Archvile
Community Chest 3 - Various Artists

I cannot put my finger on why, but I have a soft spot in my heart for megawads... as I believe most of the community does.  A couple years ago I awarded a Cacoward to Community Chest 2 for its collection of 32 wonderful levels and awesome title screen.  Two years later, and just in time for Doom's 14th birthday, we were graced with the third Community Chest installment.  If the last two were any indication of quality, then Community Chest 3 should be a great megawad... and it does not disappoint.

Like any community collection, the maps are, obviously, very mixed and range from outstanding to decent.  Many of the great maps come from an impressive roster of modern mappers... Rottking, Dutch Devil, Thomas van der Velden and many more.  This time around, Community Chest mappers took more advantage of Boom special tags.  You will see your usual display of scrolling dummy effects put to good use in this collection... not quite Lutz insanity, though.  Be sure to check out all the levels—there are some real gems to be played in here.  If you enjoy megawads (and we all do) then you really cannot go wrong with Community Chest 3.

Epic - Deadall

Maybe it's just me, but you don't often see Egyptian-themed WADs like Epic, and I sure as hell wouldn't mind seeing more of them if they were the same quality as Epic and Equinox. I guess I answered my own question there, since trying to make a set of Egyptian-themed single player levels with the same level of quality as Epic would make most mappers break down and cry, myself included. As typical with Eternal's maps, Epic oozes out more action than you can throw a stick at, and I'll be damned if MAP05 didn't live to the title of this WAD, because goddamn is it effin huge, and well... epic, obvious pun aside. There's also some really cool usage of Boom features, and creative use of flame torches to simulate run-down cars being caught on fire; isn't that a cool enough reason to check out Epic?

Ultimate Torment and Torture - Tormentor667

A difficult part of gauging "best mod" is quantity vs. quality.  Should a good megawad be rated higher than a single amazing level because there are more maps?  I make calls all the time regarding this, and sometimes it is just a feeling that something is great.  Ultimate Torment and Torture really pushes this line.  UTNT is largely a collection of all the previous Torment and Torture maps into one tremendous map.  Tormentor saw fit to add improvements to the maps to create one large, seamless project.  Despite many of the levels being previous releases, I felt that Tormentor put in a staggering amount of work to renovate the maps and add transitions, cutscenes and specific GZDoom effects to really make this project great.  In addition to the changes to old levels, the new levels that have been made specifically for this project are absolutely stunning.

Ultimate Torment and Torture feels outstandingly "epic" in scope.  The levels are big, the firefights are hard and the story is... well, minimal.  The final map of UTNT is what stands out the most when deciding this map as one of the year's ten best.  The final level is an all out assault of an enormous mountain that, at its heart, is firing a giant beam into the sky.  You battle waves of vicious monsters, both new and old, while you climb the side of the mountain to reach the heart of the infestation.  This level is huge, capable of slowing my old machine down at times.  The final Boss chamber is equally impressive, a creative mix of mid textures, stacked sectors and textures.  Tormentor made a staggering number of maps this year, including Austerity, KDiZD, UTNT Invasion, UTNT, City of the Damned and even contributed to Community Chest 3.  Out of all his releases this year, Ultimate Torment and Torture is his masterpiece, the best he has produced thus far.  It is certainly one of the top 10 mods this year... even if most of the levels are improvements of old releases.

The Outer Darkness - Varun Abhirama Krishna

We conclude our top 10 ten picks for the best single player WADs of 2007 with The Outer Darkness, an E4-inspired level that, like The Dying End, delivers constant action that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your toes. Unlike The Dying End, the reason why it's so action-packed is because of how cramped the rooms are and the amount of monsters in each room, giving the allusion that the map is more difficult than what it really is—when you don't have much leg space to dodge fireballs getting flung towards you, and those asshole shotgunners shooting through small windows. It doesn't help that this is a Doom 1 WAD, meaning there's no SSG to clear out the rooms in half the time it takes with the shotgun. But I guess that's one of the main appeals of The Outer Darkness in that you don't get much breathing space, and there's no SSG to clear out the Cacodemons as easily. For that, The Outer Darkness gets a thumbs up in my book, and is definitely worth being in the top 10 of 2007!

2007 Cacowards


Page 1

  • Genesis of Descent
  • Cheogsh
  • Songs of the Damned

Page 2

  • The Dying End
  • Sine Die
  • Knee Deep in ZDoom

Page 3

  • Community Chest 3
  • Epic
  • Ultimate Torment and Torture
  • The Outer Darkness

Other Awards

  • Best Multiplayer
  • Worst Wad
  • Mordeth Award
  • Mockaward
  • Mapper of the Year

 


RUNNERS UP


Demons of Problematique
Dennis "Exl" Meuwissen

Demons of Problematique

Wonderful Doom
Wraith

Wonderful Doom

The hardest part of doing a yearly award ceremony is not recognizing works that were good... but not a part of the top 10.  Demons of Problematique is a very good wad, and Wonderful Doom is one of the best vanilla replacements I have played.  Wonderful Doom was adored by the community and heralded for being a brilliant reimagining of Ultimate Doom.  I will certainly take flak for not listing it in the top 10, but I wanted to acknowledge both maps as worth your time.