|NewDoom Community Map Project - Various Artists
The past few
years have seen an astonishingly large number of community themed maps being released.
We had the ZDoom Community Map, Community Chest, Community Chest 2, 1024, Exquisite
Corpse, and this year, the Newdoom Community Map Project was released. Community maps
all have familiar and reoccurring attributes. They all have varying degrees of
quality, a number of themes and styles and a cast list of numerous known and unknown
mappers. The Newdoom Community Map Project is very similar to the Community Chest
series, but it brings its own qualities to the table.
The NewDoom community map project is 32 moderate to nice
levels packed into one megawad. As the name implies, the wad is the community
offering from Newdoom, pooling their talents to
create their own community project. Like any group project, some areas fall short
but others are there to pick them up. Some of the later levels of the NDCP are quite
nice and a good challenge as well. Without trying to instigate a problem that
doesn't exist, NDCP isn't as good as the CC flavour. The quality is a bit lower and
the maps, as a whole, not as astounding. However the NDCP is still a nice offering
of limit removing, and a simple perusing of the text file, revealing the authors, lets you
know you're in for a good time.
Operation Overlord - Enjay
Overlord almost didn't make the list, then I played it again. I had almost forgotten
just how fun, and hard, this level is. Everything is here in this project:
consistent theme, new artwork, scripting used sparingly and when necessary and a nice
looking map for killing to take place in.
Enjay's map, Operation Overlord, is a futuristic homage to
the great World War II battle of the same name. You rush a beach head, taking
positions hiding behind obstacles, slowly advancing your way to the base ahead. Of
course, this means your 13 years of Doom training will be useless here. You'll need
to be stealthy, and use cover and crouching (introduced into ZDoom largely because of this
wad) to advance steadily up the beachfront and into the trenches to free your comrades.
Along the way you'll cross mine fields, entrenched turrets, and a plethora of new
enemies to battle. As I said earlier, this wad just feels complete; everything from
the new graphics to sounds and music completes this wad and makes it feel consistent, which is
more than just a bonus to a fun map.
Vae Victus 2 - Derek "Dittohead" Braun
I had a
chance to play Vae Victus a year ago, and I will say it was OK, but I wasn't overwhelmed.
As a matter of fact, I didn't even remember having played Vae Victus until I went
back and played it again after the release of Vae Victus 2. There is a noticeable
improvement between the two, as to be expected, but I really enjoyed Vae Victus 2 as a
stand alone wad and comparative to its predecessor.
Vae Victus 2 is a 7 map wad that, as described by the author,
has gameplay similar to Alien Vendetta but more balanced. It certainly is tough, but
I did manage to drag myself through all 7 levels without cheating. Vae Victus 2 has
one key element that, for me, makes a wad stand out a little more, that extra touch that
makes you take note: custom textures. A smattering of textures from what appears to
be Espi's Suspended in Dusk breathes some new life into levels that might have been drab
using stock Doom 2 textures. The levels of Vae Victus 2 are good looking and fun to
play. What more do you really need from a good wad?
Impossible: A New Reality
Impossible: A New Reality is a conundrum, literally and figuratively. How do I
judge a wad that is so creative and unique, yet has gameplay elements that make you want
to throw your computer across the room (Cyberdemon mazes, anyone?) This level is damn
near Escher Quality; you run around areas in circles and end up in places you shouldn't be
in, paths that lead one way don't lead back where they came from, and you will find
yourself looping around areas endlessly when it should be impossible. Impossible: A
New Reality is a stunning example of creativity and ingenuity in a mod.