MAP22 - Borderlands
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Playable on: MAP21

E3 Romero

zodiac wrote on 27-Feb-2013 (07:05)

I'll be honest, I didn't much like map.  I can see what it was going for, the "Gotcha" style islands of exploration, but it didn't work for me.  Here's some specific feedback of what rubbed me wrong.

- Like Precinct, I think too much of the difficulty is front-loaded at the start.  It's worse here, with all the flying enemies revealed along the main path and then following you around whereever you go.  Romero tended to break up the level flow a little more even on Gotcha!

- The sense of exploration and 'what to see' that was present in all Romero maps except Living end is cramped here because of the rush of enemies.  Simply due to lack of ammo the player's path is almost certainly Shotgun + Armor --> SSG --> through warp to RL.  Not only does this not feel like an id map's flow, it also gives away three weapons in quick succession.  There's not much left for the rest of the map.

- The layout also makes it hard to go exploring - the only secrets or radsuits are pretty far off the path of opportunity, be it from observation, failed jumps, or obvious goodies.  With 10% lava you pretty much need an incentive to go looking around.

- The southwest courtyard wasn't choreographed like a Romero fight.  The spider is way to easy to bait into shooting everything, and the revenants aren't really effective with their limited field of view.  The mass demons were a good space filler, but that's really more of a Petersen thing amongst the id designers.

- The rooms/layout didn't really feel memorable - they were clearly Romero-inspired, but without big, impressive standout pieces like the staring view in the Living End, the titular 'O of Destruction', or even the ring with the demon faces vs. the rocky square set of lifts in Gotcha.  Honestly I think this is the biggest strike against the map - in contrast, Damned Strait felt much more like a Romero because the rooms exuded a "Look at me" feel even as they presented their successive fights.