You want fast-paced deathmatch action? You want tight, great-looking maps with no place to run and no place to hide? Then you've come to the right place! Get ready to Overload!

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Overload

By Ola Björling and Crew
Reviewed by Covaro

Billed as 16 levels of lightning fast death, Overload packs one hell of a punch. Symmetry and professional quality textures are the trademarks of this deathmatch level set. Of course you can't forget the Ola Björling trademark lighting. You want a two player deathmatch level set, well then Overload is what you are looking for. If you want a three or four player deathmatch set, get GothicDM or GothicDM2. I guess one could almost call Overload a miniature GothicDM. It's got the look, it's got the detail, it just ain't got the size.

The first noticable thing about the levels are the size and symmetry of each of the levels. This has to be one of the great equalizers of these levels. You always start on a weapon, you don't have time to plan a strategy against your enemy, you don't have time to breathe. Death comes quickly, with average kills being in under ten seconds. The symmertical aspects of the levels help in that you can quickly learn a level, and can play against your opponent without having to try and learn the level while you play, which is a definate bonus. The very small size helps in this aspect tremendously as well.

If you haven't already learned by now, Ola is the premire texture artist in the community, doing work for projects such as GothicDM2, Mordeth, Darkening, and more. And Overload brings his professional quality textures out in full force. Almost the entire wad is done in Ola designed textures, which, would give the otherwise somewhat bland looking levels their own look and feel. Not that the levels aren't detailed, it's just that if the level were done with the original Doom textures, you're eyes would prolly just die of boredom, but with Ola's textures in there, you don't want to blink, afraid that you might miss all the beauty before you.

The levels are some of the best playing levels I've gotten ahold of in a long time. Fast, furious, little forgiveness for slow reflexes. The only thing bad I can say about the gameplay, you need a direct LAN connection to truly appreciate playing Overload. Modem games are just a bit slower than LANs even with a good connect, and well, Overload is still fast, but it would most likely be insane on a high-speed LAN connect. Other than that, it's great fun to have those little shotgun battles throughout a level (which don't last very long) and watch with glee when the other guy dies. Of course, there is always the possibility he could change to a plasma gun and blow you away before you can react, but other than that, it's so much fun it should be illegal.

Finally, all in all, I think that Overload was extremely well done, with all the guys involved deserving a round of applause. It's not often that you get small, well designed deathmatch levels that catter to two players. But remember, don't complain to Ola about the size, or symmetricity of Overload, or else he'll wind up yelling at you, because he has already stated that, they were designed that way, so shut up. Finally, if you have problems in any way with Overload, my personal suggestion would be to go get a level editor, make your own textures, and start working to do a better job than Ola and company did. Is it just me, or do Swedish people seem to be really good at level design?

Download Overload now from Doomworld