Quake 2

Citizen Abel 4 : Malfunction Junction

  • Review Date: 2001-08
  • Author: Brendon Chung
  • Genre: Quake 2
  • Rating: 75


A nice Q2SP surprise has arrived on our doorsteps, as Brendon Chung continues his Citizen Abel series, where you play a criminal/assassin (who looks like Commander Keen!) wanted throughout the galaxy. But this time the story is much more developed and conveyed. Instead of just some text occassionally, you have a number of interesting objectives such as meeting Makron at the bowling alley. He forces your next target to be the Mayor of Sand Yego, but once you kill her you not only have the city police on your tail, but also Makron who seems to be have gotten bored hiring you.

You're given a new weapon which you use against only the Soldiers, Infantry, Flyers, Icarus and Parasities. for the whole game until the final battle. The new gun is much like the first gun in the Awakening mod (see Awakening SP or Light), which is much more effective the the Blaster or Shotgun. It's quick, accurate and can take all the enemies down with one hit. As expected in the Citizen Abel tradition, fast action gameplay is not the main feature. Despite being eight levels long, there were probably around 150 enemies total, mostly small fry Soldiers. Nevertheless there is still fun to be had, especially in the scene after you kill the Mayor - many enemies are instructed to hunt you down.

Puzzle feature prominently, and none of them are that hard. But enough thought has been put in so that it's not just 'find the button' for an hour.

Level design is very interesting. The great details and architecture we are used to seeing in Quake2 is not used much here. Instead Brendon has tried to do a more futuristic (31st century futuristic!) combination of sci-fi and cyberpunk. Using the normal Quake2 textures really didn't help much. There are some great custom textures that Brendon could have used to create the theme better. However there were some very strange designs, definitely giving a feeling of a very distant future world. I was particularly impressed by the outdoor city area where you climb along buildings overlooking cars down below.

The Lazarus engine was used fairly well. The easiest good feature to implement, fog, was looking as good as ever. But many small touches had been added such as a third person view, custom enemies and the great sequence with Markon.

Overall a very unique pack of levels, Brendon's maps keep getting weirder and weirder - in a good way. If you liked the previous Citizen Abel maps and like a good amount of puzzles with your normal action, then grab Citizen Abel 4.