Quake

Soul Of Evil

  • Release Date: 2002-03
  • Author: Various led by Tronyn
  • Genre: Quake

[Kona]s Review

The much anticipated release of Tronyn's partial conversion, Soul Of Evil, is finally here. What started off as an episode to follow Phantasmal Garrison and Coven of Ebony, quickly flourished into a collosal two-episode Quake adventure with several others joining in the project.

Inside you'll find two 6-map episodes with secret maps, a start map and end map. If you expect to play this in the evening after a long day at work or school, don't expect to get any sleep. I enjoyed it so much that I basically played it all in one sitting, a good 4-5 hours long.

The story is about a land being attacked by Quake's evil forces. Unable to fight themselves, they summon the heroic human we all know just as he has taken care of the hell-mother Shub-Niggurath.

You'll battle through swamps, castles, villages, caves and more. There is plenty of variety in the level design. The style is quite old skool with few custom textures used. Mainly ID, Rogue and Hipnotic with a few other ID variations. The theme of a fantasy medieval world is created well with plenty of detail inside and out. But while the maps are flowing with good design, there were very few truly spectacular scenes. Nothing to drop your jaw.
The layouts are all good, as expected from Tronyn. Button pressing is abundant. There are plenty of overlapping paths and backtracking.
My only real complaint about the levels is the texturing. Some of the texture combinations are rather odd and don't work very well. Although you get used to it in-game, that sky pictured in the screens does not look good! Also personally I would like to have seen some more custom textures used. Something to give the levels a more unique and refreshing view.

The gameplay is even better than the design. Progression is good, with the first couple of levels fairly easy and slowly building up as you collect weaponry. The RL and LG are not collected until late in the second episode. An interesting and suitable choice which forces you to switch between shells and nails, and practise your accuracy with the GL. For sure the RL would have made the episode too easy. Ammunition and health was kept in good supply. Only a few times I got low on ammo, but nothing to really worry about. Health and armor was always where it was needed.

There are a number of new monsters, some continued on from COE with improvements. Axeman returns, Grunts and Enforcers shoot nails but are otherwise the same, and there is a new class of Hell Knight that has alot more health and occasionally fires a deadly fireball. I would have liked him to use the fireball a bit more often though. The Disciples of the Bane (originally from COE) also return with two classes that are fortunately not rediculously difficult as in COE. The long forgotten dragons in Qtest are here, and also the COE boss returns. A good selection alongside the usual Quake monsters.
A number of the monsters have new skins and sounds. The humans are now Goblins, with suitable green skins. Alot of fussy players will not like the skins. Personally I didn't really mind them, although they do look a little childish and non-threatening. The Vore, Shambler, Fiend and Scrag all have new skins too, which were all interesting but not great. The Disciples of the Bane and new Scrag skins were quite good though.

With great level design, combined with hours of action, Soul of Evil is a must download.