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50 Shades of Graytall

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50 Shades of Graytall is a project designed around creating maps with interesting architecture and gameplay despite being limited to a selection of arguably hideous textures. Started in response to a silly post made in the Editing forum which led I and several others to attempt maps using the (slightly edited) rules in the post, hoping the result would be decent. Eventually opened up to the community and here we are! Hope you enjoy the maps and if you don't hey Doom projects cant be graytall the time


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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9

- Ultra-Violence

- Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or dobu's traps so.

 

Phew, enough DOORTRAK for a year... I mean, a very well done megawad consisting of a special limited texture selection and diverse gameplay. That this is product of a meme in the community is out of my knowledge, since 50 Shades was launched way before I registered in the forum. Joke or not, the concept is intriguing: only the popularly acclaimed "ugliest" textures to create interesting maps, focused on what mappers can do with such strict rule so their creations are appealing in every sense possible. Because we are here to judge, I'll say the results are really impressive in general. The mappers involved brought tons of ingenious ideas to contrast each texture and make the best of them. I'm someone who wasn't very familiar with these three textures, more specific with DOORTRAK and GRAYTALL, until now. The first one has to be my least favourite, it's exclusive to doors, borders and certain structures like the tunnel in NoisyVelvet's map, which was combined with hall of mirrors in a very creative way. On the other side, GRAYTALL covers the majority of layouts' walls. It's partially plain as a single texture when its red stripes are too near from each other, in my opinion, not so much when they're spared or only the gray part is visible. However, the usage is generally decent due to light variation, the darker the better, also contrasted with FIREBLU's striking visual, the last texture that stands out in every context. There're also a few flats and ceilings to add some extra colour and some neat pitch black shadows, but another important complement is that amazing space sky. Whoever did it deserves an award, I absolutely loved how some mappers exploited it as either a texture replacement for switches, or simply the void. DGM's map is an example where it can be appreciated in its essence. The music selection isn't listed in the text file for some reason, I can say many are recognizable at first "glance", then others more speedy or chill midis according to the case, generally fitting. 

 

Gameplay is serious business. It's the kind that keeps you on your toes pretty much all of the time, and entails acquired skills to play on UV. The interesting part is that each map was designed by a different person (minus a collaboration map), therefore the diversity, many of which I have experienced their content before. For those who are new to the mappers involved, you'll get to find their names in the tally, or else on the internet. Naturally, I had expectations of what some of the mappers were capable of. The strategic set piece encounters from Ribbiks' map 12, or Mouldy's introduction into the slaughter-ish camp in his map 08, are examples of nothing to be disappointed at. Same for Mechadon's massive map 10 which serves fantastic non-linearity for days, and Joshy in his classic hectic start followed straightly by slaughter including a couple nonsense intermissions (more specifically, pain elementals in the open). Jimmy's remake of Entryway is a fun starter, easy to take your first steps into the new world of unpopular-only textures. For the rest of mappers, I had a few vague conceptions of their styles in other community projects, that after playing this megawad I will be able to recognize them. I know Xaser likes to play with circular very tall towers, his map is a huge infinite symbol whose gameplay is partially engaging, like the RL vs. pain elementals trap. Dobu Gabu Maru must have been an archvile in another life, otherwise it's out of my knowledge why such a mean-spirited map. It's ingenious, let's get that straight, the way he created architecture out of the sky and shadows and all that intricate geometry, which is put to maximum devilish reasons, and I liked the frantic setups even if it was near impossible to feel comfortable in the limited available space. TimeOfDeath did a decent boss map, the mix between resource and layout tightness. His etiquette two-(BFG)shots incidental mini setups against cyberdemons is present, they only persisted in the same exact contexts more than I like to see, but there're more variants of hard setups to experience too, and includes a full view of the mister of your dreams, or nightmares (I'm talking about the giant dude at the end, ok?)... On another side, there're some ups and downs from the rest of maps. I have to praise NoisyVelvet for such a great exploratory level, including the aforementioned tunnel of hall of mirrors, and a creepy face at the end. I also dig Megalyth imposing FIREBLU room with several setups for pressure-inducing. The one by Marcaek (not the credits map) left a sour taste in my mouth at first, since I'm not a fan of running away from monsters all the time. It gradually turned more palatable as I became more comfortable with the concept. Breezerp did a solid short BFG-spamming map, even though it's not my type of gameplay. Those by Quakis, Alfonzo, Ezormer and shockblast4 are somewhat similar, in regards to progressive difficulty and resource management, all of them enjoyable in their own way. Last but not least, the bonus map, a throwback into the old-school style of congested rooms, which can only be understood after a full playthrough. Don't try this map blind without a sense of exploration, if you have touched any Hell Revealed wad before you'll know what I'm talking about...

 

Secret-wise, to begin with, depending on the author, some went for something more exploratory full of secrets, while others dismissed the idea of placing at least one (Joshy, ahem...), nothing wrong with it though. It's wasn't easy to find all of them in the bigger maps, but still fun to be encouraged to explore and find extra portions that covered half of the map. I'm not sure why a couple of secrets in Mechadon's map are not hinted at all, like one required to shoot random FIREBLU, or maybe I needed glasses to detect a tiny difference between all of the FIREBLU walls, no idea. As to the bonus map, well it was expected to have important "mandatory" secrets, but it seems like not everyone moved on from the HR era, by the time this megawad was being made. Just don't go too far if you haven't found the, big thing, yet. Anyway, for favourite maps I'll pick 03, 06, 08 and 12.

 

On the subject of bugs, I found out that in map 08 a random monster from the first ambush might not pop up, could be a pinky or a hell knight. In map 15 it is possible to get stuck in the last step of the spiraled stairs, more specifically the point where a bunch of pinkies teleport in, the step never raised on my first try. There is also an unintentional HOM in the tower of sergeants. Lastly, not a bug per se but I found it weird that the chaingunners in the blue key trap in map 16 were stuck in their cubicles, still able to shoot, because there're teleport linedefs in the borders.

 

Overall, just a lovely mapset I recommend to anyone out there. Be smart and choose the appropriated difficulty, I'm sure lower skills are more accessible to casual players. Also, granted you'll end up loving FIREBLU if you haven't yet. One last thing, try to find the caged dog in map 07, it looks a bit like a floating skull on fire (; . My rate is 8/10.

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Gato606

  

Not bad for a minimalistic project with the challenge of very limited textures palette.  The design and architecture looked nice.  For some reason, the floor and sky texture didn't show properly for me when playing it on GZDoom with the HXRTC mod.  It was enjoyable till the slaughterfest maps appear, I think that broke the balance the maps had on the starting maps.

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Gallic00

  

Was very enjoyable.  The maps were varied in style and gameplay so I was never bored.

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Aldaraia

  

Surprisingly good mapset. Despite my initial expectations, the severely limit texture choices weren't much of a bother for most of the levels. There are times where the minimalist textures almost fade away from oversaturation, leaving you with a heightened focus on gameplay aspects (all which are great). Some maps are maddening, others - masterpieces. I wasn't expecting a space battle emulation in MAP14 though.

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bzzrak

  
Starts out quite good, but becomes a bunch of goddamn unplayable slaughtermaps towards the end. Meh.

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trrobin

  
A very mixed bag. The textures are obviously unpleasant, which was the point, although it doesn't stop them from bringing down the tone. Gameplay wise, the first levels get progressively better, peaking at the excellent level 10 only to go downhill after that, sometimes quite severely. You're left with an average wad that could have been saved by ending at map 10. Pity.

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Bryan T

  
There's no such thing as "too hard on UV". The only thing I don't like about this is the weird looking doors. It kept me wanting to play, so it gets a 5 from me.

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molten_

  
some maps are creative, and gameplay is decent, but nothing can make those textures look good. sorry.

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Guest

  
Game play is good. The obnoxious textures, or lack there of, are very annoying.

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Guest

  
Didn't like the sky under Doomguy's feet.Made me want to pee.

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mrthejoshmon

  
An ok concept but (obviously) an assault on the eyes. The set does play well and is as fun as Graytall can get, a little bit slaughtery but not too unfair.

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Doomkid

  
I thought the concept was cute and original, and considering the textures given they are wonderful in the visual front. The gameplay was great on some, on some it was just asinine. Some of those maps names made me laugh my ass off though. This deserves a solid 3.5*

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Guest

  
Shitty idea with shitty execution. So tired of all these gimmick wads lately, whatever happened to making something that's good on it's own? The only redeeming factor about this turd is the title screen. -Mr Delilah

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AnonimVio

  
I thought this rocks.

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Demonologist

  
I thought the same.

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Guest

  
I thought this sucked.

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NuMetalManiak

  
yay another mapset that delves into super hard gameplay at a point just like everything else I've played this year. 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16 are great, everything else less so.

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Eris Falling

  
Too hard on UV

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Guest

  
Unusual mapset, only 3 wall-textures are used. The maps live from great architecture, lighting, layout and the authors creativity. The slaughter fights in later maps... ok, I wished these maps were 'normal' maps.

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Dime

  
fireblu seizures hurt body, dis is bad.

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Megalyth

  
These maps made me throw up out of my eyes 0/5

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Guest

  
Is there a different texture pack that will make this look better?Gameplay id decent, but the graphics are awful!

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AD_79

  
Fantastic mapset. also lol at people not being able to handle a little difficulty and rating the set low because of it

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Guest

  
^That's entirely too broadbrushed. Non-slaughter fans will want to play the first 5-7 maps (6 and 7 definitely apply lots of pressure though). EVERYONE should play Map10, it's a masterpiece, period, regardless of having over 800 monsters. You can try lower skill if the slaughter sections seem like too much. 4* for accomplishing maps that look reasonable, Map10, and some other decent outings.

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Zalewa

  
First of all I want to say that MAP10 deserves 5*, period. It's epic and also a borderline slaughter map but it's done in a fair fashion and monsters are laid out evenly. Moreover, all maps are visually impressive. Unfortunately, this WAD has too many dooumb slaughterfest maps with completely bullshit situations. I don't find being molested by armies of monsters to be pleasurable. Everything else is great, so if the maps were toned down on monster count it would definitely be at least a 4* WAD.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Classicgamer6 · Posted
      An amazing hellbase style level mixed with a bit of cave exploring, utilizes ZDoom effects to create a nice atmospheric environment to play in. I played on UV and found the difficulty to be fair while still presenting a challenge in a few spots. Overall it's pretty good but could of ended a little better as I am not a fan of arena endings.
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