Demon of the Well
Map 02 -- Outpost 27 - 100% Kills / 100% Secrets
It's Cell, but in 1996! This is a tiny little pillbox of a base, packed full of bloodthirsty cretins. Of course, 50 is hardly an imposing monstercount, even by classic IWAD standards, but Outpost 27 is just that tiny--it only takes 2-3 bodies to crowd a room.
Texture alignment is generally pretty good (although not spotless, ala those green metal pillars in the second room) considering the diminutive scale of most of the environment. I'm not so sure I'm sold on it aesthetically, though....the choice of that green/white lacquered tiling for the outer wall is a strange one (although I like that texture as a generality, and so I guess I don't really mind), and the way each of the tiny little rooms is covered in a different texture seems rather haphazard. I suppose this might've been intended to vaguely communicate that different rooms in the base have different functions, but they're so small and pragmatically-shaped that I couldn't really surmise what was being implied, other than that the computer room is a....computer room. On the upside, I can leave my usual complaints about lighting at the door here: while the lighting is pretty flat/uniform throughout, given the nature of the structure (e.g. a pillbox-shaped structure with a roofless hub and a bunch of open windows all along its perimeter), it makes sense that one light level generally dominates throughout.
Gameplay has little recourse but to conform to the tiny, cramped environs, and so opposition consists mostly of zombies and imps in small groups. There are a few hell knights, but only one of them (the one who descends on one of the aforementioned green metal pillars) has an opportunity to create any real pressure, and then only if you wuss out/panic. The central hub can be seen at a few points suggesting some crossfire potential, but as it is staffed only by imps, this doesn't pan out.
As Memfis mentioned, the best part about the gameplay here is that it's very berserk-friendly; given my earlier determination that this particular marine is melee-happy, I naturally went wild with this, only using the shotgun on a couple of ledge snipers after picking up the pack. On the downside, the featured reward in both secrets is the blur artifact. Now, I'm not given to the opinion that the blursphere is a categorically useless powerup, but in both cases here, it's inconsequential at best, and a powerdown at worst--the combat spaces in the map are so small that hitscanners are liable not to miss even with the sphere in effect (reckon it's not that hard to hit a guy with a machine gun at point blank range as long as you wave the damned thing around, even if he is invisible), and the small amount of dodge space makes avoiding thrown projectiles a real crapshoot. At least accessing the second secret is entertaining--just find some elevation and hop right out the window.
It's only bitesized, and thus can hardly be accused of overstaying its welcome, but this didn't really suit my taste, all the same.
Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention that I encountered a mild bug at one point: in the tiny silver metal/blue light room with the chaingunners, if you rub against the window, at one point you can pass partway through the 'sill' and get bogged down, until you figure out the right direction to move in to break free.
Last edited by Demon of the Well on 07-02-13 at 04:48