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Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos-Jon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:57 am
   Subject: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos-Jon
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Since the U-Rate-It forum did not have an entry for this add-on, I'll have to review it here

IMPRESSIONS
'Project Eisenritter", although definitely a good add-on, wasn't quite up to the quality of WSJ's other works. Compared to the beautifully crafted Operation Heimzahlung, Eisenritter was kind of amateurish in look and feel, although still considerably above average. Overall, I find Eisenritter to be the "ugly duckling" of WSJ's add-ons.

GRAPHICS: 13/20
Taken on their own, most of the graphics in Eisenritter are superb (although the gloves on the weapon sprites don't look too great). However, they don't mesh together nearly as well as they did in Operation Heimzahlung and Weapons of Vengeance. The look and feel lacks the consistency of Heimzahlung, Weapons of Vengeance, Totenkopf, and the original games. Also, Fleischacker, the main evil scientist guy in Eisenritter, doesn't give off the feeling of consummate evil that Schabbs did. The graphics would have looked better had more of the levels had standard gray floors (the original wall textures and many add-on ones are designed for that floor color and look bad with, say, a black floor).

SOUNDS: 15/20
Like with the graphics, the sounds, although quite good individually and a huge improvement over the crappy original sounds, don't quite fit properly. Like in most of WSJ's add-ons, many of the sounds are a bit too loud, forcing you to turn the volume down to a point where the music can be hard to hear. However, the ambient sounds are GREAT and really add some extra atmosphere.

PLOT: 18/20
I really like it, even though I think Schabbs is a better mad scientist than Fleischacker could ever dream of being.:p WSJ keeps a lot of things a surprise, which does make the first few levels boring until you reach level 7, and then the plot grabs you and drags you in like a fish on a rod (I won't give it away--just get ready to save your game A LOT). One disappointment: Level 15 was kind of an anticlimax. You had the PERFECT set-up to the level, wandering through empty hallways, with the walls cracked, the Nazis dead, and blood and corpses everywhere. You grab the keys, and open the final locked door, looking behind you, to the sides, in case Fleischacker and his mutant army might make a sudden appearance, and then you reach the end and find that Fleischacker is on the NEXT level!

GAMEPLAY/LEVELS: 12/20
This was perhaps the weakest point in Eisenritter. After Heimzahlung's excellent levels, these were a disappointment. Being a fan of lots of static objects, I found many of the levels to be quite bare. Bringing up the TAB-C object count box, you'll find that few of the levels have more than 300 static objects (the levels in TFA average around 350 static objects each, Totengraeber levels often have 375 or more) Also, many of the levels are HARD. WSJ went way overboard with the new machine-gun mutant guy that I absolutely loathe because they take so long to kill, and sprinkled levels liberally with what are essentially slightly weakened boss enemies (being attacked by 3 Hans Grosse clones is no fun at all!). Eisenritter is extremely difficult, so much so that it really is more frustrating than fun. I ran through the end of level 17 as fast as I could, desperately trying to get away from the 10-15 robots and Hans Grosse-type guys on my tail, knowing all too well that I did not have nearly enough ammo or health to face even a couple of them. It was even worse for me since I tend to rely on the machine gun for most situations (level 10 will wean you off that habit quickly).

MUSIC: 15/20
The music was for the most part very good, with two exceptions: the pieces for levels 17 and 18 were so terrible that I had to turn the music off. What sounds good as a MIDI may sound unbearable in IMF format.

OVERALL: 73/100
While very impressive in many areas, Eisenritter has several major flaws (which are thankfully almost entirely absent from his later add-ons). Still, it is definitely worth a look--if you have the stones to try it.:p

Category ratings (total ratings):
0-2 (0-10): Bad
3-4 (11-20): Poor
5-8 (21-40): Below average
9-11 (41-60): Average
12-15 (61-75): Above average
16-18 (76-90): Very good
19-20 (91-100): Excellent

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:18 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos
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Project Eisenrriter is one of my favorites mods. I prefer it to Operation Heimzalung. It's sure, the levels are extremely difficults but Eisenrriter has what I like more in a mod: an atmosphere. And this one is excellent. I like the mads scientists, clones and others cyborgs. The sience fiction what !
The graphics and the news characters are perfects and the musics also.
Maybe that it's a good question to Wolf Skevos Jones : Why you have put boss at each corner ? Mr Green

Graphics 20/20
Sounds 18/20
Plot 18/20
Levels 12/20
Music 17/20

Overall : 85/100
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:04 am
   Subject: Re: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos
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And the above two messages just go to show that if you make a mod, some people will like it, others won't Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:40 pm
   Subject: Re: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos
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Well put, Steve. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. At least someone thought it was important enough to write a review about it... Smile

I do admit that there were several "clunky" aspects of Project Eisenritter... the graphics weren't all that great, plus a lot of them were borrowed... the sounds could've been better... the levels were rather repetitive at times, and often too challenging... and there were a number of source code bugs. But I was doing what I could at the time, because my skills weren't as good back then. If I was to make Project Eisenritter now, it would probably have much better quality. In terms of ideas, though, Project Eisenritter has been my most important add-on to date. It reflects a lot of the inspiration I had. Operation Heimzahlung, while perhaps having better quality, didn't have as much inspiration. You can kind of sense that if you compare the "stories" of both games.

As for Dr. Fleischacker not being evil enough... perhaps I didn't do a good job of illustrating that in the story, since he was basically characterized as a more "advanced" mad scientist. However, I did a couple things to give him an evil "aura"... First of all, his name, "Fleischacker," is derived from the German word meaning "butcher." Also, if you notice, he has an evil grin while he's attacking you, and he grins mockingly right before he dies... suggesting that his death won't mean the end of his vile work. I tried to give him an evil voice too, but since my voice didn't sound evil enough, I just used a couple of Deathshead's sounds from RTCW.

Executor wrote:
One disappointment: Level 15 was kind of an anticlimax. You had the PERFECT set-up to the level, wandering through empty hallways, with the walls cracked, the Nazis dead, and blood and corpses everywhere. You grab the keys, and open the final locked door, looking behind you, to the sides, in case Fleischacker and his mutant army might make a sudden appearance, and then you reach the end and find that Fleischacker is on the NEXT level!


The destruction on level 15 was not meant to be something that was caused by Fleischacker directly, but by his monsters, who were too dangerous to control. Most of the Nazis on that level had died, and the survivors fled. Fleischacker was in his well-guarded (maybe TOO well-guarded, lol) lab, working on more of his creations.

Executor wrote:
Being a fan of lots of static objects, I found many of the levels to be quite bare. Bringing up the TAB-C object count box, you'll find that few of the levels have more than 300 static objects


A lot of the "scenery," especially in the lab levels, didn't count towards the static object total because they were animated objects, using the Pacman ghosts as a base. I found myself breaking the actor limit very often, in part because of that. So perhaps that caused me to limit the levels... though these days, I find myself running out of static objects before I run out of actors.

Executor wrote:
The music was for the most part very good, with two exceptions: the pieces for levels 17 and 18 were so terrible that I had to turn the music off. What sounds good as a MIDI may sound unbearable in IMF format.


Those two IMFs were taken directly from Corridor 7. Sometimes Corridor 7 IMFs don't play correctly in Wolfenstein.

Loki wrote:
Why you have put boss at each corner ? Mr Green


The lesser "bosses" were often used as regular enemies... kind of like the Baron of Hell in Doom showing up frequently in later levels. I wanted to create the sense that Fleischacker had been building up an army of super-soldiers, robots, and other nasty things. I also wanted there to be big enemies for the player to fight with big weapons. I guess I really overdid it... Embarassed You may notice, however, that some of the larger enemies remain "dormant" if you don't shoot at them... they just stand there, as though they're plugged into the lab machinery.

Anyway, that was a really good critique of Project Eisenritter, Executor. Smile Very thorough and well-written.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:31 pm
   Subject: Re: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos
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WSJ wrote:
Well put, Steve. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. At least someone thought it was important enough to write a review about it... Smile


If anyone wishes reviews to be started, it has been posted (and probably should be again), that you can PM Brian (Schabbs) or myself and we will set up the discussion for any mod in the "U-Rate-It" section of the forums. The reason for only admins setting up the posts there is so that things are standardized as far as the voting goes.

Anyone can voice their own opinion or review as a post in the thread once it has been started.

So... Anyone wishing reviews for any specific piece of Wolfenstein 3d (NOT RTCW) software... Just send a message (PM) to either Brian or Myself.

Thanks

Greg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:32 pm
   Subject: Re: Review of "Project Eisenritter" by Wolf Skevos
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Quote:
though these days, I find myself running out of static objects before I run out of actors.


Heh, most of my levels have static object counts close to the limit (370-390) and iust over 100 guards. In a really large or densely populated level, generally run out of objects before I run out of guards (I had to tone down the decorations the final area of level 10 in the next TFA beta because the static count was going way over the limit).

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