I don’t think Quake needs an introduction so I’m not going to bother. The fact that maps and mods of extremely high quality are still being made on a daily basis so many years after its initial release, is simply astounding. Those of you who were there from the beginning, will without a doubt remember Quake’s infamous Deathmatch levels. Andrew Palmer, the author of The Dark Portal sure did. He took inspiration from the original DM6 Deathmatch map by Tim Willits to eventually create this magnificent piece of art.
One thing I always like in maps and try to implement in my own projects, is allowing the players to revisit certain areas which change each time a new event is triggered. It shows great creativity and at the same time increases the total amount of time players get to spend in the level without the need of expanding the size of the map too much. The Dark Portal does this very well. You will visit the main area of the map several times but your surroundings will change to keep the fights interesting. Andrew also tries to avoid linearity by offering the choice in which order the keys will be obtained.
I very much enjoyed playing through this map. Its size is just big enough to keep you entertained from the beginning to the end. The monster encounters are very well orchestrated and there’s just enough ammo to keep you in the fight. If you’re planning to check it out yourself, be sure to stop now and then to admire the beautiful architecture. Note that you will need a limit removing engine like QuakeSpasm to play this map.