P17: This hurts less than... uh...
oh. my. god.
This is unquestionably the worst level in all of Rubicon. Tycho, in his last act, teleported you into a cell on a prison ship, so Durandal's trying to rescue you. Naturally, your weapons were taken away -- again, another kick in the nads, but not as bad since you already lost your guns once in this plank not too long ago.
The problem is that this level is brutally, punishingly hard. The main enemy on this level? Enforcers. There are Enforcers everywhere. Which means you will be spending all your time either desperately trying to snipe Enforcers, and that's no problem since you have all this Maser ammo-- oh wait, no you don't. The game took your Maser from you. Enforcers are tough and frustrating enemies under normal circumstances; the possibility of being instagibbed by that lightning attack is always keeping you on your toes, but this level just takes it too far; there's just so many, and without your guns it's just a real kick in the nuts.
But alright. Problem the first: once you get out of your cell, you're already being attacked by a cadre of Fighters. (Apparently, they were originally Enforcers. Four or five Enforcers standing outside of your cell, and you have no guns and just a single bar of health. Even the Fighters will be giving you too much trouble for what it's worth, since you'll still be desperately looking for some goddamn guns. If you go too far into the level, you'll get mauled by a Hulk and sniped by an Enforcer, and sent back to the beginning of The Ascension Factor.
So you get your guns and find Durandal's first terminal. And your objective is... uh... you don't have one! Durandal's looking for a way to get you off the ship. It would be really, really nice if, for a change, Durandal just told you what to do and you could do it. The mission, in point of fact, is an exploration level, but even if you know that, you don't know what you're looking for. I still don't.
Fine. Get the guns, hustle past the Hulk, hopefully don't get shot by the Enforcer (a matter of luck, since the shots are guided, lol!). Maneuver your way through the next part of the level, and hope and pray you find the only save on the level. Take the wrong turn and get fried by an Enforcer? Back to The Ascension Factor for you, and better luck next time.
Once you do find the save and recharger, the level is just a very time-consuming test of patience and exploration, as you die enough to memorize where all the Enforcers are. (For example, so that you know there are two Enforcers waiting on the far side of a sludge pit that you have to swim through; even though it's toxic and will kills you, if you get out at the first opportunity, you'll get electrocuted and die before the damage fader from the lava goes away. You need to know to swim all the way to the far side so that they can't shoot you.)
Then it comes to the layout of the level: it's a fucking nightmare. There is, again, no organization whatsoever and no clue as to which corridor goes where, and since you don't know what your mission is, it's just a horrendous mess of hoping that next terminal is the exit. And compared to Bump and Grind, this level is bland and unexciting with lots of monochrome rooms (this room is all blue, this room is all brown, etc).
I can't even imagine what CLund was thinking. This level is not even remotely fun, and it has only a tertiary role in the plot; if you took the level out of the storyline, nothing would change, you'd still have all your damn guns, and you wouldn't have to put up with this immensely frustrating gauntlet of Enforcers. Even regular M2 Enforcers are tiresome after a while; this is just unnecessary bullshit. And if you aren't having fun, what the hell are you playing the game for in the first place?
Level design: 1/5
Memorability: 1.5/5; it's just a strange array of weird oblong rooms