A really interesting level, pretty intricate and with a strong exploration key on the gameplay. Also really good theme and design of the map, really enjoyed the sector arches and detail touches in the map... I really enjoyed it!
A reader skimming the Doomworld Files listing might be taken for a ride. March 8, 2013. WadEd??!! AOL???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rest assured, reader, you're not in an alternate universe; this wad is squarely of '90s vintage (1997 if we trust the timestamp), with its submission to the archvies delayed for an epoch, as often happens.
It is one of those wads that replaces some of the sounds simply because that was a cool thing to do. Pinkies chomp at you like they have robot teeth. Weapons have a Star Wars "retro future" feel to them. Lost souls squeal like demented young girls.
The map is a tangle of hallways and paths that crisscross, dressed in austere visuals. Progression doesn't grant a wealth of options, but it feels intricate nonetheless because of the map's consistent unfolding and unraveling.
What quickly stands out about the combat is how relentlessly trappy it plays out. Not in the newschool sense of "staged key fights" but of unexpected closets opening up to more closets, of lifts suddenly plunging you into hostile fire, of quick doors that blaze open and expose caged archviles.
Patrick Smith is out for blood.
Good visuals to stare at, but in many maps there was some imbalance in difficulty, busting with hitscanners, as well as narrow passages-bottlenecks with elevators that can block player. In addition, I never found a chainsaw for the entire episode. As well there are scarcity of the secret places.
I'd also like to see the incarnation of MAP20: Gotcha in a similar style. Nevertheless, this map is more suitable for the third episode and is essentially considered a transitional one.
It's not really that great as people are trying to be make. If we strip down all those models and other effects, we will find that map set is actually looking like any other early-mid 00's set + all those misalignments with questionable incidental combat... I guess, for quick fun it's viable.
3/5 stars, because it seems it's one of those rare jdoom/doomsday wads, but you can freely run on gzdoom or any other port which supports jdoom/doomsday things.