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THE ABYSS

   (26 reviews)
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Who cares about some corny story line, who reads it anyway but the geeks who write it. SCREW IT!! Just play the f#%$&&*! thing. These are still the best maps ever made...4 DOOM.


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Summer Deep

  

This is a decent enough megawad if you're in the mood for some knockabout fun which won't push you anywhere near your limits. 

 

Most of the levels have under 100 monsters even on UV, and many have closer to 50. In that respect, and in its very compact and straightforward nature, it's very reminiscent of Perdition's Gate.

 

I completed it in around five hours and only died three times on UV, though in retrospect ought to have used pistol starts for a better challenge.

 

A bare three stars is maybe a bit on the harsh side - closer to 7/10 probably.

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galileo31dos01

·

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 5.2.

- Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Not everyday I see much appreciation for the earliest era of mapping, as many people have acknowledged its primitive essence and moved on to more contemporary stuff. However, from time to time I find relics that could still keep enjoyable for anyone, such as this solid piece of work from 1995. The Abyss is a collection of maps that look like ripped off from the Master Levels, except by just two authors, one who passed away a year ago. This does have a conceptual theme that can be extracted from the maps themselves, as some sort of dungeons and/or mines you explore in depth, though in short periods of time. Apparently, the authors set a series of goals regarding to the aesthetic side, and that could be noted perfectly. Sure, the texturing is minimalist, most of it is green marble, wood, grey rocks, besides a few custom ones (most notably the cross on the wall) and colorful windows from Heretic, but a lot of care in alignments, sometimes placed dynamically. Other bigger contrasts are lighting and geometry variation, both giving the maps a classic appeal, less boxy design (lots of spiraled stairs!) and more interactive with the environment. You'll find more than one example of light switches a la "The Focus", comically useful to see the intruders better. This wad comes with several tracks of no genre in particular, including a waltz-piano song, but most maps don't have custom music or uses recycled iwad tracks. I would suggest to add them on your own, thankfully I had a pack that a fellow user sent me a while ago. 

 

It's kind of amusing how these maps work as a whole. For a megawad that creates the impression of having no connection between each map, there's a "slightly" obvious sense of continuity that anyone is going to notice regardless of their gameplay decisions. More specifically in how supplies are distributed, leaning towards comfort for continuous players, and those who decide to pistol start will have to conform with a very limited arsenal depending on the map, sometimes only stolen from zombies and other times scavenging through secrets and ignoring enemies, while they keep filling in other types of ammunition without nothing to use them. This, however, can be interpreted as a sort of "challenge", even though the maps favor a casual easy experience. Rarely you come upon a tense situation, although I saw myself praying not get chipped to death a few times, or sandwiched by barons. Progression on the other side might put an impatient player off in cases, often requiring some switch/key hunting or random walls to push, but the key is to take a good look at the environment (or the automap, if that's possible), most if not every piece of wall minimally different from the rest leads to somewhere, and at least you could find alternative paths to complete the maps, which implies non-linearity in a silly way, if that's your thing. Since the maps are short, taking no more than 10-15 minutes blind, it's nothing to feel offended in my opinion. 

 

Secret-wise, expect them to be simple and contain from just a few stimpacks and maybe a zombie inside, to an essential weapon to defend yourself from big threats. The majority are hinted, just think of a typical 90's wad in that regards. I must admit though, a few were very cleverly hidden, like in one I needed to pay attention to the lighting contrasts in a room. For favourite maps, not going to pick any in particular, as I enjoyed them all pretty much the same, even if I wasn't so fond of the gameplay in a few later maps. I only wished there was a more proper conclusion to the wad, apparently the authors lost interest in filling the rest of the slots, but we get what we get.

 

Overall, a neat antique wad I'd recommend to any player akin to the iwad difficulty, or if someone can't (or doesn't want to) afford the Master Levels, this will hopefully fill the space. I mean, don't be fooled by the age, sometimes a little 90's simplicity is good for the soul. My rate is 7/10. 

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Guest

  
A nice set of maps by Mr Elusive. This guy rocks!

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Zalewa

  
Holy, this WAD is good. A classic experience in its pure form. Much attention was paid to visuals, including the texture alignment. It shows that this is a 1996 WAD, but given the year of production, this WAD is top quality - definitely on the same level as IWADs. Playing this is fun: there are good fights and non-linear, but well-connected layouts are abundant. Difficulty is low due to over-abundance of health items.

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Guest

  
It cool, I think there's a lack of bullet rounds for map01, lol. Wished I have more patience. ~2/5

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Doomkid

  
Map05 was my favorite. There are a lot of maps here that are really plain.. I would have loved the shit outta this back in the day, 5* easily, but looking at it like a cynical asshole, I'll give it a 3.

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NuMetalManiak

  
holy 90's this is good. not everything is interesting but as a whole it's fun and easy to play through.

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mrthejoshmon

  
One of the better 90's PWADs, gets a little stale after MAP05 though.

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Marcaek

  
This was a fun but flawed oldschool wad. Kind of feels like just a collection of maps without a theme or overarching idea if that bothers you.

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Csonicgo

  
FINALLY! After years of being virtually unknown to almost everyone but a handful of doomers, the marble dungeons of The Abyss are in the archives. If only they hadn't moved to Quake so soon. Play these with solo-net for "modern" challenge. 5/5

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