Scientists deciphered an ancient manuscript telling of an artifact that can cure zombies. This is humanity’s last desperate attempt to recover from disatrous pandemia. You mission is to find this artifact in the ancient temple and activate it.
Salvational Temple is an experience which differs a lot when compared to the original Z-Hunter levels, bringing several things to the table that were not previously found in the mod. They do however cause a couple of annoyances here and there. Enemies like the Cherubs, Wraiths and more make an appearance as a fresh twist toward combat scenarios. However, the addition of the Lost Souls and Cacodemons did pose some bother for me. The issue lies in their flight and the player’s inability to aim up. It does boil down to timing to fire a shot as they descend, but it just felt unreliable at times because I found it difficult to tell from the top down nature of gameplay. As far as combat goes, it’s on the challenging side where enemies will often flank the player and in fairly large groups at that. Quick reflexes will be needed to avoid getting cornered. Traps also guard the temple halls which need to be tackled with care to successfully get through them and survive. The first bunch of trap doors were tricky for a while, especially when I found out that hinges almost always cause an instant death and then having some trouble finding out how to proceed further took a while. This is where the jumping mechanics come in handy and something that is expected of the player with some platforming sections. These are easy tasks to execute though and the areas are short enough to avoid the frustration. Both the traps and jumping elements create a nice dynamic and sense of adventure. I never found much use in jumping during Z-Hunter, but NX-317 fixes that here.
Through this diversity of gameplay, the pacing often changes allowing players to get a short breather before heading into the next intense battle. The length exceeds those from the original mod by at least double, as if playing two levels in one, especially due to the shift in themes further in. Players will navigate through the ruins most of the time before finding themselves in a familiar high tech setting, before once again returning to the ruins, this time more close and personal with hot, deadly magma. The shifts between areas did feel a bit abrupt, possibly missing a transition of some kind, but its a welcome change of scenery. Mapping work is generally on the strong side with well picked and aligned textures. Construction offers plenty of detail in an area and works well with the top down gameplay in mind, providing wide enough corridors and avoiding too much scenery blocking the view. All three playing areas are distinctive from each other, while the two separate ruins share similarities, the use of magma makes a huge difference with the feeling of threat. The high tech UAC section contrasts well with it’s sterile and clean metallic visuals before the halls blend in with prominent theme.
No doubt a good addition to the Z-Hunter campaign for the finale, offering strong mapping work, challenging combat and diverse ideas which sets it apart from the others.