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Plutonia: Revisited Community Project

   (72 reviews)

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32 community maps inspired by plutonia.


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Book Lord

· Edited by Book Lord

  

I played PRCP the month after Plutonia 2 and following DWMC playthrough of Cydonia. Among the various efforts wanting to build upon PLUTONIA.WAD and expand the style initiated by Dario and Milo Casali, this community project gets half things right and half things wrong, but it is consistently fun to play and with simpler progression if compared to its 2008 counterpart, hence the 4 stars.

 

The right things are the visuals, improving upon the original Plutonia and achieving good sense of place on several occasions, and the sadistic tone of the ambushes, with blatant abuse of Chaingunners, Revenants and Arch-Viles all through the way. The authors indulged into the same pleasures of the Casalis when they designed their maps, and the gameplay was always interesting and peppered. What felt wrong to me was the haphazard variation in level length and challenge, with overly ambitious maps placed side by side with more reasonable entries, attempting faithful homages that did not detach themselves enough from the original maps.

 

Plutonia is notably missing a difficulty progression, and the PRCP is similar in that regard. I remember quite a bit of shocks in the first 20 maps, while the last third did not feel like the challenge was ramping up. The size of the maps varied through the megaWAD, so the IWAD feel that the levels became larger towards the end was not replicated. I played the easy way, continuous with saves, and I found several setups that gave me a hard time, as a proof that there was generally better encounter design here than in Plutonia 2. Ammo scarcity was an issue in some maps; I could not figure out how a pistol starting UV-Maxer could destroy all those HPs, unless Tyson was the intended way.  

 

As opposed to Plutonia 2, my favourite maps of PRCP were in the last third of the megaWAD. Quotes abounded everywhere, so I bet that most entries were mapped for a specific slot. If I liked Joshy’s reimagining on MAP07: Caughtisle, MAP03: Escape from Ghost Town and MAP04: Emerald Pools had unfair setups that are likely to discourage a player that does not tolerate certain types of harassment. Darkwave0000’s MAP11: Will you be my NME? expanded the concept of a map heavy on Arch-Viles, but it turned out to be boring with its huge size and one-way paths, full of faraway Chaingunners.  After a positive trio of enjoyable maps, Xaser’s magnum opus MAP15: Enigma Helix weighed heavy like lead. A truly magnificent map with lots of paths to explore, compelling areas, polished visuals, and astounding secrets, it was just unbearable at the heart of a megaWAD that had already been overstretched and grueling at times. It left me so exhausted that I reluctantly played MAP31: Cyberdemon Vertigo, then decided to skip MAP32: Have @ It with its 786 monsters crammed into claustrophobic caves.

 

Things did not improve very much after that; while I liked evocalvin’s entries, except the unneeded Arch-Vile gauntlet at the end of MAP 18: Phantom Silence, I was totally crushed by MAP 19: Venom. So long, so cryptic, full of damaging floors, it almost made me give up everything. Luckily, the explicit homages in MAP 20: Sinister Daybreak and MAP 22: Suicide Mission made me feel at home again. WH-Wilou84 pleased me quite a bit with MAP 23: Necrogenesis and Xaser’s second contribution MAP 25: Wicked Garden was much more bearable than the first, while still holding the visual grandeur and strong atmosphere. MAP 26: Poison Ivy III had more monsters than ammo to vanquish them, but was quite fun on continuous play, while MAP28: Dance with the Devil was a sort of parody of Plutonian gameplay, with the ridiculous amount of consecutive monster closets. Mechadon’s MAP29: Atlatl was a worthy conclusion, a large exploratory adventure in a temple entangled in vines and soaked in blood. Thomas Van der Velden should be praised for designing another MAP30 with an Icon of Sin, even though I did not like the Beholder appearance and the Cyberdemons placed everywhere.

 

Plutonia: Revisited Community Project is a successful attempt to carry on the legacy of The Plutonia Experiment, delving deep into its gameplay and considerably increasing the size of the game. The monster placement is still efficient and dangerous, but their numbers range between 100 and 300, unless the authors used licence to go overboard as in MAP15 and a few other occasions. Obviously, this will test the abilities, the patience, and the endurance of the player. If you are looking for a bigger and meaner version of your favourite IWAD, and you do not mind a few maps lasting over 1 hour, give PRCP a try; if you just want more Plutonia then play Cydonia instead, as it is a polished, faithful, and reasonable opportunity to relive the Casali masterpiece under a contemporary point of view.

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DRM-MAN

  

These maps made me want to slice my wrists.

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Juza

·

  

Mostly a set of mediocre, unappealing, rushed and unoriginal levels, with little quality control. Baffling that these were made by multiple authors that had a month more than the Dario brothers to develop their levels.

 

Gameplay ranges from dull to sluggish.

 

Not much to say. It's just a boring map pack, and far from being like Plutonia in both design and quality perspectives.

 

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Doomkid

  

Plays very well in multiplayer.

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SilverMiner

· Edited by SilverMiner

  

It's simply reskinning of original Plutonia.

Monsters are almost everywhere and I'm running out of ammo - that's a thing that will never be resolved.

Map07,Map11 and secret maps are pain in the ass. The best are Maps14-19 and Map29.

Slaughter linear key hunting maps is bad idea. It must be at least 3 ways to reach the exit.

Overall, it's far not better than Memento Mori 2

EDIT:

Why Map03 starts in the strange bricky box without Plutonia teleporter?

Why do I have to pick up that BFG on map04(If after I'd simply run out of cells on map05)?

Map05 Hitscanner traps is not good idea.

Map02 is so dark that you barely can distinguish colors.

Map06 suka blyat, where do I have to go to get this fucking blue key?

Map08 WTF is the door in front of the player starting pos?

Map09 Not bad.

Map10 I like the music.

Map11 When I started to go around some building, an archvile sent me to the exit area. Cool

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seed

  

"Deja Vu all over again."

 

Therefore Plutonia Revisited has been finished, played through GlBoom+ 2.5.1.5 on UV difficulty. A mostly pleasant surprise but could have offered more, so let's why that is.

 

Plutonia Revisited is a 32-map megawad consisting of revamped versions of the existing levels from Final Doom's Plutonia Experiment expansion, made by various members of the community. It comes with new textures, music, status bar, intermission screens, and fonts.

 

Unlike Plutonia 2, Plutonia Revisited does not aim to be a fan sequel of any sorts to the original IWAD, but rather aims to offer a different spin on the original maps from Plutonia while sticking to its design philosophy very closely and not taking too many liberties most of the time. Which is perhaps its greatest flaw.

 

Although most levels bear striking similarities with the original, they are sometimes taken to a whole new level where they basically descend into rip-off territory. This is due to preserving too much from the original levels on quite a few occasions where its no longer about staying faithful to the original as these places in maps are almost identical, apart from perhaps a few changes here and there. This can be observed both early in the wad as well as later, when nearing the end.

 

Another problem would be the music. The soundtrack is good and fits the theme, combat, and overall atmosphere of the levels, however it repeats the same mistake PL2 did, by being all over the place. Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and various sources or original works. Not particularly good for consistency.

 

Luckily, those are also the only (major) problems of Plutonia Revisited. It does a great job at preserving the overall atmosphere, gameplay, and otherwise essence of the original while also adding its own spin to the levels, and the liberties taken are fairly big sometimes. As it was the case with PL2, it seems that MAP11 is once again the map that stands out of the crowd by being a re-imagining of the original while keeping its core element intact. This time, the player finds themselves into a city-like map, not too dissimilar from Odyssey of Noises sometimes, with an occasional PL2 vibe to it, but its much larger with wide, open areas, many enemy types, and complete lack of the door gimmick. It does keep the many Arch-Viles in place though, and they ambush the player in many ways, but usually only one or two of them is encountered at one time, apart from a few instances.

 

Similar to PL2, the quality is fairly consistent considering the number of people who contributed to the project, but at the same time it's also easy to tell who made each map because they all play differently and have their unique play style and design. After all is said and done, the journey ends with the traditional IoS boss fight, short and straight-to-the-point, only needing to press a couple of switches to raise a platform and lower a lift, then blast the brains of the boss to pieces. It is by far a better take on the concept than PL2's effort with the awkward and hard to determine firing angles.

 

Overall, PLR manages to be a good effort at re-imagining the original Plutonia while adding its own spin. It's fun and refreshing, despite its occasional dick encounters/traps, which are very, very few, and easy to see coming unlike the various instances seen in PL2 which were also more numerous. It could have been better if it took more liberties or at least didn't almost copy-paste parts from the original with only a few changes in places. Worth a shot for fans of Plutonia and PL2. My favorite maps are going to be the ones seen in the first half, and my least favorite level is going to be MAP20, the single and most obtuse level in the package. So, grab your weapons and prepare for the Revenant and AV onslaught.

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Bob9001

  

As someone who barely plays any wad made after 1996, this is a refreshing option. ALL the levels have the same feel as the Plutonia mapset.

 

However, the 2nd and 3rd episodes could have had more fights. (Map 27 has only 127 monsters and is not a very fun map). Aside from this, most of the maps have very good design and I do enjoy a good Thomas Van Der Velden map and a Tatsurd-cacocaco map.

 

Hopefully someone can make a TNT re-visited in this same style. Fingers crossed :)

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 3.5

- Hurt Me Plenty, Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous on skill 3, pistol starts on skill 4 for the DW Megawad Club.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

This is a great community mapset. Many original ideas and also a lot of homages. The visuals are pure Plutonia, textures and detailing are on the iwad side, for example, lots of wooden pillars and walls in square shape, invisible bridges, vines, skull non-switches, and more. I like that many maps have unreachable spaces just for scenery. Midis are really good, particularly the ones from Xaser's maps (15 and 25), and map 11 sticks in my mind too. 

 

Gameplay is fun in the majority. Some maps are pure tribute of the iwad, including combat. There's a good variety of themes, sometimes triple key hunt, other times is straightforward linear, and other times non-linear exploratory. Progression is hardly ever obscure, aside from a few maps, you are usually exempted of backtracking, which is great. Most maps can be short, but a few are particularly really really long, map 15 is the best example. It's still a good map though, depends on your tastes. Combat is heavy, but in most cases you are able to elude big fight scenarios. Plutonia has never been about constantly closing you in traps with timers. It does have a lot of incidental challenging encounters. This doesn't mean it's always going to be fun, for example, chaingunners are abundant, and sometimes an obnoxious presence. Tributes of battles are present: there's a standout map dedicated to archviles, in the style of Hunted, including many other enemies; another one almost exactly like The Twilight, that is a new arena revealed and god mode chaingunners for sure; and the obvious secret maps alike Cyberden and Go 2 It, the last one goes crazy with infighting and I love that. Plus many more memorable parts, like a hitscan hell trap reminiscent to Ghost Town, or a ring of enemies similar to The Sewers, or an invisible bridge surrounded by snipers a la Aztec. 

 

Secrets are not always easy to find, I like the use of hidden switches which encourage good observation. They are mostly powerful and needed to make the gameplay smoother.

 

Favourite maps are 06, 10, 16, 23, 27, and 28. Least favourite maps are 18, 20, 21 and a "honorable" mention to map 30 for being a real nightmare to play. The rest of the maps are good, map 29 is mostly memorable for it's exploratory ambient, for example.

 

Overall, the mapset is fun, it's all Plutonia in the best way. So if you're a fan of the iwad's harshest quirks, I recommend it. My rate is 8/10.

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NuMetalManiak

· Edited by NuMetalManiak

  

to actually do the Plutonia style is pretty difficult. you want it to be tougher than Doom II but not tougher than basically any slaughtermap (or even Plutonia 2 itself), and Plutonia does that. Plutonia Revisited is obviously a community project exemplifying the course of Plutonia's signature styles. so you'll be expecting heavy hitters in loads of spots. compared to Plutonia 2 it don't compare at all though, many levels are simply tributes to those in the IWAD, even occupying the same slot that the particular Plutonia map is in. it has quite a few good maps throughout, and is quite Plutonic. I do not like 15 (worst Xaser map of all time) or 20 (chaingunners in the worst places possible) at all though. also you can get stuck in MAP31. surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly depending on how you put it, PRCP is significantly tougher than a number of slaughtermaps. it's how you place these guys in.

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Spectre01

  
Disappointing compared to the original and PL2. Starts out promising but fades into small, cramped and aesthetically boring maps. Maps 11, 31 and 32 especially don't deliver. The story text is also epic maymay tier and doesn't help the overall lacking atmosphere. Map 15 is good though. 2/5

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Combinebobnt

  
I enjoyed this pack less than 1 and 2, but that is to be expected with the fluctuating quality of a community project like this. Still decent

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riderr3

  
There are not many memorable levels like pl2 but it still keep the original plutonia flow.

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Guest

  
very nice plutonia

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Ex Inferis

  
A mixed bag of generally lower quality maps than Plutonia 2. Some pretty good ones, lots of variably successful remakes of known maps and also a number of notorious duds, among which map 11 sticks out like a sore thumb. I have huge respect for Darkwave0000 because of his brilliant work on SoD and some other favorites of mine, and cannot grasp how he could release such a huge monotonous snoozefest devoid of any action whatsoever (except for a bunch of pop-up archviles in open spaces. Barf...) 3/5

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Guest

  
swag me teh fuk out m8

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killer2

  
Very good mappack. Feels like playing Plutonia all over again, only harder.

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Guest

  
Highly recommended for Plutonia fans

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Guest

  
Bit strange that this is under /ports/ when its vanilla compatible.

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molten_

  
Fantastically hard mapset that is very true to the original material while implementing some more modern design philosophies -- Basically Plutonia if it were actually good. (I only half kid) 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I'll concede that I'm slightly invested in this .WAD, as I made the whole of one map. So I'll ignore that and say I loved playing through the other 32 maps. Very fun and a great Plutonia megawad with quite a few great maps! 5* -Phobus

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Excellent work from the community. Mostly very consistent, and the weaker maps still delivers plutonic nostalgia and fun gameplay. Well done! 5 Stars.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Lots of nice maps in this set and a couple are really outstanding. If you liked the Plutonia experiment I recommend you give this a try. dwrTag

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great plutonia megawad, well worth playing.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Nice work! I'd play this over Mortal Kombat any day! LOL it was released the same day, too!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Very good megawad. At least as good as Plutonia 2. BTW Portal 2 was also released the same day - much better than Mortal Kombat.

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  • File Reviews

    • By LouigiVerona · Posted
      Writing a review for Darkening 2 is tough. It's a beloved megawad, and for good reason. As many other reviewers have said, it is historically a very important project.   It was an important megawad for me personally. I fell in love with the first level in particular. The music, the realistic architecture, so reminiscent of the video games of the 90s... It all left a lasting impression. And it was one of the most beautiful wads I've seen at the time.   But I rarely played anything beyond MAP01. So this time I decided to go through the whole megawad and answer the following question: has Darkening 2 stood the test of time?   Obviously, you see what my rating is. So, in my opinion, the answer is "no". But why? Let's dive in. I'll start with the good.   First, the new textures and level design in general are very good. Obviously, as the Doom mapping craft is evolving, there are far more impressive wads these days, but some things in Darkening 2 are timeless.   Ola Bjorling's intro level is a classic. It creates such promise for the rest of the megawad, boasting both vast, mid and tiny areas, realistic objects (if that's your thing) and good gameplay. Exactly the kind of intro gameplay you would expect - not too intense, not too slow. The monster placement is solid, the progression is robust, some clever ideas scattered throughout the map, with many little side-tasks for the player, like the ending door which requires you to quickly hit the two switches. There are some annoying bits, like getting the yellow key requires one to swivel around a crate, but we'll get to that in a bit.   MAP05 is amazing. I played it two or three times in a row. It's one of those things that might be personal, but I just connected with that map. Not only is the design cozy and varied, but the final boss area is so well designed! The blue armor secret is just exquisitely devious. A very memorable level! Totally playable from pistol start, btw, which is not necessarily true for every stage of this megawad.   Even levels the gameplay of which I disliked, all had exemplary design. Everyone used the new textures to their full potential, and I liked the feel from the majority of contributions.   The music seems to be a point of contention. I am actually quite puzzled by this. I didn't feel that the music is bad at all. In fact, the MAP01 music and MAP05 music could be some of my favorite tunes from all of Doom. The previous reviewer complains about MAP09's music. I just listened to it, it's a lovely electronic track. I think I know what he means by a piano, but on my system it sounds like this very quiet arpeggiating organ. Nothing annoying, all very soft and well written. I am currently playing it on GZDoom, and also on Linux, so my experience might be different, but I played it on Windows on vanilla Doom back in the day, and as far as I remember, the music sounded the same. So, not sure what's going on there.   But that's where the good stuff ends. There might've been more points to discuss had there been new monsters and weapons, but those parts are stock.   Now, for what felt bad and/or outdated, because I suspect that in 2000 this wad offered acceptable gameplay. I played Darkening 2 on UV difficulty. And this could have been my first mistake. The balance on UV is generally very poor. MAP01 is fine, but as I said, it's not that intense to begin with. But starting MAP02, the only level that managed UV well was only the aforementioned MAP05. Yes, literally a single level.   The problem is the low amounts of ammo and health. Especially health. On some levels medikits are so sparse that I was on less than 20% health throughout most of the run. It's a pervasive problem, especially given that there are a lot of traps, liquid floors and lifts from which you could easily fall onto said liquid. And thing is, some of those could have been interesting little romps, but because of the medikit scarcity I had to nervously save before entering a new area.   The second problem, somehow more annoying to me, is that Darkening 2 demands loads of platforming. With all due respect and love that I have for Ola's MAP01, getting that yellow key was a huge pain for me when I first played it. These days I get it almost always on the first try, but back in the day I remember spending ten, twenty tried trying to swivel around that crate in order to get to it. I even wondered, am I missing something? Is there a teleporter somewhere? note: actually, you can get the key if you simply accelerate and jump from the opposing ledge. I think I remember trying it as a kid and not being able to get it, and I guess I assumed it was impossible. For some reason I easily get it now. Either way, I don't think that it's a great idea to make the player work so much for a key that's necessary to progress. Just allow me to take it without having to spend years figuring out the best way to pick it up!   I do understand platforming as an additional effort to get to a bonus. I don't want it as part of the main gameplay. Doom is not Mario. And the game's physics, controls and camera are not designed for precision jumps and acrobatic tricks. It's tedious and frustrating, and too often in Darkening 2 you need to run across a thin ledge or swivel around something. And that's just so unnecessary. Maybe it was normal in 2000. There is also an over-reliance on switches. You've got a door right in front of you or a lift, but no, go press a switch first.   One level in particular, MAP10, is especially bad at this. Almost every lift requires you to hit a switch and then run through a room and a couple of corridors to get to it. Why? Especially given how you then have to backtrack there several times and go through the same exercise over and over again.   Speaking of backtracking, boy, there's lots of it! In recent years the overall quality of level design has risen considerably. It's been a while since I was seriously stuck. In Darkening 2 this happened all the time. I constantly found myself not knowing where to go next. You grab a key and then run around, trying to painfully remember which door required it and where is it.   For some unclear reason, most doors are not color coded. A silver door requires a red key, a brown door requires a red key, and then some other door requires a blue key, only that door IS color coded. Why the inconsistency?   There is another thing to note about doors. Many levels exhibit an inordinate amount of fake doors. Perhaps, this is the realism angle that this megawad exhibits, but again and again you'll see a door, it won't open and is not supposed to be opened, and then a door that looks exactly like it will.   And, of course, when you find a key, it usually won't be near the door that actually needs it. In many modern levels you get the key, jump off the ledge - and voila, you're in front of the relevant door.   All of this makes you get stuck a lot, especially on later levels which are larger.   Unlike the promising MAP01, with its opening vista of the mysterious base, all other levels are cramped beyond belief. It's as if it was a competition on how to use less space. You get to MAP02 and see these tiny corridors. Well, that will be the rule throughout the whole wad. That's what most levels will look like, with very rare larger areas, many of which are still going to be mostly blocked off to the player by railings or filled with liquids. And within these tiny areas you'd have to fight off monsters.   The monster placement would've been satisfactory had it not been for those tiny rooms and corridors. Again and again you get a baron or a cacodemon right in your face, and there's nowhere to go. You are also constantly low on ammo, so it pays off to pace your supplies, making it plain boring to shoot down barons and cacos with merely a shotgun or a chaingun, while having to strafe around them in narrow spaces.   I have also forgotten how annoying lost souls could be, as I'm not seeing them as much in modern wads, but to be fair, in some levels they are used well, like in MAP05, where they notice you from afar and then come charging through the windows.   There is an underwhelming cyberdemon fight in MAP011, which is kind of baffling. It's not at all challenging, the area is again small, but you can run away into another room and come back at will. I was bored taking out the cyberdemon with my shotgun (cause the rest of the ammo was gone by this point), so I just ran past it into the exit.   The last level, MAP12, is probably one of the most disappointing levels I've ever played in my life. It might sound like an exaggeration, but notice I am not saying it's my worst - instead, it's my most disappointing. And it's disappointing because it's so beautifully made and is again designed by Ola Bjorling. I should've loved this level, which is meant to be the closing level to the saga. But it's really-really bad. It's like MAP12 takes all the problems of the previous levels and dials them up to eleven.   First, the level is poorly designed for pistol start. It took me many-many tries to get through the first encounters relatively unscathed, given my understanding that medikits are going to be few and far between. The very first room you're deposited in is a tiny room with two imps and with a cacodemon shooting through the window, while you have nothing but a gun. And the only way through this room is to shoot a switch, making it impossible to do it without basically getting killed in the first several seconds. So you have to dance around and try to tediously shoot down the imps with your puny gun, while avoiding their projectiles and the cacodemon in the back. And when you finally get through this, with your almost depleted gun, the very next narrow corridor features a baron. Of course.   You do get a shotgun and a chaingun fairly quickly, but whether you get a super shotgun quickly will depend on how you go about the map. You can get it quickly, or you can get it midway into the level. The placement of that super shotgun is very bad, in my opinion.   The second big problem is that the level chooses to make you navigate it through liquid floors: the stage consists of several areas which are mostly connected through nukage tunnels. So, you are given a bunch of radiation suits.   This adds literally nothing to the gameplay. If anything, it actually subtracts from it, and subtracts substantially, because first you use up your suits to navigate the level back and forth to even understand where you need to go. By the time you more or less figure out where's what, all your suits are gone. And given how low you are on health, you're basically forced to restart. Which means that there is no chance to beat MAP12 on your first try, it's just impossible due to how convoluted everything is.   At some point I gave up and entered the level with a nomonsters flag and iddqd, so that I could map out where everything is. And I have to tell you, I spent no less than twenty minutes finding all the keys and the exit. Think about it - twenty minutes on nomonsters and iddqd, and it still took me forever to find my way around. There was obviously no or inconsistent color coding of the doors, and many of them were far from where you got the key. In fact, between you and the door stood passages with nukage, so you would have to grab a radiation suit first.   One of the most frustrating things about this level is getting the blue key. If I complained about getting the yellow key on MAP01, this blows it completely out of the water. The key is in a room full of crates. And the amount of platforming you need to do is beyond reasonable. Ola positioned those crates at nearly impossible angles, forcing you to attempt it again and again and again. One bit is so difficult that even after playing through the level three times, I still cannot get it reliably. I counted that the average amount of attempts to get through that spot alone was over ten. And I am a pretty experienced Doom player. I dislike platforming, but I can do it. MAP12 challenges that notion.   Another problem with that specific part is that the crate with the blue key serves two purposes: it gets you the key, but it also let's you jump into the next area. And that's the ONLY way to get there. And if you would need to backtrack - and in a moment I'll explain that you might need to - you would have to go through all that horrible platforming AGAIN. There is no shortcut.   If previous levels put you in cramped spaces, MAP12 decides to turn it into torture. You are constantly in tight quarters, fighting barons, cacodemons and hell knights.   Once you go into that area from the blue key crate, you have to walk along a narrow ledge which oversees nukage you've traversed previously, and there's the opposite ledge which you can theoretically jump onto, but that would place you in the previous area of the map. As you pass through that ledge, to the side large sections open up, releasing six cacodemons right behind you. You turn through a narrow staircase - and bump into a baron. The staircase is too narrow for you to go around him, so it's either a health tax, shooting at him and powering through, or else you go back. Your retreat is blocked by a crowd of cacodemons, so if you want to spare your health, your only bet is to jump down to that opposite ledge and kill all the cacos. And then you have to go back and go through those crates again, spending fifteen, twenty tries to get through. Knowing all this, the most optimal solution is to walk through that ledge carefully, and as soon as cacos are released, run back. It's a beginner's trap, just like so many things on this map.   But these traps have only just begun. The march towards the end is a series of these traps, so the best advice is to save every single step.   Immediately after this ordeal you get into a room with yet more crates. This time the platforming is easy, but as you jump off into a tiny-tiny corner, you see a baron right in front of you. AGAIN. There is no way to kill him without dying or losing most of your health. The trick that I found is to platform your way onto another crate and wake the baron up from there, then kill it from a distance.   And, by the way, not only does taking out these barons and cacos takes time, it depletes most of your carefully saved ammo. I was finally in a good place at that stage, but these three encounters foced me to enter the final several rooms with barely anything, but cells.   As you enter the final areas, you see an invisibility power up. Don't take it! It's another beginner's trap, designed for you to lose even more health: there will be no more hitscan enemies, instead only revenants and barons, and using invisibility with barons is a bad idea.   The final battle is bizarre. By this time you get the BFG (through that room with the crates and the baron). You then get stuck with a cyberdemon on a relatively tight ledge (yes, again, large monster, little space), but it's wide enough that you can navigate around him, grab some ammo and use the lift to get to the final area, where for the first time since MAP01 you again get a relatively large area. The battle is trivial, you just run around, shoot you BFG and the monsters kill each other. There is the Spider Mastermind which you won't even notice, cause it's surrounded by Arachnotrons who quickly kill it.   The cyberdemon is stuck on that ledge. It cannot shoot you from there, so you just kill it either with the leftovers of the BFG or rockets from the outside. It's tedious. I don't understand the reasoning behind that. Why put a cyberdemon there? Unless the expectation was that the player kills them on that narrow ledge?   And then comes the very final area. You drop into a cave. Deeper and deeper you go, through a claustrophobic passage. At one point I thought it was a dead end, but you can actually squeeze yourself into a corner and drop further down. Then there's a panel with the Darkening logo. You open it and a tiny room full of imps greets you. Imps fire multiple projectiles at you, but you are stuck, there's nowhere to run, so you have to kill them before they kill you. The obvious thing, of course, is to use the BFG, but the problem is that in that claustrophobic cave had to be a specter, of course. So, you are very likely to enter that final room with a shotgun. Again, it's trap after trap after trap. As you enter the room, an archvile is lowered and more imps will come out. The room is tiny and the only way to hide from the archvile is to have the bars that surround it stand between you. One small mistake - and you're likely dead, because you lost so much taking hits from the imps. If you get lucky, you'll kill it, and you're done.   So, it's tiny spaces with lots of monsters till the very end.   Now, obviously, when you know all that, the level is not that hard. In fact, after mostly writing up this review, I went back and beat the level in exactly thirty minutes, with 100%+ health. But that was after studying this map for hours. And yes, I still got stuck on the platforming bit, I still had to backtrack, and the second time around I just jumped it over, because jumping is not blocked.   In conclusion.   Darkening 2 is definitely staying on my computer forever. It's got sentimental value for me. But it's not the wad I'm likely to replay much. MAP01 and MAP05 are great, and I've got this morbid love for MAP12, having had to dissect it for so long, but the rest is forgettable.   It's an important era of Doom mapping, and a huge step up aesthetically from previous megawads. It also has character. The gameplay, for what it's worth, is done in a similar vein. It feels like a megawad.   But it's also vastly outdated, and its gameplay and even functional level design is no longer on par.

      It's absolutely fine if you enjoy it anyway, I know I do. But if you are completely new to this, do enter the dungeons with open eyes.
    • By Ofisil · Posted
      A competently made map, for sure, but fun? It's way too long and repetitive, with same-y combat & ambush scenarios used again and again, and with way too much enemies, and not that much of a challenge, even for me who isn't exactly fond of "SUPER HARD WAD #9263!!!!11!. You can cut the whole thing in half, and then cut THAT half in half, and it would be a better map. Is it bad? No, just a little bit above average, mostly because it drags a bit too long.
    • By MrSkeltal · Posted
      Generally good map design, but the difficulty as is the case with pwads tends to be uneven even on HMP, especially when you mix them with what slaughtermaps tend to be (monster spam). Too many parts where, after pressing a switch, you'll spend some time killing enemies only to realise the map maker tried to get cute and spawned a bunch of hidden archviles somewhere to start reviving everyone while you were busy wasting ammo. This is especially unfun in parts with very little cover where you'll be praying to the RNG gods during that Xth quickload as the entire thing devolves into an endurance test.
    • By Ranger Qwerty · Posted
      I like the part where I pay for the numerous murders I committed by getting beaten up by either a Mancubus or an Arachnotron, it changed my outlook on Monster Priority. Thank you "Problematic" Revenant #7, I have yet to find a way to repay him.
    • By z34chris · Posted
      A playable map.  This wad is very representative of the 1994-1996 time period of new mappers creations.  There is enough ammo and health if you play conservatively and utilize monster in-fighting.
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