Released: February 5th 2012
Made from the sources of three stock deathmatch maps created by American McGee and Tim Willits, merged together to create a singleplayer experience with a consistent cistern theme throughout.
Bad Dark Cistern takes three deathmatch levels from the original game to have them merged into one map in order to create a singleplayer experience, presenting a twist to levels players may either know very well through battle against their foes online, or for those who have never seen them before. And does a good job of it. While the layouts have been left mostly intact, the map does flow seamlessly from one area onto the next as one would expect, along with points of interconnectivity and offering the usual blend of combat and key hunting. The overall design of each multiplayer map however has been changed in favour for an all round consistent waterworks theme with its damp brickwork and rusty pipes. In order to spice things up though, there have been some modernisations to not only add more detail such as the aforementioned pipework, the use of chains, or streamlining existing architecture with curvier archways or even additional trimming.
As far as gameplay goes, its pretty standard yet the experience comes across as a classic Quake one, keeping things simple and to the point, putting you up against every type of enemy in small doses. There is the occasional twist here and there too, such as the way enemies enter the level, either being regurgitated from open canals, hiding behind wall closets and even a trampoline exercise. Another twist comes in the form of DM4 which went through one of the biggest changes, submerging the entirety of it underwater. The idea here is to navigate the area and locate a lost control unit. This section may get mixed feelings from players depending on their initial results, either not noticing the biosuit as well as not realising that this item also respawns often. It has been placed in a position that should be easily seen, but can still be missed as it happened during my own session when put in a sudden panic to find air and the typical location for that is to swim straight up, while fish get in the way, only to drown seconds later. I do however commend that it brings some underwater action to the scene, an aspect that doesn’t get much focus these days.
Offers a good combination of deathmatch levels where the layouts are left mostly intact but flow seamlessly from one area onto the next, while treated to a consistent theme and design to create an enjoyable, classic Quake experience with the occasional twist in gameplay.