Gameplay wise this WAD is okay, nothing too spectacular, but what it does right is detailing and setting the mood correctly. I recommend this if you like special effects in your Doom levels and it's short enough to beat in about an hour or so.
Found this map on an old CD from a PC mag circa 1995, and it was just about the only one that could honestly be described as above average for the era. Graphically very basic, but very tight, involving gameplay and a worthwhile challenge if you have a spare 20 minutes or so.
The texturing and detailing are pretty good but the map is very cramped. You'll frequently get stuck on little details or want to pass through spots only find there's just barely too little room, which is frustrating. Ammo is quite low, so you'll have to think carefully about how you use it. Which isn't a bad thing at all, it's a different experience than usual. There are a few new sounds (replacing the pistol, shotgun, and chaingun noises), all of which sound absolutely terrible. Overall though, the experience is okay. It's a short but moderately challenging map that will take a few tries to complete and isn't a waste of 10-15 minutes.
Overall, good job! Thanks Josh for making this and giving me a shoutout in the credits.
I played this on HMP, continuous, and with GZDoom. This WAD certainly hits a lot of the same (awesome) notes of Doom E1 without getting too close to the originals, and I think improves the final fight in E1M8. It would get a 5 star rating except for two overall problems:
--There are decent stretches of map with a lot of the same wall texture The opening area in E1M1 and the exterior wall in E1M5 are examples of this.
--In E1M6 and 7, there are a few hallways where it looks like I was supposed to approach from the other direction, and the monsters were either set to Ambush or behind two sound blocking walls. Maybe split the orientations next time so half the monsters are facing one exit and half are facing the other way.
This WAD is definitely worth the time to play through, and it ends the way E1 should have ended.
I played on Hurt Me Plenty, continuous.
What I Did Not Like
- A few alignment issues
- I encountered a couple very odd bugs
- Secrets were very easy, even simplistic at times
- I found "Mouse-look encouraged" to be inaccurate. It's definitely necessary to max, and I'm almost positive necessary to beat a few maps (shootable switches). Still, I only used it like five times the entire megawad.
- Some areas underdetailed - long stretches of same texture
- A relatively weak set of maps in about the low to mid 20s
- Props for custom music all the way through, but I found it a little repetitive and indistinct
- A noticeable number (but not a noticeable percentage) of barons of hell that were used somewhat annoyingly (grind)
- Map 32 gets a pass because it's bonus material, but I didn't like it at all
What I Did Like
- Everything else
- The fact that everything in "What I Did Not Like" is basically a nitpick
- Awesome level design and flow in most cases
- Brilliant visuals all the way through
- Advanced elements used well, rather than just shoving ZDoomisms in my face for the heck of it
- Fair and challenging gameplay - the borderline slaughter situations were well done
- The ammo crisis basically disappeared once I got the first backpack. From that point on, I basically always had 600 cells. That may also explain why I thought a few later maps were underwhelming. Perhaps I'll replay with pistol starts.
- I particularly enjoyed the maps that were more or less "cities."
- This is among my favorite Doom things ever.