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Feigning normality since 1973

UT Review: Kranial Map Pack #1

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

I haven't reviewed any Unreal Tournament maps for a while now, mostly due to being too busy. To make up for it I'm going to look at five maps in this post, the contents of the first Kranial Map Pack.

As a side note, I notice now that I have a faster computer, all the weapon and blood effects have appeared in the intro sequence which plays when you start a new single player game. I guess UT was jacking back the effects automatically.

Anyway, the five maps are:

Onslaught: Lunar Survey
Author: Stephen [Hointar] Hedges

A sprawling Onslaught map with several notable features, the most unique one being a network of monorail systems which allow players to travel from the power core to the nearest four nodes without having to walk. I tried (unsuccessfully) to take a vehicle on one of these, of course. :) The two centremost energy nodes are located very close to each other in a central excavation area, where (as the story says) two monolithic objects were uncovered. Both of these nodes have an accompanying tank, which can make for some interesting battles. I only found one bug, though I believe it's a game bug rather than a level bug - at one point I found two disembodied dust rings from a Manta floating in mid air. Huh?!

[Monorail!] [Extra floaty dustclouds] [Node Building] [Tank vs Power Core] [Cicada vs Power Core]

Deathmatch: Vega
Author: Dan "GreenLoves" Rozanski

Small, two-person tropical cave bordered on one side by a chasm. As previously established, I'm a sucker for nature levels, and this one is pretty naturey. Also it has jump pads with large signs behind them with "JUMP" written on them. Though there are lots of goodies near the chasm, there's always the danger of falling in, of course, and it's a long way down. Still, this is a very pretty level design.

[Xan lives dangerously] [Them's fightin' words!] [Ha! You missed!] [So did you!]

Capture the Flag: A deathly chill
Author: Jos 'Sjosz' Hendriks

A two-on-two level, feeling something like a very simplified version of Orbital. There are two bare rooms for the bases, joined by a central room with one lower and two upper paths. If you use the translocator or wall jumps (which I never got the hang of) you can get from the lower path to the upper path. A simple but effective level.

[We're coming to get you] [Defending the flag] [Capturing the flag] [The central area]

Capture the Flag: The Decrepit Sector
Author: Nicholas 'CyMek' Richards

A medium-sized level with lots of fast, intense action. It's not a short trip between the two flag bases, but there are plenty of opportunities for the other team to present resistance on the way. This map has the best playability of all the maps in the level - it's fun and exciting and will get your adrenalin going. It also looks really good with all the urban decay architecture. I'm not sure why the author has chosen to put wee lightening projectors on the weapon pickups, but it's a neat effect.

[Oh yeah, duck] [That could have been nasty] [In UR base, Stealin' UR flag] [You bring that right back, young man]

Capture the Flag: RGB
Author: Richard 'Virgo47' Richter

And last but not least, the prettiest of the levels in this map pack, RGB takes place on a very nicely themed base (though the accompanying story really needed proofreading desperately). The central area is comprised of a huge well (naturally, falling in is bad) in the centre of which is a tower structure, and on either side of which is a base with three entrances - my favourite being the winding corridors at the top, which pass through the central tower.

[Got your flag] [Red hallway] [Central area] [Blue flag room]

A superb set of maps. I look forward to the next release from this group of mappers. Kranial Map Pack #1 can be downloaded here

Posted May 20, 2007 2:48 PM

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