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Unfinished Map
Unfinished Map by dONKEY
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As the readme and the author's website quotes - Unfinished map started life as a bit of an in-joke to become a finished map that looked like it was an un-finished or incompletely textured level in the game editor. Well dONKEY certainly achieved this and all whilst moving half way around the world to another country and having to buy a new PC, etc.

The map does contain some custom textures from dONKEY's own hand but these are sadly overshadowed by the prolific use of the common textures (The yellow trigger texture for the teleporters and jumppads and the by now rather infamous pink Caulk texture for the curves and patches). Of course these are fake versions of the original textures because otherwise they would not show up in the game. A neat trick and a rather unique idea though.

If you can manage to tear your eyes away from those two textures you notice just how good the architecture of the map really is. It is every bit the multi-levelled gothic castle level and the custom light and chain models that the lights are suspended from look just right.

Game play wise it is set up for FFA and tourney matches and carries a full compliment of weapon and armoury minus the BFG. Of particular note, though are the three grouped or in mapping terms (teamed) pairs of items. The obvious two you will quickly discover, in the Rail / Quad pairing and the LG ammo / invisibility pairing. The third takes a while to spot and I'll not spoil it for you. This rather novel idea is not often used but works well in this map, making for some interesting game play decisions.

Final Words: The novelty factor of the joke textures may not be to everyone's taste and some may have liked to see this level without those textures.. However the map is a solid release and plays excellently, so do yourself a favour and grab this one now.

Reviewed by Ian "Foralarx" Wilson

Second opinion

Quite a novel concept here. Unfinished Map by dONKEY has been designed to look like a work-in-progress being viewed from a map editor. This is achieved by taking the images attached to special editor specific shaders that only the level designer sees and making normal textures out of them. Thus, you'll see random surfaces that have pink caulk tiles all over them, and bouncers/teleports are identified by the yellow trigger texture. It's pretty amusing when you first load the level up, although those who only play Q3A, and do not make maps for it, might not understand the joke.

The rest of the map, that is, the finished part, is in standard gothic theme, which is a strange juxtaposition. The crazy textures aim for an all-out fun map, but the otherwise dark atmosphere and gothic architecture totally contradict this. Perhaps a more simple, less intrusive secondary texture set would been more accepting of the pinks and yellows. Right now it feels like there are two conflicting themes both fighting for the map's identity. The harsh lighting is definitely a low point, as some of the light sources are overly bright while other parts of the map left in the dark. The shadows cast by the hanging lights are way too sharp. This could have been a cool effect, but it was overdone. All of this might have still been acceptable had the layout not suffered from the same identity crisis as the aesthetic.

The map features a mediocre competitive floor plan that's good for two or three players. Very basically it's an uninterrupted loop of mostly tight hallways and small weapon rooms, with a more open two tiered middle section. The reason I said above that this makes no sense to me is that most "just for fun" maps tend to be more open, bouncy, and generally easy-going, whereas this one is fast, tight, and even paranoid. There are some other gameplay problems too. Most of the corridors are made up of many stairs, so when two people run into each other, chances are one will have the lucky advantage of being above his opponent. The RA/MH (they switch randomly) is found in a drop down nook in the wall of a flight of stairs. This is a cool feature because you run the risk of getting trapped in there, but unfortunately you have to escape by jumping up crates which gets old very fast. The map generally lacks unique gameplay. To get the RG/QUAD, you have to make a jump off the upper bridge in the middle of the map or jump up some crates, (which is more fun this time around, as you are jumping for a reward, not an escape) and the randomly switched items are nice, but other than that, everything is really by the books. Once again, this does not fit well with the fun and unique concept.

Bots play pretty well as they go for the RG/QUAD often, although they do have one big problem: They rarely if ever go for the RA/MH. I would suggest playing with a friend anyway to have someone to enjoy the crazy textures with.

This was a really unique idea for a level, but it could have been executed a lot better. Download this if you're a mapper and you're in the mood for a laugh - otherwise you probably won't get it.

-Reviewed by Pat Howard

Ranked: 2.3 out of 5 (34 votes)

Download from: MH Gaming or ..::LvL

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