A crude steering wheel, for such an advanced vessel

A compact kitchen

A view of the exterior

Review by Anarchic Fox

Mission Name: Airship
Author: Dave Angel
Mission Type: Mechanist Airship
Map Size: Tiny
Difficulty: Moderate

No. Times Played: 3
Difficulties Played: Normal, Hard, and Expert
Loot Found: 849 out of 849
Secrets Found: 0 out of 0

Pros: Novel, good-looking and fun-to-explore setting, good gameplay.

Cons: Negligible story, tiny mission size.

Bottom Line: Definitely worth playing. Its size and lack of a plot keep it from being a great mission, but it is very fun.

Airship, like some of the other entries in Komag's first contest, has as its main draw an unusual and interesting setting. The airship in which the mission takes place easily rivals T2's submarine for its compact design and wealth of interesting nooks; but Airship surpasses its predecessor in granting an open-air view of the entire, magnificently constructed dirigible. This is just one part of the level's excellent visuals and level design; other explorations will take you through the airship's spartan living quarters and workshops, and up into the balloon itself (not very realistic, but I wager that not much in this level is). The textures and objects chosen create a pleasing mix of wooden frames and panelling with metal machinery; the well-chosen ambients contribute to a mood of being on a somewhat baroque, and frightfully unstable, contraption.

The gameplay in this level is also good (though there is little of it), though I feel that the visuals are this level's greatest strength. Every AI has been placed to provide a sneaking challenge, even if this is often no more than moving quietly under their sleeping forms or waiting until their backs are turned to rush forward. A well-placed light switch or two rewards the careful player with easier stealth. There is a fair amount of loot, all of it requiring some challenge, large or small, to attain; the most tricky AI almost inevitably have purses at their belts. The mission has an ideal balance of equipment, a rare feat for such a tiny level; the equipment even varies suitably with the difficulty levels. Without finding the various items one's progress would be a torment, but with them (and there isn't much) one is just able to play through it smoothly.


Story: 2 -- Garrett is given an appropriate goal, but no reason for needing the required navigation globe is presented, and the setting goes unexplained (at least T2 gave a bit more info about its submarine).

Atmosphere: 6 -- Excellent use of ambients, interesting locations, and the occasional readable give a fair amount of depth to this mission; the creaking of the airship's frame and pounding of nearby pistons have an eery feel, though I suppose this wears off pretty quickly.

Gameplay: 6 -- Solid in all aspects, with exploration that I found very interesting. There are no puzzles to solve, or difficult situations requiring a creative solution, though.

Architecture: 8 -- Everything looks excellent, and the cramped interior of the airship has some of the best design I've seen; one thing about it that particularly appeals to me is its oddly angled construction, employing curved rooms and frequent shifts of elevation, executed without the usual unaligned brushes.

Reviewer's Score: 0.5 silver (5.5 on the ten-point scale)

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