Claustrophobopolis 2003
Claustrophobopolis 2003 by swelt

This level is a conversion of DM2 from Quake 1. Released in 2003, it follows earlier conversions of DM2 in 1999 by Shiz and in 2000 by Digital1.

Visuals: The level is dressed in colorful Egyptian textures but retains the underlying structure of DM2 with minimal changes. This setup provides more dark/light contrast and visual variety than the original, but without structural changes it doesn't lean into the Egyptian theme as well as it might have. There are a few minor oddities such as wood surrounding lava and some nice touches such as light beams projecting through floor grates. Various scaling changes have been made to better suit Q3 and CPMA movement (as direct 1:1 scale conversions from Q1 to Q3 end up too small and cramped).

Gameplay: The author states that it plays best as 2v2 TDM with the CPMA mod but will also work in FFA and 1v1. Tourney is pushing it - the level is large even with CPMA physics allowing faster navigation, and the item load-out is too heavy for duelling. In vanilla, the level flows well and CPMA allows additional movements similar to Quake 1 which the level works best with. Remaining faithful to the original level has come at a cost to gameplay - Despite being appropriately scaled up, interconnectivity between areas is flat and simplistic, consisting of room-corridor-room connections that dull things down compared to newer Deathmatch layouts. This constrains the variety of fight scenarios and introduces some repetitive points of contention. With 2xRA, 2xMH, 3xYA and a Quad, the item load-out is heavy even for 2v2 TDM but if you are pining for Q1's manic Deathmatch style it delivers with high frag counts and stacked-up Quad massacres. In FFA there is more than enough kit to go around for 6+ players and you will run out of space before running out of items. The weapon selection is reduced compared to the original - Super Shot Gun and Nailgun have both been substituted with Q3's Shot Gun. Perhaps replacing one with either Plasma, Rail, or Lightning Gun would have spiced things up and further bridged the gameplay differences between the two games.

Ultimately this conversion hits the same issue as most others - good levels are designed to complement the gameplay of the game they are intended for. Much has been done here to elegantly smush DM2 into Quake 3's gameplay, but despite best efforts from the author the original level's overall design limits it's potential in Q3.

Bots do not really work except for 4+ FFA as they get stuck in various areas of the level, most notably in a teleporter loop around the 2xYA main room.

Note: The PK3 also contains nodm1a, an updated version of the author's first Q3 map Hommage to the Bad. The level gets a makeover in the same Egyptian texture set as nodm7 and receives numerous tweaks to structure and item layout. It is a worthwhile improvement to the author's first release.

Reviewed by Foo

Ranked: 3.7 out of 5 (3 votes)

Download: Claustrophobopolis 2003 by swelt