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Bloodstain

   (73 reviews)
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Full 32-map megawad. See BStainfo.txt for further information.


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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9.

- Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous combined with a pistol start mindset.

- Saves every 10 minutes or so.

 

Important note: it's supposed to be compatible with complevel 2. However, a quick research in the forum showed me that there're some issues in the intended complevel, therefore I chose 9 to play the whole thing in sequence. Whatever you choose, expect broken monster teleport lines in a couple maps. 

 

First of all, Bloodstain is an impressive megawad of beautiful super-detailed design layouts. Thematically joins the Plutonian architectural design in the first set of maps, such as vines, dark bricks, lots of grey and brown, various naturalistic environments rather than techbases. Then it's all about medieval castles of shades of brown, culminating in ginormous grey gothic castles with bits of hot red rocks and exploration on lava (which doesn't hurt, surprisingly), more like in another dimension, since at some point you're traversing pure flesh and gore, and after that, the void. There's some icy maps in between, which I liked too. And oh boy how amazing are the little details, like the floating lampposts in the brown tall castle from map 17, or the multiple faux 3D bridges where, I must say, it is possible to fall in between the steps like you would in real life, not that it's funny in any way. I really like the geometry variation in the maps, even though you wander through caves and, naturally, corridors, there is nothing samey about the design, at least from my perspective, it's like each map has its own personality. My only gripe is how geometry can become a disadvantage in certain maps, the clearest example is map 28, I could count at least 10 elastic collisions in the same room, wow. The soundtrack is a wide selection of tracks we all probably know from wads like Scythe and Alien Vendetta, some ROTT midis, this song by Blur called "Song 2", and more. Honorable mentions are TNT04 and Plutonia 2 map 14 midis, because those are my favourite Doom tracks :P 

 

This is a weird case of a mapset, it has everything in aesthetics to accompany the same quality of gameplay, but that's not always the case here. The style of combat is actually diverse, from casual instances of frontal fights, to extreme carnage in confined spaces, and everything in between. I'd think of Alien Vendetta or Scythe's third episode as a comparison, Plutonia too, there's some obvious homages of those scattered in the maps, but the general adventurous/murderous grindy bloodshed of that era is present here, along with many situations of slaughter-esque, choreographic-based fights in arenas of all sizes. Usual starts evolve surpassing an army of dudes (mostly imps, cacodemons and former humans) to reach your first available weapon, and that becomes a serious task in further maps where earlier monsters are also mid to high-tiers in packs waiting to unleash their power on you. Progression, despite being mostly linear key hunts, comes at the cost of multiple deaths in order to build a route to where resources are lying, which can be tense and fun, if sometimes very slow in this wad. Things get real demanding in the middle episode, not to mention how hazardous is the cramped combat in this wad, specifically when all sorts of enemies join together to shred you before you realize what's going on. It's ok to put pressure from many sides, but situations like chains of hitscanners inside a small square or instapop barons/revenants in a very narrow corridor, combined with questionable geometry, are merely RNG rollercoasters, and that kind of combat isn't my thing. Anyway, about opposition, if something can't be ignored is the vast number of circumstances where this can't deliver it's full potential thanks to some inconsistency in their placement. What you see is what you get, except they don't always get to your spot, which isn't the monsters' fault, but the enormous amount of block lines that impede them to track the marine. This is extremely crucial, since it trivializes a LOT of the encounters, whether they become boring "walls" of meat or subject of obvious infight, almost like scripted shows. I'm not opposed of the infighting though, it was fun to trigger as many ambushes as possible to solve their issues on their own, and helps a lot when ammo is tight, because I noticed weapon progression can be wonky sometimes for pistol starts, like secret SSGs or BFGs when they would theoretically be more optimal as mandatory. On a semi-positive side, there exist a bunch of interesting concepts and gimmicks, such as to prepare yourself in god mode for a full slaughter arena; take a blur sphere to handle a sudden zombiemen apocalypse; lead a spiderdemon to perforate a bunch of revenants; activate switches to watch some imps being tortured, which are some sort of obscure indication of another gimmick with barrels, you'll probably realize too late about it. Good or bad execution is in the eye of the beholder, the standout for me is a finale where the platform lowers into a pool of corpses and, you guessed it, a squadron of savage archviles flood the space and turns the arena into an uncontrollable madness in a blink of an eye. I'm still not sure what to think of that section, it's doable but far from fair, I would have preferred to have the archviles introduced part by part. Whatever, I'll never forget about the constant fire in my screen...

 

The megawad comes with three new enemies. One is an upgraded baron of hell, also known as "Hellstorm Archon" in Realm667. In combat, he gets to be a douche in tight quarters. It takes time to adjust your dodging since he now shoots a second fireball, which also means that in infighting he's able to smash up to four-five revenants, for example. The downside is their usage, typically found (un)protected by block lines inside a cubicle, or at the top of a lift waiting in a tiny room with no chance to avoid damage. The concept of this new baron is cool though. Another new douche is the Z-Sec, a tanky sergeant wearing a helmet. He shoots in bursts, three shotgun shots. Yes, a nasty opponent, the only issue is that a close SSG shot might not be enough to kill him if blockmap gets in the way, which was annoying sometimes. Last but not least the Afrit, a flying red hell noble, though in this wad it shoots just fireballs, thank goodness. They usually appear in family, and take a bunch of ammo to kill, specially if your shot push them far away. I guess their strongest usage is previous the last map, other than that their appearance is generally low.

 

Secret-wise, super useful ones might not be easy to miss, but you really don't want to miss them. A SSG or BFG can make situations less awkward if found in time, there is one special chain of secrets to get a necessary BFG in one map that requires an atypical trick to get a necessary key, hope you find out the solution! Anyway, that's my standout secret, we need more of those in non-ZDoom stuff. Favourite maps are 10, 18, 23, 24, 25, and 30, while the rest have their ups and downs. The secret maps deserve a mention too, particularly map 32 for its visual content. 

 

The maps where it's possible to miss kills are 06, 18, and 29, monsters that failed to teleport in somewhere. 

 

Overall, while not outstanding on its gameplay, this is still one of the most impressive-looking wads I've seen so far, that could be a good reason to at least try on HNTR or HMP, because UV can turn head-scratching later, not suitable for casual blind runs. I'm honestly glad with the experience, it ended in good terms. My rate is 6,5/10. 

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NightFright

  
It's maybe not epic, but certainly very well done. My favorite part are the maps until stage 20 since you progress nicely there and difficulty seems to be made for the average Doomer. The hell levels following after that are quite hard and turn more and more into BFG-zerging from MAP25 onwards. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I kept playing because architecture is nice and it often feels a lot like the first Quake (also due to texture choices). This is Cacoward material.

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Zalewa

  
And... another excellent, well done WAD that is marred by incredibly stupid spike in difficulty on all maps since MAP25. 5* for maps =MAP25 because of fail gameplay.

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unidenti7ied

  
I like this very much! Thank you for this epic megawad :) 5/5

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subject_119

  
Highly overrated.

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Spectre01

  
Good megawad with some very nice difficulty progression and visual aesthetics. Though I feel as though maps 29 and 30 aren't as epic of an ending as they could've been. Also, lots of monsters can't walk through doors in various maps. 4/5

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schwerpunk

  
Consistently amusing encounters; great midi choices; eye-popping detailing; excellent difficulty level scaling.

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joe-ilya

  
Gourgeous level design all the way, the only map I dislike is MAP31 because it's 2 big mazes that you revisit twice. But it's just one map which sucked. The wad overall looks like coffee break for the first 2 episodes and sunlust as E3, both are good.

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trrobin

  
A really great set of levels that have clearly had a lot of care and attention put into them. Architecture, item and monster placement are all top notch. On UV the later levels can get pretty nuts so be ready or play on hmp first! 5 stars well deserved.

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NuMetalManiak

  
I have to say this is amazing work. tons of fun indeed, and all maps flow very well.

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Dynamo

  
finally a good modern megawad, at least from what I played so far. good job.

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Fonze

  
Legendary is the word. Awesome maps; absolutely beautiful detailing and tons of fun encounters. I highly recommend this wad!

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Bryan T

  
Good looking with lots of action. I haven't gotten lost much, so that's good (I'm only up to map19). You have to take your time with this one, lots of ambushes and enemies in precarious places. UV is quite challenging and thankfully he added difficulty levels. If I wasn't playing Guncaster, I'd probably start on HMP and then play again on UV. Certainly worth more than one playthrough.

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roadworx

  
Really freakin' good! I mean, there is a lack of ammo (a.k.a I'm bad at video games), but overall it's GREAT.

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AnonimVio

  
Owsum.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Yura04kizel · Posted
      Laggy hell with 32k monsters and too much invulnerability spheres. Just... total vomit.
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Insanity, with voodoo dolls (see second screenshot).  I get the idea of a shooting gallery if that rocks your boat, but 6000 monsters behind railings- as far as the eye can see, FFS! My PC crawled when I looked towards the invuln spheres (someone said 32 k of them and you can't avoid picking up thousands at a time). In the end I cheated with god mode and no-clipping, and waded in among the chaingunners until I got bored.  
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Simple, clearly a first wad.  All on the flat with big, brightly lit, and architecturally implausible rooms. The first map has two rooms, the second map one, and the third map one plus a kind of exit lobby. You can do one of two things - just run past the monsters and finish (I did it in 35 seconds), or have a bit of fun killing the monsters first. No noticable bugs. I hope the author will go on (or went on) to greater things.
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