If you have not played a Nickster map before, (shame on you!) then you're in for a treat. This talented level designer has been producing maps for over a decade now, and his progress in mapping definitely shows through later creations of his such as Slipgate (2) and Exotic Metals. This new creation of his contains the same visual quality we have come to expect from him, and we would like to welcome him back to the wonderful world of map production.
The map is set in an abandoned industrial complex of sorts. The atmosphere is brilliantly realized through the rain falling down from the stormy skies above, and every minuscule detail has been placed in where it counts. Even the floor tiles will be wet where the sky is exposed, but dry where there is a ceiling - a testimony to many years of experience in the field of level design. Some contrasts to the dark, gloomy theme can be found, such as the teleporters and jump pads, which are bright and flashy - however they are so tastefully implemented that they detract little from the environment. Lighting is spot-on, used carefully to help enhance the level.
So we know the aesthetics are top-notch, but what about the gameplay? Fortunately for us, Nickster has not forgotten about this either. The layout mainly takes place upon two stories, and is sprawling and complex. Items are placed strategically and create well-balanced gameplay, with all weapons but the BFG included. The size of the map is in between medium and small, and my recommendation would be a 2v2 TDM, though tourney matches and small FFAs of 2-5 players work equally well.
This map certainly has it all - please do yourself a favor and click that download button! This level is a surefire keeper for me, and I guarantee it will be for you as well. It is a shame that id software has not yet taken notice of his craftsmanship - this would make a fantastic addition to Quake Live, in addition to some of his other great maps.
Have you clicked the download button yet? Do it. Now.
Reviewed by EmeraldTiger
Update: The download has been updated to correct the missing texture issue that you can see in both the video and screenshots. (7th Mar, 2011)
Ranked: 4.6 out of 5 (8 votes)
Download: Family Fun Factory by Nickster