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House of p!ng


Map rating: * * * ½ (out of four) — 9/10 Bot Support: Yes New Textures: Yes New Music: Yes Game Types: FFA, TFFA Now, we need a really good Batman model. Christopher Nolan\'s \"Batman
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Begins\" (2005) was one of the most spectacular films of the summer along with Episode III. Mapper p!ng has created a map that is loosely based off of the prison camp in which Bruce Wayne stays near the very beginning of the film—but, as he tells me, it is by no means faithful to it. I think it\'s more faithful than he thinks it is. When I entered the map, I was immediately greeted by dark, ominous music punctuated every so often by obscure speech that was mostly too rough to be heard clearly. I didn\'t need to know what it was. The music sounded a lot like the \"Batman Begins\" soundtrack, and may have been taken from there. The music created a tone that blended beautifully with the atmosphere of the map, and added to it. It might be a little repetitive, but it certainly made me feel like I was in a place where I didn\'t want to be. The architecture of this map is mostly boxy and angular, but this is justified by what it\'s depicting. It clearly looks like a horrible place to be, as you are constantly surrounded by grays. The sky is gray and shameful, the wood isn\'t a normal lively orange but instead a dead gray that desperately wants to give you a nasty splinter, and the stone ground is mostly gray, white, and black. The only exceptions to this rule of gray were metallic teleporters, which looked strange at first but I gradually understood their purpose, some duel floor surfaces, and the doors, which looked oddly like doors that came out of Korriban Tombs—that was just a bit out of place. But walking around, I found it to have an extremely dark atmosphere. The author of this map brilliantly creates the tone of a cold, dreary, remote prison camp. He also, in most cases, effectively adds humor to what would have been a dreadfully depressing map. It\'s all about the booby traps and trickery that you find. I went into a room, flipped a switch, saw that a trap door was opened somewhere else, and moved on to the next switch. I flipped it. The door to this room closed, and I couldn\'t get it back open. So I saw yet another switch that I hadn\'t seen before, flipped it, and fell down a pit. I fell for the trick. Little trap-door tricks and the like are located abundantly throughout the map so that the rustic mood doesn\'t bore you. It\'s a great map, and a great entertainment. Unfortunately, the author knows how to create an overall great map that seemingly goes on forever until you find yourself back at square one, but he doesn\'t know how to make it perfect. Also abundant are texturing errors—no [i]missing[/i] textures, mind you—and glitches with some of his attempts at tricks, but there\'s something funny about that. The tone of the map is surrounded by shadows such that when I encounter what might be a glitch, I wonder if it\'s really that. Sometimes doors don\'t open, and I wonder if there\'s a reason for it, or if I am missing something. Have I been fooled? I could never tell, and even if this was unintentional by the author, it\'s sort of brilliant. The maps had so many tricks and deceptive turns that I needed my friend Vanidor to help me test it. Together, we were able to uncover about twice as many things as I found. There are still a few places that puzzle me, though. P!ng, make sure all of your textures are correctly in place, and make sure every single one of those traps works. But keep up the creative, tricky work—just take more time next time. In the words of the friend who helped me test it, \"It has a secret. I can smell it.\" Whether or not it has this secret is irrelevant. In the words of [url=\"\"]Roger Ebert[/url]\'s description of the [i]Batman[/i] film, \"there\'s something to it,\" and I\'m still searching for it. —Ra-Kom (Note: the screenshots only depict the outside areas of the map, as I want players to find the secrets themselves.)

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