|File Size||5.16 mb|
|Map Description||Onslaught map that take place inside a desert, my first decent attempt inside a map for this gametype so far, a good couple of emitters, 9 nodes, alot of vehicles.|
A large ONS map set on an alien desert similar to ONS-RedPlanet but containing more sand, more orange, and more room than ONS-RedPlanet. The visuals are nice, especially because they don’t impact framerate very much, and gameplay isn’t so bad either.
Note: The map makes use of ECE resources so you’ll need the ECE pack in order to play the map.
The first thing that strikes one upon entering the map is the color – a deep orange/red canvas of sand, rock, and sky greet the player. Accentuated by dark stone of seemingly the same color, and massive linear forms describing the man-made elements of the map with a lighter color, the map is steeped in a dark saffron. Add the coronas and lights dotted in patterns across the buildings’ surfaces, and then the wind and sand, and the impression of an industrial outpost in a hostile alien environment is complete.
The texturing is pretty basic throughout the map, with the most intriguing being on the buildings themselves. But let’s start with the terrain. A sand texture mixes nicely with a cracked mud texture, which really isn’t apropos to the theme, but it does look good. The landscape is dotted with rough boulders of varying sizes and gently rolls towards the various important map locations. The buildings are huge and dominate the landscape where they are emplaced. The texturing concentrates on different metals, some of which have been corroded, and some other that are holding up fairly well under the silicon onslaught. They are aligned well, although some cuts and texture choice combinations do not allow this. However, these are few, and the overall texturing is quite nice. Some other, smaller, ‘outpost’ buildings, are covered in exaggerated yellow caution striping which looks a little out of place compared to the other, larger, buildings in the map. The skybox is a custom terragen creation which looks quite nice, although I think the skyzoneinfo could have been placed a little higher in the skybox seeing as I get the impression I’m at the bottom of a crevasse that’s sitting in the bottom of a bowl. In general the custom meshes were well made and textured, although I did have a big problem with the skinning of the lightpole mesh. Very stretched and seemingly crudely implemented, I get the impression the author used the shadow to hide this in order to perhaps get the map out a little quicker.
The lighting is sparse but nicely effected. The skybox illuminates the main landscape well and throws large dramatic shadows onto the terrain cast down from the towering oversized BSP buildings. The smaller light fixtures around the map work well and many are associated with coronas. These coronas enhance the feel of a dust-filled environment by giving the impression that the light cast by the fixtures is being distorted by the multitude of particulate passing by. The light colors are a little helter-skelter and sometimes determining which side of the map you’re on a little difficult. Considering this is the only major team color hint throughout the map, the team colors should have been emphasized a little more, or a different landmarking method used. There are custom ‘plants’ that produce a blue hue scattered around the map. They look good, and provide a nice, gentle contrast to the overall orange light, but are rarely used. They should have been scattered a little more profusely, or other elements with the same color/lighting scheme should have been introduced to provide more contrast throughout the map. As they are now, they’re a little lacking in form or use.
The architecture here is deceptively simple and very dramatic. Contrasting the rolling landscape and somewhat rounded boulders, the BSP buildings sit up straight, hard-edged, and in dramatic contrast to the more ‘natural’ features of the map. The author also reduced his reliance on girders and supporting higher-poly structures which also serves to emphasize the overall drama of these huge, hulking, sharp forms intersecting the more natural beauty of the sand and rocks. The addition of glass windows at various sections enhances the idea that these are here for a purpose – perhaps to do with terraforming, or mining – and that people just may live behind those windows, or once did. The lights and coronas scattered across their surfaces are arrange such that they enhance the overall forms and shapes of the sections of building to which they are attached, which helps separate the giant blocks of BSP into smaller bits which add up to a gestalt of an immense structure composed of already large structures. Smaller, more intricate buildings(?) exist at a few nodes, but these are covered in yellow caution striping and look intricate and almost as if they would be easily damaged. Portions of them look solid, but I’m not convinced of the overall effect, although I do like the forms and shapes of their pieces. One curious architectural piece was the gigantic fans on either side of the map. Although effected well, and tied nicely with a good emitter effect, I don’t understand their purpose as the only volume related to it is a killzone around the blades. If you travel beneath it nothing happens. This feature is nicely executed, but appears to have no purpose in the map. One last issue I had was the ‘chain-link fence’ used in the bases. There is a section of floor covered by it, as is the area behind the power core – in fact the ‘fencing’ goes through the power core. I liked the depression in the floor over which the ‘fencing’ sits, but I would have expected to see sand built up in the depression, and the texture ended too abruptly when it met the BSP – I would have liked some trim there. Also it doesn’t look strong enough to support vehicles. The ‘fencing’ behind the power core just looks out of place. Again, I would expect to see sand drifts built up behind it against the walls, and I don’t understand the need to prohibit players from traveling behind the power core. And again, I’m missing trim.
In general, the awe is very nice. The texturing is nothing special, aside from the terragen skybox, but well-executed throughout the map, the lighting is muted overall, which is understandable from the theme, but there is some nice shadowing of the more dramatic pieces over the terrain. The architecture is really the most striking point in the map with the highlight being the contrast between the terrain and the sharp BSP buildings.
The BSP work is solid and pretty well aligned. It’s simplistic and cubic which means no HOMs. The static meshes are integrated well with the BSP. The static meshes themselves are built well and fit together well except for one instance of z-fighting on certain features. The map is somewhat optimized. The fog obscures the items past its limits and helps the framerate. I was surprised the author did not use antiportals in the large structures, and the very large boulders through the map. Despite the lack of antiportals, the map sustains a very reasonable FPS until you get to upper player limits at which point it begins to decline. Still, it has a tendency to stay above, and well above, retail in most areas. Culldistanceing coronas would have helped the FPS a bit perhaps. The pathing was well done and I didn’t notice any significant hang-ups. Sound was a bit lacking, IMO. There were general wind sounds and general ambient machine sounds, but nothing that really stood out. Most of it was just a vague whispering or humming in the backround. What about a higher pitched wind between rocks close together – as the wind would be ‘pushed’ between them faster, and lower pitched one in the open areas and/or above the rocks. Granted the author did not offer many different opportunities to vary up the sound mix, I think a little more could have been done.
So in general a good build that could have been a little better, but not by much.
Despite the fog and sand emitters, one can actually see surprisingly far in this map. This is both a blessing and a curse because it enables you to see who’s attacking you and also relieves your reliance on the radar map a little – at the same time, it makes it easier to attack nodes from far away. The nodes, although at first glance, seem pretty well covered, are surprisingly easy to attack from afar. Couple this with a lack of link guns and avrils throughout the map, and the gameplay immediately heads south a bit. As for the overall set up, its got enough nodes to keep one busy, with most of the heaviest firepower in the middle of the map. The bases are lousy with scorpians – trading one for a manta I think would have been preferable – and they are not very easily defended. The turrets are located in awkward places and don’t allow a very safe jump down back into play – they’re very far up. This is a problem throughout the map in that it’s fairly easy to ascend the structures with jumppads and lifts, but once on top, getting back down without a vehicle really hurts. And if you have many people playing, odds are those vehicles are not going to be present when you arrive. Also, I saw ECE vehicles suddenly appear in the center of the map, even though there was no indication I needed those resources. The node set up is somewhat balanced through the map with the exception of the chokepoint at each node before the bases. This leads to a major reduction of comeback possibilities, especially considering the biggest piece of firepower at the bases is the hellbender. I generally found that if a team was pushed back to that one node, or the base, then either the match was over, or the rest of the game centered on that node.
Another problem with the gameplay is that many of the node bases were set too high off the terrain – or the terrain didn’t come up high enough to the outer rim of the bases – your pick. The problem was that I had to double-jump just to get onto the node bases. This dramatically slows things down when trying to capture or defend them. The standard health-weaponlocker-health setup was at all of the nodes which was nice, but, as mentioned before, not all the weaponlockers contain link guns nor avrils, so many times I was stuck waiting for a node to charge with nothing to do in the meantime. Nor could I heal it – which was a major concern since they could be attacked from quite far away.
As mentioned earlier, the heavy vehicles were found more towards the central suite of nodes which meant defending closer to the bases got more difficult, the more one was pushed back. Mantas were provided at these closer-to-home nodes which made getting to an opponent’s node closer to the middle easier, but that’s not enough of a counter-balance. Especially considering the only air support close to the base is at the base.
In general the gameplay is decent despite all of this. All of these factors will only come into play when fighting humans. When fighting bots, the cost of all these downsides is reduced. If you can keep the action in the middle suite of nodes, this ends up being a pretty fun map. If the gameplay progresses to the node close to base, expect either a stalemate, or a quick end of game.
Overall, the visuals are quite nice, very dramatic, but a bit monochromatic. The map is built well, and the FPS holds up well despite the onslaught of sand. The gameplay can be good, but playing close to home base is the most awkward part of the gameplay. A recommended download for ONS fans, and worth a shot for everyone else, although it may not stay on your hard drive for too long.
12-30-2005 06:17 PM MST
|Wish someone would do one of these maps,accept all inside a big ass building,and no fog.|
06-26-2005 04:52 PM MDT
|Rating: 9|| |
|Good map. Large desert theme. Bots play well. Good job.|
06-26-2005 07:22 PM MDT
|Rating: 7.5|| |
|Reminds me RedPlanet, with Torlan-ish nodes... It's a good map, but it still could have been better and could have had even more work in it...|
Some suggestions, bugs and things worth saying:
- The first thing I did not like was all those stones, they look too simplistic...
- The nodes really need more cover, battles often take place from too high distances, and some nodes can be shot even behind the fog, what can become really annoying... :/
- I miss an AVRiL in most of the nodes, it’s difficult defending them from such long distances without that weapon... A linkgun should have been in every locker...
- There isn’t any StallZ line, so the air vehicles and the SPMA camera crash suddenly with the top of the map...
- Strange... Map description says there are multiple LinkSetups... I only can see the Default one (and Random...) :(
+ Framerates are great, even with so many sand emitters...
+ I like the z-action on those buildings in the centre area...
+ Awesome skybox.
+ I like the vehicle placement (except Cicada, Paladin and SPMA in the mid node)...
+ Distances between nodes are good too.
Worth the download...
06-27-2005 10:56 AM MDT
|Rating: 7.5|| |
|catchy for me :)|
06-28-2005 01:44 PM MDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|Great map. I love it! Keep up the awesome work Kantham. :)|
06-28-2005 02:23 PM MDT
|Rating: 7|| |
|Good looking map, though I have a complaint: |
Jumped into one of the tanks sitting on its circular
concrete pad, drove it straight forward off the edge of the pad... and it got stuck halfway off.
I didn't make a note of which exact tank this was, sorry.
Probably there's a good chance this can happen with more than one of them. Good map though. I'll edit this later with that info probably.
|Doc K |
06-29-2005 01:37 AM MDT
|Just did a walk/fly thru, no actual gameplay, so I'll save the rating until later. But I will say the map has great atmosphere, is nicely layed out (nodes, etc), and has good vehicle and weapon placement. One small complaint though: Inside the powercore bases, whereever the solid floor meets the mesh floor, there is a slight lip. Inexplicably, you cannot walk or run over it, you have to jump it. That should def be fixed.|
06-30-2005 01:55 PM MDT
|Rating: 6|| |
|I put it on the LAN party, first look, seems great,|
playability: weapon lockers
next: nodes seem to be protected, but not, can be killed from very very far away
i think weapon placement is the main thing
08-10-2005 03:00 AM MDT
|Rating: 6|| |
|Looks nice but it was basically just a clusterf*ck when I played it. Too many nodes connected in a way that felt unnatural made figuring out where to go a chore. And why weren't there link guns at every node? o_O|
08-11-2005 09:09 AM MDT
|Rating: 6.5|| |
|Decent attempt at a visual concept which has a bit of an Unreal 2 feel to it. As mentioned the gameplay does suffer and placement of some of the turrets is a bit questionable. Botplay is well done.....|
08-15-2005 07:42 PM MDT
|Rating: 6|| |
|Good layout but gets a lower mark here for unoptimazation and bugs.|
|Wesley "Boreas" van Dijk |
10-05-2005 03:54 PM MDT
|Rating: 8|| |
|I like it! Just one thing bothering me (don't know if it's this map or another one of yours)... it might help to check your grammar and spelling with Word or something, a map description filled with errors is just as annoying to me as a map without a screenshot... |
Keep going like this, I've been checking out your work and it gets better by the map :D
EDIT: Yeah, hotlist, and you really deserved it :D
12-29-2005 02:02 AM MST
|Rating: 8|| |
|Love this map. Great fun.|
12-31-2005 09:24 PM MST