Another Platinum styled map with the exception of excellent bot pathing. I found one shortcut that the bots are not aware of... Be prepared to have a level fight against them as well.
If You like Platinum style maps, this is a dead certain keeper. The looks are typical Aaron, concrete with iron elements here and there. Very consistent architecture combined with low poly count.
The z-axis is there and Aaron has put in a few revealing items like health vials on this map.
I found the map easy and entertaining to play. Several times in a row.
What can I say. Well zoned, no BSP holes, no BSP errors, no misaligned geometry and all player starts placed and directioned well. I spotted one zoning error near the grid that is over the water. You can see through the floor sometimes when looking through the grid. No big deal.
Should I whine about poly count... no because it stays ALWAYS below 180 usually below 80. The Node/Poly ratio is about 2 which is not dangerous as the poly count is so low.
However, the music track is conflicting with an existing pack. I suggest Aaron to change the name of the pack even if it carries exactly the same music.
The bots can navigate the map very well. They are mostly aware of the shortcuts which is really a killer in a z-axis oriented map like this is.
Aaron left very little to wish for, maybe one or two ambuspoints to tell the bots for profitable fishing places.
With godlike bots You are dead in a minute... I was in trouble already with the adept ones.
The map plays like the train toilet, it is simple and effective. Same applies to the flow, It is very natural to jump around in this creature.
Aaron has even prepared the map with some specialties like hollow crates with a canister in to get out from there. (near the shield belt).
Health is there yet it may become scarce (4 med boxes and 13 health vials). Placement of these is well thought.
The armament is a weeny bit too much for my taste. Especially the shock is a devilish gadget when hold by a bot...
The only powerup is the shield belt whose location is easy to spot making getting a grip on it a very hazardous task. Nice.
The map uses several textures from diverse packages, RainFX, Mine, Metalmys, UTtech having the main impact on looks in the map. Textures are well aligned even on surfaces like sides of slant pillars. I know from experience that they can be a pain in the a** to align. There are some misalignments but they are really rare and You have to specifically look for them to find 'em. Trim is present everywhere and that is one of the things that make Platinum maps look so good.
Lights are just perfect. I possibly can't imagine how these could have been made in a better way. One example are the light boxes who are sized and aligned perfectly on place. They look just good. All this is done WITHOUT dynamic lighting. Smack.
Sounds and decoration are not the strongest side of Platinum. Like all his maps, this one has very little things that would draw Your attention (especially during the game). The only exception are the six fans that emit a fan-like sound. I would like to see and hear more stuff like that. Especially as they usually don't hurt the gameplay.
Music is ARYX (which I believe is copyrighted) and there exists an earlier version with the same packet name. Unfortunately Aaron didn't know this and copying that file over the existing one will ruin the previous map.
Other than these, the map looks and sounds just great in it's simple way.
The architecture is well thought out. It supports the texturing and gameplay seamlessly. The zoning is there ready to help the occlusion process.
Aaron has also used semisolids for decorations. However, there is one pillar that is semisolid right in the middle of battle field. This is not a problem for human players but bots may try to shoot through it. However, the pathing goes nicely round that pillar.
Very good, simple design that looks a lot more complicated than it actually is.
The atmosphere is very much like it always seems to be in Platinum's maps; pure bred basement. The map is very consistent in it's looks and this probably makes the atmosphere in this map.
However, I still miss some more "stuff" around as long as that does not hurt the slick gameplay. Hearing stuff would also be nice. This map has some ambient sounds but they are still far from making up the environment.
All in all, this is a basement and it looks and smells like that. I would prefer some echo, ambient sounds and stuff around. You may still like it as this map really plays like the train toilet.
There is no excuse to not to download the map. It is well worth the time and hassle with the music track.