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Hell Revealed II

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The long-awaited sequel to Yonatan Donner & Haggay Niv's "Hell Revealed".


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Agent6

· Edited by Agent6

  

And the sequel has been finished. Oh boy what a journey it was, one that didn't really pay off unfortunately, so let's see why that was.

 

First of all, as the name implies, this acts as a sequel to the original classic and popular megawad Hell Revealed, however it is mostly HR in name only. This is a consequence of multiple factors. The main factor is the drastic deviation in style from the original for more than its half, and it's not for the best. The first 15 maps or so, with very few exceptions, are not slaughter-esque at all, and there's barely anything of even decent quality to be found at this stage. Their design, the enemy placement and usage is absolutely mediocre at best. These levels are very boxy in their design and pretty short, but they are full of often almost unfair enemy encounters that don't push your skills to the limit and are instead meant to be simply deadly and nigh impossible to survive with no fun, forcing you to take damage in the best case scenario. A perfect example to illustrate this would be MAP04. This level is extremely boxy and the enemies are placed in such a way that they are lethal and extremely difficult to avoid, besides always forcing you to take damage of some sort. It's full of Arch-Viles, the last 2 being almost impossible to avoid as you don't have very powerful weapons, save for the Rocket Launcher, and using it will likely result in taking splash damage since the area is very small and there's nowhere to hide. If this isn't enough, up ahead are 3 Hell Knights waiting in a very small room where you must press a switch. In front of that switch is also a Lost Soul, sitting on a Berserk, and the door closes behind you once you step inside... Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. As I've previously stated, over half of the maps are similar to MAP03 in terms of overall design and gameplay, but a bit better with less deadly encounters. These maps are not fun to play but instead frustrating because they do not make you think and act smart as the original did, instead resorting to terrible design and enemies placed in such a way it's more or less guaranteed to take damage, if not die, which can be extremely quick early on.

 

The other half on the other hand is mostly slaughter-esque stuff similar to what's seen in the original, and yet, even these maps suffer from the same problems, but to a less extent. It would seem the authors tried to craft challenging levels in the vein of the original but which ultimately turned out as maps that offer no real satisfaction or sense of difficulty, because they are poorly designed and suffer from almost unfair traps and encounters. The environment is not used efficiently. The original required you to act smart and fast whereas HR2 seems to want you to be just fast most of the time, as this is how the most "challenging" levels seem to work... MAP21 for instance is one of the worst levels in the megawad. It exhibits most, if not all the gameplay and design flaws mentioned. Boxy design, poor navigation, boring or outright terrible encounters, such as Barons waiting for you on very small elevators who block your path and damage you with their melee attacks when you're standing close to the said elevator to activate it since its height is very low, and waves of 'em + Hell Knights teleporting in near the end, but you can just climb a floor and blast them to pieces, easily avoiding all damage. There's also a few waves of Pinkies in cramped spaces at the beginning but they feel more like they're placed there just so that there's an obstacle in your way or something to kill. Not challenging, and nothing interesting to see in action. MAP22 is not a whole lot better either, being easily summed up in a few words as "a sewer mess". Lots of Chaingunners, possibly unfair Arch-Vile traps, uninspired teleporting waves of Hell Knights and Spectres, general ugliness accompanied by a few strange design choices, potentially insufficient ammo, and so on.

 

Another difference in design is the final level, MAP30, which requires the player to destroy a reactor similar to what's seen in Icarus as opposed to an Icon of Sin as it was the case in the original, but both are working the same way so it's a change that doesn't really impact the actual gameplay, with the only exception that you also need to pick up the 3 skulls to open the door with the switch that makes the pathway to the core accessible, and they're not hidden. A requirement that doesn't add anything to the experience, but neither complicates the situation.

 

One of the problems in the original were the overused enemies, though it wasn't that big of a deal to be honest, as I've already said in that review. HR2 however does not correct this but does the exact opposite. It does indeed add more hitscanners overall, but most of the enemies who were overused in the original are overused here as well, to an ever greater extent, those being the Hell Knights, Barons, Revenants, and especially Arch-Viles. It is simply ridiculous how common they are, which only gives the impression the authors were struggling with ideas of how to make the combat more interesting but failed, instead over-complicating everything. Be it a trap, a cage with other enemies which makes them very hard to reach depending on your position and angle (and infighting doesn't always work since there may not be any tough enemies around such as Cyberdemons to use the technique to its fullest potential), whatever, it's absurd how frequent you run into Arch-Viles who are coming for you, and in sheer numbers on a couple occasions no less, thus overwhelming the player, while other times they may block your way out, giving you a very quick death.

 

HR2 also includes a couple of maps from the original that were redesigned, such as The Path, which is MAP15 here. This is also my favorite map in HR2, just like it was in the original, even though there were technically better levels in it. Not so much here... Either way, MAP29 was pretty interesting as well, and probably one of the best maps in the megawad, excluding the remade levels from the original which are honestly very faithful to them, and a bit more difficult. Surprising, considering the vastly inferior quality of HR2 compared to HR. Still, MAP29 is a simple, straight to the point level with overall good enemy usage, but as expected the number of Arch-Viles is crazy in some parts of this level. Eh, at least there's Invulnerability spheres around I guess.

 

The sequel also includes a new status bar, menu background, an animated ENDOOM screen which is just sick, new music, and a few (sky) textures. Now the music. There was some confusion here as some of the tracks are credited to the death metal act Grave, but these songs are apparently mistakenly credited as such. From what I could find they were in fact composed by a guy who goes by the name "Petter Mårtensen". The soundtrack is of course not limited just to death metal, there's some brilliant, very atmospheric and epic stuff in it as well, some of the songs reminding me of the Hammerheart era Bathory.

 

To sum things up, Hell Revealed 2 is unfortunately Hell Revealed only in name. It does a few things right, particularly the remade levels from the original, it has some nice new textures, some interesting levels here and there, but falls short due to the mediocrity of over half of the maps, and even those that are not bad are little more than decent, nowhere near the expected quality from a sequel of a classic. The only reasons I've finished this were my willingness to complete the duology since both megawads are classics that are held in high regard (the first one justifiably so, the sequel, not at all), how enjoyable and satisfying the original was, and because if I start something, then I finish it, I'm giving it a chance until the last moment so that I can best evaluate it and make a solid opinion. No, I cannot recommend this to anyone, especially to a fan of the original because it just fails to deliver, it doesn't live up to the name. And if you're looking for slaughter-esque, pure slaughter, or challenging megawads that make you think and act fast and smart while still being fun and enjoyable there's much better stuff out there. I'd recommend the original, Alien Vendetta, Ancient Aliens, and maybe Scythe instead, although there's very few such levels in the latter, and play HR2 only if you want to experience and complete the duology, because there isn't any other reason to do it.

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D00MManiac

  
One of the best wads.

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Nazgul9

  
Classic! No need to repeat what many others have already said... 5/5

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Combinebobnt

  
One of the best doom wads 5/5

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Guest

  
While it is fun for the most part, its not quite as consistently good as the original Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, or even Kama Sutra. I'd honestly avoid maps 6, 14, and 28 altogether.

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Guest

  
Amazlingly a good wad!! I've played it 1 million times and can't wait to play it again!

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Guest

  
This wad was great!!!!What you do dear,is either ask at Zdoom or Doomworld Forums.They might help.

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Guest

  
Mostly good, though they got a bit carried away with doing sequel maps. And some maps are more Plutonia-ish than HR styled.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Ball-crushingly difficult. Play on UV at your own risk.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Looks nice, but sadly it's an average gameplay experience. From around even the first map, they're tedious works of holding "fire" and using obscene numbers of cellpacks/Megasphere s. One of the wads responsible for forcing the standard of "challenging" by adding loads of enemy&ammo spam instead of being creative by rationing ammo and having decent traps because fuck interesting or fun gameplay, lets toss a BFG and 2000 cellpacks among several thousand cybies and revenants every 2 feet.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Prety cool a must download !

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Guest

Unknown date

  
awesome wad file, works with doom2 v1.9 witch is good(all though it plays much better on a boom based source port...like PrBOOM-PLUS)the levels are vary hard(in a good way)and just flat out awesome level design(this is why it took like a year to make) but imo the first one was better...4/5.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
The balance of this wad is terrible. Too many levels that, even on lower difficulties, seem way beyond impossible. I was able to go through most of HR's levels on UV, but here there isn't enough room, and there's way too many demons in my way. Such a shame, I like the music and the levels look nice but that's it.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Awful music. Average gameplay at best. Using a famous wad name and throwing tons of monsters doesn't automatically make a good mapset. Lots of wads do the slaughterfest gameplay right - unlike its predecessor, Hell Revealed 2 isn't on that list. Play if you're a fanboy or bored, I guess ; afterall these maps aren't terrible, just not up to Hell Revealed standards. 3/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Very worthy followup to HR and equally as insane as its predecessor on UV - the fights seemed pretty well calculated and methodical this time around, whereas a lot of HR's were more like running / praying firefights. Music was great, lots of epic levels, but design quality bounced around a bit and a few battles are truly, absolutely unreasonable (though still more than possible). It gets a strong 4 from me 'cause the carnage never lets up.

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Unknown date

  
I don't mind this style of gameplay, but just like the first HR, the visual quality of some of the maps are rather lacking. This IS possible in UV -fast (hell, I did it with quite a bit of saving), but the gameplay tends to drag. 4/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
THIS WAD SUCKS -10/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This is at least 10 times better than the first one. 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This really is one of the best and spiritually truest follow-ups to doom 2. Come on, let's see a Hell Revealed III, now that would be hardcore. 8/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
What happens when you morph E4 style maps with E4M2 difficulty + D2 monsters and piss on the original HR which was hard but actually fun? You get HR2, it's overly angsty sequel (for all we know it could be a prequel ala DMC3) that went from challenge the player to just "kill the player on sight". I played UV on the original but I enjoyed it. I consider myself a Doom masochist; HR2 actually hurts. 2/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Absolute garbage.

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EvilNassu

Unknown date

  
One of the best wads I have downloaded. I loved almost every level, and levels were pretty detailed.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
very good, 4/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This wad is not bad, but some of the maps are god damn the worst ever. Around The Inmost Dens II, the map are so bad, its a joke, and it feels that way until 29, which is awesome. Nothing like HR1. 3/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Weird map. Didn't see a chainsaw, but didn't see a need to save ammo either. I got stuck in a non-damaging unescapable pit, so 2/5.

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  • File Reviews

    • By StevenC21 · Posted
      Umm... this isnt Doom 64? Or even remotely related to it?   In addition, its a shitty wad. You are expected to fight 2 arch-viles with a pistol, and then a cyberdemon witha  chaingun in an enclosed space.
    • By Nems · Posted
      Should have been called "Doom 64 for Boom".   I really wanted to like this more. I mean, I do like it but I feel like the gripes I have regarding it just bring my overall rating for it down too much.   It was interesting to see how, at first, the authors recreated the Doom 64 levels in Doom 2 with just vanilla assets. You can still see some of that in the Boom levels like how revenants and arch-viles are used in place of where traps where. That was an interesting touch and I liked that.   As I got further into it though and more of the Boom tricks were used my thoughts wandered from "hey this is a nice vanilla interpretation" to "man I could be playing Doom 64 EX or Doom 64 Retribution". I really wish they would have stuck with vanilla constraints for this reinterpretation. I would have liked to see how they would have handed nightmare monster placement (would a nightmare imp be worth two imps or three, for example). I feel like using Boom and DeHacked cheapened the experience, like they were trying to replicate Doom 64 as close as possible rather than doing a vanilla Doom (2) interpretation.   Additionally, map 30 can fuck right the hell off with that puzzle bullshit.   Anyway, if you don't mind any of the complaints I made, you'll likely have fun with this. I got some fun out of this as well but to me it feels like it's trying to be exactly like Doom 64 rather than simply a vanilla Doom 2 interpretation of Doom 64. In trying to be exactly like Doom 64, it just makes me want to play that more than this.
    • By Marlamir · Posted
      Pretty good. The combat was fun and design wasn't bad at all.
    • By Meril · Posted
      Despite its age, nice details and well designed. Way how blue key is hidden is really clever. But map is dark and cramped. Enemies are only imps and hitscanners.
    • By Dovahxul · Posted
      the more I play the more I get more sad that this map pack is going to end soon its really great :)
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