Power Drive is a map pack with an experimental concept: to take the focus away from the powerful weapons and put strength in the little guys. 14 maps in total.
Has embedded MML/Lua for Quake-style health kits.
Adds two maps. Significantly alters how powerups work.
I don't play net games very often, but yesterday I played a couple with this pack. Impressive level design.
That being said, I really like what is being done here. I can't give it a higher score because of three main reasons:
The maps are supposed to encourage the use of all weapons more evenly, but there are no pistols in some levels. This particularly irks me more than it may irk others because the pistol is Marathon's defining "marksman's weapon" in lieu of a sniper rifle-type weapon, and I really want to see marksmanship encouraged a bit more. The pistol is quite viable if we can pick up a second one, otherwise it simply will be overlooked as it always was.
I feel pretty strongly about the SMG being left the way it was. It was already a power weapon in my opinion -- getting "kept on the beam" by an opponent for most of a clip meant certain doom, and a clip lasts, what, a second? So I don't think it needed an upgrade in any way.
Too many alien weapons on the maps! Turn some into pistols, please. The increased power of the alien weapon becomes overbearing when there are so many on the map, and tilts overall gunplay in the direction of more blunderbussing and blind short-range charging (moving away from rewarding careful aiming), since that is what works for this weapon -- and I feel that is a direction things don't need to go in any further.
Every other change to the weapons is very well thought-out and I look forward to hosting these maps, with the exception of Persepolis, which for some reason rubs me the wrong way. I wish I could put my finger on it and be helpful, but I can't, sorry. All I can say is that the structure confuses the eye greatly, and the upper and outer areas don't seem used at all (perhaps connected to the location of spawn points, just throwing that out there as a thought).
All the other maps are nice, and stand out from most maps -- to me anyway -- in the amount of cover they provide, which is something I feel is often overlooked in map design.
Sorry if my score seems low, but I really want to leave room for scoring revised versions higher, since I see that room for improvement. Consider the actual score a 3.5.
As expected, Ryoko has come out with yet another solid pack. Although small, these levels are quite fun, and the merged physics are an extra bonus. The physics don't change enough to deteriorate gameplay at all, but work quite well with the maps they are paired with. Although these are overall not Ryoko's most impressive maps, I still recommend that any host downloads this small pack.