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SANDSDTH.WAD - `Wasteland: Sands of Death'

   (10 reviews)
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the setting is in a deadly desert. The level requires a good amount of processing power. It's easier that it may seem on first approach. In this level you will learn the value of shadow in a desert.


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Maes

·

  

I was of course familiar with Alberto Barsella's work, with his original DEADBASE.WAD being perhaps the first PWAD I ever played, way back in 1994. I had also played the sequel, Mountain Of Fire, but it never occurred to me that a third map existed in the series (and I who wondered why it was called the "Wasteland Series" with just two maps....heh).

 

In any case, this is a large (for 1994 standards at least), quite open map, with the interesting twist that remaining exposed in the sun, out of the shade, damages you just as if you were walking on lava. No sunscreen on whatever shithole planet this is taking place on, it seems....this adds an interesting mechanic to the gameplay, also because the monsters themselves (at least those that are initially placed in the shade) also seem reluctant to wander away from the shade. Not so for those that teleport later on directly under the scorching sun. OK, I get it, some uncrossable sector trickery at work. In any case, this case be exploited to force monsters into a line of attack and thin their own ranks themselves, as much as possible, and trust me, you're gonna need to do that as much as possible.

 

Speaking of which, this is a quite ammo and health-scarce map, but that's to be expected. Nobody expected something called "Wasteland" and "Sands of Death" to be a plentiful cornucopia of Doom goodies, amiirite? It IS possible (though by no means necessary) to kill every single monster on this map, but you'd better hone those Tysoning skills and put that Berserk pack to good use. Many times you'll have to ponder: use one (often two) shells to kill an Imp, or risk landing in a punch? How about a Pinky then, where you could even use three or four shells sometimes?). Finish those cacos with a well-placed punch or two, or use precious shells on them? Ah, decisions, decisions. If you're not good at Tysoning, this is a great map to start practicing ;-)

 

Overall this is an engaging map, and under its plain exterior there's surprising depth, some clever puzzles, plenty of cool tidbits here and there (such as raisable 3D bridges), and a few cool secrets (now, why ammo and weapon caches should be marked as secret, that's anybody's guess).

 

The negatives? For a map that plays on the "don't wander aimlessy" element so heavily, it's not 100% clear from the start what the proper progression is, as well as which buildings you can enter immediately and which ones you can't. I can't imagine anybody getting it right the absolute first time, on a "first death" attempt. TBQH I'm not sure if multiple progressions are possible, but FWIW I started from the black building with the berserk pack in it, and considering how much you'll need that (and a shotgun), perhaps that's the best/intended strategy.

 

I admit however that I got seriously stuck at the point where you had to exit the first silo through the walkway bridge. I couldn't figure out how to activate the (shootable, as I found out) switch that opened the door to the walkway. It was not immediately obvious to me that it was a separate switch from the one forming the stairs, and I didn't realize that you had to somehow shoot it. Initially, I thought the map was bugged (at least in ZDoom) but no, Chocolate didn't solve it either. So what was the trick? Well, you're supposed to use the Baron's platform by raising it and then shooting the switch a-la Icon Of Sin. Or, alternatively, shoot it from the room above it through a narrow opening at a very specific angle and avoid the Baron room entirely. Not sure the latter would be possible/obvious in Vanilla, with low resolution.

 

Oh and BTW that red key building is nothing but a decoy...

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Argenteo

  

Finale to the Wasteland. Your worst enemy is looking you from far away. Interesting gameplay.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
COOL!! 5/5 -- Moti_The~Doom

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Playing this map takes some patience and good will because of several enervations in gameplay. Apart from this, the map is interesting enough. Some nice texturing ideas and some tight fights in the buildings make this wad worth a look. 3/5 -Milian

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  • File Reviews

    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Some maps are fun, others have some weird switch combinations to put pressure in the player, I didn't have a good time with these maps. Just read vdgg review.
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Similar to his Iron Halls, square rooms, no keys, interior bloody sewer, few floor height variations. Good gameplay. Quake-y sounds.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      A pretty good map semi-slaughter map that uses the Ancient Aliens textures and monsters, is a voyage into some purple/cyan place where you have to climb a fireblu cake after solving a simplicity-like puzzle (cool, i'm one of the 10 people that remember of "Simplicity", do you remember when 13/15 years ago that megawad was the stunning trend in mapping?), overall is a fun map, even if doesn't have too much ammo for beating all the resistance, at least for me.
    • By Argenteo · Posted
      Linear indoor action, no keys, some quake sounds, cool play if you don't care about boring textures. Totally opposite to his later style -> Gigantic-exteriors.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      Pretty cool map for the 1994 standards, good layout and gameplay, even with the high number of monsters (128 on HMP), the level is pretty straightforward but pretty fun.
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