Not bad for an early 1994 level to be honest. It isn't good, but not bad. Being a Wolf3d fan I don't mind long corridors in maps that much, although the decoration could have been better that's for sure. If you're into old maps and corridor-esque maps, give it a shot.
Partial truth in advertising - "This PWAD represents the combination of just 27 of some of the best levels I have found on the net." - maybe for a brief 6 month window in 1994. But compared to traditional/old school maps since, this selection would scrape through as a C- if you were grading school homework. Barely a pass. Mostly dull, bland and repetitive maps you have played elsewhere - maps you groan through and forget 2 seconds after you have finished them. Supreme ordinariness, nothing you ever want to see again. This is only of historical value. Not exactly enjoyable play. Nosireebob.
I'm not very good at reviewing so bear with me: If you want a quick and fairly easy WAD then this is for you. It starts out fairly easy as well as being fairly linear and than it gets harder as it goes on. It's also fairly short too as it took me about an hour or two to complete on UV difficulty in GZDoom using the Doom (strict) compat mode.
The new textures were a nice addition although they were only featured in the last few maps. There are a lot of switches and "rising structures" (floors & lifts) but the placement of them is decent so they aren't a nuisance. The switches open doors or activate lifts that are pretty much right in front of you or in an area that you've just past through so the maps aren't that confusing (which is a good thing).
The one thing that i did not like about this WAD was that the exits were not marked. I exited a few levels with only 50% or so of the map explored due to the exit just being a normal looking switch. In a map that has quite a few switches that activate doors and lifts, you need the exit too look different or at least have an exit sign above it imo.
I did notice a few misaligned textures but tbh that's normal for 1994. Also, there are different sounds for weapons and some monsters as well that kind of annoyed me. I don't usually mind sound replacements and i know that a lot of early maps had them but this one just really got on my nerves at times. You'll hear GROOVY! a lot and it's not as cool sounding as Duke Nukem saying it, even though it is the actual sound clip from Evil Dead 2 (i believe).
Other than that this E1 replacement played alright for a '94 mapset, having decent layouts and monster placements. I give it 3 1/2 stars mainly because of the exit issue that really bugged me and the sound replacement not being my favorite.
[Oh btw, i played continuous. I tried playing pistol start only on a few maps but i just couldn't do it. I'm not sure if it's possible tbh. Maybe some of the weapons are hidden in secrets because i often found ammo in levels for some but not the weapon for it.]
Amazing Total Conversion megawad!!!
Moody, atmospheric, challenging, breathtaking...
At first the game is really different to the Doom experience, soo different that you will have a rough time trying to understand the mechanics. Just like playing a completely new game for the very first time.
But when you finally understand the mechanics, the new weapons, and the possibilities, a marvelously detailed and vast world unfold to you very eyes.
It was a long time that a game made me feel real awe.
The sense of wonder of this maps are something unique.
This Total Conversion really make the unthinkeable and take it to eleven.
Thanks @Revae for this amazing total conversion.
Hope you can take this piece of art to the next level.
You deserve it!!!
Before Plutonia's Go 2 It, there was Dario Casali's take on expanding Doom 2's MAP01 into a difficult and action packed level. Punisher can be seen as sort of a prototype for Go 2 It in that it was released a year before Final Doom and the map is rough around the edges to play. There are far more many monsters in Punisher than there are in Go 2 It, starting off with about 600 enemies, which is three times more than Go 2 It's initial start of about 200 enemies. It sounds like Punisher is more difficult than Go 2 It for having more enemies and a rougher layout, right? Well, actually no, Punisher is easier than Go 2 It though at the same time, Punisher has its difficulty issues that can make it annoying to play.
In Punisher, a variety of enemies are placed together far more frequently, meaning infighting happens immediately in the areas they are in. There are some rooms where only a single enemy type is in to prevent easy infighting, but even still, you can take advantage of monster infighting far more than you would in Go 2 It. Another thing, you don't always get up close to tough monsters like the Cyberdemon so you can pretty much skip them at times, which is unlike Go 2 It as that map has you getting up close to them or at times killing them to progress.
Despite Punisher encouraging something of a aggressive and fast playstyle like you Go 2 It and other Plutonia maps encourage, it doesn't exactly feel like you can do it as freely here. There's a ton of open space so trying to draw attention of monsters to cause some infighting yourself can be annoying to do, an Arch-Vile can hit you out in the open and Pain Elementals can be very problematic, so you might find yourself peeking in and out of cover often instead of blasting monsters away with rockets and a BFG. That's not to say you can't blast through the level if you played it multiple times much like Go 2 It, but even so, the pacing and fights here feel a bit messy.
Punisher is not bad to play and I found it fun to play despite its gameplay problems. I found it interesting to compare this map with Go 2 It to see the differences and how much more refined an expanded Doom 2 MAP01 turned out in the end. If you're into maps with tons of monsters to kill and don't mind some odd pacing, Punisher is good to play, though it definitely shows its age.