'The Hood' by Sam
|Review machine: Athlon 950, 256Mb, ATI Radeon 64Mb DDR @ 1024,768 Reviewed 06/10/01||Download (UK) (Russia)|
The Hood is a ground level where you have to find and rescue Arokh. You start off in a small village and after talking to one of the villagers, you set off on your journey.
The Hood is a short level which shouldn't take you longer than an hour to complete, its difficulty level is OK but inexperienced players may find it hard in places. This is due to heath potions; there aren't many so you will have to try and use them only when necessary. Game play wise, the level is sound, you will come across a variety of enemies and characters, two of which provide important information so you should talk to any humans you come across. Like in other levels, communication with NPC's is through text messages that appear when you near a NPC. These are non interactive i.e. you can't say anything back other than what's pre-scripted but they are very useful for developing the plot.
The weapons you will find are fairly standard, there's nothing special here but they serve well for thwacking the enemy nevertheless.
Level architecture and landscaping is good too; the mountains look great, huge jagged spikes and rocks making your journey seem more treacherous. Trees and bushes line the lower mountain paths and the odd clearing is often populated with Orcs and Wartocks who have set up camp. There are no caves or secrets to explore that I know of, adding a couple would have been nice. In linear levels like this, you need something to make you wander off the path and return later. Texturing is reasonably good too with a decent variety with no excessive carpet tile effects and repeated rock textures.
As for detail, the camps were nice but there wasn't an outstanding level of detail that I have seen in other levels, this doesn't really matter though, this is a short and sweet quest. There were little things though such as Arokh had a yak to eat in his 'jail' cell as if the enemy was wanting to keep him alive and healthy; presumably to use him for something. The enemy placement was OK, some were cleverly placed behind bushes so that you don't see them and they take you by surprise when you pass by. There were no traps however or mass ambushes (well unless you run straight in, sword swinging)
The only problems with this level was it crashes to the desktop when you kill the death magi which I presume is at the end. This has happens in other levels so some of you may not experience this problem.
Anyway, to sum up the level, its short but reasonably well designed with some good mountain terrain to navigate and you should find it enjoyable. I would have preferred some music to the level though as I find that well chosen music adds to the atmosphere a lot.
Rating; Architecture / landscape: 8 Texturing: 8 Item / enemy placement: 7
Atmosphere: 6.5 Gameplay / new ideas / enhancements: 5 bugs: crash when killing magi?
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