Eternity is a great example of a sequel that is better in virtually all regards to its predecessor. The maps are more polished and detailed. Their layouts are also more refined, with interesting level themes and architecture that keep each map unique and memorable. Most importantly, the difficulty is harder with more enemies and deadlier traps.
This rise in difficulty is most noticeable in the first few levels. Similar to the beginning levels of Thy Flesh Consumed, you will need to take great care of an abundance of enemies with dwindling supplies. While it does ease off later on, difficulty all around is still a decent bit higher than Serenity, so if you had any trouble playing Serenity you may want to tone down the difficulty level. You can get most of your arsenal earlier on compared to Serenity, so long as you pay attention for secrets. Keeping your eyes open and paying attention to your surroundings is also more important than ever for Eternity, and not just for fighting the enemies and avoiding the map hazards. Several otherwise inconspicuous lifts will be denoted by the presence of white bars along the wall. Sometimes this leads to secrets, other times it is the way forward. Several times you may also be put into fights where you have to deal with both monsters and the map working against you simultaneously. You will have to act fast and choose your targets wisely if you want to make it out of each fight alive.
There isn't much more to say about Eternity that hasn't already been said about Serenity. It took a bit longer to beat and it is certainly harder, but the levels are still simple but pleasant to look at and have an intense and clever gameplay focus. If you liked Serenity you are almost definitely going to love Eternity.
lots of fun, but in the last room, when i pressed the switch that opens the part which contains the arachnotron, instead of going for the exit, i used the teleporter, which ended up closing the door that lead to the arachnotron, and i couldnt find a way to open it again.
Done with these settings:
- Crispy Doom 5.2
- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
- Saves every 10 minutes or so.
Important note: The wad is almost fully playable in Crispy Doom or complevel 2, but due to two inaccessible doors which are part of progress, maps 03 and 04 cannot be completed without cheats. Because of that, ZDoom is the source port to be used like the author said in the text file, or else for PRBoom+ users I suggest to use this patch file that fix them. Thanks to WH-Wilou84 for sending me it, though Alfonzo made it for this thread. Also, other specifications about what's recommended to play this wad will be described below.
This is a solid episode of mid-sized maps for those who fancy Alien Vendetta in its semi-slaughtery way. Same for its visual design, the wad features mostly a similar texture arrangement from the earlier and latest episodes from AV, ranging from techbases and industrial factories to underground caverns in a lite hellish context that gave me some nice throwbacks. It apparently includes new textures, but their purpose don't seem to stand out in any particular context, more like a complement to the stock ones, and to be honest they went unnoticed during my playthrough. I did see the blue Wolf3d texture usage as part of colour variation among other details, a modest appearance though, which was neat. If something cannot be overlooked is detailing, specifically the part that refers to "things". Users of source ports that allow to turn off infinite height will have it softer to maneuver around, because of dead trees and hanging corpses out of the FOV you can get stuck in. I understand they are part of the transition from man-made structures to more natural landscapes, yet they can be potential annoyances in later maps. It's a little slip in design, given the existence of many ports that support this wad, and regardless of the author's recommendation, not everyone is going to stick with it. Anyways, I liked the midis, they certainly fit in their maps except the one in map 04, it's a beautiful calm track but not for outdoor areas, in my opinion.
Vae Victus is only short in number of maps, but it's plagued of monsters to kill, assuming you're ready to dispatch every meat shield in the road. Difficulty is forgiving for the skilled player, there isn't much in the way of pressure or hectic encounters as long as you have your feet on the ground, literally speaking. I did notice how limited in ammo are some maps, requiring berserk usage specially from pistol starts. Also there is an oddity in the 4th map, all of the weapons minus berserk are multiplayer-only, and while you'll eventually steal the shotgun and chaingun from zombies, all of the cell packs are of no utility, which indicates the author missed to place weapons in single player. Still, what's more strange is the sheer absence of the BFG throughout the wad, not that you'll really need it. On another side, the wad is easily comparable to the two wads the author got inspiration of: the aforementioned Alien Vendetta in its design structures, hallways connected by compartments (of which resources are located and typically small intruders too), few switch/key hunts involving backtrack and mostly the kind of meaty incidental combat where you either stay and fight or escape and camp, which is up to the player's will. The mapset gets more in the vein of Deus Vult later, when the bigger areas are meant to be explored in depth, and killing everything turns a bit more time-consuming and less obligatory, besides monsters completely out of the player's aim. The penultimate map is where this wad excels, although I must admit the initial area is a chore to navigate. Nevertheless, it's a decent romp in difficulty, the skinned walls room is the first fun lock-in trap, followed by some crowd-herding in order to eliminate the primary targets. It's unfortunate that the last map is a bit of an anticlimax after the previous longer map, which could have served perfectly as a closure to the wad.
Secret-wise, if you wonder why you still haven't found any of the 13 secrets in the third map, don't worry, 10 are on top of crates the author probably forgot to untag. Maxing the map is impossible due to that, though. Outside of that, the secrets don't require much skill to find, if anything you'll be ok with humping suspicious walls, pistol starters will definitely appreciate the berserk in map 04. For favourite maps, that's hard to tell, I honestly don't have any highlight whatsoever, I liked all of the maps pretty much the same, except for the underwhelming map 07. I also wonder why they don't have names, huh...
Overall, it's fairly enjoyable in what it offers, I'd recommend it more for the casual player rather than the one looking for a new challenge, but still should deliver some relaxing grind with bits of slaughtery if you're open to it, just don't expect anything bizarre. Oh and, non-ZDoom maxers, remember to turn off autoaim to try to kill those snipers from afar in map 05, although in Crispy Doom it was still impossible to reach them :/ ... My rate is 7/10.
Valhalla is a dark industrial techbase level that almost immediately sucked me in with its bleak atmosphere and amazing ambient music. Gameplay wise this level isn't too complex with its rather simple monster encounters that in a few spots provided a fair challenge for me on Ultra Violence. My only issues with Valhalla is that there are a few spots where the detailing can impede movement and cause pressing a necessary switch to be awkward.