Preview by Linguica
It's a deathmatch WAD of a different breed. Lately, the Doom community has welcomed with open arms two deathmatch WADs by high-profile groups: Gothic DM II by Ion Storm-praised Adelusion and his select team previously acclaimed for Gothic DM, and Eternal DM by TeamTNT, the makers of Icarus, Final Doom, and, obviously, Eternal Doom. Both WADs, however, appear to favor a larger group of fraggers: Gothic DM works well with 4, and Eternal DM, with its huge arenas, seems best-suited for an 8-way Legacy game.
Overload, therefore, seems like a refreshing break from the move towards the bigger deathmatch. Team leader Ola Bjorling was kind enough to provide Doomworld with a three-level preview of this anticipated deathmatch level set, and we're certain that he and his crack team of levelmakers are creating a deathmatch experience which will make even a two-player game a hardcore fragfest with an average lifetime in the single-digit seconds.
While it was obvious that some more work was yet to go into Overload (one notable bug was the lack of exits), the levels themselves looked extremely polished and perfected. The first map we had the opportunity to view was a small triangular room with three columns arranged in a triangle pattern within it. The second map was more rectangular, with a nice isolated bridge-over-lava in the middle which requires a straferun jump to reach. The third map was probably the most insane of all: it was simply a square room with four thin little columns. Populated with only shotguns and supershotguns, the respawning player faces great danger if he happens to respawn right in the face of a supershotgun-wielding opponent.
Ola's great skill at creating custom textures was apparent throughout the levels we tested in this deathmatch WAD. His id-quality work mainly included metal and brick, with a few wooden textures thrown in for good measure.
Bjorling has often said that his favorite levels are those that are symmetrical, and this WAD seems to fulfill this desire for this design. All three levels we played displayed some level of symmetry; one was bilaterally symmetrical, one was trilaterally, and one was quadrilaterally (is that even a word?) so. Sometimes, high levels of symmetry can confuse a respawning player and make him unaware of his opponent's position; however, in these levels, the playing field is so small that a player will meet his opponent almost instantaneously anyway.
All in all, Overload is going to be a WAD to look for in the next few weeks. We here at Doomworld have only seen a small portion of this intense deathmatch level pack, and we simply can't wait to see the rest.