"An enormous 6-level total conversion. (Well, okay, not total... and that's its biggest weakness.) The mapmaking is pretty good, and the new creatures are quite cool (you can see them in a series of very nice pics here if you're up for a 3 meg download, or get an idea from this 500K desktop picture), but I was bugged a bit when a new monster, with lots of new looks/sounds, died with an old sound, or fired with an old sound, or... Okay, it's a trivial complaint. Overall, this is really, really well done. It's been out for a while (as have lots of the recent uploads), but it's the first time I've seen it, and maybe you, too. Lots of art, lots of sound, lots of music (that's where all the new size comes from)."
Created by Marcos T. Pinheiro - 1/30/99
This campaign includes new tilesets, lots of new terminal and chapter art, and all new enemies. There is not a single Pfhor in this campaign, and let me tell you, it is nice to be fighting someone different for a change!!!
At first I wasn’t sold on the new enemy design; the initial rebels and drones you encounter aren’t very tough and are functionally similar to Pfhor fighters and drones, respectively. But the enemy design only gets better as you progress. For example, you run into an invisible alien enemy, but they aren’t like S’pht Compilers. Instead these enemies give telltale clues to their presence that you have to look out for. There is a humorous enemy — a pizza delivery kid, that had me laughing out loud when I heard his (her?) voice acting and saw how he (she?) attacked. Some of the later enemies are very tough and will test your Marathon combat skills to the limit.
And that actually leads me to my main criticism of this campaign, which has to do with the difficulty level. I played on Normal, and the early levels had me fighting weak enemies that weren’t much threat. I was seriously considered bumping up the difficulty to Total Carnage, but later events made that unnecessary. That’s because the later levels are actually really hard because the late game enemies are extremely dangerous. While the challenge is welcome, I do feel it’s important to note that the disparity in difficulty levels between the early game and late game is the largest I have ever seen in any Marathon scenario.
The storyline is about fighting a group of hostile alien rebels who have an anti-human ideology. It’s passable, but don’t expect to be wowed by the plot.
Level design is linear, which is good. In many Marathon scenarios I have the problem of having no idea where to go or what to do, but in TrAVel I very seldom had that problem. Each level is a series of self enclosed areas leading to one another. Clear level objectives, not much chance of getting lost, and no infuriating puzzles or platforming means this campaign avoids many of the most common Marathon mod mistakes.
There were a few minor architectural problems — a few unfilled polygons, and some buildings, particularly in level 2, that had poor use of the “landscape” visual feature. There was a point in one of the later levels where I fell in a pit and got stuck with no way out; I had to reload from an earlier save. But overall, this is a very unique and fun scenario worth checking out!