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Aeternum

   (47 reviews)

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3 action packed levels of varying size. Few puzzles. Built after playing (and loving every second of) Alien Vendetta. Difficulty is intentionally set somewhat high.


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seed

·

  

"In Aeternum in triumpho tenebrarum... " (Forever in dark triumph)

 

Over the wad, what else? Aeternum has been finished, played through ZDoom 2.8.1 on UV difficulty. A rather short, 3-level wad.

 

So what's this... Aeternum is a short wad with skill-based gameplay, heavily inspired by the classic Alien Vendetta. It comes with new textures and energizing, action-oriented music. The first 2 maps appear to take place on Earth, while the final one exclusively in Hell.

 

The difficulty is not high, and it would be somewhere around the end of the first half of AV, with tricky traps but nothing too intense, therefore it's pretty accessible. It's also short, being easy to beat in one sitting as it takes little over an hour or so, depending on your speed. The second map however is the longest, being noticeably lengthier than the other 2, but it doesn't necessarily drag on as it gets better as you progress, and more fun. Although the first half of the map might be a bit underwhelming. Everything culminates with a short but more intense final level with slight slaughter tendencies, and an IoS awaits at the end.

 

There isn't much else to add, and it isn't as impressive as skillsaw's other works such as Valiant, Ancient Aliens, Vanguard, or Lunatic. His style is unmistakable but here it doesn't do a whole lot to catch anyone's attention. Thus, Aeternum can be seen as a sign of things to come, primarily due to its gameplay which would further evolve in the author's subsequent releases, in addition to his maps becoming much more impressive visually. It's a fun little wad to try out when you want to play a Doom map or two.

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Poncho

· Edited by Poncho

  

Quite a large gap between the releases of Sector 666 and Aeternum, skillsaw's second WAD. For those interested, the word "aeternum" is Latin for "forever", or "to eternity".

 

So yes, released in 2007, the aesthetics are greatly improved this time around (well, they should be, after WADs like Alien Vendetta, Scythe, etc.) and consists of only three levels. VERY short, even for skillsaw. Well, that makes my breaking-down review a little easier.

 

The first level (The Boditorium) is a semi-wide-open island surrounded by damaging blood. The secrets and enemies are all positioned well enough to be highly dangerous (yep, this WAD is pretty damn difficult), and is just paced enough to be pretty fun.

 

The second level - Archaeolophobia - is the adventure map of the WAD; travelling down sewage systems, traversing caverns, exploring old structures, fighting in church-like ruins... it's all pretty good, except for the fact that it simply goes on and on and on and on... it becomes utterly tiring after a while, not to mention that some of the monster placement is downright annoying (the Cyberdemon guarding the lift to the Yellow Key, and the YK section itself). It's too much to bare after a while.

 

Fire and Grimstone - the final map - is, once again, a nice-looking level with some lethal traps (though, once again, Cyberdemons are placed is semi-bullshit spots). This level feels more slaughter-y than the previous ones, and there's a surplus of ammo, but it forces you to switch between weapons, which is nice. The final boss is easy as fuck, though.

 

Overall, I feel that Aeternum is honestly skillsaw's weakest effort. Skillsaw himself apparently said that a lot of the stuff he did prior to 2010 wasn't very good (that's just false). With this WAD, it feels that he was experimenting with new mapping and new design quirks (more detail and whatnot). He succeeded in the actual map design and the choice of music (isn't it all from Unreal Tournament?), but the levels - well, more Map02 than anything - should've had a few cuts to prevent it from becoming stale, and the Cyberdemon placements should've been tweaked.

 

The Good Maps: 01

 

Average Maps: 02, 03

 

Overall, I give Aeternum a 2.5 / 4 (rounded to 3 / 5).

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Spectre01

  
Great 3 map set with good encounters and a nice BGM to back it up. 5/5

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trrobin

  
Top notch. Well placed ammo, monster, and health placement. Match that with great architecture, and great music too. Challenging, but so so fun too. 5 stars. -TRRobin.

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Guest

  
Aeternum is a 3-map venture of tight gameplay that pulls you on a thread til the very end. I enjoyed the length of MAP02 while MAP03 suited a tension-filled finale. Play this w/Complex for a brutal challenge of your wits. Health & ammo were sufficient when needed, while I never got a sense of boredom playing this. Architecture is basic, yet detailed with care.

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Guest

  
Its Meh. To busy constantly running to pay attention to anything, the combat isn't paced well, and the unpredictable spikes in difficulty are highly annoying. +1 point for keeping ammo scaled with the combat, +1 point for the musick.

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NuMetalManiak

· Edited by NuMetalManiak

  

despite being skillsaw's second oldest wad, I have to say, this one is still one of his hardest levelsets. I mean god damn. the first map is a real doozy with how exposed you are right from the beginning, it helps to get rid of any hitscanner over there as well as get the secret SSG. but fuck what a difficult starting map. then you got the marathon level that is MAP02, which is a little easier, but there's more meat to grind through, and then the last one with some semi-slaughter gameplay before a painfully easy IOS. these maps are killer, so make sure the best weapons are procured and used, this will still be a harsh set to get through.

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Budoka

  
Less polished than Skillsaw’s later work but still great. First map is a Plutonia-like arena, second is an epic-length journey with a couple slaughter moments, third is… a secret. A must play for those who like Alien Vendetta, Resurgence (though this is easier), Skillsaw’s other stuff, or all three. Works fine with PrBoom+ if you follow his advice above.

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Guest

  
This is very nearly as good as Vanguard or Lunatic, so go get it and don't leave this gem behind!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
map3 is one of the best[if not the best]hellish themed maps I have ever seen/played. gameplay was top notch with ammo never in too short of supply. 5/5-d.d.koop

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Effin' sweet.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
very good. the second map was a bit long, but the action through out the set of maps was top notch. i hope to see greater things to come from skillsaw. -JOKER-

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Guest

Unknown date

  
really good.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
The maps border between disappointingly easy and frustratingly unfair. It has a sine difficult curve. It goes from boring to frustrating over and over again. For example, in map 2 it goes from a few imps in an open area to hell knights and other big monsters in cramped hallways with insufficient ammo, tand Trying to pacifist is suicide. Progression is linear. Most of the secret areas are jokes and the wad shouldn't even require ZDoom- the maps appear to be in BOOM format. 2/5 - Soccerghoul

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Guest

Unknown date

  
This has a latin name, so you know it's classy. All three maps are very good and tricky. Map01 has a hectic start and then mellows out; it's a compact map with almost perfect ammo balance (very hard to get 100% kills though). Map02 is huge (700+ baddies) but feels relatively easier, perhaps because of all the ammo - it's a meaty, manly feast. Map03 is hellish and I wasn't as fond of it, but the first two are killer.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Wow - these 3 maps should go in place of three of the weaker AV maps! They feel just like AV!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Sweet music but too hard for my lame ass.4/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Wow this guy is so awesome, these maps are a killer. Personally, I liked the first map the most because its layout was both dynamic and memorable. The other two maps were also really nice, though I did die quite a lot in the last one :) Paul, I'm glad that you decided to make a few more maps.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Very nice

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Excellent maps! It was very intense for me. It felt like an Alien Vendetta mapset. MAP03 wasn't my favorite, but I loved MAP01 and MAP02. The music was really cool too.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Map03 is excellent and you can play with the latest prboom plus. Map01 starts really well and apart from a few small issues can be played in prboom plus too. Only in the second map you have to idclip one door (red key part, after bfg turn to left enter the room and that door won't open). Overall a little bit too much switches for my taste, but great combat. If you're good with the bfg/rl then the first map will be rather though. Recommend coldfusio 5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Nice bit of fun - second map felt like a never-ending adventure and all three maps ended up swamping yuo with low-level mobs at some point. In particular MAP02 with the seemingly endless number of imps near the end. Recommended to all of you who like a good challenge in a nice environment (or three). 4* -Phobus

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Guest

Unknown date

  
hard.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Probably the "Zdoom needed" stipulation is the main reason this impressive-looking wad has received so little attention. As far as I can tell, the decorate and mapinfo are cosmetic, and the maps work fine without Zdoom - maybe they need just a limit-extending port. But before playing them, it would be nice to know whether Boom or "Zdoomism" features are used.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
The maps do work on prBoom+ but you have to make sure to enable "Walk under solid hanging bodies" and "Use passes through all special lines." They do play best with ZDoom though. -skillsaw

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  • File Reviews

    • By mistersector · Posted
      There are some really nice pre-modern aesthetics using stock textures, but gameplay was lackluster due to corridor-room syndrome, key/door backtracking, simple puzzles (e.g. BFG), underwhelming monster ambushes and little to no traps. I never felt in danger, but hope the author focuses on gameplay first and tacks on artistic shine in future maps because he is adept at producing great visuals.
    • By Stupac · Posted
      Try this if you really care about seeing some history of early Doom user created levels. But, be aware that we are spoiled with good Doom content, from Id's classic levels to tons of incredible user content. It is hard to be critical though, considering that I have never created a Doom level, and these guys back in '94 managed to create this episode. All I can say about Serenity is that playing it in 2019 after playing all of Id's classic levels and fresh off Eviternity and Alien Vendetta that I was bored to tears by level 4 and had to stop. I'll give Eternity and Infinity a try though.   If you decide you want to give it a go for the history, expect misaligned and inconsistent texture use. Expect uninspired architecture and layouts. Expect confusing layouts with obvious secrets but concealed paths forward. Expect boring fights. While the wad does try some new things, they failed to appeal to me at least.   To sum up, this review would have been a higher rating, but since we are spoiled with Doom content, I really don't think this wad is worth your time unless you really care about history. I was unable to find anything in this wad that was inspiring or fun apart from the fact that this wad was created by pioneers who we owe a debt of gratitude to because they are part of a long tradition of Doom level creation that goes on today and continues to provide me enjoyment and inspiration. So, despite my scathing review, thank you Bjorn Hermans and Holger Nathrath for making this.
    • By NuMetalManiak · Posted
      picture this, you've played Eternal Doom multiple times, went through all sorts of nice-looking medieval landscapes, and got rather used to the styles used in the Return resource pack. you feel a feeling that you want to play more in terms of Eternal Doom style levels, well, gaspe has you covered with Legacy of Heroes. it's first few levels aren't too long, for granted, but once you hit MAP05, that's when you know. combat is consistent and workable, as is progression at least until you get past MAP05. you'd especially be hard-pressed for several secrets, specifically the BFG ones in MAP08 (the longest one), and MAP09 (one that is easy to get lost in). heck, MAP07 is also easy to get lost in, hence the title. the dual boss at the end may actually be somewhat disappointing, plus there's some parts of progression which may cause an eyeroll, but for the most part legher.wad does provide a decent experience.
    • By dylux · Posted
      Hellbound Review   - My second time playing this with a year in between. - UV Difficulty   The Good: -  Has puzzles, which I love! -  Progressive Maps, as in the next one continues from the previous and the Maps are not linear. -  Excellent progressive degree of difficulty. -  Not a slaughterfest, but not easy either. -  Plenty of everything to keep you alert, yet alive. -  Loads of secrets – most are clever and rewarding. -  Awesome Hellish themes in some of the later Maps. -  Later Maps are huuuuuuge; Map 29 (Ascension) must have taken a helluva long time to create, just as the Author states in the description of it. Use your Rocket Launcher and/or BFG when you get to it. The rest of your weapons are obsolete at this point.   The Bad: -  Absolutely disliked Map 30. A whole lot of running around in the “poison lava” pit.   In Short: All and all, Hellbound was a blast. You’re going to work for the keys from Map 21 and onward because they aren’t just lying around.   Map 17 (Starport) and Map 26 (Forbidden Archives) were my faves. I remember reading "Doomworld’s Top 100 Memorable Doom Maps" that Starport was ranked #80. So there ya go!   Despite disliking Map 30, I’m still giving this WAD 5 out of 5 Stars. One Map is hardly enough to deduct from the other 31 awesome Maps. Definite replay value. Bravo! Thanks for making it!
    • By mistersector · Posted
      An excellent E4 replacement. Good use of traps. Window and ledge fighting is common, but complacency invites a hellstorm of imp fireballs from afar. The custom textures fit the eerie aesthetics, although the design is somewhat generic and some maps snag the player along jutted wall lips. Disappointing new sounds as there were no weapons changes, yet are horribly distorted, abrupt, and tonally blase. Nothing a mod can't overcome. Ammo and medkit shortage encourages safe gameplay.
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