How many special forces type total conversions are there for Doom? Or for that matter many games? But seriously, you bascially have Marine Doom, and that is about it when it comes to real life (somewhat) type environments. Of course there was Hostage Rescue 3 by the guys that have formed Black Shadow Software and developed Twilight Warrior. Only, Hostage Rescue 3 was more of a precursor to Twilight Warrior. I must say I am very impressed with how it turned out. Since it came out three days ago I haven't played anything else. I've become an addict!
Twilight Warrior has to be one of the most effectively pulled off (if not the most) Total Conversions since Aliens. Black Shadow puts you in the position of the Twilight Warrior for this TC and sends you on 9 dangerous missions, with a "training" mission for the first level, before you hit the real 9. You begin fighting in the jungles and then work your way into enemy bases, the high seas, Middle Eastern cities with search and destroy, hostage rescue, and assassination type missions. I personally think that the jungle levels are pulled off very well, and pretty much out do anything else in that area I have ever seen. The mission where you are forced to retake a bank overrun with terrorists is a mad blur to get to the switches to get the hostages out before a bomb blows. Within that level, you hardly ever have time to think, it's just a pure five minutes of reaction. Operation Pheonix, your last mission, is intense, seems you are dropped right in the middle of a enemy controlled city and have to take it back. There are well over 110 enemy soldiers in that level that need to be dealt with. And deal with them you shall.
There was really only one level I didn't enjoy playing, and that would be the Embassy level. My complaint, it's just way to hard to find the exit in that level, and I would often find myself just killing a hostage just to end the level. Besides that small flaw, I found all the levels to be enjoyable and some were even quite tense.
I do have to mention my favorite level though. And that would be the plane hijacking. That level is great! Run in there MP5 blazing, using the mouselook and bam... under 30 seconds all the terrorists are dead and the hostages saved.
What about graphics you ask? Well, let me put it to you this way. They rock. The guns look purely beautiful, while the enemy all look to be just under id quality (in terms of the zombies). Even with some graphics being borrowed, reworked, they all form a synergy that completes the whole look when cuppled with the level design, and mood of the entire TC.
The enemies themselves are good. You have your pistol guys, your guys with rocket launchers, your machine gunners, attack dogs, and the evil attack helicopter. All combined bring a deadly attack force like nothing you have ever faced. Will they defeat you or will you defeat them? All depends on your skill.
Weaponary? Well let's just say you won't go in unprepared. All your weapons balance out well for what you need. You have your OICW which is meant for close to mid-range finesse work. And I must say that gun has some stopping power. The Rocket Laucher mode should be used sparingly, considering there are maybe six or seven shots for it spread out through the game. Your pistol, is basically a fast firing more accurate version of the Doom one, but don't even bother with it, unless of course you have a death wish. The MP5. Talk about a beautiful gun. Run in and let its muzzle do the talking for you. It is the weapon of choice for most of the game. Until you run low on ammo of course. Your PSG-1 Sniper Rifle is awesome to use. Find a nice tight corner in the level, take aim and waste a guy half-way across the level! *splat* The grenades and flamethrower are both good weapons with their uses but they often find themselves sitting out for most of the game until you find a sudden urge to bring them out and start playing.
But, what many people will probably not figure out until they try it for themselves is that Twilight Warrior has to be the best Co-op gaming experience for Doom. It is hands down the best Co-op game I have ever played. Linguica and I have both been playing alot of Twilight Warrior via ZDoom, and have torn it up, even with the lag we get. It just rocks. Twilight Warrior makes the game so much faster and more intense. Two guys to take back the hijacked plane, so much fun. One guy goes rear, one guy goes forward, and bam, no one needs to watch their back and you can clear the plane itself in ten seconds. If you have never played a game of Co-op Doom in your life, do yourself a favor, download Twilight Warrior, start up a multi-player game in Legacy or ZDoom and go for it. It'll be an experience you won't soon forget.
On a more technical note, there do seem to be some problems with Doom Legacy's handling of the Dehacked file used for Twilight Warrior. Mostly it stems from the sounds aspects, in that you can't hear the pistol or MP5 fire. Also, for those that are interested, Twilight Warrior played perfectly in ZDoom (you get all the sounds), the only problem being that in Map08 there is a very small patch of Legacy Transparent Water that doesn't show up on the map, leaving that area bare, but it is something you can learn to live with.
On a small foot note, I would like to say that I have this wierd feeling that there are going to be some really cool add-on levels using the Twilight Warrior base being released in the future. Can't let a great TC just sit all alone now can we?
What did this big old review tell you basically? It is telling you to go download Twilight Warrior, start a two to four player Co-op game on skill 4 and take out all the terrorists! What are you waiting for Soldier? Do it NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!