Map Review of psychic-agog

by GrandmasterJ | January 22, 2023 | 3656 characters

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This map is just a beta and is unfortunately never going to be 'finished', however it is still playable and is fairly polished as well. The first half has some trippy scenery followed by some space zombie fighting with cube gathering.

The map starts us out in a big black and white grid field with some basic but evocative geometry. large cubes dot the area along with some floating and gyrating cubes above, some interesting towers and some buildings with obvious purpose. This is a puzzle, an escape room of sorts and it is pretty fun. Each time we solved a piece of it there would be something happening, this map uses the camera controls frequently and we get a lot of cutscenes.

Finishing this area dumps us in floating maze room, easy enough to solve. Then we have a very trippy giant room with four pillars that fills with stuka bats. After a certain amount of bats were killed a hole blew open and we could escape into the next part which doesn't keep to the previous black and white checkerboard look. I really do enjoy when maps have crazy art styles and I really appreciate it here, even if it kind of hurts my eyes at some points. The map also has some good atmospheric sound effects and music, which really helps bring the atmosphere together.

The next section is a little more standard, but still has some interesting visuals. We have to match colored transparent cubes to monitors. There is one part where we go onto what I think is an alien spaceship, it has a ribbed double arched ceiling and a bunch of glowing effects between the ribs and it all looks so nice. It definitely clashes with the rest of the map architecture but it leaves me agog and that is what the map advertises.

There is quite a bit of combat, mostly gonomes, zombies, and barneys. Players are given shotguns, M16s, and revolvers and adequate ammunition to take them all down. My teammate and I kept stealing from each other, one would spawn first and take all the ammo and the other would have to wait. Spawn points update and they have the same amount of ammo so we were fairly well equipped throughout the map.

There were a few areas where my teammate and I had to simultaneously press buttons so co-op is required. We also found two secrets, although reflecting back on the map there were probably more.

The end of the map comes after a long sequence of flashing lights, moving parts, and fun sound effects along the way. The door opens to the heartfelt message from the author "LOL HaHaHa Beta". I had a lot of fun in the map. I like the puzzles, I like the visuals, the combat is pretty good, the ammo could have respawned a bit faster, the updating checkpoint keeps things going fast, and the map ends with a laugh. If I had a complaint I think it would be the pillar hallway that really hurts my eyes. There was also one teleport in the map where players always take damage. Mandatory fall damage is not cool. I wonder what it would have been like if it was polished out of beta because it is already very good.

Pros:

  • Great visual style
  • fun puzzles
  • updating checkpoint
  • good weapon supplies
  • really impressive sequences and overall great production value put into this map
  • good music, just overall top notch atmosphere

Cons:

  • the ammo could have respawned faster
  • mandatory fall damage on a teleport
  • The pillar hallway had visuals that hurt my eyes
Score: 8.5 / 10
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