Author: MetHunter and Mikko Sandt
Released: February 24th 2012
After having saved the world from those alien maggots once more, Duke was enjoying a vacation inside of his luxurious appartment. By no surprise to anyone the aliens have struck again, this time outside in his own street. After grabbing his pistol, he jumps through the window and gets to work.
This map almost never saw the light of day despite being near completion, yet with some help from Mikko to finish things up, the final product is brought to us. Every now and then we tend to see a release done in the style of the classic 3DR levels from the original episodes to remind us all of what made them so enjoyable to play. MetHunter follows through with this decision for Sin Center, a typical city map with the odd few places to visit such as a bar, forbidden books store and a pool hall, the most notable location. Through design, things are kept to the point as not to stray too far from the general 3DR style, except it does vary at times between throwing in the author’s own personal touches and a few spots which felt like something was missing. There were also many instances of texture misalignment hiccups, along walls or on some sofas, but nothing that is too glaringly obvious during a regular session. The use of bold shapes and strong lighting in the design are key points both mappers have done a good job putting together here, adding all the necessary detail to some areas, like the underground car park.
The pool hall is one building that has a different feel altogether. The scale is much large that that from other rooms to create this grand and luxurious interior, with a mirror on one side to help further achieve this atmosphere and a couple of raised elevations for seating areas to break up the horizontal space. Moving onto the gameplay aspects, combat is taken on the light side with several short bursts of enemies with just enough ammo to get through things, providing the usual arsenal of weapons along with some fun with the shrinker and expander. Nothing in Sin Center should be too much trouble, keeping the difficulty at a constant low allowing players to swiftly shoot their way through. Progression is on the linear side, locating key cards to reach a street on the other side of the crater, with a small sense of non-linearity in places through unreachable paths, scenery and secret places to hunt down.
An all round solid experience, approaching the classic city style well through bold shapes and strong lighting, while offering some straightforward and easy gameplay.