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Urania

   (42 reviews)
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You need Plutonia IWAD for this. Plot: Urania - a planet that suddenly appeared in the solar system. Many years ago there lived advanced civilizations, and now it is teeming with monsters. You were sent to Urania as part of the international battalion, in order to eliminate the cause of the monsters spawning from portals which terrorize the population and prevent us us excavate on the nearby planets. But now your comrades are killed and you are left alone face to face with an army of monsters on an alien planet.


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Gato606

  

Can be valued a try to do a sequel to Plutonia, but the execution of this WAd in the long run makes it very tedious, absurd enemy count, chaingunners in every single corner and switch hunting makes it unbearable after you progress in the maps.  Maps complexity goes wrong when you get lost most of the time, having to use the automap constantly or even using the help of GZDoom acvanced map features.  Got so bored that I decided to play this WAD with Russian Overkill mod to have a bit of fun playing it.

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DoomShark

· Edited by DoomShark

  

Played at UV.

 

:| This isn't for you if you usually play at HMP or easier.

:) Good gameplay, enemies around each corner.

:) Ammo, armor and health supplies are good.

:( Awkward map design, you'll get confused a lot while moving between different parts of maps and you'll use the TAB key too often.

:( Many times you will be unable to open colored doors despite that you already have the keys, frustrating!!

:( Too many switch flipping spoiled the gameplay and causing confusion.

:( Most likely you'll use cheat codes a lot to help you figure out how to exit a map!

:( You cannot exit some maps until you find a well hidden secret!!!, Map03 for instance.

:( You cannot exist some maps until you walk on some spots that contain some items that you probably don't need or

 want to spare for later.

 

 

 

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aargh

  

Difficult for all the wrong reasons:
- Not enough amunition, at least when pistol starting.
- Very few medikits; it's common to fight a tough fight with 3 % of health and no medikit in sight.
- And there's a hitscanning chaingunner on every. Single. Corner.

This turns the gameplay into a boring quickload fest.

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GarrettChan

  

UV continuous with saves

Port: DSDA-Doom v0.10.0 -complevel 4

Total IGT: 16:16:52

Personal Difficulty Evaluation: 3.4 (3.1 = Hell Revealed, 4.0 = Stardate 20X6)

Personal Rating: 4.9 (out of 10)

 

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Didn't cross the 1000-minute run time mark, which is sad and happy to me at the same time :P

 

Personally, the difficulty of the fights is not the reason I rated this so low. The difficult fights are one of the best parts of the WAD and it does give the player quite some uncomfortable situations and it requires the players to sort these situations out with some thoughts in mind, rather than taking care everything from a foothold slowly.

 

The problematic designs are mainly come from the structure of the levels, and a lot of these designs can totally be used as counter examples for future mappers. Also, the problem is expanded due to the length of the maps and many of the maps last around 40 minutes IGT to finish it, you'll probably miss something or forget something in the process to make it more tedious and frustrating.

 

1. Hiding essential switches in obscure places. While playing this WAD, you have to search the back side of the pillars or sometimes a red switch is coped into a red brick wall etc. for actual progress. Though I'm not saying switches should be seen in one glance, but it's annoying that you later realize you didn't look at a particular place and missed a switch.

 

2. What a switch does is not obvious and you need to search been-to-places to see what's new. This itself is not very big of a deal when it occasionally happens, but it happens a lot of the time throughout the WAD, and due to the length and size of the maps, backtracking to many places you've been to, that's a not very interesting way to do things.

 

3. Using colored strips to match colored blockage instead of requiring the actual key. If you didn't know what I'm talking about, this is an example: there's a switch with Red Keycard strips next to it, which means it lowers the bars with Red Keycard strips on it, but it doesn't actually require the Red Keycard to activate this switch. If you really wanted to do this, use other texture or implement custom texture to do it and keep it consistent. Inside this WAD, there's no consistency when this will happen, sometimes it could be Skull Key strips, and sometimes it could be Keycard strips. This goes against the first instinct of many Doom players, or you can just say this is not speaking the "Doom language" properly. This is by far the biggest problem I have with these maps. I'm not against novel designs, but the designs shouldn't be completely out of the framework of some normal standards.

 

Other than these, there are a few homage maps to Plutonia and TNT, and those homage designs are pretty good and I liked them. My favorite map is, obviously, Map16: Rehab, and we definitely need more sequels to TNT Map22: Habitat, unironically :P

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SilverMiner

  

Cool maps

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Rathori

  

Seems fun at first, gets tedious to the extreme very fast. Most of the levels are over 1 hour long, switch- and keyhunting puzzles are way too obscure, and on several maps finding getting 100% secrets is easier than getting even the first key. Combat is good, perhaps just a bit slaughterish in some cases. Took me 26:24:21 to beat this WAD, not counting the reloads.

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Hells Kitchen

  

Everything you hated about Plutonia magnified 1000x. 

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Demtor

· Edited by Demtor

  

This is a quality wad but prepare to die unless you heed the warnings about the difficulty settings. HMP will in fact, hurt you plenty. UV is for those looking to have more of an extremely frustrating time. That said, there are a handful of gems to be found in this map set along with a few down right mean ones. On the average though, this is really good quality stuff if you don't mind having to spend a little extra time looking for switches/keys in sometimes obscure places. Beware of hitscanners in small places at odd angles. This is a Plutonia inspired affair so buckle up. It's not exactly my cup of tea but I found the creativity of this one man creation to be inspiring. If you want a detailed look into each map, I encourage you to go through the Wad of the Month write ups as we all learned how to cope with it's originality and peculiar design choices. Or, skip to then end to get a fully thought out summary of this wad.

 

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CapnClever

  

Playability notes: It is designed with vanilla limitations in mind, but avoid Chocolate Doom as I found multiple game-crashing VPOs over the course of my own playthrough: other than that, pick whatever flavor of source port suits you (prboom-plus on -complevel 4 for Final Doom). Though the maps have pistol start in mind, continuous play is recommended, as the former adds yet more challenge that may be undesirable.

 

Urania is a mapset that is difficult for difficulty's sake, and while it is incredibly good at doing this it simply does not know when to let up. The visual theme is that of Plutonia, using the very same textures and a few others, and crafts an intriguing architecture that is reminiscent of both it and TNT: Evilution. Many clever twists are included that extend vanilla gameplay far more than would otherwise be expected, producing maps that are quite long to get through in spite of their apparent size. All of this, however, is overshadowed by the intensity of the gameplay, best likened to a jigsaw puzzle of which each piece must be meticulously and carefully selected, arranged, and combined to form the full picture. While this is a valid, though uncommon, means by which Doom can be constructed, to fashion this in nearly every map becomes desensitizing, and when combined with its dense difficulty curve the experience is depreciated.


It's difficult to briefly describe what Urania provides as a mapset other than density, which itself carries undue connotations. I would do better to instead submit some overall patterns relating to said density witnessed over the course of playing:

  • Ever-present turrets, usually hitscanners or Revenants, placed in small holes or along the walls or within towers; occasionally obscured by midtextures that make it difficult or unable to see the enemy; and distinctly though infrequently exposed in an intermittent or random manner, either brought up and down using slow elevators or scattered on long walkways, capable of messing with the player's relative safety for long periods of time
  • Monster closets or teleportation activated by unnoticeable linedefs such as stairs or short jumps, or as a result of unintuitive sound sector-joining, or placed far beyond the current location; often managed in such a way that requires retreat on some level (though which direction is not always apparent)
  • Progression that requires simple yet thorough exploration, with switches hidden behind typical purview, lifts that must be followed to all destinations, and plain walking into nooks and crannies that lower a wall; as well as key-markings that don't necessarily indicate the requirement of a key, occasionally used to allow for more than three effective key-use pairings (though at times the visibility/intuition aspect is outright ignored); and repeated handling of key-switch-door triads to increase length between key points of progression
  • Enemies, often Barons or Hell Knights, placed so as to certainly delay progression: sometimes as an ammo tax, sometimes as a weapon requirement, but most often to allow the player to be inflicted by the rest of the encounter should it not yet be handled
  • Recurrent use of compact space, mostly in the form of hallways, giving the player very little room to navigate and easily bump into walls that negate speed buildup; combined with variations in height that tend to give enemies the advantage rather than the player, or sector detailing that trips up both player and monster alike
  • Occasional intermittent platforms, used for lifts or walls, impeding the ability to progress in the face of enemies that simply cannot be dodged

If several of these things sound bothersome and unenjoyable to you, then I would say that Urania is not a set you would want to play. If they do sound enjoyable and interesting to you, then you will be delighted to hear that this is how Urania is structured at its very core.

 

Some highlights of the set:

  • Maps like MAP04, MAP13, and MAP19 do a good job of keeping the player under pressure without suffocating them, with a number of ways to approach progression and a steady pace of combat.
  • Then there are maps like MAP02, MAP12, and MAP17 that really close in with specific requirements and goals, in which the player has little agency of their own and must explicitly carry out the expectations of the level.
  • Filling out the spectrum are maps like MAP10, MAP26, and MAP28 in which combat is almost an afterthought, a mere impediment to progression, and the quality of encounters suffers greatly for it.
  • MAP32 tries to be a kind of slaughter map but ultimately lacks dynamics, leading to a map that mostly contains more hundreds of enemies than it does encounter types.
  • There are a bunch of instances where progression feels incredibly lacking, where there is a sense of "one step forward, two steps back". MAP03, MAP31, and MAP22 embody this sensation.
  • By contrast, there are some well-progressed levels, like MAP09, MAP20, and MAP27, consisting of a definite flow from start to finish.
  • MAP18 is a set-piece of a map that fits what Urania does in a small package, showing that the pervading intensity can exist in small sizes, and is an oasis in the desert that comes with the rest of the pacing.
  • The finale, MAP30, is a clever double-take that employs an obvious Icon of Sin setup, averts it, and then reverts the expectation.

 

If these general observations and inferences sound more like a 3 (at least on my scale), of being quite playable while not standing out, then you'd be right. I want to be clear that these maps probably rate higher individually than they do as a single mapset (and why a simple numerical system will always lack the sufficiency of a proper recommendation). Difficulty in Doom can occur from a number of places: non-combat progression, resource scarcity, static and dynamic zones of threat, and so on. Urania excels in balancing all of these things simultaneously, which is its greatest strength but also its greatest weakness: anyone looking for only one or two types of challenge will be turned off by the rest, and while none of the aspects are exceptionally hard, it is a rare player that seeks such a degree of mental fortitude. Ultimately, there are very few moments of brilliance seen here, though also few moments of ineptitude, and as such most of these maps play favorably as far as game design is concerned.

 

What really drags Urania down is the pacing of the set. Even though many of these maps carry some subtle variations in how they are approached and progressed through, it remains that these variations are noise when compared to the enveloping signal of repeated elements, over and over again. Often this isn't felt by mapsets that lack the necessary difficulty to make it noticeable, but because Urania tries (and primarily succeeds) to bring along so many types of difficulty, it becomes numbing to deal with them over time. Every map is a puzzle, every map is a mountain, every map is a walk through the mud, every map is a blitz: with rare exception, this is the story that Urania tells. And while there are still players that will relish such a monotonous challenge, as a point of game design this is a flawed approach that engenders dissatisfaction and apathy.

 

I recommend that this mapset be handled quite slowly, never expecting to go more than 2 or 3 maps in one sitting. Play carefully and thoughtfully, and make use of markers on the automap. Maybe even play other maps in between sittings. There are unique maps to be had here, if not particularly outstanding, and if you like to be challenged then it's worth a try.

 

This was played for the Doomworld Megawad Club, and my reviews of each individual map are available in the following posts:

 

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galileo31dos01

· Edited by galileo31dos01

  

Done with these settings:

 

- Crispy Doom 3.5

- Hurt Me Plenty and Ultra-Violence.

- Continuous and many pistol starts.

- Saves.

 

Amazing megawad. I had a lot of fun, as well as a lot of anger moments, but this is totally a challenging mapset. Won't deny I raged quit several times, you have to be very patient to play this wad. As a mapset that claims to be Plutonia inspired, there are also lots of TNT homages, to the point the gameplay felt like a fusion between the two. That being said, visuals are simply Final Doom-ish, with lots of nice buildings and cool use of liquids, specially in maps 04 and 16.  

 

There are a few confusing switches in some levels, not a fan of that, it didn't really affect my gameplay in a serious bad way though. Some maps do have obtuse progression, while others are a total clear adventure/action pack. Again, patience is required. I noticed that ammo can be a problem for pistol starters, though the author recommends to play in sequence, yet ammo is meant to be used wisely and carefully. When it comes to monster placement, traps and such things, well, did I mention patience is required?. Heavy use of revenants and chaingunners, nasty I would say, annoying objectively talking. Slow approach is the way, and I personally don't have a problem with that, but that's something generally perceived as bad. I remember in map 24, the pace had to be so slow that it became tedious, as I had to be playing hide and seek all the time. Maps 29 and 32 had very brutal starts, didn't enjoy being blasted off constantly or being spitted with flying skulls in pitch darkness. 

 

Secrets are very clever, some are good, some can be hard to find. My favourite maps are in the second episode, the blue sky is just beautiful and blends good with the atmosphere. Maps 16 and 19 are in between the best ones in my opinion. 

 

So, I did enjoy this more than it looks like, it was a 9 for me back then, even though I would rate it a 7 nowadays, so maybe the appropiate number is 8/10. (sorry Rider, don't mind my numbers).

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Spectre01

  
A masterpiece of huge, non-linear map design combined with brutal action. Tests both your navigation and combat skills.

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trrobin

  
A challenging and fun wad, once you get into the swing of things. Up to that point it's quite frustrating, but be patient and you will be rewarded. It does have it's problems but it's mostly good throughout. 3.7 overall.

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Zalewa

  
WAD of absolute mental massacre. All 32 maps are long and tough. This WAD will take several days to beat. The difficulty is unrelenting, but fair. You must think carefully about your every step. This makes progressing through the WAD a great fun, actually, if you accept this kind of gameplay. What's not fun is the confusing behavior of switches, running around, and vital progression steps being better hidden than some secrets.

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AnonimVio

  
Terrible hitscan spamfest with no health in sight, ugly layouts, this looks like a broke man's Plutonia. One of the worst megawads I've played.

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Demonologist

  
An impressive one-man megawad comprised of mostly lengthy, complex and nonlinear maps with action being a mix of Plutonia and works of authors like Use3D, exposing the player to all kinds of crossfire and sporting constant desperate search for adequate supplies to deal with heavyweights abound. The difficulty mostly stays on the same [high] level which can be an additional deterrent factor given the general direction chosen, but nevertheless Urania excels in its niche, bravo.

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NuMetalManiak

  
I cannot for the life of me figure out what's good about this. this is the most speedrun-unfriendly megawad I have ever seen: there's lots of backtracking, switches where you don't have a clue what they do, and progression so obtuse the gameplay actually came to a halt sometimes. sorry but this isn't for me at all.

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Firedust

  
Awesome wad, hardcore players only. Not a slaughterfest, just very brutal monster placement.

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Voros

  
Nothing special here. Just a fun vanilla megawad.

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  • File Reviews

    • By PsychEyeball · Posted
      The most avant-garde Doom will ever get. Obviously not a WAD for everyone, the core target for such a mod is mainly people who are in video game glitches, corruptions and to some extent, creepypastas (whether that love is ironic or not). Nothing works as it is supposed to. You can hardly understand most of the things that are happening to you. Some of the custom monsters (like the hitscanning corrupted pinky) will put you on edge and keep you paranoid about the ruleset of the game.   The aesthetic of lilith.pk3 is one of a kind, horribly mangling the rendering engine of old ZDoom beyond belief to disform sprites, textures, text and even sound effects. The end result makes close to no sense, your Doom marine sprite is heavily dislocated and looks more like one of those creatures from Alien than a human being and the list goes on and on. The confused looks obviously doesn't always make for clean or concise gameplay, especially in later levels which crank the confusion up to eleven and manipulate the level geometry to do things you thought weren't possible in the game. Even basic things like crushers, slime pits or a turnstile look horribly out of shape and makes the player uncomfortable.   This is essentially what lilith boils down to: an unfamilarity to something we thought we knew by heart, a rising sense of uncomfort as the level design makes less and less sense and offering the player a new perspective on what Doom is. Don't play lilith expecting top-notch Doom gameplay, but play it for the one of a kind experience it offers you. For the better and for the worse, there are no WADs like lilith anywhere and there will never be.
    • By Skittle · Posted
      I think that the combination between shotgun and chaingun combat, and the hitscanner shootouts this WAD offers are really fun and engaging. Pinky Demons are placed in areas where they're not frustrating, (The opposite being something I see very often, nice work Romero :P.) My only issue with this WAD is that one or two of the secrets, specifically those found in the darkened tech room, are sort of esoteric. The one where you have to jump from a platform isn't the worst, but the one for the Mega-Armour is annoying and in my opinion, unfair to find.   Despite these small issues, I think that Phobos Mission Control is an excellent and exciting level to run through, and I applaud Romero for returning to the Doom Community to make new levels.
    • By top10epicfails · Posted
      this wad SAVED MY MARRIAGE. 3/5
    • By finnaboing · Posted
      LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT PART 2: CIRCLE OF CAINA SP   (if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them)   The next installment of the Doomer Boards Projects, April 2018's Circle of Caina SP, helmed once again by 40oz, is a notable step up from its predecessor. Inspired by FraGMarE's "icy deathmatch map" of the same name (y'know, minus the "SP"), it's a set of eight levels based around a wintry theme and it single-handedly got me excited for the rest of this series.   First and foremost, this WAD looks incredible. Every arena feels very distinct from the last - none of these fights blend in with one another and they're all the better for it. 40oz chose an amazing resource pack for that month, with the textures being perfectly suited for the cold, jagged landscapes. Normally, I either wouldn't notice the blockiness of the terrain because I'm so used to it in Doom or I'd dock points for it, but here, it works so well with the vibes of each map that I honestly love it. I'm already partial to ice/snow levels in video games for a ton of reasons, so this WAD going all in with the lighting and icy aesthetics makes me so happy. The music choices are also perfect (other than Hell Revealed MAP16's MIDI for "Cold Shoulder" for some reason but it's not that out-of-place), with a lineup of classic MIDIs that also happen to evoke that chilly feeling.   That's not to say it's all style and no substance, though - even if the fights do feel like they have a less intense bite overall than MoM, there are a lot more tricky "gotcha!" moments here that really keep you on your toes for longer. Each new arena feels dynamic and well thought-out (even the random pop-up monsters in MAP08 that feel a bit forced in but still work somehow even though you got a free BFG (the only BFG in the set, if I'm not mistaken) in the first room and plenty of cells along the way so it doesn't even really matter but whatever). The whole WAD flows super well, too, and lends itself very well to marathon sessions. Each map has a degree of momentum that keeps everything moving at an enjoyable pace.   I found the ammo balance to be a lot more generous than Monuments of Mars for this one too. I don't know if I'd necessarily say that means this WAD is "easier," but it feels a lot more beginner-friendly (as in, me. that's me. I'm beginner) and makes fights feel a lot fairer. Outside of MAP07, "Below Zero," being WAY harder than every other map in the set (and almost every map in DBP1, for that matter), the difficulty stays pretty consistent throughout. MAP01 starts out really simple and minimalistic, MAP08 is a bit of mini-slaughter, you know, the usual.   For me, the show-stealer is MAP05, "Frosty Cream Glade." It is maybe one of the greatest Doom maps I've ever played. It doesn't look like much when you first see it, but the way everything is so interconnected and how clever yet simple the encounters are and how pretty the visuals are and how the nonlinearity of the map lets you tackle the encounters in almost any order you want so it feels a lot more personalized and how the map's layout means that part of the puzzle is figuring out how to get where you want to go and the indirect signposting is so well-done that you're probably guaranteed to find it but it still feels satisfying AAAAAAAAA I love this map it's so good. If there's one's map you need to play from this set, it's "Frosty Cream Glade." The AUDACITY of supercupcaketactics to use the MIDI from Scythe 2 MAP21 and somehow completely justify its placement is something I aspire to.   This WAD's far from perfect - 40oz's maps can be underwhelming, some of the levels' freeform nature greatly hurt their pacing ("Cold Shoulder"), they take FOREVER to give you a rocket launcher (you don't get one until MAP04, that's annoying), MAP04 and MAP08 use the exact same MIDI which is really jarring when you play MAP08 for the first time, and for whatever reason MAP05's exit is tagged as a secret even though it's not hidden at all and is required - but I'm getting nitpicky. Circle of Caina SP is a fantastic set of levels from some highly talented people working with a theme that I'm already a huge fan of. Definitely a WAD to check out if you've got a few hours to spare.   OVERALL RATING: 8/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP05 - "Frosty Cream Glade" (by supercupcaketactics) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP03 - "Some Other Circle" (by 40oz) (it's not terrible by any means but it feels kinda meh compared to the other maps) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP07 - "Below Zero" (by 40oz) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP01 - "The Chill Before The Thrill" (by noisyvelvet)
    • By BoxY · Posted
      Horribly glitchy and impossible to see or do anything in the game. Literally every single texture is glitched out, only thing that works normally is the shooting sounds. 5/5
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