Demon of the Well
Map 06 -- Vida Rota - 100% Kills / No secrets
This one takes place in a frozen mountain pass which the demons have used to set up a killzone--both a hotly-contested and a fairly effective one, too, judging by all of the gruesome marine and demon remains strewn about even before our marine arrives. Like map 04, the visual fidelity of this offering is a step or two above the other maps around it; the natural terrain is simulated quite reasonably given idtech 1's capabilities, interesting that a lot of the best-looking stuff in both this WAD and the original Whitemare seems to be the type of thing that plays against the engine's strengths somewhat. The most immediately noticeable aspect of the visuals is that everything is rather uniformly dark (presumably this is a nocturnal scene, that blue Eternal Doom sky works decently well for any time of day); some will probably find this bothersome, but I'm the guy always saying 'this would look better if it were darker', so suffice to say it doesn't bother me at all. Texture selection is limited but tasteful, with 99% of the terrain made from a trampled/packed snow flat, ice-rimed granite, and a few quirky pillars of greenery that appear to use the hedgerow texture from Blood. There are quite a few decorative props to add interest, as well--apart from the aforementioned gibs/corpses, there are quite a lot of barren trees and a smattering of all three colors of firestick. And I do mean 'smattering'; my main criticism of the map's aesthetic is probably that it might be a little too visually busy given its compact build; just sticking to one color of torch (or using fewer torches in general) probably would have smoothed this over fairly well.
The action gets off to a fast start--there's a pinky demon within fondling distance as soon as the screen clears, and an SSG on a body a mere step further away--but it's not a particularly involved combat engagement, as the intensity tends to fall off sharply as soon as you've killed the ground-level enemies, which tends to happen pretty rapidly as none of them are deaf, and hence they all funnel towards you as soon as you make a sound (that is, when they're not too busy violently bickering amongst themselves). There are a decent number of enemies with powerful attacks up in the hills (revenants, chaingunners, etc.), it's true, but the topography of the pass prevents many of them from being able to target you simultaneously at any given point, and a few of them from ever really being able to effectively target you at all. Compounding this, I feel that the map has something of an anticlimax problem--it really feels like you should get a fresh wave of baddies to kill after activating the last of the three satyr-slabs (if not sooner), but no dice.
Fairly nice-looking map, but plays rather flatly, once again rather speedmap-ish in that regard.