Augustine's Revenge didn't age well: blocky design, boring texture work. The amount of loot everywhere is just ridiculous. For some reason, Expert difficulty does not restrict you from killing guards or civilians.
Looks like we've got completely different criteria for rating fan missions, because I think this is one of the best and most enjoyable city missions. It's not about blocky design or boring textures (I agree with this to some extent), but fantastic atmosphere, good storyline, and sheer vastness of the level.
When I first tried this mission, I actually put it aside because I also thought it was sore on the eyes. But I picked it up again later and began to see its merits.
There are still aspects I would criticize (looking at my old review, there are even one or two things I left out), but the mission's gameplay is usually better than its looks, and there are a lot of different creative areas crammed into the mission to make it feel alive, while being unified enough to avoid feeling arbitrary. (Another bbb mission from around this time, Nigel's Hidden Treasure, covers more texture themes, but feels less like a real place.)
I suspect the Orthodox Taffer's view of this mission is that it's an unimpeachable classic, and I don't think I agree (certainly there are much earlier missions with equivalent gameplay and looks) but it has many virtues. It might even be worth replaying someday yourself, in case you can find them.
I'm not criticizing you. I haven't played this mission in particular, but I found that architecture is not strongest aspect of bbb's missions - judging from ones I've played: Short Night's Work, Hammer Skull and Nigel's Hidden Treasure. Yeah, it's quite boxy, basic and on very simplistic side. Also visual design of interiors sometimes may vary from quite detailed to very basic. So I think you raise a fair point. "Meandering" is the most... suitable word I can use to describe them, since they are sometimes deviate from one theme (like going from city section to Lost-city-like caves and then to catacombs). They often feel like some trip or stream of consciousness, which is not immediately bad.
From another side - while not being eye-candies, those missions of him are quite atmospheric and occasionally challenging - in terms of equipment, patrols etc.. Not over the top though. I personally rated them all strong 7/10. There are better missions both visually or gameplay-wise, but also there are some strenghts in them. Btw this review and discussion actually makes me wonder what this mission is, since it also is quite famous, and even considered as bbb's "magnum opus" or something like that. I think I'll play it in near future.
@Aemanyl. Different people have different tastes for different things. One man's trash is another man's treasure, as they say.
@Mike. I do not mind your critique in the slightest. I find it only fair that when you talk on the internet, you can expect people to talk back. And that current victimhood culture of being offended at the silliest things can eat ass.