Suspended in Dusk - Espi
Doom has recently turned 12, and it seems
like only a couple years ago we were swapping shareware disks because "You have to
play this game". In that time we've see almost everything there is to Doom:
pacifist Map07, glass floors and ceilings, and the advent of powerful ports. Yet,
from time to time, a map comes along that still blows me away. Espi's Suspended in
Dusk is that map.
If I had seen you playing Suspended in Dusk and you told me
it was running on Doom2.exe, I would tell you to get out... probably to make me a sandwich.
Espi has squeezed every last ounce of what the Doom engine is capable of to give us
this masterpiece. Sliding doors, 3D spacecrafts, blown open walls, floating
crates... this sounds like a checklist from a JDoom or ZDoom mapset, but you would be
wrong to assume so. Suspended in Dusk's largest saving grace is the plethora of
textures and new artwork. It's no surprise that a map by Espi would feature
breathtaking visuals, but it's impressive just how well they mesh with the already
available stock Doom textures. Creeping along platforms that appear to be
"suspended in dusk" and rising above bottomless chasms with broken pipes hanging
around you is an experience I cannot describe; you must experience this wad for yourself.
Kama Sutra - Adolf "Gusta" Vojta and Jakub
the creation of Hell Revealed, I don't think a year has gone by without a Megawad mimicing
that style. 2005 is no exception, and why not? Hell Revealed is only legendary among
competitions and happens to be the staple by which Doom Gods are measured.
Kama Sutra, as the name suggests, has shades of the infamous
2000 year old Hindu "Book of Sex". First off some of these levels are
TOUGH, so right there this wad alienates a lot of potential Doomers. Personally, I am
not a fan of the Hell Revealed school of gameplay; however, it has become such a staple of
the Doom Community that the term has become an adjective to describe a type of gameplay.
If that is what the community wants, then Kama Sutra delivers in spades. The
architecture is very nice, not quite Scythe 2 yet still aesthetically pleasing, and the
gameplay is just what you're looking for to quench your Hell Revealed thirst. Kama
Sutra is a fantastic megawad and has, quite possibly, one of the greatest final Baphomet
Congestion 1024 - Various Authors
years ago, Doomworld sponsored the 10 sectors competition to test the creativity of
mappers: what could they do with only 10 sectors at their disposal. Last year,
Linguica spearheaded the Exquisite Corpse wad, a project based around the surrealist
concept of creating patches and passing only the edges to another to see what they derive
from those bits. It could be said that some of the greatest Doom projects are not
created from endless creative boundaries, but restrictive concepts.
Congestion 1024 is heavily influenced by the previous two
experiments, but is a unique creation of its own. Congestion's premise was simple:
design a map that the space the player will occupy will not exceed a grid of 1024 x 1024
Doom map units, but there can be architecture outside the space so long as the player
cannot go there. Each author used their own creative techniques to turn such a
confining space into a lengthy map the player would not know is so constrained. Some
of these maps are so impressive, the player hardly notices that they are running around in
an area smaller than Map 07. This is definitely worth checking out, and don't miss
maps 15 and 32 when you do.
WHAT THE HELL!?
Happy Time Circus
As the title implies, What the Hell? This is the strangest level released this
year, what the Hell was the author thinking? I won't go so far as to call the level
good, but it is definitely unique, and frightening at times. Balloons that pop
blood, leaping skulls, and evil carnival games make this too strange to miss... if for no
other reason than the bizzare nature of it.