Good Day MenGentle.
I have decided to attempt to cobble together some manner of review of this exceptional masterpiece if I may say so myself after dissecting this around 2 weeks ago, then I stopped to attend to my duties and finished this sucker today but not without being continually shocked by the constant surprise ambushes.
E1M1 - Full Moon Rebirth
Ahh this was phenomenal! A sleek and authentic rendition of Cradle to Grave with your own style of portraying an alternative to a potential Cemetery, the outside section with all the hedges has a Cryptic Passage vibe to it, I would have said 'Even Death May Die' but it's lacking the winter theme and stonework is more prominent here. I especially loved how you retained all the queues and interactive objects from the original map but in your own style, hence the Bloody Sink and drinkable blood pouches. It was also pretty damn tough! Cultist encounters are numerous and can take you by surprise, especially considering your initially lacking in ammo but a very good nostalgic and great opener to this already promising mod!
E1M2 - West Town
Hmm! I'd have to say this is the weakest map in the set for me, although it's got a great amount of non-linear paths and they seem to merge back onto themselves, I think it suffers from symmetrical problems particularly when you first enter the town, also the constant use of brown was very bland and sour for the eyes, we don't need a reminder of Quake's Brown World now xD Sure it's packed with Cultist encounters but they seem to make up the majority of battles and it becomes quite stale over time. However I must hand it to you on the rain effect, I'm not certain I've seen that before or if so it's pretty damn impressive.
E1M3 - Cabal's Forest
Well now this was a very impressive venture! The opening immediately reminded me of Cryptic Passage's Boat Docks along with Boggy Creek, moving into the brown warehouses had a 'Post Mortem' feel to it along with that masterful barn/crop field level in 'Bloody Pulp Fiction' You really have to keep on your toes for this one, I constantly crouch when approaching and turning corners and I have to check both around and above me for any sudden Cultists. Moving into the forest just screamed of RATM's Forest of Shadows with all the Cultists hiding behind the numerous trees along with Dead Reckoning's Crystal Lake, what really impressed me was the divergence in paths and you could take different routes throughout. Very good touch on the waterfall section with the adjacent grey caverns, that reminded me of RATM's 'Six Feet Below' in the waterfall area. Their was a constant change of combat tactics in this one which impressed me the most, their were numerous close encounters but also distant fights with Fanatics positioned awkwardly, I really had to start saving here and think before proceeding ahead.
It also becomes apparent by this stage that every time you pick up a key or hit something and double back, you will always find new Cultists have spawned in various spots so I always have to take it slow
It's a pretty tough challenge on 'Well Done' but a very balanced experience if you keep your eyes open. Going through the Forest onto that above bridge section thing was very smoothly executed and I liked how it linked back to the start when going for a key I think, that area had an 'Even Death May Die' feel to it. Also the random Zealots were amusing, they'll slaughter you instantly if you don't twitch react.
E1M4 - People Juice Factory
Ahahaha someone's been taking inspiration from Bloatoid's Hostile Takeover I see xD You can make a direct comparison with the Sin Lab and Underwater Lab level in that! The actual opening itself has an 'Even Death May Die' and 'Bloody Pulp Fiction' to it, making your way 100ft below into the insidious and humorous factory made of fresh victims, it's all too quiet at first and that's never a good sign! What I liked about this one was the level of exploration, navigating through air ducts, working your way through cargo areas and doubling back to other regions with constant surprise ambushes along the way. The interior parts are definitely reminiscent of 'Spare Parts' and 'Hostile Takeover' as I already mentioned, the amount of machinery and dim lighting had a spooky industrial feel to it, but the highlight of this level was all the amusing experiments within the chambers along with the hilarious Test Subjects xD
E1M5 - Fire Wings Airport
Now then this was a force to be reckoned with! Seriously it was ludicrously tough! The Cabal are everywhere and in high numbers! It's a good thing you were generous with Life Essences as at one point I accidently ran into a group of Fanatics on the upper floor and had to double back, but the tremendous thing was I then approached them from the opposite side and took them by surprise! Good job on the room over room with reflective floor touch though
Yes It was a very good tribute to 'Wrong Side of the Tracks' considering you retained the Rare Books Shop and Bar, I think by this point I was wondering whether I had missed the Tesla Cannon, whether it was in a secret or not because I found a secret which had Tesla Charges but hmm still no weapon to contend with! The secret with the 3 Zealots was humorous to say the least, Oh gee a secret and turns out it's probably one of the worst damn encounters in the entire level
My favorite aspect without the doubt was the end xD
E1M6 - Cabalcaida666 Airline
Well all the shaking and commotion at the start was pretty damn funny, the actual design itself reminds me of 'The SIN Campaign's' 3rd map - Sky Rage funnily enough, it's a simple straight forward brawl with Cultists galore and the surprise Zealots encounters. However the ahem surprise behind the Skull door was the best damn implementation of scripting I've ever seen in Blood xD On par with some of RATM's madness I'd have to say, I do like how if you like to keep the player on their toes, even in the exit room where it seems all quiet their is still a damn random Cultist in the corner to catch me off. All in all a short but very good transition stage.
E1M7 - Corpses Museum
Ah this was like RATM's Green Town but with the Museum being more extensive and elaborate by contrast, the opening section with the Hedge Maze was a tad alarming with the nuisance weeds everywhere, but someone called for an Exterminator I guess! Again you show your adeptness with Build with the numerous eye catching effects on display, the upside down bound Innocent, the Guillotine and not to mention the dreaded Nightmare Maze were very interesting places to explore. I was thankful the maze simply consisted of gross pulsating flesh walls and flickering lights to tear at the mind of the player along with Zombies hiding everywhere, placing Cultists there would have more frustrating then fun, so it's good to see you've got a keen eye on maintaining gameplay flow!
The warehouse section towards the end was a good reminder of 'Welcome to Your Life' if not intended, it was pretty tricky with all the decorative objects in the way it's hard to see potential Fanatics and Cultists lurking around corners.
E1M8 - The Clowny Arena
A fitting end map I suppose! But it felt rather Anti-Climatic to me, it seemed sort of rushed and quickly compiled together, you have a short excursion from the train to the inner arena and a slew of goodies before the showdown begins but somehow I was expecting more then just two boss encounters. I was hoping for executed groups of enemies before facing the Dreaming One himself as he would have been pretty tough in those circumstances, was their meant to a credits screen of sorts? Because it just chucked me back to the start with the level restarting after killing Cerberus.
Well this really was a masterful mod all in all, the quality was high throughout and consistent and it was also a very tough odyssey throughout with the continual use of ambushes as I already mentioned, I'm surprised to hear you want to craft a 2nd episode! That may well take another 5 years potentially