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Alien Vendetta

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Alien Vendetta offers 32 all new levels, ranging from small fast-paced tech-styled ones, to complex medieval- and hellish-themed maps. Variety was to be expected considering several authors had a hand in the making of these maps and as no specific criteria were given to them. AV originated in '96 as a one-man project, but saw many transitions and was eventually made a team effort in August 1999. What started out as a pure "Hell Revealed" follower balanced out to be something in-between that and a more classic looking megawad. We decided to put more emphasize on detailed architecture while trying to keep the at times ultra hard gameplay in focus. Admittedly recreating the intensity of "Hell Revealed" while trying to create more commonly scaled maps turned out to be quite a challenge. As a result the hardness was tuned down a bit, and fun gameplay became more important than making it as hard as possible. When that's said, AV still holds a somewhat harder skill setting than any serious megawad with the exception of "Hell Revealed" and its sequal. In the tougher maps it will indeed challenge the best players on Ultraviolence, and would probably be more frustrating than fun for the common Doomer. Fortunately we put effort into all levels of difficulty, and would advise anyone who is not looking for hordes of monsters (and the need for planning in order to survive) to play skill 2 or 3. AV skill 3 plays much like "The Plutonia Experiment" does on its skill 4. Skill 2 would be the favourable pick for anyone who wants to have a more relaxed journey through the levels (be warned tho, even on skill 2 AV holds a few surprises =) Altho map continuity exists between a few levels we decided to go for variation instead of a one-themed 32 level scenario. This difference in scenery from map to map hopefully contributes to less redundant gameplay. Each level is completable from scratch, but when approached this way it should be noted that secret areas become vital for health and ammo supply. The first episode consists of a variety of "earthly" themed maps/bases and a few tech facilities. Difficulty here leans more towards easy even on skill 4, and primarily functions as a warm-up. Episode 2 starts out with a series of techbases and ends up in a more brick styled fashion. The first really hard scenes for the average player will occur in this episode. The final chapter is mainly hell themed and holds the most extreme levels in terms of hardness. A few of these are up to "Hell Revealed" difficulty. If you're looking for a challenge combined with atmospheric levels, Alien Vendetta should be right up your alley. Enjoy :)


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Budoka

· Edited by Budoka

  

 

IMPORTANT: DO NOT launch the file "AVMOVFIX.WAD" when playing Alien Vendetta. All it does is remove one of best portions of MAP20. That file was conceived as a fix for demo recording back in a day when processors where much less powerful, and despite being included in the download serves no purpose whatsoever in this day and age.

 

-----------------------------------

 

An epic experience in the most genuine sense of the word, Alien Vendetta's long-standing reputation as the most legendary Megawad of all is entirely deserved, although it isn't quite my number one choice. Variety, quality, creativity and spectacle abound in just about every moment of this very lengthy, challenging adventure.

 

Indeed, it should be clear that even now, in 2018 as of me writing this review, Alien Vendetta still belongs to the realm of the fairly difficult by today's overall PWAD standards. However, this absolutely shouldn't stop any curious players from trying it out, because the content offered is absolutely, positively worth it. In fact, although Alien Vendetta as aged a little, it holds up much better than most of its contemporaries and many of the old classics so lauded by the community.

 

As a negative, I will say that I don't think I approve of that final boss map, which calls upon skills that are never necessary in the rest of the Megawad and generally not a priority of classic Doom gameplay, all the while demanding a very exacting display of said skills from the player. Also, if I really have to nitpick, then I will concede that a couple maps contain very clumsy moments ("Nukefall"...).

 

I will give away no more and let the rare few Doom 2 players who have not yet experienced this masterpiece discover it for themselves. Highly recommended.

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Agent6

· Edited by Agent6

  

So here goes another wad, one that I for one could easily label as "close to hardcore" . It starts easy, then the difficulty nicely increases, and eventually culminates with some extremely difficult maps towards the end. Very tricky but not impossible to complete despite this undoubtedly initial impression. Most levels involve certain tricks in order to make everything easier, some of them, especially towards the end, relying quite a bit (or a lot, depending on the map) on infighting, such as MAP26. This one was easily among the hardest map at first sight, primarily because in a few words, it's a Revenant fest, most notably at the beginning. Yet all that had to be done there was letting the Cyberdemons take them out, but of course that's easier said than done. Since everything I'm playing is without any prior experience (blind, if you will) it always takes me a while to figure out the difficult maps. I think I died like 50 times in this map but it got easier once I gained experience through trial and error, therefore when I could finally make the enemies start an infight it became much easier.

 

Other maps however are more unforgiving, and that not due to seemingly impossible odds, but because well, the eternal old story, resource starvation. I ran out of ammo an annoying amount of times on the aforementioned map. When everything was clear, surprise, either no health or no ammo, typically remaining with just a few shotgun shells and nothing else. Now of course I should also mention that when I usually say "resource starvation" this does not include whatever can be found in secret areas. I'm usually terrible at locating (most of) them so when I mention that be aware that it primarily refers to what the maps offer during normal play without any secrets involved, or only very few, unless explicitly mentioned. MAP28 was an even worse offender, it's not a particularly difficult level but there was just not enough ammo for what came later, so for instance at the end I completely skipped a room with a Soulsphere and (3 I think) Arch-Viles because I just had no ammo to make it out alive and kill them as well. In my few attempts to grab the bonus they always managed to escape from their own little lair and well, you know what followed, so in the end I decided to skip them altogether and call it a day. MAP23 was also pretty scarce on resources, but not very difficult overall. So despite the nice difficulty curve, it does seem to spike every now and then.

 

My favorite maps are going to be MAP20 and MAP25. No doubt, these maps are very atmospheric with cool music and great gameplay, basically the perfect recipe for a great level, and nothing insane. I didn't really like these levels where the difficulty spikes nastily because they felt more like a test or a pure challenge, and weren't that much fun or enjoyable, yet I wouldn't count them among maps I loathe because they were still great, just mocking the player and very tricky. There are no bad maps here, except perhaps MAP21, it was neither an interesting nor fun level for me and felt more like just a filler and no killer. I was surprised to see that MAP30 was an Icon of Sin map, but frankly I'm really glad it was this and not something nuts serving the purpose of some sort of ultimate challenge after walking through the fire, considering some of the levels preceding it. It took me a few tries to figure things out though, because apparently the lift in this map is completely transparent and has 2 torches placed on it, and I thought the switches only lower them at first when in fact they are supposed to help you by marking something, but once that was out of the way it was piece of cake. I should mention that the lift at the base raises surprisingly fast so you've got to be very quick there, run (strafe) like hell after activating the switch. It's a fitting end to a thrilling but sometimes exhausting and frustrating journey. And that voice at the beginning of the map when you pick up the ammo and the power ups? That was amazing to hear, it sounds just so perfectly inhuman and purely evil, very intimidating and sets the tone for what's around the corner.

 

The music in this wad is very good and it has many different sources. There's vanilla Doom music, some completely new stuff, and even Heretic music. This might sound like a mess on paper, but it works, and rather well no less.

 

However, there are some problems on the technical side of things, or that's how my experience was anyway. I played this in PrBoom+ but every now and then it would become glitched so the stats at the end of the map would be broken and in the upcoming map I would spawn in an incorrect location, thus breaking the map completely and making it impossible to complete. For instance, I had to pistol start MAP13 because I kept spawning in the area where the yellow key normally becomes accessible only later down the road, an area that's normally accessible only with another key, but I had none so there was no way out. This occurred in a few other maps but luckily this could be easily resolved by just restarting the source port and reloading a previous level/save, finishing the map normally, proceeding to the next (offending) level, and everything would correct by itself. It's the first wad in any port I use where I'd ever come across something like this, so I've no idea what caused the problem. I've also had the correct compatibility options set the entire time, for that matter.

 

All things considered, I had a blast (quite the damn literally on so many occasions). It's a solid classic wad that has aged well and is also far from being impossible, but it does take time to understand its most challenging maps if you choose to go for it blind but also well aware of what you're getting yourself into beforehand like I did, so expect a lot of trial and error in this case, but at the end of the day it pays off. And it's not unfair even if some levels do look like this at first sight, but in fact they're not. Remember, these levels usually require you to resort to a couple of tricks, be quick, and careful. Moreover, I also found them rather predictable once I figured them out. If I could pull it off so can you.

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Poncho

  

There simply isn't a WAD that tops Alien Vendetta. Despite being released a good 16 years ago, this could be considered the first "modern" WAD. What I mean by that is that the maps here have tip-top design and attention to detail that is present in practically every WAD released nowadays. Like Memento Mori, its sequel and Requiem, AV brought a lot of Doomers from around the world to contribute (the US, Sweden (?) and Norway to name a few).

 

Each map has its own identity, and thus they are ALL memorable. The first level immediately tells you that the details, lighting and enemy placement is gonna be spectacular. Once you get to Map03 and see the city overlooking the main station, you know this is something that is way more advanced than anything before it. When it comes to Map11 and Map20... well, we all know how epic THOSE two look. Those two maps still look better than most maps today!

 

Of course, the look of the levels aren't the only thing that make-or-breaks a game. The gameplay here is nothing short of brilliant. All the maps besides Map21 (which is a Tyson-based map) are balanced for pistol-start and also for continuous gameplay, which is nice. I said before that each map has an identity, or a personality. This is true in the fact that the traps, secret placement and challenge are all different yet balanced. AV gradually gets harder and harder, reaching its boiling point with Map27.

 

Speaking of that map, there aren't that many slaughtermaps in the WAD. Maps 25, 26, 27 (yep, three in a row) and 32 are, but as I said before, each are identifiable and aren't brainless BFG spam. 25 isn't too hard, though 26 and 27 take the cake as the two hardest maps in the set.

 

Memorable set pieces I can recall are the Cyberdemon zone in Map06, the Demon horde in Map15, the Mastermind madness area in Map18, the island climb in Map20 and the waterfall trap in Map26. Everything is memorable here!

 

If there's ANYTHING I can criticise, it's a bit weird having the techbase levels start in Episode 2. Though then again, that makes the WAD that bit more original. Oh yeah, and Map30 can be a bit annoying, if only for that one lift.

 

Oh course, I can't write an AV review without mentioning the great Kim André Malde, who passed away a few years ago. I heard he was a talented mapper but, more importantly, a lovely person in real life. Rest in piece.

 

Favourite Maps: 04, 09, 10, 11, 20, 25, 29

 

"Least" Favourite Maps: 06, 19, 27, 28, 30

 

My Rating: 4 / 4 (thus a full 5 / 5)

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Summer Deep

· Edited by Summer Deep

  

This megawad seems to have a fearsome reputation, but I was surprised by how playable and straightforward it was. Maybe the main reason I found it so manageable was that, being just an averagely good doomer, I played on HMP difficulty with the odd save within the levels. The maps are generally well constructed, and even the handful of 'slaughterish' ones are hard but fair: though the fact that even on HMP the wad contains over 30 Cyberdemons means that it's still a decent challenge.....

 

My only complaint would be with level 30, an IoS affair which, like quite a few others I've encountered, is unworthy of the wad as a whole. If playing 'by the book', one is forced to attempt SR50 strafe runs along a lengthy section of wall, which soon becomes infested with all sorts of monsters. I suspect that the vast majority of players, and even quite a few seasoned campaigners, will have no chance with this, though they'll be able to avoid this issue by aiming with mouselook. 

 

I'd also recommend acquiring the original version of the game from the AV official website, as it contains the famous (notorious?) Valley of  Echoes level 25, which didn't make it into the final version of the game, but is well worth a look.

 

Overall, 4+ out of 5.

 

 

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Anidrex_1009

  

There is no presentation for this mythic wad, it is something that belongs to the history of Doom and the community, one of the first and most brilliant works done by fans, a megawad that surpasses any expectations and that innovates with so much fun and genius. My first megawad in my life, the first one completed, I was just hooked and enjoyed every single map, without a doubt, something epic and fantastic to play that I am grateful to have known.

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done on HMP/continuous/saves

 

Good old wad. It has it's beautiful scenarios with very neat detailing, for example in map 20, which is purely egyptian. Most maps are linear, some too linear, and others annoyingly too linear. I generally don't mind backtracking for, ammo for example, but I found some maps with odd pickup placement, where a lot of handful ammo is in the first areas, and I had to backtrack several times. Map 27 comes to my mind, imagine myself returning from the end to the start point more than once to look up for ammo.  

 

Monster placement is, in the majority, ok. There are some cheap traps specifically with archviles and no cover. In maps 08 and 20 I died in the same kind of traps, an archie appearing in front of me in a corridor without escape. Due to this I had to keep my continuous BFG all the time. Apart from that, some really brutal scenarios, and high number of infighting circumstances, this is what I liked the most.

 

Midis are cool, some Doom and Heretic tracks, as well as others. Secrets are not very interesting in this was to be honest, some of them don't give you any clue to find them. 

 

My favourite maps are 06, 12, 18, and 24. Unfortunately, map 30 is the only one I completely disliked and didn't even bother to complete it legally. 

 

But overall I still had fun, I do think it's a little overrated, by reading general thoughts by people I sometimes don't understand what they see in this wad as legendary or epic. On another side, finding other wads inspired by this one is good and tells how much it impacted on mappers, so that's a good thing. I'll give this a 7/10 

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Demtor

  

A lot of ambitious contributions by a lot of talented people. A few of them being misses but overall a varied mix of good to great maps with a splattering of slaughter here and there. Some had an older style feel to them but nothing that ever detracted from the overall presentation. Worth a look.

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Deadwing

  
After playing this, I was kinda disappointed since this usually gets a lot of praise. Most levels are a lot linear and monster placement is really basic, where most enemies are just blocking your linear way. This slows down the flow a lot and making things quite boring. I quit after map 26, with these more slaughter levels where you just have to grind to progress.

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Combinebobnt

  
Doesn't even need aliens

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Spectre01

  
Good wad but not legendary. A lot of the maps tend to drag and there are multiple hallways filled with dozens of imps which are a slog to shoot through. Some of the later maps especially can take over an hour to complete and have annoying layouts with lots of backtracking. The visuals and detailing is very nice though and none of the maps run like crap, which is always a plus. 4/5

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Guest

  
Pretty darn good. But not legendary. Great considering its age though

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Guest

  
After starting this WAD, i just felt desire to play Descent 1 again :D Good sountracks, but it is kinda boring to play

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Flammable

  
One of best wads ever. Flammable4444 02.09.15

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Lycaon

  
I understand this is old, but really most maps look awful, it's absolutely stupid when playing multiplayer. It's as is the author didn't know what he was doing at all, just putting a lot of monsters in there without any major thought. Is this supposed to be "oldschool? CAUSE IT'S REALLY NOT. Classic games had pacing, a curve of difficulty. Here you have cyberdemons at the beggining of a lot of levels. I don't know what's with this map everyone likes, I've seen older stuff that is much, much better.

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Guest

  
This is an extremely challenging WAD and despite some of the few rage moments I had I still had an absolute blast

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molten_

  
Still one of the best pwads out there.

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Guest

  
Ugh. The gameplay in this one is just awful. You can't make an assumption that anyone would be able to beat this stuff on the first try. Later maps are hideously red and hideously unplayable... Best part for me was maps 3 and 4, both of which feature excellent (though a bit derivative) design and neat, ballanced gameplay. Another problem is, literally all of the levels are a copy of something (plutonia, heretic, requiem, kneedeep, darkening)

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Guest

  
It's THE classic and still lots of fun after all these year. Never gets old for me. On the orher hand, there are maps I don't like much... For example MAP11 is awesome, but then MAP12, 13 and 14 are quite boring. MAP20 is masterpiece, but then... MAP 21 boring... MAP25 and 26 are awesome and then boring MAP27 and 28 follows... It's just my opinion.. Love this megawad tho. (enkeli33)

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Guest

  
13 years later, AV is still the best.

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Guest

  
one of the hardest ive played in my life.

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Mabuse

  
5/5

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Guest

  
Fantastic megawad let down only by one map (21). It is essential to play this.

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Guest

  
One of the most legendary releases ever conceived, I consider AV to be, along with Darkening to some extent, more or less the defining megawad that marked the transition out of the old decade and into the new one. It is a step up from almost anything before it and has a lot of maps that still hold quite well. The only potential downers are the slaughtery gameplay and very large maps, but both are executed reasonably, enough that anyone not inherently bothered by this stuff will enjoy it. A 5* from me.

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Guest

  
You can tug your mum's titties if you gave this less than 5 stars; the original #1 megawad which still stands the test of time. Slaughtermap-ish only in severity of some fights, but with beautiful scenery, haunting maps and none of the crappy monster spam in modern slaughter maps.

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Doomkid

  
Fun wad. There's a few duds, but this is (of course) legendary. Like a dude above said... WHERE T TEH ALIENS?

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  • File Reviews

    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - Crispy Doom 5.2
      - Ultra-Violence
      - Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
      - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   Important note: The wad is almost fully playable in Crispy Doom or complevel 2, but due to two inaccessible doors which are part of progress, maps 03 and 04 cannot be completed without cheats. Because of that, ZDoom is the source port to be used like the author said in the text file, or else for PRBoom+ users I suggest to use this patch file that fix them. Thanks to WH-Wilou84 for sending me it, though Alfonzo made it for this thread. Also, other specifications about what's recommended to play this wad will be described below.    This is a solid episode of mid-sized maps for those who fancy Alien Vendetta in its semi-slaughtery way. Same for its visual design, the wad features mostly a similar texture arrangement from the earlier and latest episodes from AV, ranging from techbases and industrial factories to underground caverns in a lite hellish context that gave me some nice throwbacks. It apparently includes new textures, but their purpose don't seem to stand out in any particular context, more like a complement to the stock ones, and to be honest they went unnoticed during my playthrough. I did see the blue Wolf3d texture usage as part of colour variation among other details, a modest appearance though, which was neat. If something cannot be overlooked is detailing, specifically the part that refers to "things". Users of source ports that allow to turn off infinite height will have it softer to maneuver around, because of dead trees and hanging corpses out of the FOV you can get stuck in. I understand they are part of the transition from man-made structures to more natural landscapes, yet they can be potential annoyances in later maps. It's a little slip in design, given the existence of many ports that support this wad, and regardless of the author's recommendation, not everyone is going to stick with it. Anyways, I liked the midis, they certainly fit in their maps except the one in map 04, it's a beautiful calm track but not for outdoor areas, in my opinion.    Vae Victus is only short in number of maps, but it's plagued of monsters to kill, assuming you're ready to dispatch every meat shield in the road. Difficulty is forgiving for the skilled player, there isn't much in the way of pressure or hectic encounters as long as you have your feet on the ground, literally speaking. I did notice how limited in ammo are some maps, requiring berserk usage specially from pistol starts. Also there is an oddity in the 4th map, all of the weapons minus berserk are multiplayer-only, and while you'll eventually steal the shotgun and chaingun from zombies, all of the cell packs are of no utility, which indicates the author missed to place weapons in single player. Still, what's more strange is the sheer absence of the BFG throughout the wad, not that you'll really need it. On another side, the wad is easily comparable to the two wads the author got inspiration of: the aforementioned Alien Vendetta in its design structures, hallways connected by compartments (of which resources are located and typically small intruders too), few switch/key hunts involving backtrack and mostly the kind of meaty incidental combat where you either stay and fight or escape and camp, which is up to the player's will. The mapset gets more in the vein of Deus Vult later, when the bigger areas are meant to be explored in depth, and killing everything turns a bit more time-consuming and less obligatory, besides monsters completely out of the player's aim. The penultimate map is where this wad excels, although I must admit the initial area is a chore to navigate. Nevertheless, it's a decent romp in difficulty, the skinned walls room is the first fun lock-in trap, followed by some crowd-herding in order to eliminate the primary targets. It's unfortunate that the last map is a bit of an anticlimax after the previous longer map, which could have served perfectly as a closure to the wad.    Secret-wise, if you wonder why you still haven't found any of the 13 secrets in the third map, don't worry, 10 are on top of crates the author probably forgot to untag. Maxing the map is impossible due to that, though. Outside of that, the secrets don't require much skill to find, if anything you'll be ok with humping suspicious walls, pistol starters will definitely appreciate the berserk in map 04. For favourite maps, that's hard to tell, I honestly don't have any highlight whatsoever, I liked all of the maps pretty much the same, except for the underwhelming map 07. I also wonder why they don't have names, huh...   Overall, it's fairly enjoyable in what it offers, I'd recommend it more for the casual player rather than the one looking for a new challenge, but still should deliver some relaxing grind with bits of slaughtery if you're open to it, just don't expect anything bizarre. Oh and, non-ZDoom maxers, remember to turn off autoaim to try to kill those snipers from afar in map 05, although in Crispy Doom it was still impossible to reach them :/ ... My rate is 7/10. 
    • By tib_ · Posted
      Very impressive, VERY spooky
    • By Classicgamer6 · Posted
      Valhalla is a dark industrial techbase level that almost immediately sucked me in with its bleak atmosphere and amazing ambient music. Gameplay wise this level isn't too complex with its rather simple monster encounters that in a few spots provided a fair challenge for me on Ultra Violence. My only issues with Valhalla is that there are a few spots where the detailing can impede movement and cause pressing a necessary switch to be awkward.
    • By Stale Meat · Posted
      If you could describe the general multilevel WAD of the early 90s, you would have experimental and very abstract level design and texture placement, a MIDI soundtrack of popular song covers and whatever else was readily available on the BBS networks, a handful of custom sounds and textures, and a difficulty a bit higher than base Doom, but nowhere near many of the WADs released today. All of this is present in Serenity, and it makes for a memorable and pretty fun jump back to the past and the basics.   Serenity has some pretty good effort put into it, with much of its design geared towards quality in all of its aspects. The textures are placed with care and do well to compliment the unique theme each level has. Layout is pretty solid with a healthy dose of experimenting with the various sector effects like stairs, lifts, and crushers to add variety. A few simple traps and complimentary barrel placements help emphasize a more tactical approach to each level, and a few secrets can certainly change how you can engage a future room full of bad guys by opening windows and alternate paths. There isn't much aesthetic detail beyond what is absolutely necessary, but it doesn't take away from the main focus of its gameplay.   It isn't a very difficult level set, so if you handled base Doom on UV just fine you will probably do the same here. Supplies are spread but plentiful and weapons are acquired slowly but surely through the 8 levels. Difficulty for me was fairly even, with action picking up in the last few levels in particular. This and the levels being fairly short meant that in most cases I didn't feel a worry to save more than once in a level, if at all. Enemy placement is pretty good overall, with most of the enemy types appearing early on but are often placed in ways that makes it engaging and fun to deal with most of the time. The whole WAD took a bit over an hour to finish with thorough exploring of secrets and close to full level completions.   Overall I quite enjoyed this charming throwback to the past. It was engaging yet not overly challenging and most of the levels I quite liked. A few were a little subpar, with the 7th map being the most annoying with its many doors, switches, and stairways dragging it out longer than it needed to be. But overall it is an hour well spent with gameplay that certainly holds up after all these years and some interesting level designs. If you want a fun experience of early 90's WADs, Serenity should be one of your first picks.
    • By Lane Powell · Posted
      A good, very HUGE map, plus or minus 1000 monsters depending on difficulty: the kind that can take upwards of two hours on the game clock to run through. Naturally it's not for the FDA/no-save crowd. Frankly I had to do it in multiple sittings over the course of a day, as map fatigue kept setting in. That said, and despite the fact that it largely uses the same green marble/stone and tech textures throughout, the detailing and designs manage to keep areas from feeling too samey, though personally I would have used a greater variety of textures in different areas to keep them more distinct, or at least widen the color palette a little. While most of the map takes place indoors, there are a few cool outdoor void areas (which I could've used more of, to be honest—even peeks out of windows would be nice!), some cave areas, and even a small ruins setpiece. There are many side areas and a great deal of interconnectivity (though few if any true route choices), but the pathing is very good: I never felt lost even when coming back from a break. The fact that buttons almost always acted on something close by was naturally a huge help.   Gameplay was appropriately challenging and about as varied as it could be in such a huge map, though there are a few tricks one can tell the author was especially fond of. For example, there are plenty of archviles. Luckily I'm fond of stomping archviles. On the flatly negative side I felt some areas were much too dark. Unfortunately these were often populated with stealth demons—not very clever. Also I don't know the idea behind fighting multiple Cyberdemons in a near-pitch-dark room with tons of geometry to get stuck on, but it wasn't a good one.   While there are some things I would do differently, this is all told a pretty fine map—provided you're among the intended audience of people who like trawling through huge-ass maps to begin with.
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