First impression was made by "Crescents" visually unique style: unusually strange at first, but turned out appealing unexpectedly fast.
Second was the connectivity: scoping the map it seemed little hard to learn at first, with corridors that looked really narrow and no "dominating flat open central area" [reminiscent of q3dm10 Nameless Place layout]... and, of course, too many pools that I seem to constantly slip into :) But it caught up me, so I decided to stick [ran] around for a while... and it all started to make sense:
Crescent has gameplay in which experience of a player really makes a difference.
And its action really gets [vertically] beautifully :) as you learn the map. Its size, good connectivity and mastering "more than few" trick jumps allow you to get from one end to another in seconds, enabling control of "the key elements" of the game. "Too many" pools give new meaning to the words "camping" and "watch your step" :), adding to its gameplay an element of surprise never seen in a map before (at least not by me). Besides all of that, there are also few places where a rocketjump can add a certain beauty to that "where did that come from" feeling.
And after all that, it still is a small map, with well balanced 1on1 hunting action. If you use it more than a Tournament, I think that gameplay loses its element of (listening) tactics… and maybe 3 player FFA works well, but I don’t think you should go further.
There’s a lot more that could be added, but I think you get the impression :)
Quake3Arena is not played that much anymore; after all, ten years have passed. Somehow, my friends from work and me have rediscovered it recently… and it made us younger a little. So I went out on LVL to see what levels I missed in last 5-6 years …and, right now, it seems that we can’t get enough of Crescent :)
Also, we tried out other maps made by Hipshot… and they are all astounding, don’t get me wrong… but none has a gamplay as good as this one… but maybe it’s just me :)
Someone should tell those guys responsible for adding new maps to "newly born online game" QuakeLive about this "Mediterranean Jewel" :) It definitely is one of the best Quake3 maps out there.