Spider Mastermind
Speed of Doom - Joshy and Darkwave0000

There was a bit of hesitation on my side when I picked Speed of Doom for one of my Cacoward write-ups. Not because it was in any way bad or tainted in relation to the rest of the candidates. But rather because I did have some hand in its creation. Well OK, all I did was make some crummy graphics and help out in the testing phase. In the end, I suppose graphics have little impact on what should be the main focus here - the maps. And let me tell you, there are plenty of maps in Speed of Doom. In fact, there's a whole megawad worth!

Ok, silliness aside, Speed of Doom is one of those Boom megawads you hear about from time to time. The whole shebang is an amalgamation of works produced in a collaborative effort between Joshy and Darkwave0000. As such, you'll probably be able to note key differences between the two mappers as you make your way through this adventurous megawad. Such a setup doesn't suffer similar fates that community driven projects tend to though; the variation between two unique but very valid styles keeps the entire play through fresh. Visually, Speed of Doom is very pretty to look at. There are a number of different themes and colors going on in there, all of which I found to be engaging but not distracting. The detailing is subdued but well done and, overall, balanced out. The maps generally don't look too busy, which is a good thing because the gameplay will keep you busy. Very, very busy.

The set starts out relatively difficult, but not too insane. But you'll quickly find that the pace ramps up almost exponentially in just a few maps. While I found the maps challenging, it was rare that I found myself in a position where I just couldn't deal with a situation that was thrown at me. Joshy and Darkwave0000 did an exemplary job at making sure the gameplay was balanced, while at the same time keeping the slaughter frantic, massive, and at times seemingly overwhelming. The feeling of dread when you come face to face with some of these seemingly hopeless situations makes Speed of Doom a very interesting and engaging play through. I really did thoroughly enjoy it. I'd like to say that the MAP30 Icon of Sin implementation was one of the coolest I have ever seen. And I'm not a fan of Icon of Sin maps at all.

Perhaps what may be more insane than some of the maps in Speed of Doom is the fact that this was put together by just two mappers in what seemed like a relatively short amount of time. Making a megawad seems like a foolish task in futility. Anyone else who has attempted it will probably tell you the same, myself included. The fact that Joshy and Darkwavve0000 put together a megawad of this quality in the time that they did is worth praising on its own.

-Mechadon

Drip Feed - Iori

I've always felt like it was Christmas come early whenever Iori releases a map, and this is quite the present. Drip Feed is a map 30 replacement for Boom, with a few new textures and a scary red sky. As a standalone map it doesn't disappoint, giving the player an excellent mix of old-school fast-paced Doom gameplay with strong new-school influences when it comes to level design and detailing.

Drip Feed is a tough start, throwing you right into the action with almost no warning. The map is a very tactically oriented map, requiring a lot of strategy in dealing with monster encounters and traps. Even though it starts out very strong, it gets easier as the map progresses, specifically as you acquire more weapons, finally giving you a BFG at the end. The design of the map is one of a vast marble fortress, and Iori manages to keep the map flowing by minimizing backtracking and giving you sneak peeks at areas you're headed towards. The sometimes repetitive texturing theme is definitely not enough to take away from this absolutely epic map.

-Hobbs

Epic 2 - Alexander "Eternal" S.

Deathz0r was right, Eternal is probably just a supercomputer randomly generating Doom maps. There is no way a single author can continue to produce this many maps in such a short period of time. This wasn't his only release this past year, either! 

Epic 2Some may remember that the first Epic was featured in 2007 as one of the best picks, and Epic 2 is more of the same... but this time you get 32 levels. The maps provide a good challenge and look decent. Epic 2 shows what a significant change proper textures can make to your project. Departing from standard Doom textures makes these maps stand out; most feature an Egyptian/tomb theme, while several are alien in appearance. The alien levels are inspired by Equinox and provide a nice break from the Egyptian theme which dominates most of the wad.  Certainly another exceptional project from Eternal that is worth playing.

-Scuba Steve

Stronghold - Tormentor667

Now, when I judge a wad I never take into account who made it. So when this came out I ignored all the hype and the bias etc. and got straight on with playing the wad, which is essentially a cross between Skulltag's Invasion and UT's Assault. There are 40 maps set on various moons/planets where the aim is to prevent waves of monsters (including many new types) from reaching or destroying some kind of target.

StrongholdEverything has that highly-polished look, from the cinematic and setting to the hi-res skies and atmospheric effects to the impressive detail in the maps, which also avoids impeding players and monsters alike. The best thing I found though was the gameplay in particular the new weapons and inventory items that really enhance your options and develop strategies to keep those pesky monsters away. I couldn't really find much to criticize...some of the layouts seemed a bit plain, the lack of exploration for the most part and the wad's repetitive nature (but what megawad isn't repetitive, really).

It's not for everyone, but it's fun, frantic, challenging at times, and it comes with multiplayer support too. Say what you will, but it deserves this award for bringing something different along as well as being an all-around quality project.

-Ultimate Doomer

2010 Cacowards


Page 1

  • No Rest for the Living
  • Arcadia
  • Curse of D'sparil

Page 2

  • UAC Ultra
  • Unloved
  • Valhalla

Page 3

  • Speed of Doom
  • Drip Feed
  • Epic 2
  • Stronghold

Other Awards

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

 


RUNNERS UP


Beyond Revival
Fiend

Beyond Revival

Base Ganymede ep2
Khorus

Base Ganymede ep2

Thanksgiving comes and goes and I start thinking about the Cacowards. I tell myself, "Man, there haven't been many good releases this year" and yet, when I start compiling a list, you realize there were plenty of good releases (plus the couple of jerks that release a great project on December 8th). Revival and Base Ganymede Episode 2 may not be one of our top 10 projects, but they are certainly somebody's top 10... they're that good. So play them. While you're at it, play some of the following that were recommended...