Shinigami Level Pack 1, 6.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Rating: 6.3/10 (4 votes cast)
Shinigami level pack 1 was the first of who knows how many planned episodes of a larger map pack by an author known as Shinigami, hence the imaginative name of the campaign. It was released in early 1999 when its build quality was widely considered as good. Taking the time to complete the 1-hour(ish) play-through one can see why, using a bit of imagination, or by simply remembering what was available back then on the Unreal single player map scene. The story, on the other hand, is not much to remember.
The level pack features a flyby intro, some semi-atmospheric locations and a galleon, which is probably the most interesting piece of architecture in the campaign (albeit only until you enter its interior), and finally, in the last level, an upside-down castle in the sky.
The gameplay would be pretty much forgettable if not for some unavoidable annoyances, which are not the best thing to remember about a game, and as mentioned before the story will not impress the player either. But there is a certain feeling of curiosity about the flying, upside-down castle. What is it? Why is it upside down? What awaits the player inside? WHY can’t I get inside?
Yes, probably the most annoying part of the campaign is the abrupt ending just before entering the aforementioned castle. Without any warning you get the error message that the next .unr file does not exist. Boom. Continue playing in the empty map and have fun. To be correct it’s worth mentioning though that the author apparently intended to continue the map pack, but for whatever reason it never happened. There are some rumours that even after 15+ years of waiting he might still not have given up completely on continuing it one day. If that ever happens, we will surely make it available here.
All that said, Shinigami Level Pack 1 is one of those early Unreal SP campaigns that seem to have made it, if just barely, to the “ought to be played once” category. Might worth one hour of your time if you run out of better maps to play.