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SiN Map of the Week
by Cranky Squonk
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More reader feedback! This was taken from an actual GameRanger private chat session ... the name has been changed to protect the raging idiocy ...

Cr3tin: hey how's it goin, man
Squonkamatic: pretty cool, been busy
Cr3tin: I havent seen you on much lately
Squonkamatic: yeah, I've been busy you see
Cr3tin: busy doing what? you still write for Macgamer
Squonkamatic: some map design projects and a lot of art, and yeah I'm still writing my weekly column
Cr3tin: so what games you still playin
Squonkamatic: just some Quake2 and sin, every once and a while some Doom on my own
Cr3tin: nobody plays sin anymore what games are you mapping for? Quake 3?
Squonkamatic: maps for Sin: I don't palay Qweake3
Cr3tin: dude NOBODY plays sin anymore and it sucked anyway
Squonkamatic: thanks for reminding me

<Squonkamatic left GameRanger.>

For those others who may be tiring of this weekly series, rest easy -- we are getting' down there. But you know, if you need visual proof of the dollar/replay value of SiN: Gold, look at all of the links to the lower right leading to previous MoTW reviews. All of those levels are included in the game, and we still have a dozen or so to go, counting the remaining CTF, Hoverbike, Wages and SiN deathmatch maps. Consider this this beginning of the home stretch.

And to one-up those already rolling their eyes at yet another windbag pimp of a map that I find profound meaning in, I am not a big fan of Pride, and as such am going to cut this review short. Oh it's a nice map and all, has lots of nooks and crannies and features like teleports, well placed powerups and a nice circular design. Plus lots of water -- this is probably the most aqueous of SiN's default deathmatch maps. But, to tell the truth, playing this level is like having a plate of instant spaghetti with microwaved Ragu when you were looking forward to lasagna with freshly melted cheese. I find it unsatisfying, even though it is undeniably very well made.

This is another one of those SiN deathmatch levels that doesn't really stand out in memory like Spry or Spool (except maybe as 'the blue map with lots of water'), and in some ways it's design would work great with just about any 3d shooter game -- this is one of the rare SiN maps that I actually would like to see a Quake2 or 3 remake of. Since specifics on the map designers isn't clear I'm not sure whom to credit this one to, but it has a lot of water and feels more like a study in building a level than pushing the envelopes of mapping (which basically means it probably isn't a Levelord map).

It is location-oriented and set entirely "indoors" [odd for a water-themed map], and actually has a claustrophobic feel to it that recalls Quake1 level design. And if I had to say "this map reminds me of ..." I'd have to pin it to Quake1's DM3/Abandoned Base, not only because of the presence of lots of water and teleports, but because of the neo game-engine art deco look to the design. The structures and architecture of the level also imply some sort of mechanistic functionality, though in this case that function is that of a huge killing machine.

One of the mistakes I made when first approaching these reviews was to plod through a monotonous description of routes and suggestions on strategies, and Pride [like the amazing Envy] is so complex that it defies such verbal descriptions. But the map is essentially divided into three large zones: a big room with a catwalk and teleporters at one end, a bisected segment spanning a pool of water, and another area with kneedeep water, another catwalk and seemingly dead end anterooms that lead to chutes that deposit one in a shaft at the end of the room with the teleporters. While the map seems humongous upon first impression, further attention to how these areas connect lead to the realization that the level does on fact [like Q1DM3] have a circular design to it.

But I don't know. It might be the fact that this map ALWAYS seems to be one of the ones running on the few remaining dedicated "commercial" servers and I have seen it to much, but the map is boring. It's dead silent, unless people are running around and splashing in the water -- I like maps that have an environment flavored by sound effects and SiN has a stunning library of sound cues to choose from. Without them the maps seem dead to me.

Oh sure, when you have 4 or 6 players in the game it moves well enough along so that you don't really notice picayune map design nerd minutiae like that, but I'm a picky bastard and while Pride delivers and enjoyable enough DM setting it always leaves me wishing the server was running a different map. I really wish I could be enthusiastic about Pride because it is one of those maps that you're always going to see, but I keep looking at it and saying to myself "You know if I had done this I would have ...", a feeling I don't get from the more complete worlds of the OilRig, SinCity and even the similar dead-silent but far more lively Gluttony.

So the bottom line with this level, I guess, is to get used to it. No, Cr3tin, people do still play SiN, and this is one of the few maps that still gets attention. Even if I'd rather it was something else ... I guess some SiN is better than none at all.



Visit Squonk's Mac oriented SiN website with custom map and skin downloads plus other goodies at

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