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Map Info

GametypeUT2k4 Deathmatch
Date Added06-12-2004
File Version2.00
File Size19.41 mb
Player Count2-4
Map DescriptionCredits:
Thanks to Jay Harrison and Dave "Anarkist" for Beta testing, and TAZ for permission textures (r3text.utx) :)

Review Rating7
User Rating8
Overall Rating8.0


ReviewerIronblaydeAwe Score: 3.0/3
Date07-21-2004Build Score: 2.0/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.0/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 8.0/10

AWE: 3.0

Anyone who's played the original UT should be familiar with KaMi's work. His maps consistently make the hot list, and have claimed the title of Featured Map three times, an achievement I don't think any other mapper has matched. DM-CBP2-Griffin represents KaMi's first foray into the wonderful world of UT2004, and it doesn't disappoint.

The inevitable first impression that will strike you when you see this map is that it looks to be DM-Aristocracy redivivus. The author has employed the textures that Paul 'Taz' Mader created for that map to terrific effect, and while the general architecture of the buildings bears some resemblance to Taz's masterpiece, KaMi has crafted an extensive set of custom meshes for this map, and they infuse the map with a character that is all its own. The static meshes are all carefully placed and impressively modeled. They fit the map's theme like a glove, and coexist with the BSP-based geometry in perfect harmony. The result is a meticulously detailed, immersive environment that's a joy to behold. This holds not only for the playable region of the map, but for the areas outside it as well. Most of the playing area is ringed by an unbroken line of buildings and cliffs, but there are some openings, and the author has taken the time to construct parts of the town beyond what you can reach, and it goes a long way towards making the setting believable. My complaints here are very minor indeed. I found one mesh – a small trim/decoration piece – that doesn't look to be placed quite right, and a handful of minor texture alignment errors, but that's about it.

DM-CBP2-Griffin is set on a stormy evening, so deep blues predominate in the lighting scheme, while in the windows of the many buildings and the lampposts that line the paths, strong oranges and yellows burn, trying to stave off the cold of the night. The author has made excellent use of projectors to show the light shining through window frames in detail. This effect isn't present on some of the windows where you'd think that it would be, the projection sometimes starts too close to the window fixtures, and in a few cases the positioning and maximum trace distance render the image nearly invisible, but those are minor things. It's a very nice touch. Overall, the atmospheric contribution of the lighting is excellent.

Rounding out the map's physical presence is a nice collection of emitters and weather effects. Rain pours from the sky and splashes in the puddles that have collected on the ground, and smoke issues from a number of chimneys. Everything looks natural and convincing. The few very small graphical issues that this map has are not enough to knock it out of the upper echelon as far as visuals go; there are not many maps that look better.

BUILD: 2.0

As you may have surmised given the map's high marks for visuals and the author's long experience, the world geometry looks very solid on the technical side. KaMi has done a fine job on brushwork here, and with positioning and aligning the many static meshes as well. There are a few places where a brush doesn't quite line up as you'd expect it to, or goes off the grid a bit, but you'll never notice these things without looking in the editor. Any misalignments that might have otherwise been created are covered by static meshes, so they become a nonissue.

If your hardware isn't current, be prepared to see some below-average frame rates. In addition to the considerable level of detail employed in this map, it's not quite as optimized as it could be. Antiportals are used extensively to cut down on the overdraw, but too extensively, I think; several of the antiportals do little or no culling, and should have been left out. Those of them that see more action do a reasonable job at culling excess geometry, if not as good a job as I would have hoped. Emitters, weather effects, and a small number of static meshes drop away as one decreases the world detail setting, but this too doesn't go quite as far as it could. Usually there are not too many static meshes in a map that can be removed without compromising its appearance – removing them might create a conspicuously blank space in the map, or leave mysterious shadows behind – but this one is different. There are all kinds of loose items and ornamentations that can be removed while leaving the visuals intact. There are even a few meshes that could have been removed completely, as they are never visible during play. I built a version of the map in which the bHighDetail setting is applied much more liberally to see the effect, and in the most graphically intensive sections of the map, dropping the world detail from normal to low reduced the scene by about 15,000 to 30,000 polys, a significant improvement over the way things stand now. Even so, you simply can't escape the high poly counts in this map – sometimes nearly 300,000. I don't know nearly enough about 3D modeling to say whether the author's meshes could have been simplified without sacrificing quality, but that figure seems a bit high for this map.

One other thing the author could improve on somewhat is handling collision effectively. None of the meshes have simplified collision models. Instead, virtually the entire map is encased in BlockingVolumes. The meshes so enclosed almost always have full collision enabled; the author hasn't turned off any of the functions that the BlockingVolumes obviate. There are a handful of instances where the collision on all of a mesh's materials has been disabled, but unfortunately the author chose the wrong places to do that. Specifically, this occurs on two of the map's staircases. The steps have BlockingVolumes around them, so they block player movement correctly, but BlockingVolumes, by default, don't stop zero-extent traces (i.e. most weapons fire), and so almost all projectiles will pass right through those stairs. They do hit the terrain that's sitting right underneath the stairs, so sometimes this is not too noticeable, but it becomes very conspicuous if something should hit the stairs from the side, or from any angle when using the Bio-Rifle. Material collision should only be completely disabled if the mesh never needs to collide at all. There's also one place up near the Double Damage where a BlockingVolume is significantly too large for the object it's enclosing, and so you can stand in midair. To be fair, most players probably won't find the spot where this occurs, so it's a minor thing, but still something to be careful of.

Bots play the map well, and should give you a challenge if you prefer playing offline. I never had any problems with them in my test games; they traverse the whole map and go after all the pickups easily and efficiently. There's a group of four adrenaline pills where I would have added a path that allows the bots to turn right and jump down to the nearby walkway, but this again is a very minor point. The lack of it doesn't impair the bots at all.

Finally, the ambient sound effects do a fine job of completing the atmosphere. The storm rages all around you, so that even if you prefer playing with the music off, there's never a dull moment in the soundscape. And for those who like having it on, the author's choice of background music is a good one.

CAST: 2.0

One reason that so many industrial maps get made, I think, is that the theme lends itself well to twisted, intricate layouts with multiple levels of z-axis play in every room. Such a thing is much harder to achieve in an outdoor map, but the author does a pretty good job of it. The geometry is diverse enough to elevate the layout well above the status of a mere arena, without being so contrived as to spoil the theme. Though some of the paths and walkways can get a little tight, and leave you feeling somewhat cramped when you're trying to dodge fire quickly, this map should make for some fun games. The gameplay just isn't anything revolutionary. It works well for one on one games, but is large enough to accommodate three or maybe four players. Any more than that and things start devolving into an all-out brawl.

The author's choices for spawn points and item placements work well for the most part. The full standard arsenal is in here, and the weapons and ammo pickups are distributed evenly. There are ten spawn points, none located in needlessly vulnerable spots and all with some kind of armaments close by. There's a fair amount of health, not excessive, but I think the author did get a little carried away with the adrenaline pickups. There are nineteen of them in the map, and if you're quick, you can snag fourteen of them in six seconds. There are two rows of five, one right under the other, and a cluster of four not too far away. I do like the placement of the Double Damage, up on a perch that takes a couple of jumps to reach so you have to leave yourself somewhat open to enemy fire for a second if you want to grab it. The only other powerup, a standard Shield Pack, is also well positioned, all the way across the map from the Double Damage.

One other thing I noted, a problem that will be exacerbated by struggling frame rates if your computer hasn't gotten an update recently, is that it can be hard to pick out targets in some places. The glowing windows provide a sufficiently high-contrast background, but the many rock formations and unadorned walls are quite dark, and usually bathed in the deep blue of the night. Many of the darker character skins tend to blend in with those backgrounds somewhat, and your aim may very well suffer for it.


You'd be hard pressed to find a map that looks much better than this, and it plays pretty well, too. The gameplay's not going to blow you away, but it's a solid map nonetheless, some performance problems and minor collision bugs aside. If by some chance you've neglected to get Community Bonus Pack 2, this map is a good reason to go do it now. And if you already have it, what are you reading this for? Go play!

Map Comments

06-11-2004 06:48 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
great looking map,, gameplay's nice,, but there's something missing, don't know what exactly.. l33t swords tho' :D

07-21-2004 07:43 PM MDT
thx for the coments, and the review Ironblayde :)

06-11-2004 09:15 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
looks of aristocracy with gameplay of Albatross

can you ask for much more? good work

Sicko Teddy
08-09-2004 03:16 PM MDT
Rating: 10 
For much more , you say?
... I can ask for a Little more such as extrahazards. Like Triggerable Spikes that can puncture the unaware enemy. and some secrets and hiding spots..
That would be my MUCH more.
But oh well, that map is still nice looking (gothic style)and more than playable , so this MUCH MORE can be cut down here :)
It's just me - an extrahazard lover, where I can kill the enemy not with my weapons.

06-12-2004 01:37 AM MDT
Rating: 9 
This is definitely one of my favorites from the pack, no question about it. The flow is smooth, the theme and lighting is very well done, gameplay is good, I like the rain, good texture choices, nice terrain, the list goes on and on. Long story short, great job here! This shows you belong with the boys and girls of the Community!

06-12-2004 08:48 AM MDT
Rating: 8 
I really like this map.

06-15-2004 10:03 PM MDT
Rating: 7 
Just doesn't feel right. It's probably the scale and the un-Unreal setting. Some parts of the map are cramped too, and don't facilitate good gameplay.

Technically very good, though - like much of the CBP2.

Mad Irish Mapper
06-17-2004 05:47 PM MDT
Rating: 6 
Very very poor FPS and it is very cramped in places which hinders the flow of the level a bit. It is very nice looking however, but only good for a little FFA now and again.


06-18-2004 06:34 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
fps is not great, but theme is wonderful :)

06-29-2004 05:13 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
Fantastic!, theme is wonderful, a bit dark imo but great job!

07-21-2004 06:00 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Excellent visuals, but gameplay doesn't suit me.

07-21-2004 06:20 PM MDT
Rating: 8 
Actually, I think this map is better than Aristocracy. Though I do agree that there is too much adrenaline lying around.

07-21-2004 07:06 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Experienced mapper. Another good effort........

08-09-2004 03:42 AM MDT
Rating: 9 
LOL mad irish a 6 is not a c+

08-15-2004 11:38 PM MDT
Rating: 6 
what really really gets me is you can't open any doors I think i tried them all Lol.unless i missed it.
If I could just get inside of one of those houses to see whats in there.As map goes,not liking it for playing,it's hard to differentiate from bots to map (hard to see) and with all those doors one should open for a secret.

08-12-2004 08:17 AM MDT
Rating: 6.5 
Being able to go inside the buildings would ruin the gameplay.

It's ok, gameplay is average IMO, though visually it's nice.

08-12-2004 08:54 AM MDT
Rating: 7 
I'm gonna go against popular opinion on this one, I thought the gameplay wasn't too great and faar to cramped in some areas, the weapon placement didn't seem too balanced either.
And visually yeah, it's pretty damn good, only 300,000 polys is perhaps a bit too much for anyone :p
Also, in some places there seems to be these girder things to link 2 platforms which looked very rushed and out of place etc.

08-12-2004 06:38 PM MDT
hey shao .. this is the same comment u puted on CTF-Steven Mountian base whit a 1

u are more moron than i thought =/

08-12-2004 07:44 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
cool map, feels like a big aristrocacy rip-off though :)

08-12-2004 10:28 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
Great job kaMi! nice touches here and there and atmosphere like an old horror movie... sorry, gameplay was good but not your best, and my FR avg was 20FPS which is too low - should be better. map was still very playable tho, thankfully :) i usually get 40-70FPS on dm maps, all kinds. again, sweet map :D

08-13-2004 02:01 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
ah,the polys...

08-14-2004 05:39 PM MDT
Rating: 8.5 

08-16-2004 07:57 AM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
Very very nice grafics!! like a terror movie wowow

01-06-2005 01:06 PM MST
Rating: 9 
This map is just, well, awesome!

01-06-2005 03:20 PM MST
i am not sure about this map

01-07-2005 01:49 AM MST
Rating: 8 
Hm...Interesting and very easy to play map!!! I like it...

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