Map Review: DM-Stalwart ][

Welcome to my first Unreal Ops Map Review. I will be using SwitchyB’s criteria for reviewing maps. I would like to note that my review is based on a player’s perspective. I have mapped with the unrealed, but my skillz are not up to par with most of the Unreal mapping community.  Before you start please review SwitchyB’s criteria.

Map:  DM-Stalwart ][
Author:  Xxyz 
Number Of Players:  2-3
File Size:  3.80 Megs
Reviewed By:  Meatbelly
Review Date:  12.31.02

Reviewer’s PC: 
CPU: Pentium 4 2.53
Memory: PC800 Rdram 256MB
Graphics Card: GeForce 4 Ti4200
Game Settings:
Resolution: 1024×768
Color Depth: 32-bit
Frame Rate: 50 fps – 70 fps
Items:
Adrenalin Capsules:  Yes
Double Damage Amp:  No
Health Stations:  Yes
Health Vials:  Yes
Keg O� Health:  Yes
Shield Pack:  Yes
Super Shield Pack:  Yes
Weapons:
Flak Cannon:  Yes
GES Bio Rifle:  No
Ion Painter:  No
Lightning Gun:  No
Link Gun:  Yes
Minigun:  Yes
Redeemer:  No
Rocket Launcher:  Yes
Shock Rifle:  Yes

 

Level Design (20/20):
DM-Stalwart is a level for Unreal Tournament created by Alan �Talisman� Willard. This is one of the levels UT shipped with and an old favorite of mine. Xxyz decided to remake Stalwart for Unreal Tournament 2003 and boy am I glad! The level design is pretty much dead on to the original. Xxyz add his own touches by replacing the Star Fighter in the bay from UT to the Bulldog in UT2003. Gone are the days of plain wall and floors. Xxyz has given Stalwart the new high polygon UT2003 look!

Weapons and Items Layout (19/20):
The weapon placement is almost identical to the original. Any UT player will be able to locate the Flack, Shock, Link, Rocket Launcher, and Mini with no problem. The Adrenaline capsules are placed in a very logical manner except for the ones placed on the top structural beams. I still don�t know how to get to them.(Update) Xxyz let me know that you use the Shield Gun to obtain the capsules. But I really don�t see the advantage of taking the time to reach a minor powerup that can be located in easier spots. The super powerup placement is essential in creating strategy which I will cover below.

Strategy (18/20):
The strategy of DM-Stalwart is to collect the major powerups and grab your favorite weapon. It is pretty cut and dry. One factor that will keep experienced players ahead of the rest is the placement of the Keg O� Health and the Super Shield Pack. Both powerups require the player to double jump to reach them and it is harder than it looks. Overall, this level ,much like Gael and 1 on 1 Alpu2, will allow the player with the true skillz to shine.

Bots (15/20):
The bots can be quite challenging at the higher playing levels. I had played several matches at Godlike and the bots were reasonably difficult. The only problem with the pathing is that the bots don�t seem to recognize or be able to access the two major powerups (Keg O� Health and the Super Shield Pack). I am not sure if this is a game flaw or a pathing flaw, but they don�t seem to be able to double jump and reach the goods. The default number of bots for this map is one. This is an understandable decision considering the size of this map. Xxyz notes in the readme that single player games are not recommended. I would have to agree and recommend playing this level online.

Bugs/Issues (16/20):
The only bug I found with DM-Stalwart] [ was a small buzzing noise. I am not sure if this was caused by the conversion of the .ogg file or my computer�s configuration. This is a very small bug considering the old school flava that the original music from UT, Strider, provides. This issue should not discourage any player or administrator from downloading and cycling this map.

Overall:
This level deserves a spot on anyone�s server. The fact that it is old school should sell the level itself. I hope Xxyz decides to fix the small issue with the sound and I wish him the best of luck with his future projects. Whether a remake or an original I will make sure to follow his work. Thank you for bringing back the Unreal Tournament flow.