Europa Station
Europa Station by Kaustic

The aesthetic of this map is very simple, but it shows the author's respect for the texture pack that he used. Throughout the map, textures are used consistently in a way that highlights the atmosphere that the artist meant to achieve through releasing this texture pack. The author of the map has used the textures in creative ways, but the color scheme generally remains coherent throughout the map.

I really enjoy the contrast between the darker, warmer colors and the light blue skybox that can be seen through the various windows that are riddled throughout the map. A wonderful selection. My only real complaint is that the lower level seems a bit bland (especially when one looks at the ceiling). More could have been done to the lower level to make the atmosphere more interesting.

Despite gameplay and item placement issues, the map generally flows well and allows for fast-paced gameplay. The map is easy to maneuver - especially going from the top level to the lower level. I will discuss that more at length later. The teleporters are located in interesting locations, but I think some might work better elsewhere. The items are placed at a sufficient distance from each other, which makes players move around the map continuously.

There are great lines of sight from almost anywhere in the map. This is important for maps that make use of the Rail Gun, but even more generally, the map allows players to engage each other at many points. Overall, the map flows very well, which makes gameplay more exciting.

The overall gameplay of the map is hindered, however, due to various item balance issues. The first and most crucial problem for this map is that the upper level has many weapons, powerups, and the red armor while the lower level only has a Rail Gun and a yellow armor. It seems plausible that the author wished to give players an incentive for controlling the upper level of this map, but anyone who does so will grossly overpower anyone on the lower level. Further, there are only certain ways to get to the upper level, and most of them are observable through the glass in the floor. This means that anyone on the upper level will be able to predict other players' strategies and movements, which makes it increasingly difficult to overpower anyone on the upper level.

The only weapons that are available for lower level players are the plasma gun, Shot Gun, and Rail Gun. These weapons alone are not effective in supporting an attack against players with access to the red armor, Haste, Quad Damage, rocket launcher, Lightning Gun, and grenade launcher. Moving the Lightning Gun or rocket launcher to the lower level and placing a MegaHealth somewhere down there might help balance this map's layout. Likewise, the map is small to house two powerups, but it should make FFA matches interesting. Overall, the lack of balance between the upper and lower levels of the map causes the gameplay to suffer.

Despite its problems, this map was enjoyable to play and review. I give it a 6.5/10.

Reviewed by Anthem

Ranked: 3.5 out of 5 (6 votes)

Download: Europa Station by Kaustic