Watching "A tribute to RU45" is a very unique experience. A huge amount of work has gone into this 13 minute cutscene, which is a tribute to one of the Hawk Studios members. And the work payed off.
This has been an amazing visual experience for AOK standards. It is really incredible what one can achieve with a limited tool such as the editor. Some of the tricks used here I have never seen before, and the others are just perfectly executed. It never became boring, though there were some moments in the latter part of the cinematic that could have been shortened a bit (the few ones where nothing totally awesome seems to be happening).
All in all, I had a very enjoyable time watching this.
The cutscene runs smoothly throughout. I would give this category a 6 if I could, for the amount of effort that the author has put into timing all of the sounds, and making sure that everything is perfect. There are virtually no awkward moments that usually occur at some point in a cinematic longer than 10 minutes.
This is by far the highlight. Each and every moment of the cinematic has things that will keep you fascinated through their sheer originality. The author also makes very good use of some traditional tricks, but there are so many awesome and unique things about this that I don't even know where to start. I think it's best to let you discover them for yourself. The music and the overall sound effects greatly increase the quality of the file, taking it one step further. The firework finale is awesome.
Map Design: 5
Another category in which this map shines. The map design is pretty straightforward but at the same time it contains some areas that look stunning, such as the statues. The time that the author has taken to make this shows yet again. Trigger studio and map copying are used to obtain excellent results. I enjoyed the asian castle-archery range combination, which I had never seen before previously.
After all the superlatives I've used during this review, it's time to get my feet back on the ground. Though it has it merits as a tribute to a colleague and it is sure to have an impact on Hawk studios members, for everybody else it won't be anything special. Don't get me wrong, it is great to become more familiar with the legends of Hawkaoc, but at the same time I will not remember this cinematic for anything else than its incredible visuals. What I did get from it is that RU43 is a real swell guy, and I'd like to thank him personally for being so awesome as to have a cinematic like this created for him.
Watching this will be a very humbling experience for most people that think they know what designing in AOK is all about.