AT A GLANCE:
Remember that guy from high school who, like, could never do anything right, always wore the goofiest looking clothes, was completely worthless at team sports, boring and incomprehensible if you got stuck in a conversation with him, and probably ended up either as a frozen food plant employee or a computer programmer? Our class Zero was named Rob Something-or-Other, but we called him "The Bucket" (as in, the bottom of). This Quake2 level looks like it was made by The Bucket -- almost everything about it is mismatched and clumsily executed, and once you get down to it is as boring of a level as you could make with Quake2. It also looks like shit.
know we are in for fun
when the mission info
screen is completely
blank ... makes it more
of a surprise.
DESCRIPTION: The map description says that it is the author's first Quake2 level, and was executed in about twenty hours. Fair enough -- one has to start somewhere, and my own first Quake level ever took about six minutes to make, so I guess he was being "ambitious" rather than learning how to use the fucking tools (it's supposed to be called a TUTORIAL map for a good reason, Quiz Kid). So I guess we can't fault him for being ignorant and aggressive. But reading further down the text under "How to use this level" young Mr. Alves has listed the following information:
"Make a "maps" directory in ../quake2/baseq2 and copy the level into it. Then type in "map sgar" and wait for your onscreen mission orders."
Come again? The guy doesn't even remember what level he made. Also, calling up the game computer for mission details yields a totally blank screen. As you can tell, a pattern of shittiness is developing here.
THE MAP: One starts out in a box facing a door that won't open framed by walls that are textured like a pair of Herb Tarlek's best blue plaid polyester golf pants. Turning around, one finds an invulnerability powerup. Behind it, in a room that looks like it was constructed by someone with their monitor switched off, waits a railgun. I took one step towards it for the sole purpose of getting a screenshot of the "room" and was railed dead by a Gladiator. That was maybe 6 seconds into the game. As I like to say, Quake2 single player level design commonly requires death to be MANDATORY, especially if the map author can't think of anything better to inflict upon people unwary enough to download their work. This is known as making the level "a challenge".
Now I like the Railgun as much as the next guy (even though I cannot hit the broadside of a barn with one without stopping dead still, crouching and aiming with the mouse, by which time someone has usually introduced my rectal area to a rocket), but I have always been led to believe that the Railgun is one of those sacred Q2 cows that should only be accessed after some sort of "trial" or gimmick. Having it sitting waiting on the floor of the first room in a map is as imaginative as your average toothpaste commercial.
So you hop around like a bunny and rail the Gladiator, then activate a switch that serves no apparent purpose, trot down another hideously textured elongated box that serves as a "hallway", and emerge into another box half filled with totally transparent water with, of course, interstellar space piranha fish waiting to eat you. This box leads to another box with monsters in it that leads into another box with other boxes connected to it. There are monsters in all of the boxes, and the final box leads out into space (yes, this is a SPACE map) and down a catwalk where the traditional "impassable gathering of Boss monsters conjured up by an inept game level designer" awaits to remind you of why you gave up on Quake2 single player in the first place. What crap.
crappy Quake2 single
player levels MUST
end with a pointless
bullshit like this.
An extra word on Joao's use of "textures"; the id art development team designed some cunning texture graphics to apply to the faces of the blocks of matter that compose the stuff of the Q2 environment (walls, floors, those stupid crates people use too much to try and fill up their empty rooms and make the map have "detail", the computer consoles that bleep gibberish at you, pools of lava and the ever popular flesh eating nuclear slime waste, etc etc). Anyway, these textures were meant to be combined in a manner to create objects that, when juxtaposition with other objects by a resourceful mind, might suggest a sense of "place" (i.e. a sewer, a spaceship, or one of those goofy "research labs" where the Marines get ground up into tofu, for instance) and add to the (sic) immersive quality of the game. The way that the author has employed his texture palette in this map is completely random, makes absolutely no sense, and seems to have been designed deliberately to piss me off ... Button textures for a floor, Strogg logo textures made into blocks that serve as steps, the ever popular "blood spattered stone" texture that no crap map author can seem to resist employed in a segment of wall that would seemingly have no conceivable way to get spattered with blood, clear transparent water textures shimmering on top of white stone textures in such a way that a painful glare is created ... The author was either blind, inept, lazy, whacked out on morphine sulfate, or a combination of all four when deciding on how this map should look. The result is absolutely hideous, lacks conviction or style, and gave me a tension headache.
GAMEPLAY: Mr. Alves' idea of "gameplay" involves leading the player like a brain-dead cow through a series of boxes of varying sizes containing monsters to kill. At the end of the map you are confronted with more monsters; you kill them and exit. End of map / your life.
FUN FACTOR: Playing "Teste" was fun in the same way that chewing on plain saltine crackers laced with strychnine would be considered eating a nutritious meal.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The last thing in the world that I want to do is to discourage people from making more Quake levels. I just want people to stop making SHITTY Quake levels, and "Teste" is as good of an example of what NOT to come up with as I can recommend.
ratings go from 0 (bearable) to -10 (painfully terrible).
Total score goes from 0 (ok) to -50 (the worst piece of shit you'll ever play).