Escape from the Catacombs, KUBA18i's debut, is an e1m1 replacement for Heretic using stock assets.
The visuals are rough and primitive, but the author's handling of concept and contrast places it above the usual beginner "everything is STARTAN" exercise. Like an oldschool adventure game, each area has its own look and identity: among others, there is a vast dungeon chamber, a sawtooth network of caves, and an outdoor mini-town. It's hard to call much of this elegant or compelling, but it holds clear hints of promise for future work.
The combat swings all over the place. A ruthless saberclaw trap early had me geared for a rare Heretic combat-puzzle map, but from that apex the action settles into a sustained lower pitch. While this works when exploration is the focus, it falters when the monsters get buff. The finale tosses out three maulotaurs that pose little threat in their spacious environment, and even with two tomes of power, the battle is protracted and toothless. A single maulotaur might have provided the same climax.
A bright spot in the balancing is how the ample items, found both freely and in a sloppy bunch of secrets, are crucial to making efficient headway. I chucked one of those magical eggs through a small doorway to morph a few ophidians into chickens, avoiding dull clearance of one of Heretic's tankiest monsters. The core gameplay isn't without delights either. In the underground caves, a savvy player can dismantle another saberclaw ambush with a cluster of explosive pods. And at one point, I had a laugh watching iron liches -- which I saved for the end because of tight ammo -- hurl ophidians shockingly high with their tornadoes.
Overall, Escape from the Catacombs is a respectable debut that Heretic fiends might enjoy.
A nice short map similar to Military Base, lots of action, pretty nice new textures modified from stock textures, pretty competent layout and fun short map overall.
I don't get why the switches textures are all screwed up. Maybe a problem in the compiling from the author? Who knows?
I'm still processing this materful achievement.
The maps feels organic themselves, with subtle transitions between places. Texture work here is at it highest point, with deatails and details everywhere. I don't see any other wad that did what Espi did with Suspended in Dusk.
Just thinking of a megawad in this style blows my mind.
But unfortunatelly, that might be impossible, as that star disappeard from the firmament.
Thanks Espi for this amazing work.
I hope that, someday, somebody take the torch you left.
Checking for the smallest file in the archive, this is the second smallest archive around.
Is a interesting little dehacked patch that turns the player into a imposter Arch-vile, with the rocket launcher turns into a punch that spawn blood splat as a sort of laser aim and the final attack is the flame. Too bad that is just purely cosmetic, but is a neat concept.