Long, grindy, and generally low-threat slaughter. Combat choreography is largely absent and the majority of the map is occupied by clusters of the same monster blocking your path. Speaking of blocking, monster block lines are often employed in strange ways, allowing the player to door and hallway camp the enemy hordes. Potentially deadly traps are neutered by frequent invul spheres which enable trivial BFG facerolling. Detailing ain't too hot either, with the majority consisting of monotextured square rooms and hallways. Some cool sector work is present among the minimalism and the scale of the final area is certainly impressive (the 300+ Cacos which take years to float into firing range, less so). If you want to spend over an hour spamming BFG and rockets, I suggest you play (or replay) Cybersky instead by the same author - it looks and plays better.
Frankly, if you're looking for more Plutonia, this isn't the deal. It's very different, but it's still very good in every aspect. I'd recommend it not for having the Plutonia name in its title, but for being such a good wad in itself.
Being that this was made by a lot of people™, it'd be impossible to talk about how each map performed, but they all pretty much draw resemblance to each other, while also possessing some of the designers' unique quirks visibly into them. Nothing's perfect, so there's a handful of levels that either aren't made for most people or straight up suck (like MAP15, and, arguably, 25).
Every level is challenging, even more so than the original Plutonia ones, though it still possesses Plutonia's design of combat of placing the player between a rock and a hard place in nearly every area, sometimes executed poorly, like trial and error, which can feel unfair.
Visibly beautiful and playfully slaughterful, fitting with its great soundtrack.
Pagan's Run is a lengthy "Run From It"-style map. "It" isn't the silent curse of that infamous Scythe map, however, but rather lethal threats located in the map itself. Caged cyberdemons pump rockets into your butt, and pesky fodder loiters in your path, which once in a blue moon is flattened by a crusher or narrowed into a Chasm-like sliver. Most of the tests over the 2.5-minute trial are fundamentally similar, testing consistency through repetition, but they evolve and morph into different forms: At first you're shooing zombies with shotgun blasts, soon you're navigating barrel clusters with spiders trying to show you love, by the end you're cleaving through greeting mobs with plasma, cybies looking on.
At best, I found Pagan's Run exciting and inventive, and I love movement test maps. But implementation flaws were too common -- potential linedef skips, floors with a fluky chance of not rising if blocked by a monster, and a late unguided drop seemingly designed for freelook. The latter hurts FDA value even on lower difficulties. On UV early, hitscan RNG was disproportionately impactful even with perfect shots. HNTR and HMP seem better.
This one is fascinating. It's a squiggly techbase full of wacky oldschool angles drawn off-grid. The design has a lawless '90s vibe of "appealing ugliness," but with a higher detail level that befits its actual release date (the current Doomworld Files screenshot doesn't reflect this). The mapper clearly had an education in craft, shown by skillfully intricate use of the sky horizon trick and other effects. It reminded me of Didy's mapping in a few places.
Runtime was unexpectedly short, under 15 minutes for me. Many of the 200-odd monsters appear in messy but satisfying brawls, using lots of low-tiers with bulkier stuff tossed in for emphasis. The balance is very lenient and favors near-total dominance of the SSG, once you are equipped with it. Power weapons exist but are provisioned stingily.