A Desert Dusk 2: Scorpion Garrison

  • Release Date: 2002-01
  • Author: Tronyn
  • Genre: Quake

[Kona]s Review

The Q1SP releases have really dried up over the past few months, but finally Tronyn has finished one of his current projects and released the first Q1SP of 2002.

This is the sequel to his excellent A Desert Dusk, a temple themed level with custom monsters from mission pack 1. A Desert Dusk 2: Scorpion Garrison, carries on the same theme and monster usage, and comes bundled with its predecessor.

The textures used are standard Quake and a few from other sources such as the mission packs. Tronyn manages to weave the golden bricks and trims into a very pleasing looking desert temple. Finished off with brown metal details such as spikes outlining the tops of a brick tower or a heavily intricate and high silver key door that must be seen. The style is quite unlike any other temple themed levels, and looks very good.

The layout, apparently based on Phatasmal Garrison, is very interconnective, vertical and large. You'll find yourself returning to previous areas just like in A Desert Dusk.

Gameplay also shines brightly, with many rocket launching Ogres, Vores and Scorpions. Scorpions are fun, as long as you have the right weaponry for them. But unfortunately the start of the level winds through rocks and cliffs which features a lot of the Scorpions. At this point you only have the single shotgun and a nailgun, and having to snipe these Scorpions from a distance requires some patience. Also there isn't much ammo early on, but as long as you don't waste much you shouldn't run out.

Once you venture into the fortress and get the grenade launcher, there is more variety in gameplay and it becomes more enjoyable with some good combat situations. Health is adequate.

The only disappointment is Tronyn has skipped his usual frantic end battle and gone for something a little calmer. The Scorpion pit with a quad was a great idea for a fun display of madness, but no real challenge follows. I ended the level with over 80 rockets to spare - saving them up for the boss that never appeared - Armagon.

Also there were a number of errors in the console upon loading, which are just sounds which weren't including in the pak. This could have been fixed in seconds.

Some players have complained of the level running very slow. Indeed there are many areas that see through to each other, so with a slow computer (I have no sympathy for you!) you may find the levels slugs just a little. But on my PIII 450 it was fine, only the loading time took a few seconds longer than the normal Q1SP.

Overall, a great level from Tronyn, even better than the original A Desert Dusk and just as good as his Rapture and OUM levels, probably better. A large well-connected layout, plenty of interesting designs and details, followed with some great and fun gameplay.