Ancient City by Paul [FN]
|Review machine: AMD K6-2/450, 196Meg RAM, Voodoo2 SLI @ 1024,768||Download (UK) (Russia)|
A large ground only level with a basic storyline, Rynn has some weapons that didn't appear in the game. Note that the level is unfinished.
What interested me most about this level was that it had a plot as most of the other levels don't have one. The plot goes something like this:- whilst venturing through a lonely valley, Rynn came across a small remote village buried deep in the wilderness. She stopped by and learnt of an ancient city that once belonged to the order lay nearby. She then set out to find the city.
On starting out, you find yourself in the middle of the village, now I'm not going to go on about frame rate again because it is as good as Drakan itself. The village is the only part where it runs slow so if you are put off by the low fps, don't disregard the level as crap, because it isn't, its very good. The overall size and scale of the level is spot on and it sets a good atmosphere.
Level architecture was great, especially the city itself and the surrounding ruins. The shipwreck on the beach was a cool addition although the model size had been increased; it would be better if it were the same size as normal. Texturing was good and there were no serious problems with alignment and best of all there wasn't any bugs. Enemy placement was good around the city and I liked the orcs patrolling the routes to the city entrance.
The things I didn't like about the level were the long stretches of sand with nothing around, I know its supposed to be like that but it would be better if there was more ambient sound effects and some music would add to the atmosphere a lot. The weapons were too powerful - it made it far too easy, it would be better if there was less weapons or the damage were to be reduced. I also noticed that the lighting in the level seemed too bright and the shadows were cast in the same direction of the moons. It just didn't seem like it was the middle of the night, it would be best with an early evening sky like in the islands level of Drakan.
One other thing is that the story / plot must be set after the game as Rynn had never visited the tropical parts of Drakan until she met up with Arokh. Saying that, it would be much better if Arokh was there to help you out and it would be great to fly over the landscape rather than walk. If the author wants it to be ground only, it should say something in the plot about where Arokh is just to set the scene better. The readme states that the level will be improved and more buildings would be added but I hope he doesn't go overboard and slow the level down.
Overall, Ancient city is worth downloading and it doesn't need much more work to finish it. If the author took note of the suggestions above, it would make a great level.
Rating; Architecture / landscape: 7 Texturing: 7.5 Item / enemy placement: 5
Atmosphere: 7 Coolness / new ideas / enhancements: 4.5 bugs: none