One word: Awesome!! Fun game play, great textures.
I agree with Zalewa: Difficult, but fair. Secrets not terribly difficult to locate.
We will see Dark Encounters in the Cacowards!
PS - As a side note: Zalewa, if you're reading this, your Power Metal wad rocks! It's my fave single level wad, hands down. I wish your would make more. I think I've played all of your wads. Big fan here!
This is a very fun, albeit tougher remix of the first eleven maps of Doom 2. The design is familiar enough to be recognizable while still doing its own thing. I just wish there was more than just these 11 levels because I would have liked to see what they would have done with the other levels.
I'd still heartily recommend this. <3
The following review is comparing Combat Shock 2 to today's slaughter wads.
A pretty good wad overall. There are some design decisions made in the larger maps that make sense from an open-endedness design perspective.. but honestly I decided that it really detracts from the experience.
The following descriptions are from my play through on UV, using pistol starts, and no saves.
Map01: One of the best maps in the wad. There is very little downtime on this map and there is almost no tediousness cleaning up any of the fights. There are some filler moments but that is to be expected on Map01 I guess.
I wont talk too much about Map01 because there isn't much that I really dislike about it. It is Map01 difficulty.. but still threatening (albeit not lethal) and has a great start and a great final fight.
Map02: This map is quite slow in comparison to Map01 and introduces some of my complaints about the design decisions made in some of these maps. It seems a lot of maps follow a design decision which gives the player complete control over how the player wants to play the map. Unfortunately if the player is playing blind then the player will most certainly not be running around trying to aggro everything with reckless abandon.. but instead trying to survive. This means incredibly slow gameplay.
My first experience with this map was quite a stale one. I had plenty of room to move around at all times.. and was able to take every fight one at a time (none of the fights are really threatening on their own save one which I will get to). This one fight involving tons of pinkys, a cyb, mastermind, and hks can be cheesed completely but simply running out of the area. It is quite obvious that you can leave the area immediately so I can't really say it is cheese.. just a design decision to allow to quicker play if the player wants. I think this is fine if you want to open the map up for speedrunning or something.. but it is something that really made a poor experience for me when I didn't go into the map with a mindset of aggressive play.
The final fight is really great. Making 3 monsters threatening is kinda hard and Danne pulls it off well with 2 viles and a cyb.
Map03: Incredible map. I really enjoyed how my experience was made harder or easier depending on the decisions I made at the start of the map. Sure you can get rockets early.. but that rocket fight is quite hard because of specters, and viles in a close quarters fight. I found that I could actually get plasma first.. and then return to the rocket area with plasma. This made the area easier and gives the player something to think about when playing the map. Great stuff.
There are these groups of lost souls that appear when you raise the platforms leading to the final 2 arenas.. all they did was make it a bit more annoying to kill the hks (I just took an extra 30 seconds to kill the lost souls prior to dealing with the hks).
Final two fights are fun. Especially the final area.. pinkys + cybs is always a fun combo.
Map04: This map is half good.. half incredibly tedious cleanup.
The first half is fun.. you get an awesome fight with imps/mancs/cacos/cybs in a medium size area. Very easy to get blindsided by fireballs/rockets here. The following bfg fight is also really great. You need to sort of figure out how long you can be aggressive vs the viles while still finding room to escape so you dont get cornered. The mastermind usage during this fight is insanely good too. Probably one of the best wandering masterminds I have seen in a map.
Unfortunately the map slows to a crawl after getting to the next large area. While it is INCREDIBLY easy to eat errant cyb rockets at the initial reveal of this room.. it is complete circle strafe for your foreseeable future. I assume this area would be fun to speedrun.. but again casually this room is kinda meh in my book. The vile horde at the end is also quite stale since there just arent that many and the viles just sort of funnel towards your bfg. ezpz.
Map05: Another map which falls victim to the open ended gameplay trope. There are many fights here which would be fun if you were going to play the map fast.. but playing slow it is an hour long map consisting of a long grind with almost no threat.
The start is full of areas with very low threat and a very high monster count.. I don't really have much to say about them individually except that they didn't kill me. Eventually after grinding through many nonthreatening fights you get to the bfg area. This area looks great and has some great platforming to get the bfg. Unfortunately the bars which prevent you from leaving open immedately. I don't really understand this design decision unless you are just trying to allow people multiple ways of playing.. if you want you could just jerk off and spam rockets until you win. Hardly any threat in this area and almost no reason to use that big fucking gun you just grabbed.
The final fight is also a slog playing casually. The meat of the room is triggered by a switch.. but if you dont want to hit the switch then you can just circle strafe for days while the center of the room kills and mancs on the outside of the room kill each other so then when you hit the switch.. you have almost no threat from the group of monsters which are spawned from the switch press.
Quite an easy/grindy map. It overstayed its welcome. But it looks phenominal.
Map06: My favorite map in the set. Almost everything in this map is good. There are a couple incredibly trivial fights later on if you know how to use bfg well.. but luckily these fights don't last long. The finale is kinda meh casually.. but it still isn't free so I ended up liking it. Great map.
Map07: Bonus incidental combat map. I enjoyed the larger area around the yk door.. but everything else is whatev. Not really a fan of this map.
Overall: A solid slaughter wad made in the vein of Sunder. C-shock 2 is definitely easier than Sunder and in some maps outmatches Sunder in gameplay and quality (Maps 01, 03, 06). C-shock 2 is also completely void of incredibly offensive maps such as The Cage. As far as slaughter wads go c-shock 2 is a must play and is a huge improvement over the original c-shock. 4 stars.
Also.. it is really fun seeing wads made from 1/2 of the Sunlust/Italo team. While I think Danne improved a lot as a mapper his early maps still pack quite a punch.
Done on HMP/continuous/saves.
Ever wondered what is that "slaughter" thing that everyone talks about?... Here it is! Well, a part of it, and if you are totally new to this genre, you came to the right place. This is a very fun wad in many aspects, not just the slaughter component but also visually, almost every map is placed in a different theme: starting from ruined techs entering to snowland, then arriving to a gothic fortress and, well more gothic/hellish environments, culminating into a massive dark underground (gothic of course) citadel, which has top notch detailing (and no, details do not interfere with gameplay, I assure you). I quite appreciated this variation, and I have to admit that hordes + gothic textures are a great combination. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing, some strong and some smooth tracks depending on the case, I particularly loved maps 08 and 12 midis as they are more quiet yet fitting.
The combat component is pretty consistent, usually offering hordes to slaughter in multiple ways, with a moderate demand of crowd control, trap-based or not. One of the most common ways to handle the situations Rush provide is via circlestrafing + infighting, periodically removing what gets in the way. I preferred the occasions in which you must shape the scenario to be able to control the herd, which required some quick reactions and movement skills. In terms of progression, save for maps 06 and 12 that are more complex, the maps are fairly linear and easy to understand. As far as monster placement goes, revenants can be nasty in this wad, in companion to hell knights for your typical infighting shows. Yeah, mid and high-tiers in the majority, and rare presence of former humans, leaving the hitscan action into your hands, and a few spiders scattered in the set. Plus, there's a new mancubus a bit tougher and creepier than the ordinary, not an outstanding addition but something to be alert of. Archi made good use of the areas to put pressure not only from the monsters on the ground but from a considerate number of turrets. He also didn't abuse of lock-ins, so don't be surprised if you can leave and camp behind a hole, but expect to find more stuff ready to punish you for cheesing. When it comes to my personal highlights, I share some of Alfonzo's ones, particularly his last point, that was hilarious as one second I was exploring all cool all relaxed and the next one I was running in panic on lava like oh shit!. I'll also add that part in map 10 where I was pushed against my will into a room with monsters on grandstands, it was so funny.
Secret-wise, they are the usual different/misaligned-texture with a power-up or weapon inside, but there are also secret telefrag chains to save ammo, and secret fights!. The most complex map (12) has the hardest-to-find ones, so pay attention.
For favourite maps I'll pick 01, 06, 10 and 12. Unfortunately the last one has a bug that prevented me from exiting, otherwise a gorgeous map. No disliked maps.
Overall, I found it pretty accessible to anyone with enough experience in the game, so give it a try, at least on HMP, it's fun and worth of replay. Of course, avoid it if you hate hordes, after all, it's not the author's fault if you don't take a second to read the description ("boom-compatible slaughterish maps", yeah it's pretty clear to me), or play something else... My rate is 8/10.