Condition Red
Mission Type:
Post Date:
Peter Klassen, Jereth Kok, Steve Miller
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
93 / 100
92 / 100
92 / 100
96 / 100
First Impressions
Initial hype for the level said that it was going to be a fun, fast-paced level with lots of special effects. In the end it didn't disappoint me. Read on to find out more. Plot wise, the level was sound. I liked the idea of Kyle actually taking part in going up against an Imperial invasion rather than having him take out the Imperials after the base has been captured (like so many authors have done in the past). It's new and refreshing. I've only seen one other level like that, "Evacuation of Hoth". Then again "Evacuation of Hoth" didn't have actual time limits...
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
Architecturally speaking, I've seen a lot better from other levels, and authors. In fact, if you want to look at the architecture solely, the level comes across as bland in certain spots. The general setup is rather blocky, with straight hallways merging into boxy hangars as well as a giant circular room. However, like "Ruins of Talos" the architecture fits a certain style and realistic point. The general setup may be boxy, but it fits with the external shots of the base. Next time you play the level, take a look at the map before you hit the "Next Mission" button. The platform is set up to look like a platform. For once, the player is actually able to identify where he is. This adds to the realistic parts of the level, the mood, and the gameplay. The level is a lot more fun, at least I think, when the player knows he's fighting in a rebel platform instead of a bunch of random rooms. When you look at it from that angle, I think that this level has some of the best architecture I've seen in a level because it is able to let the player identify with his surroundings and then move on from there. The best architecture in the world isn't nearly as good if there's no point to it. Texturing was average. At times it got repetitive, but the author incorporated a lot of new textures, which spiced up the level and added to the realism as well. Most of the textures reside on the top and bottom floors, and give the status of weapon systems, internal systems, planetary statistics, ship statistics, etc. A lot looked like they were inspired by the game "X-wing Vs. TIE fighter". Despite the obvious similarities, they were still a welcomed addition since the standard LEC textures can get old after a while, especially if you have played every third-party DF level out there.
Dynamics / Interactivity
Enemy Placement was pretty good. There were never so many enemies in a room that I had to run away; although, I did run once or twice just because I was pressed for time in the beginning. The author also does a good job of flooding the rooms with stormtroopers if you take to long in stopping the ATR's. The endless stream of troopers is enough to make even the best DF player resign in defeat and start over. However, the enemy placement in the beginning was well done. The part I liked was that the placement was realistic. Almost every room had at least one trooper in it, which gave the player the sense that the base has all but fallen and Kyle is the last chance to stop the ATR's. Another thing, which I thought was clever, was how the author made fighting a secondary issue. You only get five minutes (it's really a little more then that) to stop the transports. Otherwise, you lose. Therefore, you can't waste time trying to snip at that stormtrooper from across the hall. This means the author could stick maybe three or four troopers in a room, and they would become a major hazard since you're trying to stay alive and beat the clock at the same time. It adds a whole new element of playing to the game. Items were adequate in placement. If you can find the only secret in the game, then you're set, since you get an Assault Cannon and a revive (along with an entertaining show). Other then the secret, there were enough items in the beginning for me to keep moving from room to room. A few more would have been nice, but that's just because I like to beat levels with perfect health. Enhancements were, obviously, the driving force behind this level. My challenge to you is this: find a DF level category (BM's, FME's, etc.) where there isn't anything new. Better yet, disregard that because every section has something new and different. I won't give away anything because that would spoil the level. Also, it would add considerable length to this review.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
There's a lot of atmosphere in this level, especially the beginning. You start off in the middle of things. Alarms are blaring, rebel soldiers are frantically trying to drive the stormtroopers away (don't expect too much from them BTW), and you only have a few minutes before ATR transports land and flood the base with Imperials. That alone should be enough to establish a mood that draws the player in. However, the author keeps going and varies the lighting, creates tense situations, and occasionally fills the speaker with cries or pleas or requests from fellow rebels. All of this helps instill pressure and urgency into the player. Once the rush dies down, there's still plenty to do (like admire all of the new features that were crammed into this tiny-sized level) and see before visiting Jan in the south hangar. One of the best attributes to the level is the way the author used his features in a realistic manner. Everything used was used for a purpose and not thrown in just because the effect "looks" good. In fact, the only thing in this level that seemed out of place was the secret area, but it's a secret (and a tough one to find at that). Therefore, it can be excluded. With realistic architecture, lots of new features, and a well-established atmosphere, it's no wonder that this level will keep you coming back for more. The only drawback is that you need 16MB of RAM to play this level, and 32MB is the recommended setting. Fortunately, most people today have at least 16MB. As far as bugs go, there weren't any I could find. Despite all the new features that were added, all of them were executed cleanly. As for the level itself, it was just as clean: No HOMs or stitching problems or disappearing 3DOs or any of the other nuisances that are the bane of third party levels.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
It's well constructed. It has lots of enhancements. It's executed in a realistic manner. It establishes a good mood early on. It has a high replay value because it's fun. There are several reasons why you should download this level. However, you won't get to see any of them unless you click on that download link at the top of the page. Just make sure you meet the requirements first.
92 / 100
92 / 100
96 / 100