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By Karthik Abhiram Homepage cct

You are at this facility. Something goes wrong. Terribly wrong, and half of Hell starts merging with it. And off course you are in the middle of it. It is time to start kicking some Hellspawn ass! Yeah, we have heard it all before in seemingly endless combinations and variations. I never get tired of it, in fact I love these cliché filled stories behind custom levels. In fact, there are a lot of things I love about this level in particular.

I could start out by giving praise to the size of the level. But I won't. It is small, and that is always a good thing. It could have been bigger. Any level could always be bigger, but let's just say that I was satisfied with the size of the level. It actually leads me to the gameplay, which consists mainly of a cleverly designed path around the map. It takes you up, down and around the map in search for all three keys. Along the way you will encounter your regular selection of switches to press, doors to open and lifts to activate. Had it been a bigger level, I probably could not have stated the following: Need I conclude that it works formidably and flows extremely well? Well it does!

Like in any good SP level, there is a wide selection of the Doom II monsters represented. In this level, the author made sure that also the players who enjoys provoking infights between the monsters has something to do. You never know, when coming around a corner, what sort of monster combination will be waiting for you. It can be a Revenant, a Chaingunner Soldier, a Hell Knight, a Baron of Hell and a couple of Sergeants. And it will probably be in a narrow hallway of sorts. It is enjoyable because you have the necessary weapons and sufficient ammo in your possession and always a way of retreating if necessary. It is fun, and just when you think that one battle is over, the next switch you press or the next move you make, will probably just spawn another horde of monsters. On Ultra Violence you can add a good deal (for such a small level) of Arch Viles which are ready to join the fun! Congestion Control is endless action and absolutely enjoyable fun!

Finally, I would like to comment on the general design aspects of the level, which is where the clear strength of this level lies. These days people are pretty occupied creating levels, which follows a specific theme be it e.g. tech or hell. Now that is all off course very well, but it just seems that people are afraid of touching more controversial themes such as the one Congestion Control represents. I don't know exactly what to call it, but it consists of virtually every other theme put together. It is damn hard to administrate, and even harder to make it look good. But, I must say, that Mr. Abhiram has done an extremely good job! He has in some way made red-hot brick textures meet metal and marble mixed brilliantly with tech- and brown-green-walls. Throw in a TNT sky and the classic Plutonia grey bricks and you will have a strange composition that just looks unique! The architecture doesn't fall short here either, and the entire thing is only obstructed by some minor "misalligned" textures. I can't wait for the sequel for one of my favourite releases of 2002!



Score: 80%