Halls of the Damned
Halls of the Damned by StormShadow

I don't think I've ever played a map by StormShadow before, so this was quite a new experience. And a damn good experience at that.

The map wears a Gothic outfit, which comes across to me as somewhat DOOM style. A high percentage of broken, dirty brick surfaces (including some nice pattern work) and a smaller percentage of wood makes up the texture composition. Geometry fits theme, with some excellent Gothic architecture and lots of rocky ground breaking out of the stone. Also take note of the spider webs hanging off several arches, giving that extra bit of detail.

The skybox, by The Mighty Pete, is Bloody Marvelous, but I some how feel it fails to connect with the overall theme of the level. Lighting is quite nice and contrasts well in some regions, though inherits some overly dark areas from the Gothic style of this arena.

Game play was the part of this map that really appealed to me. It is sensational in tournament mode and the size is perfect for head to head battles. At first view item placements looks cramped, but when you get into the fighting it links beautifully, and you can even get a rough idea of your opponent's position by the trail of missing pick-ups. High priority items have been placed either in dangerous corners or larger open areas to keep you on your toes. Sound is key here; a small map size and plenty of jump pads will help locate your enemy. There are some quick get away jumps that are extremely useful for getting back round on your rival unexpectedly, and the large box in the main area can prove invaluable when used in certain situations (although you probably need to be able to jump, unlike me, to take full advantage of it).

The stand lamps, are too far out from the walls in places, so can hinder faster movement even though they're clipped. If you really want to use the map for Deathmatch instead of the tournament game type, I advise having no more than four players else the level gets congested. Bots play the map pretty well in tournament, but are far too much for the main area in Deathmatch.

You will be damned if you don't download the Halls of the Damned. This is not a map to miss, and could be a keeper for Tourney fans.

Reviewed by {DEMO}LITION.

Second opinion

Smallish Tourney map with a set of Undule's textures. It has its own Gothic touch - thanks to its custom textures and some very-likely-custom lanterns (a bit overused maybe?).

It's a bit too claustrophobic - there is one larger room from which you can see the beautiful Bloody Marvelous custom sky (by The Mighty Pete) and some impressive castle structures. Just too bad you can not go there - maybe one small outdoor area would have spiced things up a bit. Anyways I liked most of the layout - the broken bits of brick, the guy hanging from the roof, the outdoor scenery (look up!) and so on.

The level also plays quite well. Small enough for two players - a third one might work too but with four bots it gets too cramped. The Item of the Day is the MegaHealth and the bots seem to want it too.

It is a bit too claustrophobic for my taste but the layout is quite good and it plays well.

Reviewed by Mikko Sandt

Ranked: 4 out of 5 (15 votes)

Download: Halls of the Damned by StormShadow