(263) views since Nov 2018

Duke Mansion

by ST1LL_WAnTeD, JMW, Sixty Four

Released: 2018-10-29
Mode: SP, DM, COOP
Difficulty Settings: Yes
Featuring: 1.4+, EDuke32
Sound/music: Music,Sound
New Art: No
New Cons: Yes
Score: 88

Review by Forge on 01 November 2018

As the title of the map states, it's a mansion.

The level is made up of three sections; a west wing that has a dining room and several state rooms, as well as a dungeon. An east wing that has a game room of sorts. And lastly the central foyer with a mausoleum and an adjoining courtyard connecting the east and central sections.
I wouldn't call it 'haunted' so much as infested with creepy aliens that are doing rather brutal and ritualistic things. Along with good texture choices and strong shading, the map has a lot of little details and nasty decorations scattered throughout to give it a serial-killer vibe.
There are all kinds of nice little touches to give it an immersive atmosphere, and several effects, tricks, and puzzles to give it the old-spooky-mansion environment.
Unfortunately there are also some issues with the design and game play. If you search the main chamber along the walls, you'll notice a lot of overly stretched textures. They're false walls that hide blood waterfalls that are supposed to appear one by one as the player progresses through the map. Pushing use on a couple of them will reveal them prematurely. This is minor compared to the problem that half the doors are in a relatively cramped position and tend to squish the player, or the aliens, if they get too close while the door is in motion. Doubly so for the cabinet doors and trying to get in and out of the hidden nightstand passage in the staterooms. Probably one of the most annoying aspects is the hundred and one false doors and no clue what just opened after a switch is thrown.
You will spend a lot of time looking for unlocked doors, and doors in false bookcases and such. Luckily most of these issues are in only one wing and can be managed with a little care and perseverance.
The aliens engagements are varied from the types and combinations of baddies encountered; from snipers, to ambushes, to just all-out swarms.
There's a large amount of ammunition and a decent scattering of healing items spread throughout, so the shoot-'em part is pretty fun and sustainable. Just bone-up on chess piece recognition before you play, if you're not familiar with the game.
More fun than jump-scares.

Overall I'd give it an 88


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