Terra 2: Underdark Boogaloo
Quite surprised at how new all of those maps actually are - a lot of the pack is the result of stuffing dm4jam + grendel + uwjam into a blender. The relatively short/id1 size of the maps made the whole pack a lot more digestible - I've played the entire thing* this morning.
Start: Nice idea, very nice visuals. Couldn't find what triggers the Quad Damage sequence. Favorite bit was the id episode gates, very competently crafted small vignettes.
Map 1: I've never been too keen on the nondescript dapak theme but this is a nice extrapolation of it, closer to classic ID in ethos. Rather impressed at how much gameplay could be derived from just one func_plat. The nailgun sequence was swell, proper E3M3 vibes in that one. That dithered metal texture is rather eww, though, looks like it was taken from AoP.
Map 2: This one was less dapak and more dm6rmx/baldm4 (though that faux metal texture still stung). Ironic that for all the words about the mod making water gameplay allegedly more fair, this map then hits with an underwater sequence that would rival even the biggest excesses of uwjam. The gold key room was A+ but bloody Quakeguy bodies as environmental storytelling is probably the oldest trope in existence.
Secret map: Forgot it was a q3dm2 remake at first, so the first area made me think it's the jam1 map revisited. An interesting interpretation of a boring source map.
Map 3: Damn, this one goes from 0 to 100 really fast. My usual strategy i.e. "run forward like a madman and deal with everything as half the monsters infight" was truly and well dampened in these tight damp halls. Felt like a mix between that one wizard terra map and Sepulcher. Kind of cute to make map 3 begin with a quick Zombie + GL section, since e1m3 did exactly the same. Thanks for not making me kill every single Zombie with the Voreballs, too. Another ersatz texture, this time replacing city2_3 - worked better than the dithered AoP metal.
Map 4: The tight warrens at the start (cool) eventually give way to a much more obvious take on campgrounds (meh). I felt like the ammo starvation was much stronger in this one than the others - previously I was in a mild state of unfulfillment, here I was straight up hungry for nails and rockets. Props for the crusher sequence, I think they (as well as spike shooters) need a lot more love in general, as evidenced by the poor reception to Romero's use of them in Sigil.
Map 5: First one in the episode that didn't work for me. I've never been a fan of "gradual" theme transitions in Quake, the original game has discrete end points in every map for a reason. The almost speedmap-like simplicity of the Runic section clashed strongly with the detailed organic cave section, and I wasn't a fan of the gameplay either - I understand the need for a breather after 4+ maps of tight combat, but this one felt more like placing a RL + lots of big hordes was an afterthought. Also, it somehow managed to overuse my favorite monster aka the Spawn!?
Map 6: The second one in the episode that didn't work for me. I enjoyed the small nod to Contract Revoked with the teleporters, but the electrode puzzle was annoying and unclear (why make the button visible again after each electrode lowers?), and I wasn't too keen on another lunsp1 type scenario.
*End: Played for 30 seconds before realising it's practically unrelated to the rest of the pack. Should have been a part of the mod rather than the episode probably.
Skill 2 demos, if you care