A Drug Bust Imperial Style
Mission Type:
Post Date:
March 31, 2001
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
Chris Swan
81 / 100
June 17, 2001
84 / 100
74 / 100
82 / 100
First Impressions
From the text file this level looked pretty straightforward except for the fact that you wouldn't be playing as a Jedi with the help of force powers and a saber and you'd be helping Imperials rather then Rebels. Nothing else really seemed to stand out about the level, but after playing it I was pleasantly surprised that the quality was actually very good.
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
A Drug Bust Imperial Style was a well laid-out and realistic level from start to finish, and many of the architectural features reminded me of the first two levels of JK. Platforms, slopes, steps, windows, ledges and machinery were common sights and a lot of areas had rooms and catwalks of multiple heights, meaning the best way to go was sometimes up or down, and forcing the player to think three-dimensionally. The inside areas were both detailed and interesting, with computer consoles and screens on the walls, but the same style of architecture did get rather repetitive after a while, even though the author did try to offer some variation with large and small rooms linking to outside areas. Equally, the texturing was of high quality, with virtually all textures properly stitched and appropriate to the industrial-type environment, but the range was limited, which didn't help when combined with the repetition of architecture. The outdoor architecture was less impressive, mainly because of the massive open expanses, but the author did try to make sloped walls and windows to the indoor rooms to improve the detail. The texturing here was good too for the most part, but some textures were repeated too many times over the walls. Generally, the design in this level was done to a high standard, and if the author can add a little more variety, especially in textures, in his next level the design will score much higher.
Dynamics / Interactivity
A Drug Bust Imperial Style was a difficult level to complete and it offered a constant challenge both in terms of enemies and finding out where to go next. There was a variety of common features like forcefields, cranes and conveyor belts, and a simple puzzle or two as well (although at times it seemed a bit key / switch huntish). Simple doors and lifts were also common, and all had no problems at all. However, the amount of enemies, particularly the more powerful ones, was rather excessive toward the end and I also ran out of ammo somewhere along the way, which made the challenge a bit too difficult at times. Health would have been well-placed, but there wasn't really enough near the end because I ran out of bullets and in turn this made me lose a lot of health each time I fought a new enemy. The enemies themselves were not really placed in the best locations, with most of them simply standing in corridors at the same level as the player. What would have really improved things was if the author made use of the multi-levelled architecture he had produced and put the enemies in higher or lower places to make the player look up or down more. This shortcoming was made less problematic through the use of new enemies, which were droid-type things with good textures and sounds. They were the strongest enemies in the level (other than the boss, who I'll mention shortly) and they didn't need to be placed strategically to be effective. There was even a boss to face once I reached the end of the level, and after the good quality of the rest of the level I was expecting something quite special. Unfortunately, the boss was definitely the most disappointing aspect of this level. He was basically just a normal rodian with a bowcaster and a boring "blast repeatedly to kill" type boss with seemingly invisible super-strong armour. To make matters worse, blasting him repeatedly wasn't possible because of the lack of ammo near the end of the level and I had to resort to punching him, which didn't do any good either because he seemed to misunderstand the concept of honour and continued to blast me to pieces with his gun. Eventually I actually had to use the weapon cheat to defeat him, as it was simply impossible to do with bare fists alone. In future the author should use a boss who is defeated by a puzzle, or at least give the player more ammo so there's a chance of killing him. As it was, the boss was the biggest disappointment in the whole level and severely affected the score.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
The atmosphere of this level was simple, yet effective. I was always made aware of the industrial setting through things like the ambient conveyor belt sounds, whirring machinery and bleeping computers. The sounds were well chosen for each part of the level and the sounds made by the new enemies were good too. Another thing I liked was that there were a lot of air vents which had to be used to bypass inaccessible areas, adding to the realism, but getting into a few of these without force jump became difficult and annoying at times. The lighting was also a good feature and it helped a lot in drawing attention away from the repeated textures. Pits were appropriately darkened at their deeper parts and shadows were plentiful. Being set at night, under a sky of stars, the level really felt like something out of Star Wars and a flashing light was also used in one section. The only slight annoyance was that some areas were a little too dark and I did run out of batteries at one point too. Finally, there was little that took away from the feel of the level. I experienced no crashes or slowdown and everything seemed realistic, apart from the awful boss who could withstand perhaps fifty blaster bolts before finally dying.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
This level doesn't really offer anything special in particular, but it's well designed and certainly worth downloading to play at least once. It would have scored considerably higher if it weren't for the ridiculous boss and the quite extreme difficulty at times.
84 / 100
74 / 100
82 / 100