A Friend in Need
I like this level quite a lot. It's thoughtfully designed both in terms of layout and how it works from a gameplay standpoint.
This level adheres to a philosophy I mentioned a little bit ago, about how each level is an "area" and your design should reflect that; in this one, it's some kind of facility which includes four bulk teleporters that you need to power back up. The facility is protected by sniper towers and a huge door that you have to open, and as you fight along the upper areas with the teleporters, you are treated to more complete views of the facility overall. It's very smartly designed, and you can tell that each room is consciously linked to other rooms. Architecturally, the level is generally great, and the combat is fantastic. And it even has an intelligent role in the story, as you get reacquainted with Blake's forces and Leela.
In fact, if I were to complain in general, it would mostly be nitpicky stuff, because there are no significant faults with this level in any aspect. But I'll discuss the little things now, in pictures:
TI STAIRS STRIKE AGAIN! That's the beginning of the level and, for the first half of it or so, the only recharger and save. Plus, if you miss the uplink chip up there, you have to go back up there anyway. In a scenario that's normally strong on its lighting, this is in bad form. Also, the "broken wall" thing doesn't work whatsoever with the texture set. I think just normal stairs would have been fine.
This Juggernaut never activated; I just stood there and pelted it with dual Fusion for a few minutes.
I walked by this switch five or six times. It's really difficult to see, and I think it's the homogeneous color palette biting the game in the butt. Like I mentioned a while ago, while each texture set has five or six different color sets therein, each texture of a given color is basically the same color. So all the purples are the same purple -- no lavender, no magenta, no indigo, just purple, which gives the scenario in general and this set in particular the feeling that it's all monochromatic when it really isn't. It's also starting to wear on me personally, because it's all so bland when it really shouldn't be. Especially since, on TC, half of the monsters are purple anyway, and they're the same purple as the walls.
Anyway, this is all minor stuff for the most part. This is an excellent level that's fun to play and really intelligently designed. It's always nice to see a really thoughtful map like this one.
As an aside: you get the Ouranos fusion cannon on this level, which functionally is pretty similar to the Rubicon fusion rifle. It appears to me to be superior in every way to the fusion pistol; I think it does more damage per battery? Maybe I'm imagining things, but it seems like this completely supplants the Cronos as far as fusion damage is concerned, which is unfortunate because I really like the dual Cronos a lot better.
Level design: 5/5
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