Author: Mia Max
Desert Base is the first DukePlus level to be reviewed here on this site, and I’ll tell you now that it’s not a dissapointment. It’s also very convenient to have all these levels included with DukePlus. Basically, Duke needs to escape from a highly secured desert base, travel through some caves and somehow make it across to the beach to complete the level.
Using the realistic functions of DukePlus, action becomes a little more strategic in the sense you need to be careful about running in with your guns blaring since your speed is reduced when running, and you might find your back filled with holes. The author balances this out quite well, adding a nice sense of action is each area with suitable amount of enemies to fight against at a time. There are also some small boss battles between various segments of the level which work quite nicely, and the Duke bots were quite helpful against the newbeasts too. Weapon and supplies are evenly spaced out across the map, and the general flow works quite well between the action and exploring which consists of a few keycard hunts and backtracking.
The map uses a more simplistic style in most cases throughout the map, while the texturing and lighting helps complete the scenes creating and overall solid looking design. The first segment of the level takes place around a torn up base with a lot of exterior locations to explore. The shadows cast from the sun have been extremely well done where some thought and care has been put into them to look realistic and works wonders. As for the interior locations, they mostly look fine, but not really as good looking as the outdoor sections have been pulled off.
An excellent level, gameplay is nicely balanced and enjoyable with a good useage of what DukePlus offers, accompanied by some solid mapping, texture work and great lighting.