Unreality by KIIIA

This map is a refreshing design that will have you smiling while you play it. Thematically the map resembles something of a mad professor's laboratory. There are machines and devices whirring away all over the place, with pipes and tubes coming out of them, sprawling all through the map and often leaking their contents all over the place.

The author added some nice visual touches of fluids flowing down, droplets of water dripping off edges, steam rising up, bubbles bubbling up in vats of liquid, blinking lights and television screens. The lab's walls are dressed in typical grey brick and mortar type textures while all of the machinery and experiments add a bucket load of color. There's a lot to take in, making this one of those maps that you really should have a run through without any enemies before you start playing for real, just so you can absorb all of the detail properly.

The sound design in this map is great as well. There are the whooshing sound of the slowly spinning fans, the popping sound of bubbles, the humming of machinery and the beeping of computers. All of it together makes this map into a playful environment that expresses a weird kind of cartoonish silliness rather than the feeling of dread most maps try to achieve. This is a place where mad uncle Bob used to be real busy doing science. Because of this, I thought it was a bit disappointing to see the use of blood smears throughout the map. I guess the intent is to drag the place back into the realm of serious horror, but I think the tone of the map would be better suited without the blood smears.

The map is a medium sized arena, good for three or four, maybe five players. The bots play it well, albeit a bit predictably, but I guess that's expected of Quake 3's bots. I felt that the map may have been a tad heavy on the presence of armor, but this could have been due to the bots not being too keen on grabbing the red armor. There is a fun implementation of teleporters (one requires you to jump into a deep pit) as well.

All in all this is a fun, original take on level design and it does stand out between all of the gloomy, dark, Gothic maps. It probably won't end up on any competitive playlists, but it definitely plays well enough and offers more than enough fun to stay on your hard drive.

Reviewed by Eraesr

Ranked: 3.4 out of 5 (4 votes)

Download: Unreality by KIIIA