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Dark Encounters

   (6 reviews)
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"I knew they would come back some day...The leaders and generals of the world were content with their victory...my victory...heh. Never been much for parades, so I slipped back into my role as a good-ole space marine. I argued for a time about the potential for another invasion. Like before, they said their "new" technology would handle any threat. Yeah...sure it will... I...knew...they...would...come...back..." ***Please see text file for gameplay information.***

In This Wad... No jumping, mouse-look encouraged. Gameplay is in the style of the original Doom 2. Difficulty is slightly harder than Doom2 with encounters of varying difficulty thrown in through-out the maps. Survival will require accuracy, agility, ammo management, spacial awareness, and the following...

****On Hurt Me Plenty**** Employ at least ONE of these approaches to avoid running out of ammo, or use them all to have ammo-a-plenty. 1.Find the secrets (most are not hard to find)...or 2.Explore the entire map...or 3.Use the berserk/chainsaw on targets of opportunity (my personal favorite). ****On Ultra Violence**** Employ at least TWO of the above approaches to avoid running out of ammo, or use them all to have ammo-a-plenty. ****On Pistol Start**** Employ ALL THREE of the above approaches to avoid running out of ammo.

For best effect use dynamic lights, but sector lighting is implemented for better performance.


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HAK3180

  

I played on Hurt Me Plenty, continuous.

 

What I Did Not Like

- A few alignment issues

- I encountered a couple very odd bugs

- Secrets were very easy, even simplistic at times

- I found "Mouse-look encouraged" to be inaccurate. It's definitely necessary to max, and I'm almost positive necessary to beat a few maps (shootable switches). Still, I only used it like five times the entire megawad.

- Some areas underdetailed - long stretches of same texture 

- A relatively weak set of maps in about the low to mid 20s

- Props for custom music all the way through, but I found it a little repetitive and indistinct

- A noticeable number (but not a noticeable percentage) of barons of hell that were used somewhat annoyingly (grind)

- Map 32 gets a pass because it's bonus material, but I didn't like it at all

 

What I Did Like

- Everything else

- The fact that everything in "What I Did Not Like" is basically a nitpick

- Awesome level design and flow in most cases

- Brilliant visuals all the way through

- Advanced elements used well, rather than just shoving ZDoomisms in my face for the heck of it

- Fair and challenging gameplay - the borderline slaughter situations were well done

 

Other Observations

- The ammo crisis basically disappeared once I got the first backpack. From that point on, I basically always had 600 cells. That may also explain why I thought a few later maps were underwhelming. Perhaps I'll replay with pistol starts.

- I particularly enjoyed the maps that were more or less "cities."

- This is among my favorite Doom things ever.

 

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TheV1perK1ller

  

Quite possibly one of the best WADs of 2017, bar none. Every map provides a challenge in some way or another to the player. The map designs are excellently crafted, and I especially like how each level stands out among the rest. My only gripe is that some of the music, while certainly not bad, can get repetitive after a while. Other than that I had a blast playing through this. Excellent work Paul!

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Nems

  

This is top tier stuff right here. Tons of level variety and plenty of tense firefights. This is a keeper. <3

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dylux

· Edited by dylux

  

One word: Awesome!! VERY fun game play, great textures.

I agree with Zalewa: Difficult, but fair. Secrets not terribly difficult to locate.

 

We will see Dark Encounters in the Cacowards!

 

*** Update - Two months later: I've played this wad again. And it was just as fun as the first time around. I forgot to mention earlier that you will find a Computer Area Map in almost ALL of the levels if you aren't afraid to explore - and they aren't even in the secrets! Last few maps are somewhat slaughterfests, but don't let that discourage you from playing this fantastic wad. 

 

 

PS - As a side note: Zalewa, if you're reading this, your Power Metal wad rocks! It's my fave single level wad, hands down. I wish your would make more. I think I've played all of your wads. Big fan here!

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Zalewa

·

  

Do we have a Cacoward candidate here? Do we have a Cacoward winner for 2017? We shall soon find out.

 

This WAD is amazing. The abundance of 3D floors enhances the architecture and gameplay. The fights are set up to be difficult, but fair. The ammo can be tight, but you will manage. The levels vary from sillylistic, yet elaborate Doom cities, caves, canyons, bases, stations, mines, hell, and whatever else you'd like. Not one map is like the other. Despite the fact that one mapper made this, you never feel bored, you never feel like you're seeing something that you've already seen. Levels are high in detail, polish, and just plain thought. All of this done in 10 months. All of this works in Zandronum coop (though I think there are some areas where players can get irrevocably locked out from & stuck).

 

One gripe - music tracks repeat, so more tracks would be nice. But then again, such repetition is rarely done in Doom WADs and having some common, repeating music themes is actually a quite original approach.

 

Bravo. I won't soon forget this WAD.

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daskraut

· Edited by daskraut

  

decent level architecture and decent detailing (only very few slightly uninspired areas)
generous use of 3d floors - which is nice!
effectful use of light effects
good gameplay, good ambushes, sparing use of arschviles

edit: and a really nice metal soundtrack

everything the player wants.
 

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  • File Reviews

    • By chowbar · Posted
      Possibly my favorite Ultimate Doom megawad. Although its first half feels like DTWID, it quickly becomes a much more twisted and demented take on the familiar techbase/hell aesthetic. Expect well hidden secrets, tight corridors, and some tough encounters in large, complex levels. In keeping with Ult Doom's tone, NaturalTvventy layers the atomphere on thick to create levels that feel genuinely hostile and evil, even more so than in the original.    If you have a soft spot in your heart for the original Ultimate Doom, this megawad is a must play. NEIS makes you realize how rock solid the original Doom formula is, even without the SSG and revenants. 
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      A fun heavily modified tougher version of Doom 1's E1M6 dated back in April of 94(yes same month of origwad). Its starts a bit hectic but with so many shotgun guys and plenty of health throughout the map, its actually not that hard to go through. However like any 94 wad, it has typical misaligned textures, a few HOMs, and had to use noclip cheat to grab the last card key due to ceiling being too low to pass under. Despite its age and a few minor stuff, its a fun wad from 1994 and I would recommend to give it a try :)
    • By whirledtsar · Posted
      Excellent wad for Hexen fans. It stays true to the style/spirit of the original game while introducing new ideas. The level / hub design is interesting, the combat is well-balanced, texturing is well-done and well-aligned, and there are plenty of interesting scripted events. The wings are used in a very smart way - you're able reach many previously unreachable items and paths. The only thing I disliked was the "boss" of the final level. I won't spoil it, but it's quite disappointing.   Unfortunately there is a bug in The Castle Of Fluft - the flame mask switch is not set to "repeatable", so if you try to use it without the prerequisite mask, you won't be able to use it again when you do. If you encounter this bug, type "puke 10" to activate the script the mask normally would.
    • By Lane Powell · Posted
      This seems like a semi-hidden gem. The author's other WAD Crimson Canyon won a Cacoward, though I prefer this one.   It certainly lives up to its namesake. The textures are all Hell's green marble and blood, supplemented with custom textures including some modified Giger designs and some creepy sprites I recognize from Monolith's Blood. The map designs are seriously contorted. It's probably a divisive aspect of the set. In some levels the angular layouts wrap around themselves in a jagged mesh, creating devilish mazes with slightly obscure progression, and where fireballs can fly at you from different parts of the map. Other parts are darker and more claustrophobic. It's all a totally hostile atmosphere.   There are some common themes gameplay-wise but you'll know them by map 2. A big one is ammo constriction, especially on UV. Certain maps seem near unbeatable without finding key secrets.   This was actually one of the first WADs I completed a few years ago, and on revisiting it it feels very fresh. Like most memorable WADs, it rides on strong concepts and some devilish gameplay while targeting a distinctive theme.
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