EPISODE II - Hell Exhumed
Right, time for chapter 2. The story left me cruising on a ship heading to whatever destination the demons were busy shipping their mysterious cargo to.... or importing it from??
MAP07 - Deadly Exploitation by Cell
Looks like i've landed on an island with a secretive facility well guarded with monsters. High fence to keep people out, as if the monsters weren't enough to discourage people - must be something valuable they are protecting here, think I will have a look around... More crates inside, looks like they are producing something here, or maybe digging it out of the ground. 3 keys and a lot of killing later and it seems my hunch was correct, an entrance to a mine. What manner of evil are these fiends digging up from the depths of the earth? Or maybe its diamonds, better check and make sure.
Not so atmospheric with the lighting here again, but makes up for it with the fighting, and wehay a plasma rifle! Still no rocket launcher yet though. I had my first death on this map, there was a ledge i thought i could jump to but instead i fell into a mosh pit of monsters.
MAP08 - SunSub-Station by Vaporizer
Down we delve into the mines. Some green goo here, a byproduct of some industrial process perhaps? Whatever is going on down here, those monsters really don't like me picking up their keys. Lots of ambushes and a touch of nukage surfing in the darkness brings me to an underground train to somewhere.. not much more to say about this one, nothing offensive though. A bit of blind faith running on damaging floors but I can live with that.
MAP09 - Terminus by purist
Still no sign of those diamonds. I've reached an underground train station, looks like i'm traveling on foot from here though. The difficulty over the last 2 maps seems to have eased up a bit maybe, or maybe I'm just getting used to dodging revenant missiles, but the opposition here is mostly smaller monsters and plenty of cover to be found - apart from that surprise mancubus by the crushers, very naughty. The revs behind the blue bars that teleport way back in the lift, i'm not sure how that is meant to play out because they just hung around back there until i came to finish them off. Are they meant to come and trap you? Or just surprise you later at some point? Quite a long bit of uneventful backtracking to get to those blue bars as well, maybe a monster trap along the way would spice things up.. Anyway, i've reached a flickering cavern that ends in a massive door, and now i'm not so sure there are any diamonds down here after all.
MAP10 - Excavation Site by A.Gamma
Wow, this map pushed up the production values a touch, and the violence. And no, there are no diamonds here, though we are deep enough underground now that lava is peeking through cracks in the floor. But this is no mine, or perhaps it once was, but now seems to play host to some form of demonic temple carved out of the living rock. Or was it unearthed by hapless miners from its eons of slumber embedded in the underworld? Are those some hapless miners dangling from the ceiling? In the midst of all this is a graveyard - was this place built by human hands? I dont imagine monsters burying their dead.. perhaps some ancient cult retreated to these depths to worship their foul gods, and unwittingly let loose some evil into this world.
Anyway enough of that, this map is gorgeous and nasty in equal measures. Monsters are springing up out of the ground at the drop of a hat, and sniping you from dark corners, or surrounding you in walls of angry monster meat. I died almost instantly from a combination of surprise chaingunners and invisiblee spectres - I have made a vow to never have spectres in any of my dimly lit maps, its just too annoying fighting stuff you cant see. The setting and design is a lot more ambitious than in previous maps, and the fighting more intense. I really enjoyed playing this one. Somehow I managed to find all the secrets as well, largely thanks to getting lost and poking around previously explored rooms. Epic stuff, really like the music too. Now excuse me but I see a glowing red hole I must jump down...
MAP11 - Descent into Underworld by walter confalonieri
So here we are in the firey depths. Strangely empty of monsters, guess they were all upstairs in the previous map. What there is here though is a lot of running and one very tedious fight with a spider mastermind. Tedious because it is either shooting your arse off or teleporting randomly about - you can only shoot it when it is standing still and it only stands still when it is filling you with lead. Add to that not much cover, no health afterwards and not much else to do, and you have a bit of a let down. I guess this is meant to be a boss fight map so doesnt require a lot else, but the amount of redundant space makes it feel rather empty, and the fight itself is a case of jumping next to the mastermind and pumping it full of plasma, and hope it doesnt shoot back. Also I kept falling off ledges and doing the same boring run back to a teleport pad. All in all, not my favourite map of this wad. Graphically it did a good job of depicting the firey underworld, I'll give it that.
So chapter 2 ends, and it seems my suspicions were mostly correct, apart from the diamonds. Already we are stepping into hell, and only half way through the adventure.. what horrors await...
oh yeah, I found a HOM in map 10 in one of the lifts, maybe someone mentioned it already. I have a lot of reading to catch up with.