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RetributioN Trilogy

   (4 reviews)

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About This File

My very first mod project. I released the first map last year but has since been updated for Doom 2 and has had some kinks ironed out. WAD contains 2 HUGE 40+ minute maps and a boss map, built using only vanilla resources and have an emphasis on atmpshere and exploration. If you want, use dynamic lights and Smooth Doom (If on GzDoom) but they are optional. If you care, here is a selection of screenshots, which you can use in your Newstuff review if you want, each with a paragraph of backstory: http://imgur.com/gallery/uZndR


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xvertigox

  

Map01

The first map of the RetributioN is a huge, sprawling techbase that's being taken over by hell or at least has hellish influences. This map really is huge - it clocks in at 600+ monsters and 18 secrets.

 

I'm impressed at how consistently detailed the map is despite it's size. In particular I liked the hellish areas (the red hex area especially) and where sectors were used for ground patterns (UAC logo, health areas etc). There were a few minor issues here and there with texture alignments, lower unpegging etc but they truly are minor.

 

For a map it's size the flow and progression was solid. The couple of times I did get lost was due to my own inattention/donkey brains rather than the map. That being said you really do have to pay attention to what's going on or you will get lost. As you'd expect for a map this size there's a good amount of non-linearity. There's more than one occasion where you open a door and are presented with three totally different large areas to explore.

 

The secrets on this map are a testament to how much thought was put into it. There's clear telegraphing in places and you have to use your brain to solve puzzles to get to other secrets. I especially liked the secret where you have to turn around and shoot the switch to get the megaarmor. One of the early secrets with the barons and invulnerability+berserk was great too. The secrets are definitely one the maps strongest points.

 

The map is interesting monsterwise as it's quite restrained in it's bestiary. Your primary enemies will be revenants, imps, sargents and pinkies. The map isn't overly hard unless you make mistakes (like I did..) but the tight ammo keep things interesting. There are a few interesting fights where you come across big hordes of monsters such as the cyberdemon and spider mastermind battles. You also get ample opportunity to use your rocket launcher to blow away groups of imps and zombiemen. There's a few nasty traps but nothing over the top.

 

This map was very enjoyable and never felt like a slog. The progression was such that you knew what that switch you just flipped did despite not hearing a door open so you don't get frustratingly lost. I highly recommend playing through this and look forward to playing the next two maps.

 

Map02

This is the second map out of three in the RetributioN triliogy and boy is it a doozy. It's a doozy both in scale and difficulty.

 

The architecture is what jumps out at you the most. Right from the start you can see that a lot of care went into making the level look great start to finish. From it's blood red cathedral to the hellscape swarming with revenants it really looks fantastic. It's not just the architecture but the detailing as well. This is most noticeable in the green marble areas - of which there are plenty. Another stand out in this regard is the Doom 4 glyphs made out of sectors that actually look like what they should.

 

With how menacing the map itself looks you'd expect brutal difficulty and you'd be right. The 1000+ monsters keep you on your back foot for the vast majority of the level. You're not running around gleefully blowing away whatever crosses your path but rather trying to scratch out a safe little corner for yourself. This is done through intelligent monster placement such as arachnatrons with line of sight to the spot where you'd naturally go for cover. The enemies don't feel cheap, just tough. There's also periods of the map where there are (very) few enemies which is a nice change of pace.

 

The health/armor/balancing is aligned with the rest of the map - tough. For a lot of the time you're just scraping by then eventually you hit the jackpot and get smorgasbord of rockets, cells and health. That is, after you clear the revenants, mancubi, archviles and chaingunners. The map features 11 secrets which supplement your resources considerably  (the 3 that I managed to find made a huge difference).

 

With a map this size and long you'd be right to be concerned about flow and progression however those concerns are not justified. Not once was lost in my playthrough as each piece led to another logically and smoothly. The map is still open and non-linear but you instinctively know where to go.

 

I highly, highly recommend playing this map. It looks beautiful and the satisfaction you get from clearing each area is significant. I'm very much looking forward to the finale of this wad.

 

 

Map03

Iconoclasm is the boss map finishing off the RetributioN trilogy. Where as the previous maps took 40min+ iconoclasm can be finished in ~2min when playing it for the first time.

 

The map seems hard but it's not. RNG and movement mistakes are what get you killed in this map.

 

Playing it separately to the previous two it feels underwhelming but when looked at in the context of the whole wad I feel the length is appropriate. The first two maps are so long and gigantic that having a succinct boss fight is a good idea.

 

I highly, highly recommend checking this wad out for yourself!

retributionmap01.png

retributionmap29.png

retributionmap30.png

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HAK3180

  

The layouts are very good for how long these maps are. There are some places that can get you lost pretty easily, but you usually know what your ultimate/preliminary objective is because of colored doors/visible keys/currently inaccessible areas, etc.

 

The details are nicely done most of the time. Map 28's outdoor/natural areas are a little underwhelming, especially compared to the tech base parts. Map 29 feels a little bit like a newcomer trying to get every concept into one huge map, except it's done pretty well. So you have a library, some marble areas, outdoor areas, abstract hellish areas, etc. But it tends not to look like one concept poorly juxtaposed to another. Map 30's look feels a little bit lazy because it's mostly marble texture, but it's got nice geometry and enough details not to look like crap.

 

The combat is good throughout. Map 28 is fairly easy most of the time. Some of its fights are actually a little bit tedious - too many mini-hordes without much of a threat (e.g. lots of imps on a turret that you can easily shoot down without any risk of taking damage), but overall it's fair, challenging enough, and fun most of the time. Map 29 is much more brutal. In my first run, I had ammo trouble so I switched to I'm Too Young to Die. Then I had too much ammo. Go figure. So it's definitely harder, but it's really not slaughter, and it's fair most of the time. There are a number of distant former commando situations that get rather annoying. Map 30 is an Icon of Sin situation that starts populated with lots of monsters and some cyberdemons, so it's more of a mad dash to try to complete it, which I thought was a nice concept.

 

These are solid, long maps. The negative issues are definitely outweighed by the positives. If you have the time, grab this set, but I would not recommend you try to play through Map 28 or 29 in more than one sitting - it will make it much easier to get lost.

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Scotty

  

Two giant maps and a smaller IOS map. The two big maps are the points of interest really, huge constructions loaded full of secret areas and places to explore, with generally fairly nicely paced combat - quiet, tense moments can suddenly explode into giant encounters. Difficulty and intensity ramps up pretty solidly as you progress through these maps, with some pretty hard hitting combat in pretty, perhaps unusually (and refreshingly) for such an exploration-driven wad. It felt as though finding secrets is borderline necessary to have adequate resources to take the fight to the hordes (without using infighting anyway), which is perhaps not to everyone's tastes - and some of the secrets take a good bit of effort to uncover.

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SP_FACE1

· Edited by SP_FACE1

  

This mapset consist of three levels. The first two are enormous maps and the third one is a small Doom 2 like final map. I played this in Hurt me plenty.

 

The first level is a techbase map. It was released first as a separate map to replace E2M8. It's style is reminiscent of episode 1 and episode 2 base levels with small abstract hellish areas and caves here and there. You begin your quest in a subway car which has brought you to this huge base with empty halls and spacey, dimly lit corridors. The author says in the description that the levels aim to give the player a feeling of exploration and that's what I got right from the start. This sentiment is emphasized by the soothing and a bit eerie ambient soundtrack which is a very good fit for the level. I don't usually pay that much attention to music but now I did because it was such a suitable choice.

 

The visual style is a bit more detailed than Doom's original techbase theme. However the detailing varies a lot. Sometimes you come across plainly textured, full lit and big blocky rooms that take you back to the nineties but mostly you encounter areas with more details. The areas near the start were less good-looking than the later parts.

 

The layout is very interconnected. Especially in the beginning you can find multiple semi-secret panels that take you to a corridor which connects to the other side of the level. The level opens passages like this the more you progress.

 

The pace of the level is pretty relaxed. At start you are greeted with empty areas with no monsters and everything is suspiciously silent. Some single Demons show up after wandering for a while but the feeling of being alone in this huge base stays with you. You'll encounter your first herd of enemies in the outside area on top of a cliff. And when you enter the cave area you''ll start to get enemies in your face. The enemy fights in the beginning areas are more close combat. I usually evaded the first bigger encounters by running around them which turned out to be a good strategy as that way I found better positions to shoot at them.

 

After you get the blue keycard and go south to the blue door area the enemies appear more from a distance such as on top of crates or behind grills on the walls. This area contained a lot of cannon fodder, Zombies, Sergeants and Imps. It was very soothing to kill them en masse. You still get enemies in your face too. The visual style also got better. There was more consistent detailing and the rooms got more vertical.

 

The area behind the yellow door continued the same rhythm, you entered peaceful and spacious areas, sometimes enemies run after you, sometimes you get to slay them from a distance. The open area with the zigzag path and pillars over the slime presented an enjoyable fight. The walls were filled with Imps shooting at you from the distance while Cacodemons were flying in the middle and you had to run around the path throwing rockets at them while avoiding falling down to the slime.

 

After the second half I started running out of ammo. This happened more than once. Well, I had a lot of plasma ammo but I had no plasma rifle. If I'm not mistaken you only get the plasma rifle after the Cyberdemon fight which I think was not fair. That fight would have been much more fun with a plasma gun. There was a BFG in the level but I cannot remember now if I got it or not. However I'm sure I didn't have BFG in the Cyberdemon room. Maybe the BFG was a secret. There were 18 secrets in total. I found half. There were many secrets where you could see the item from a window and then had to figure out how to get there. Those were nice and logical puzzles.

 

The fight before the exit is probably the roughest. You get a lot of Demons, Barons and a Spider Mastermind. But in the end it's not that big of an issue because you can compartmentalize them to a room and shoot them through the windows or make them fight each other.

 

It took me almost an hour to finish the level even though I did not get lost. It was a pleasure to stroll through the map and admire the areas despite the small throwbacks to the nineties here and there :) I think the author succeeded very well in giving the player the feeling of exploration in the first level.

 

The second map has Doom 2 styled abstract hell visuals. Actually it has almost all kinds of areas. Caves, rocky cliffs, lava, slime, organic, gothic, marble and what have you. Whereas the first map has a slower, almost wandering pace with a hauntingly soothing ambient track the second map is more hectic, aggressive and has a metal song as soundtrack. The fights didn't always feel fun. There were too many Chaingunners at distance. The open area with the Quake's Q logo on the ground was the first time I thought I'm gonna IDDQD if this hitscanning continues. And it sadly did but thankfully not all the time. In general this map is much more slaughtery than the first one. Also this map is much larger than the first one and there are over a thousand monsters. I must say I did not find that many things to like in this map. I did not get any feeling of exploration here. The layout was confusing. It didn't feel interconnected at all. Yes, there were teleporters but it's always hard to figure out where they take you. Also killing started to feel almost like work at times and after an hour I was considering giving up on the map.

The western part of the map was dedicated to getting the blue key. The eastern part was for acquiring the yellow key. And in the middle you entered the area with the red key and exit. That sounds simple but it wasn't. I got frustrated and went astray more than once. I was at loss what the various buttons were supposed to open. It didn't help that the abstract hellish landscape of Doom 2 is not my favorite theme. I also think the styles changed too much. But there were some areas that I liked. For example, the section with organic texturing was one of the best parts in the level. Other good areas were the library and the red gothic cathedral.

 

The third and last map was almost a traditional Romero's head endgame map but instead you had to push two buttons to finish it. The music choice for this map was weird. I guess in some sense it fits the level. I was pretty exhausted from the second map and I rushed the final map as fast as I could.

 

 

TL;DR
The first map is without a doubt the strongest. Vast, interconnected and explorative techbase map with some nice detailing, relaxing pace, interesting fights and great ambient music. The second map is a gigantic level with a mishmash of styles. At times it feels like your are working at Switch Hunting Incorporated instead of enjoying a game and then you get perforated by a Chaingunner. The last map is OK but I'm not sure if it was that necessary. In fact the levels feel so different from each other that I wonder if it was a good idea to combine them into one WAD.

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  • File Reviews

    • By Chipchase · Posted
      I guess this was meant to be a serious wad, just using a trick to make the C-Demon hard to see. I don't think it was a deliberate troll of the style that caught on later, eg Sand Chain and the Terry wads. IMHO it nowhere near holds the record for "worst wad ever" (even if it did once) so it is now "over-rated" in that respect. There are wads where you die quicker (eg "Stupid Benchmark #1"), and wads with worse graphics( eg "Sand Chain").  TBH, after all the hype I was a bit disappointed, I was expecting worse LoL.  
    • By NuMetalManiak · Posted
      Doomers these days have varying levels of patience. I know I have some of the worst when it comes to quickly finishing areas and moving on, which is why I prefer shorter levels most of the time. this particular map, a Maximum Doom map by the way, is one that completely tested my patience.   this is 8 levels long, from E1M1 to E1M8, and is sort of a proto-slaughtermap episode replacement. every map here has at least 200 monsters, and the layouts of each say that they are compact in size. so the action would be pretty good and fun right?   WRONG   while it's fun to kill all these enemies, this is honestly horribly balanced. on the first level, you only really get a shotgun and a chaingun, and it took me a while to get just one armor too. is that the worst part? I can actually enjoy the challenge of such a gameplay scenario so no. what's problematic about each and every level in this wad is that when you're not killing enemies, you're just sort of fucking around. in other words, you're switch hunting. but this is the worst kind due to lifts that have zero indications that they are lifts, as well as switches that have zero indication of what they did. not to mention some walls are triggers, when they really don't have any indication that they really do anything. oh yes, and mandatory secrets and backtracking. I would like the combat more if it gave more weapons too, not one plasma gun or BFG in sight, and all that backtracking just...fucking...headdesk. there's no reliable way to even speedrun this, to the point where I wonder if the author ever realized that other's would tire the fuck out over it. "these are the easy ones" this has all the hallmarks of a bad Maximum Doom map.   it's amazing how varied my Maximum Doom experience is so far. there are some really fun maps, mediocre but quick maps, and some long and nasty ones. I'm honestly trying to avoid reviewing any maps from there but i'll make an exception for this particular one since it's just unbelievably bad.
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      Pointless crap.  A small yard, empty except for a futuristic shotgun. No monsters and no exit. See my screenshot and you've seen it all.  
    • By Doomkid · Posted
      Classic funny little skin, still used in servers to this day so I think it deserves some love.   I like that the voice clip says “WHERE ARE A MY PANTS?”
    • By Chipchase · Posted
      More an exercise in 3-d artwork than a game. Just someone's bedroom with a HK in a tiny lobby outside the door, and a Caco in a tiny yard outside the window. A BFG and Invisibilty Sphere are also in the yard but you can't get out there. I think the name is a clue - maybe this was the start of a bigger level, then abandoned. He ought to have allowed it as a base for development.
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