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2002 A Doom Odyssey - 10th Anniversary Edition

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The 10th anniversary edition of 2002 A Doom Odyssey. Featuring many improvements and enhancements over the original release including some new maps with improved gameplay and musis. Contains 4 new episodes of 9 maps each.


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galileo31dos01

·

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 4.2, ZDoom for bonus maps.

- Ultra Violence.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset as much as possible.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Important note: The text file explicitly claims this wad is designed to be played on Boom compatible source ports. Nevertheless, I have not experienced any single symptom with Crispy Doom, so this wad should be perfectly playable in complevel 3 if that's what people want to.  

 

Hmm, well, sometimes reality beats expectations, this has been a mix of emotions and feelings, positive and negative, ups and downs. My first experience with a project leaded by Paul Corfiatis, whom I understand is a well-known active mapper. A fairly likable mapset, with an approach comparable to the old classic iwad, in many ways. First is the ambient theme, each episode follows the same structure of visuals that we know from Doom I, that is tech-bases for the first episode, then something more fleshy afterwards, an introduction to hell, and finally all the pieces together in the fourth episode. I must say though, initially I had a bad taste about the aesthetics, the couple first maps looked rough and very simplistic, part is because of all the symmetry around, a lot of copy/pasted sections, but then visuals got much better later and in the second episode, where symmetry was at least accompanied with more polished detailing. Things turn even more appealing in the third and fourth: more colours, height and light variation became notable features, less square-y geometry in general, still a few minuses here and there such as invasive torches where doomguy can't avoid to glue himself on them. There're also a few new textures which can be seen particularly in secret maps, not that they add a whole new theme to the wad. The Hexen windows looked a bit out of place in my opinion. The new soundtrack has its moments, I'd have preferred myself to hear some recycled iwad tracks in between instead, which is unfortunate because most of the midis used are fantastic, yet they don't match with their corresponding maps in my opinion. 

 

Anyways, as far as I'm concerned, the idea here is to get an experience more challenging than in classic Doom, while keeping the overall progression similar to it. Well, it's definitely different, there is a higher level of difficulty, but I can't say the same from quality. The ideas from the main author and guests seemed to be correlated to follow a story behind the episodes but the execution of each map left me the impression of lack of consistency between them. This was notable in every episode except for the first one, which despite being the least appealing, it's also the one where you get most of the same two authors. This first episode brings a lot of samey incidental fights in compact hallways, symmetric rooms and mostly SG/CG combat, traps that lack any energy or rely on dickish moves, like instacrushers. You'll immediately drown in shells in the first maps, so pistol starts are ideal, not that it adds a pinch of difficulty. In the second episode, things get a bit more tricky with the introduction of instapops, the kind that you'll never want to experience blind: shotgunners that teleport behind the player or next to them at any time. There's some more variety with the type of ammo you can use, albeit the cases of strict resource economy in maps from Hansen and Babich. The third episode is where the inconsistency can lead to frustration if you opt to pistol start or complete the maps. It has the best looking maps by Corfiatis, and interesting ideas from the other authors, there is no denial about the progress of quality content in regards to visuals, and to some extent, combat. For instance, SG vs. barons/cacos becomes way more common (says the guy who could have used the RL more often but opted to stay on pistol start-ish mode), but sometimes you get a tasty berserk, points for that. Strict ammo or way too much depending on the author, and I seriously can't for the life of me understand what's the point of the "finale" in the third map... Last but not least, episode four contains a great mixed bag of gems and, other less pretty stones. Once again, an advance in visuals and detailing, like now darkness is a fun factor. The strict economy of resources is still an everlasting topic and now it is paired with cramped, congested rooms with meaty monsters that can shred doomguy in a blink of an eye. Not that tight quarters wasn't a thing before, it's just that this episode took it seriously, particularly in the secret map. To my surprise, any upper-tier weapon here comes with little usage, which is an odd design choice for an episode that's supposed to be the hardest. I would personally suggest continuous in both 3rd and 4th episode to "rise to the occasions", or in other words, kill high-HP enemies in less time. Finally, I'd like to mention how anticlimactic the end-of-episode maps are, maybe the exception is E1M8, but for the rest not a single engaging "boss" encounter, for example, the fact you don't even have to shoot a bullet to kill the spiderdemon in E3M8 says it all. Similar with the bonus maps, nothing there you don't want to miss.

 

Secret-wise, it starts a bit wall-humpy, then it's a hit or miss, some particularly annoying secret chains to get to the secret maps with no intuitive way to solve, or some juicy weapons and armor that otherwise are nonexistent in standard progression. One thing that seemed confusing to me was all the nukage pits with radiation suits, they all looked like there were some hidden secrets, but there was nothing. For favourite maps I'll pick E3M2, E4M1 and E4M6, while also E4M4 and E4M5 are among the best ones too. I can't say I loved anything from the first two episodes though. 

 

Overall, maybe memorable, but not legendary, and this is really not an important thing, just try the middle episodes on continuous or surrender to Tommy the Trooper and his army of barons :P. Whatever, my rate is 5/10.  

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NuMetalManiak

  

this has always been a moderately fun wad. there's brand new music for E4 and the new E3M5 seems decent enough (certainly much bigger than anticipated). the old E3M5 became a new secret map. a whole lot of things remain the same, but this is still fun to blast through. the only real hiccup the mapset has is E3M3, which remained unchanged and is a real completionist's nightmare. every other map is still pretty fun in their own way.

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Alfonzo

  

*** Note: Levels were played in UV-continuous with pistol-starting upon death. No saves. ***

 

It may not be fair to say that a review for one Paul Corfiatis project is a review for all, but I would be hard-pressed to conduct similarly substantial articles for each of his major works without writing in circles. 2002: A Doom Odyssey seems like a good place to build a cornerstone review because it is considered by many to be the crowning achievement; a full four-episode replacement for Doom that, until the advent of Needs More DetailDTWiD and other community-based efforts like Switcheroom, dominated the Ultimate landscape as one of the choice selections for nostalgia junkies. This, despite the fact that Paul's contributions amount to just one half of the set.

 

In fact, if there's an irony to this WAD's distinction, it is the story of its guest contributors — Chris Hansen, Rory Habich, Sam Woodman, Anthony Soto, Joe Pallai and Virgil the Doom Poet — and how their unique works offset and affect the evergreen standards of Paul and Kristian (the latter of whom I'm almost comfortable in naming as a guest, anyway: he mostly goes missing after E1). Throw a stone in any direction from 2002 and you're guaranteed to hit something Paul-shaped with levels that handle much the same as the ones here, or at least conform to a highly distinguishable set of tropes, and so a player that is somewhat familiar with his tendencies will search for differences to champion. In other words — by dint of familiarity — this is a WAD that is known to be Paul's and yet is renowned for its Others. Hansen, especially.

 

2002 paints itself as a pretty conservative take on Doom for themes and progression, yet with every episode the picture garbles and warps, eventually ending up as a very confused transmission that feels like the half-way point between different products; one good and one bad. Episode 1: Deep into the Code is like some customary re-run of an ABC mid-nineties sitcom; indistinct and far too comfortable in its skin. Its Phobosian skin. The combat is pedestrian, front-on and tied together with "hub-spokes;" the traps are betrayed by Team Paul's telltale design and are rendered useless; and the player is more likely to drown in the oceans of shells provided than be challenged by any one encounter. Identical in many ways to Knee-deep, as intended? Perhaps, but it is a dirge all the same, and continues uninterrupted until Hansen is brought in to upset the practice of using ammo and health as decoration. Throughout Episode 2: The Road to Eternity and Episode 3: The Evil Unleashed the introduction of more authors leads to some standout levels, even as the cohesion established between Paul and Kristian (there is an off-kilter charm to their pairing, for all grievances) begins to break down and the set loses some of its identity. The now pockmark entries by Paul are at least distinct enough on this scale, surrounded as they are, and some bolder design choices begin to appear in a few of them (Caves of Bosnia is perhaps his greatest departure, here), to his credit.

 

Stealing the show from right out of the hands of this weak-gripped megawad is the middle stretch of levels in Episode 4: Torment Ultima. Specifically, Anthony Soto's Back to Base X through to Hansen's Odious Grounds, although Paul's efforts in the new E4M1 and 8 aren't too shabby, either. These adopt from the Consumed handbook a crafty and devious dearth of ammunition and safe spaces; the tried and tested (and feared!) paradigm of peak difficulty in Ultimate Doom. They are the best maps by some ways, and also look a cut above the rest for their more intricate lighting and level of detail; the murky, latticed entrails of Pallai's Dementia a particular highlight.

 

Five years after the re-release of this acclaimed WAD, this review is not likely to change the mind of anyone who appreciates what is doubtless a nostalgic piece of work. It is, after all, a feeling around which the project was made. A less misty-eyed pass over what's on display, though, reveals a deeply inconsistent and — to a point — deeply ordinary Odyssey.

 

Bullet-points of Interest:

  • Initially tedious but belatedly evolving into something more varied, challenging and interesting.
  • An adherence to Ultimate Doom's progression and ideas that's somewhat muddled by the mix of guest contributors and conflicting new textures.
  • Upstaging performances by Hansen, Soto and Pallai.
  • A very enjoyable fourth episode, identity crisis notwithstanding.
  • A hit-and-miss OST. Some great melodies, but a lot of tunes don't match up with the levels very well.
  • Very poor end-of-episode levels/boss fights and super-secret levels.

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Spectre01

  
Pretty good tbh. Generally fun levels with some epic large ones later on. Secrets are way too wallhumpy and there are too many switch doors. Music is mostly great and doesn't recycle IWAD tracks.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
good 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
^^It's not redundant because a couple maps have been modified, the modified skies that often detracted from the feel have been eliminated with a few secret level exceptions, and E2's secret level system in ZDoom FINALLY works the right way now. Plus there are two new levels (E3M5 E4M1) and E3 also has two secret levels. And E4 has its own soundtrack in ZDoom, no older music recycles. Improves an already very good megawad. 5/5, this is the first objective analysis on this page IMO.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I just can't excited over this, any tweaks to music/levels I am either never going to notice or don't improve the wad (just my opinion). The new levels are ok. One thing I will say is that the problems with E3M3 are still not fixed. In the end the improvements seem to suit a group of people I am not in so take my view with a pinch of salt. 3 stars, sorry.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
because i have doom 1 shareware, i played this with doom 2 and quite enjoyed it but fails to be a vanilla-styled megawad because of custom non-doom textures. i give 3/5 and it's better than 2002 version.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
^The secret level system in E2 in the old 2002ADO was completely messed up. (The E2M4 exit was designed to go to E2M9, but it would return you to E2M6, forcing you to skip E2M5 if playing continuously. Meanwhile, the E2M5 exit would take you to the super secret level, but that level would send you back to E2M5 again! So you could ONLY play one secret level from E2, and if you did, you either did not get to play E2M5 or had to do it twice.) And for those who loved original E3M5, just idclev49 already!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
2002ADO was and always will be a 4 to even 5 star megawad so even if you think this update did not improve it at all it makes no sense to give a lower score! The only level that was removed was an average DM to SP conversion.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
2002ADO was great. Unfortunately, each new re-release has been wholly unnecessary, and failed to improve anything while causing significant confusion. You can still get older versions at doomedsda.us. I'd suggest simply ignoring this version. The original e3m5 was one of the best maps in the whole wad, btw.

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VGA

Unknown date

  
This is an amazing 4-episode megawad. Very consistent and polished, no laziness here. Some maps are juggernauts, especially towards the end, put markers on those doors :-)

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great megawad! Maps were very well balanced. I died a ton of times though (once in E2M2, many times in E3M3, once at beginning of E3M4 and twice in E4M3). The map that was unfair to me was E3M3 (way too fucking hard at exit part, I had to save scum to kill cacos with chainsaw and then realized next map it's impossible with no ammo and 3 HP, so died and pistol-started it but shortly after, I reloaded previous level save game and ignored all cacos). Other than that, it was great. 4/5

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Lizardcommando

Unknown date

  
excellent megawad! I like this one!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
One of the best Ultimate Doom megawads but can't beat DTWID! 4/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
What's the point? The original was excellent. 4/5 because it's still a great wad, but I don't see the point. Especially considering so little was changed.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
To the above - that is a big pile of nonsense. The file has a new name so it will not overwrite any old files you need for demos, or just want to have. E3M5 is simply moved to E4M9. The only deleted level is the old E4M1 which was just a quick DM conversion anyways. The defunct secret level system in E2 has finally been resolved as well. Original skies now enhance the original feel, excluding maps that were made out of style. Please consider the facts before you just put up a rant.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
A great wad made even greater. I am glad that I replayed through it. 4/5.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
st. alfonzo and Tarnsman obviously hate this (reference twitch channel). I love it, as does everyone else. 5/5

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