A three level (plus one intro level) mini-scenario for Marathon Infinity.
This scenario is a sequel to Marathon Phoenix, although it is not as difficult. The player is reunited with Durandal, and the two follow the path of the UESC Atreides to a distant Human base.
EDIT 2/11/2014 You will probably need the Previous AI plugin to make this work! http://simplici7y.com/items/aleph-one-previous-ai
So this is a sequel to Marathon Phoenix. Some of the good things from Phoenix got carried over to this mini-campaign, but alas, some of the things that made Phoenix great are lacking.
Level design remains top notch, with one exception which I’ll discuss below. The “Dr. Tycho’s Castle” level really did seem to have a castle-style layout, complete with moats and parapets. “Compressed Output” had elegant architecture with some fun set pieces.
The secret skulls system that worked so well in Phoenix is back. And although many of the adversaries are standard Pfhor, others are special upgraded versions that provide an extra challenge. For example, one is a tan cyborg that’s capable of throwing grenades at high velocity at the player.
Unfortunately, two of the best things about Phoenix were its new weapon arsenal and its music soundtrack, and both of those are absent from Kindred Spirits.
Also, I had mixed feelings about the final level “When the Water Breaks.” The level is too complex for its own good. It must have been really difficult to make, but in this case more complexity did not equal more quality.
There are so many overlapping polygons that the automap quickly becomes useless. It also doesn’t help that there are locked doors everywhere, and it’s often not clear what will open them — sometimes it’s a chip insertion, other times a switch, other times it’s just walking on a particular polygon. As I wandered through the level, lost, I kept saying to myself, “Why do there have be so many stupid doors between me and the bad guys? Just let me smite the baddies already!”
In the southeast corner of the map I ended up strafing out a window that looked solid but was not. I ended up stuck in outer space, softlocked, and had to reload from a previous save.
At least when I finally did make it through all those horrid locked doors there was a payoff. The final battle was an epic one to be sure, with lots of fun carnage against a wide variety of enemy types.
In conclusion, Kindred Spirits is not as good as Phoenix, but it is entertaining. For those Phoenix players who were sad when it ended and wanted more, this is definitely worth a playthrough.
The last level is a pure work of art. The level's detail is immense and it has a lot of storeys overlapping each other.
Nice mini-scenario! Worth getting for sure.
Good overall quality. Last level is my favorite. I think Alex nailed the aesthetics on that one. It is a pity you do not get to see it in the screenshots :)
ryokotk as ventriloquist throwing his voice into the mouth of a durandal dummy
ryokotk as xipe totec wearing the flayed skin of our computer friend, contorting its digital lips to form strange syllables
ryokotk as master of encounter design, toning it down from the attritional excess of phoenix
ryokotk as maker of a set of maps both fun to explore and questionably named
kindred spirits: plugging up the hole in our collective heart when all my children was cancelled
Six skulls - Ryoko's getting more devious with his hiding places.
Kindred Spirits provides substantial combats, including what may be a bolstered version of the cyborg. The drones are back too. The levels show off with intricate architecture that bolsters the gameplay. 'Dr. Tycho's Castle' comes off particularly strongly.
Kindred Spirits uses the dull Infinity textures but that's mostly a matter of opinion. Durandal hits us with a side of his personality we haven't seen before, specifically the "I'm thrilled to see you but I would never admit it." At any rate, he doesn't sound quite the way he does in other scenarios.
Another great pack!