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Map Info

GametypeUT2k4 Capture The Flag
Date Added06-10-2005
File Version1.00
File Size42.35 mb
Player Count6 - 18
Map DescriptionDeep in the mountains of Granica, two miles north of Argento del Alma, lies the isolated geothermal facility Gralada, operating with minimal human intervention under the supervision of a program known as The Priestess. Housed in metallic statues, The Priestess has been rumored by visiting engineers to send cries for freedom echoing through the plant's empty passages. Thankless as it is, however, the Priestess is unswerving in her task of maintaining Gralada's perpetually producing power.
Review Rating8
User Rating9
Overall Rating9.0


ReviewerArcadiaVincennesAwe Score: 3.0/3
Date07-22-2005Build Score: 2.5/3
Review SchemaCast Score: 2.5/3
User Point: +1
Overall Score: 9.0/10

CTF-Gralada (UT2004)

A fantastical ctf map from the ever popular Desporado#2. Yet again, a map that does not disappoint from a solid mapmaker who also makes his own textures and meshes. You don't need to scroll down to the final summary. Go get it now.

AWE: 3.0

The texture work is lovely. Cleverly used pure whites and simplified colors contrasted with almost pure black textures combine to create a close to neon glow running the lengths of corridors and borders. Hard concrete and metal support the fantastical bases. Alignment is well executed and application is practically faultless - and this goes not only for the BSP walls, but also for all the custom textures on the custom meshes. Bordering on an industrail facility of some sort, the gestalt of the grey and brown textures actually aids the impression that the facility is either brand new or always kept clean - contrary to many industrial map locations. The only downside being a few (very few) stretched textures on some of the custom meshes.
The lighting is a mix of hotspoted features and almost ambient lit spaces between them. But the overall effect sidesteps the blandness inherent in ambient lighting because the lights work so very well with the textures on the sources. Distanced areas surrounding the central oeuvre are lit exquisitely featuring just the right amount of light to illuminate the interesting pieces including just enough light to hint at the continuation of the space.
The architecture ranges from the inspirational to the almost mundane - with an emphasis on inspirational. The central area is the piece de resistance of the map and the bases almost seem like an afterthought in comparison. But with the addition of the computer's faces and the tube shaft, the map brings the fantasticaly through to the rest of the map. The corridors connecting all this, despite their texturing and lighting, almost seem bland in contrast. On the other hand, if the entire map was as interesting and as detailed as the center, it probably would not run on most machines. So on one hand, it's a good help to break up the map into digestible chunks, but on the other hand I get the feeling that a little more could have been done to them. The feeling I always take away with me is a rectangular one. And that's something I don't really get from the rest of the map.
Summed up, the AWE is quite brilliant. Texturing, lighting, and architecture all meet to bring a new somewhat alien/somewhat human environment to life. A tiny bit of texture stretching on a few meshes, and a bit of rectilinear homogeneity in the corridor architecture are the only things dropping the score down to 2.75. Since I have to round, I’ll round up to 3.0.

BUILD: 2.5

Despo knows how to get what he wants out of the editor and it shows. BSP merges seamlessly with BSP, BSP merges seamlessly with meshes, and meshes merge seamlessly with meshes. None of the coronas are overbearing, the lifts and jumppads all work as they should and the doors and their triggers function perfectly. The map is zoned quite appropriately and antiportals occlude where necessary. Everything seems fit together as one would expect from such a mapper. Three downsides exist, however. First, the center area drops the FPS below retail. Considering the breadth of what’s going on in that room, the FPS is actually almost surprisingly high. However, it is below retail. The second is the soundscaping. Ambient sounds flow through the map like water with a mix of general area and locational area sounds. I particularly liked the rather spooky sounds near the computer’s human representation. But I was disappointed by the lack of triggered sounds. I must admit I’d be hard pressed to imagine where to put a triggered sound. The doors are the first thing I think of but that’s already done. I guess I was just looking for a few more dotted around the map in order to give hints as to where a flag carrier would be. Finally, the third, is that the waterfall seemed to have a graphical error. Perhaps it was my card but the waterfall was a frozen white for me. If I moved the camera down near the bottom at looked at it at a certain angle, the waterfall’s moving texture became apparent – but then quickly disappeared. I could not get it to consistently show the texture appropriately.
Overall an excellent build with a few minor grievances to pull it off of a 3.0.

CAST: 2.5

Almost UT99 in its layout’s simplicity, this simplicity is what makes the gameplay great despite looking like an enormously complicated map. The map flows very well from side to side and up and down with perhaps the only sticking point being the extremely narrow ‘underground’ passage. Some players may not like the confining nature and steepness of the passage but I feel it affords an intriqueing escape opportunity and contrasts nicely with the wide corridored playing field above. Plus the opportunity to get out of it at the center point puts it back in favor a bit. The weapon and pickup layout was quite satisfactory and effective enough that I did not even notice it the first few times I played the map. There seemed to be just the right amount of health and the right amount of ammo throughout the map. Locations for hitscan weapons seem to concentrate around the flag areas and the entryway to the central area, and splash damage weapons are better in the corridors and around the central area in general. A nice little sniper window is provided for your headshot pleasure but you’ll need to be a quick shot as the ‘window of opportunity’ is rather small. So nothing to tip the balance in the sniper’s favor at all. And the only superpickup is nicely placed. One gameplay mechanic that’s largely missing is the popular dodgeramp. I can’t say I miss it too badly here but very advanced players may. On the other hand, the way the map is designed I don’t really see many opportunities for them. One downside for lower-end spec PCs is that the center area may prove to be too much to handle in terms of FPS. It certainly is far from breaking your video card but slow-downs will occur.
In general some really nice, classic CTF gameplay here. Nothing innovative – but nothing bad, either. If your PC can handle the FPS dips in the middle, then you should be quite happy with this one.

Enter another fantastical world from Despo’s mind. Intriquing and creative visuals, combined with a solid CTF layout and weapon and pickup distribution that doesn’t hurt all create a lovely CTF map in which to pass the hours. A must-download? The prophetess would say yes.

Map Comments

06-10-2005 10:13 AM MDT
uhhhh wow

06-10-2005 12:07 PM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
great map. excelent looks. good gameplay. *thumbs up* you deserve it

06-10-2005 12:50 PM MDT
Rating: 9.5 
Excellent work Desp, custom stuff is great!.
A must download :)

PD:Hey Antiportal co is a cool company, they did his job very well :P

06-11-2005 08:18 AM MDT
Rating: 9 
There ant many maps that really make me sit back and say WoW. But desp2 is one of a hand full of mappers who can really use the UnrealED to the max...

"A work of art"

nice job.

06-10-2005 04:16 PM MDT
Rating: 9.5 
I love you.

06-10-2005 04:25 PM MDT
lol @ the humongus file size

06-10-2005 04:54 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
This map is a lot prettier than the screenies suggest and it has a custom theme unlike any other. I dread to think of how much work has gone into this map!

06-11-2005 01:14 AM MDT
Tried beta , time to try the real version now :)

06-11-2005 06:36 AM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
There are ctf maps that come with epic, ctf maps that come with cbp, there are ctf submitted to nalicity.

nowadays there are so many maps that its hard to find decent or even really good ones that you want to keep playing since there are more maps than you could ever play.

this is one of those maps that id like to play for a long time.

nice man.

06-11-2005 07:20 AM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
well, what can i say.
i must admit the theme is not my taste. but it's so d4mn well done!
this map is really a lot of fun. one thing i remember that could have been different (minor thing really) is that some of the lights seemed a little too white but i can't recall anything else right now :)
cool map dude!!

go download and play it people!!!

06-11-2005 05:40 PM MDT
My pc crashes every isngle time i load the level.....

And yes, only with this one. I can only load it if i'm fast enough to do it in rmode 1......

06-11-2005 11:31 PM MDT
Thanks for all the comments so far. As for the crashing you are the second person that has mentioned this. :| I have to be honest and say I have no idea why this happenes. If you find out any information of why this is happening please e-mail me about it here...

If it is a problem I can resolve and I see that it becomes a huge issues ill have to make a new version.

06-12-2005 06:11 AM MDT
Rating: 9 
Awesome theme... Desperado#2 can't leave any plain wall in his maps. I like how the custom stuff is mixed with more visuals form other Desp's maps. And I expected much lower framerates! :)
The layout is good too, with some original spots.
Despite the players are a bit difficlut to see with so many visuals, the nearly useless sniping positions, and other things not worth saying, it's a great map that should be had by everyone...

06-12-2005 08:59 PM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
This great CTF level. Only detraction from it for me was the scifi backstory seemed a little rough. It just had that "It was a dark and stormy night" feel to it. Cheese factor was drifting toward sharp cheddar, but VISUALLY this thing is GORGEOUS. Awesome stuff. Thanks for the killer map - I'm sure it will provide many hours of fun for everybody.

No crash for me and I'm running it on my laptop with an old ATI 7500 mobile chip.

06-13-2005 12:58 AM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
No crashing here.... just good CTF. It's all been said.

06-19-2005 10:31 AM MDT
I know I shouldn't comment without playing (so I'll leave my score off for now)...

But those are the most beautiful screenshots I've ever seen in a non-pro (at least, not officially pro) map. In fact, the pre-lighting makes it look like it is running in an engine that supports normal mapping! (I'm assuming it's not just really dense meshes, with the associated better shadowing.)

I'd like to extend the earlier post of "I love you" to include "...and want to have your baby".

Unfreakinbelievable! You are god. (I'm gushing now, so will stop).

07-22-2005 12:41 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
nice review ArcadiaVincennes!
but 2 things make me score a little higher (well, 2 1/2)
-you can actually get out on the beautiful meshes in the mid area, and there are snipe points in the bases for those so inclined.
-the bases themselves are well laid out for holding the enemy flag. with a FC and a defender, it takes a great effort to get the flag back. but thats what ctf is all about.
-the 1/2.
if you have a good rig, you can turn all the visuals up, but if not, or playing on-line, then you're not going to do that anyway, so there are no visual "hits"
great map!

07-23-2005 06:46 AM MDT
Rating: 9.5 
Holy cow!!! Superb eye candy. Wellworth the download despite its size!! grab this beauty!!

07-23-2005 08:06 PM MDT
Rating: 7.5 
I love the art here.

Maybe a bit bland lighting wise, but it contrasts the outside well.

Doc K
07-25-2005 03:09 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
This map, as well as Hydro64 and BraveNewWorld, are a truly spectacular triumvirate. I don't recall 3 such bar-raising maps as these coming out in quick succession before. As for Gralada specifically, the theme is unique, the layout is well designed and the execution is nearly flawless. Congrats are in order for Desperado#2! I sure hope someone will be brave enough to put this one on a server for online play.

07-27-2005 03:37 PM MDT
"This map, as well as Hydro64 and BraveNewWorld, are a truly spectacular triumvirate. I don't recall 3 such bar-raising maps as these coming out in quick succession before. As for Gralada specifically, the theme is unique, the layout is well designed and the execution is nearly flawless. Congrats are in order for Desperado#2! I sure hope someone will be brave enough to put this one on a server for online play."

That's one heck of a statement. I haven't checked out this map nor bravenewworld, but after a statement like that, I probably will.

I've played CTF-Hydro64 a considerable amount since it came out and that is one hell of a LEAGUE-PLAYABLE map. I know Spoondog is working on CTF-Hydro64LE (league edition).

I don't expect it to be able to measure up to Hydro64 competitively speaking. But if it is anywhere in the ballpark, I would hope to see a league edition coming around soon. And if that is the case, you can bet I'll be hosting it.

07-27-2005 03:56 PM MDT
Rating: 9 
One of the best custom maps for UT2k4 indeed. A really nice layout play well as good as the theme. the color and lighting are comfortable as well. But somehow, I expected it could be better. Some small parts are not perfect yet. For example, the 2 non-sense flag-like signs hanged up in front of the train, and some too shiny shaders on the floor, it's even better to get rid of those things. the real big problem is the FPS. I can't get a good FPS even play this map without bots. Some staticmeshes' polygons seem much more than necessary. if this map came with the official UT2k4 in early 2004, I dont know how can I upgrade my PC to play it. A normal player probably would give up on this map.
Anyway, a great theme and good gameplay even with the FPS laging problem, the design and level arts are still my favorite. I give it 9--as bot_deform said: "A work of art"

08-11-2005 05:15 AM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
I don't play a lot of CTF. But I really enjoyed this map. The review pretty much nails it. The only bad thing about this map? the 42MB download :D

08-15-2005 07:51 PM MDT
Rating: 9.5 

08-31-2005 04:03 AM MDT
Rating: 9.5 
Unbelieveable! Some people are just very very good on map making :)

09-03-2005 03:02 PM MDT
Rating: 8.5 
Well, what can I say to this map.

I have to agree with the others and say that sooo
much has gone in to this, mesh texture and lighting wise, that I am extremely impressed.

However, i felt it was far too big and the file sizes where sky high. It should have been in a single player adventure or an AS map not a ctf map. Plus I was a little bit confusing even after playing it for about 2 hrs as to where I was. I really loved the bottom section and the tank like action in the centre, but I dont know how the maker got this idea and it seems to lack consistency.

But hey, this all in all as a design is WICKED!

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