately, giving me a chance to see just how this map plays out. After watching every game on this map, and seeing them turn out the same way every time, I can tell you that all of that playtesting has belittled any remorse or conscience I had straggling around in my head.
Like any review I start off with the visuals. Architecture, texture applications, lighting, yea you know the drill. Xeno Research has a few nice aesthetic qualities to it in some instances. The map at first fools you into thinking this is an office of some sort, maybe even a school or something else perverse to the standard quake2 engine. At the start you have metal detectors, gotta watch out for those guns when youre holding aliens in containment areas y'know. There are desks and chairs, some nice little...shrubs...or something. Stairs leading up to platforms seeminginly encased with more shrubbery. There is a little bathroom with stalls in it, a shower room, and a festive cafeteria. Hell, even a quarters is stuffed in here (not the coin you idiots!), because those scientists undoubtedly get tired of being RAPED constantly by the aliens on this map. The further you progress into the map, the less enthralling it is to look at. A stab at semi-originality that digresses into something of a mix between spacebace and totalkarn, and ultimately dissapoints you (at least it did me). The lighting becomes conveniently darker the further you go, notifying you are getting closer to the alien base until *BOOM* pitch black with a blue light entity that has lost its way. Whatever. Oh dont forget the plentiful supply of crates JAM PACKED into this level. God knows spiders would be ruined if it werent for the crates.
Continuing on, the layout wouldnt be too bad, perhaps if it wasnt a giant Clusterfuckİ. There are plenty of twists and turns, (at least) two or three routes to jumpstrafe around the level, and tons of obstacles to block your progress. The bases rank among the worst chosen I have seen honestly. While Humans are set up in an appropriate area (next to metal detectors of course, with their guns and all), it seems awfully unfair. The whole level is a resticted area for the Human team. Its a series of cramped, claustrophobic hallways. The hallways that are NOT cramped are filled with boxes to make things even, because you know Humans would own this map with just one long hallway (Deadstar? lolol). There are a few stacking areas for builder classes to get into, but nothing special. One thing to note is that all of these stacking areas are located conveniently closer to the Spider base. Hell whats the point. With the hallways all about 96 map units high, just ask your friendly admin to veto yes the end map vote that almost always pops up when this map comes around.
I have nothing more to say about this map. Yea the rpseeds are fine, and all of my "creativity" discussion paragraph is contained in the sidebar. I cant find anything else worth pointing out in this map, not even to bash. Strange feeling I say. Funny thing though, the last time I played this map I said to myself "I wonder if this god damn map is gonna be as boring to review as it is to play it". Well, guess I answered my own question. Go watch a 30 second clip from Jimmy Neutron instead of downloading the map. Trust me its far more worth your time.
I dunno, I sort like it, but ya, it's below average, but better than some - Ranger
Comment: Honestly I liked the theme that the authored tried here. He barely accomplished the whole "real-world" feel with the baseq2 texture set. A good variation in textures too, though it gets really boring further on.
Comment: Man what a crap heap. Yea, there are tons of passages, and its not hard to find your way around, but the scale here is REAMED in about 95% of the map. Humans, throw down your weapons and bend over.
Comment: Its kind of a mix between traditional ho-hum base, and a real-world office setting. I cant help but to think the author probably took the entrance to his school and made a map based off it. I kind of like it, but then I hate it too.
Comment: While the theme is hit and miss, the layout is a baseball bat swing to the hairy pouch. Another one of those one-sided maps that keep recurring. What the fuck is going on here.
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