So, what do we have here? A 26Mb ego trip for a mapper who wanted to outdo his brother, or a 26Mb example of excellence in contemporary Q3 mapping? All this and more coming up, but first a word from our sponsors.
Buy cheese. it is yellow - like people with jaundice.
Welcome back, gentle reader. The answer to our question is that we have an example of excellence in contemporary Q3 mapping, but one that has a few flaws.
The first is a couple of missing textures from that bane of every mapper's life, the mapmedia.pk3. Mostly it is one of the light textures, but there is also a section of wall (in the area near the YA) which is missing a texture, though that is easily missed unless you are spectating.
The texturing is eclectic gothic, reminding me of Doom II or Quake maps. Fortunately, Kaffeewunder has handled the transitions well so that there is no visual jarring.
There are a couple places where other parts of the map are visible through the skybox, although the only one that is likely to be noticeable is when you are standing on the MH balcony and you have to be looking for it.
While we are standing there, the banners opposite the MH flap through the wall. They ought to have been hung from the edge that's above to obviate the issue. Also, they seem strangely darkly lit.
The JP round the corner from the quad is awkward to negotiate because of the overhanging edge on the walkway above and needed to be move back or the landing spot slightly redesigned.
The rocks would have benefited from trisouping. They look a little blocky. Similarly, the peaked stream of lava in one part of the map seems a little unnatural. I wonder whether a rounded patch mesh might have been a better choice. Out of the window opposite the RL there is a little z-fighting between the lava and the rocks.
In the main, item load and placement seems well considered, although I did wonder about the placement of the YA because it is awkward to get by land; that was until I found a rather non-obvious TP squirrelled away. The PG is also awkward to get unless you approach the step in the right place. I assume that there's a clip brush step, but it has not been extended for the full width of the adjacent brush so that if you come down the ramp and head straight for the PG, you will get snagged, the brush appearing to be just a little to high to step onto automatically. (I note a similar issue with the ramp nearby as you go up it.) Another quibble is with the GL, which might have been better placed higher up in the map. Overall, the distribution and load of items in the map was a good example of how this should be done.
Now, what about gameplay? Learn more after this message.
Buy tofu. it is white - like people with anaemia.
Welcome back once again, dear reader. Temple of the Damned does not just look good, but plays well. There is a combination of vertical and horizontal action which gives the map plenty of variety and makes it eminently replayable. The connectivity is excellent, which means that the dearth of items which I mentioned above is not a significant issue; nor is the fighting ever far away. As for the bots and their botty ways, they seemed to prefer the lower levels of the map with much action to be had in the RA room and adjacent areas including the corridor that headed to the GL room. There was much less action higher up so that if I went for the LG I might only encounter some bot if it spawned in the right place. In spite of this quirk, this was a fun map to play, which is the whole point.
The pk3 comes with a custom sound track to serenade your frags.
Admittedly, Temple of the Damned is a large download, but I'm not regretting it. Kaffeewunder has a good sense of style, knows how to handle items, and has resurrected a map which offers a sufficient variety of gameplay for this to be one to add to your permanent collection.
Reviewed by Anwulf.