Returner started as a very bare duels map made for Quake Live. It had about 3 textures, most of which blended in together. As myself and others play tested it, the map's geometry was tweaked and the floor where Quad spawns was implemented, as the map was blisteringly fast and it was difficult to spawn and live long enough to find some stack. This however has not been lost after the changes, and after months of begging for an art pass he finally got around to doing so, and it looks amazing! Massive congrats on the full map release to Fossil, it really is something now we've got some eye-candy.
The gameplay of Returner is f*cking furious. It's faster than Aerowalk, with a solid, easy to learn layout with lots of opportunities to make swift item steals while also keeping each room separate enough to allow for some sneaky tactics at times. I have had many many games on this map in Quake Live, and imagine the gameplay is identical in Quake 3, as there are no jumps that require autohop to perform.
Rail and YA can be very easily monitored from a relatively safe position next to quad, where a small opening can be seen into the flooded room below, where some of the wall has broken through to allow for a nice sneaky sight-line that is so rewarding to land a direct rocket through to your camping opponent. The rail sits in a pool of water, making it very hard to obtain without also revealing your position. The map greatly rewards trapping and closely monitoring items, as there are a few good safe positions to hold when playing out of control.
Mega is accessible via a easy jump over a shallow pool of water, and from there you can hop up to the neighbouring RL or GA to avoid a direct confrontation from below. A teleporter located between the MH and Rail rooms brings you in front of the Quad, or on top of a Green Armour in CPMA.
The environment feels very murky, and the map can be a little dark in places. Lighting is relatively consistent, and the theme of a dilapidated chapel is very apparent throughout the map. Clean looking rocky walls surround the Mega. Rain falls onto the arena from the heavens above, adding to the wet, miserable atmosphere. A few environmental sounds would really bring the environment together and round out the atmosphere of Returner.
Thanks to Fossil for helping me in curating my portfolio of the best gameplay I could provide, and also for making this formidable map so so SO much prettier!
2v2 TDM may be viable, given the Quad in the middle. Will most likely be very tight, with not much room for error. :D
100% a keeper, I recommend this map to all of those duel fanatics!
Reviewed by Spike
Tigs notes: This map has some great game play, no question about it, but there are a number of serious technical errors that I really hope Fossil can fix with a fresh release. Besides the obvious missing textures, a shader file has been included that could impact other maps. You may also end up crashing the Q3A engine if you get too much sky in view due to more than 2 texture layers in the sky shader. The bot file included is out of date and fails to load any bots. All can be fixed with some minor effort or a helping hand.
Ranked: 2.5 out of 5 (2 votes)
Download: Returner by fossil