Author: Aymeric “MRCK” Nocus
Ever since the return of Aymeric, his releases so far haven’t been dissappointing, and the same can easily be said for his latest release right here. Bottles to the Ground takes place within a small dark city where Duke has ran out of beer. He decides to head out and find some, while giving the aliens a major butt kicking for getting in his way. Map also comes with an excellent midi file, which fits perfectly with the map and loops really well.
Bottles to the Ground takes on a very unlinear approach to gameplay this time round, where Duke must locate five switches spread across the city. However, three of these are locked by seperate red keys which must be collected by backtracking to a heavily guarded location each time. Enemies are also scattered around the city itself, and specific events will cause some respawns to keep things fresh when navigating through the streets once again. Ammo and health are on the slim side, but still works out rather fair in the end. Many enemies in this map can easily be avoided if you keep on your toes, since ammo is precious and should be used where needed. As long as you don’t get hit too much and save ammo, you’ll be fine. The level is enjoyable, and the unlinear style of progress can mean some interesting replay value including some differences in the skill levels. Secrets are also scattered about which can help those health and ammo issues you may have, including various easter eggs, along with a secret exit that has been cleverly hidden, of which I found on my second playthrough.
Aymeric’s mapping style is once again easy to recognise in this level, taking on the detailed city environment to create an immersive and realistic location. However, the level takes on a city at night theme, which can hide some of those details in the darkness from time to time, but in other cases works well with the building siholettes around the borders of the city making the location seem more vast. Structure and spritework is solid throughout, and texturing has been picked and blended quite well. Lighting is also pretty neat, using a gradiant approach which is mostly noticable indoors near lamps. I especially liked the woodland section of the map, and in general some of the nature elements to the overall design, like the small details of grass in one specific area opposite the shopping mall.
The unlinear gameplay of the level works well, keeps some variety in there for replay value and generally an enjoyable level overall. The design looks great creating an immersive looking level.