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Dark Encounters

   (8 reviews)
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About This File

"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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NuMetalManiak

  

oh, if only the main downloads page could be fixed, it's quite outdated, especially considering i'm reviewing the original Dark Encounters and not its actual 2019 re-release which actually replaced the file.

 

so Paul Dechene seems to have a fixation for Dark stuff, as you might know Dark Universe was a Cacoward winner, and that one was quite dark overall. here we have a 32 level megawad for GZDoom, levels usually are of medium size and combat is generally mild. now, the rerelease definitely fixes some bugs and actually makes the set more mod-friendly, utilizing scripts instead of UDMF thing actions as well as linedef actions instead. the levels are compounded with metal tracks of sorts, which may or may not help in the action, I didn't care for them. there's certainly a lot of 3D in these levels too, which could get confusing, but not so much when you factor in the level layouts, which for the most part are medium sized but there's not an obtuse moment of progression. there's a bit of a story too. odd how jumping is not considered allowed, but mouselook is. this is certainly an oddball mapset, not the greatest for sure, but compared to other ZDoom megawads that could go overboard with things, this is nice, workable, and nowhere close to bad.

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MuratMikal

  

Played first chapter (MAPS 1 ~ 11) in UV and the rest on HMP. The first chapter of this megawad sucks because of lack of ammo/good weapons. For example, the first sign of SSG is in MAP 07 and in maps like 03/04/05 there're more than 200 enemies, meaning the player must rely in shotgun/chaingun only to kill cacodemons, revenants and hellknights. The second and third chapter of the megawad is way better, the ammo is more abundant making the gameplay looks more good. But, in general the author is very stingy with powerups; rarely in maps you'll come across a megasphere or even soulsphere, and that on HMP. Overall there're better options of megawad with a lot of monsters but way more balanced (ammo and items-wise) as EvilTech, Zones of Fear or Good Morning Phobus.

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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 Loud Silence · Posted
      Creative, fun, entertaining and challenging levels, very cleverly hidden secrets, some butt-kicking ambushes and traps. Ammo balance is pretty tight in some maps with pistol start, but everything is possible. A must-play WAD.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      A very neat 1996 map that i kinda remember to have played already long ago, or at least something with a similar start, a really good interconnected layout (even if i was roaming around asking where to go, especially after taking the blue key and trying to leave the caves section), good texturing, hard monster placement (the easiest monsters are the shotgunners), really generous with health placement and some strategic megaspheres here and there, too bad it is too stingy with ammo, leaving me battling chaingunners with only a chainsaw sometimes... but overall, very good!
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      IT JUST WORKS! Ok, with that stupid jojoke out of the way, we can start talking about this map:   It's a nice map from 1995 with some interesting room shapes (especially the one beyond the blue skull key door), the difficult and map flow is pretty easy and straightforward to navigate, don't fell discouraged by the large amount of enemies (it contains 120 monsters in total)! They're just cannon fodder for the majority of the map, expect for the final part with a arch-vile / cyberdemon combo near the exit, overall it could be easily beaten in 10 minutes or even less if you are a talented player... Enjoyable.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      Pretty 90s-ish, basic looking map sets into a tech / hell fortress of sorts, really large map that i've finished in 30 minutes, but luckily the map uses not really hard monsters to confront, making this pretty easy to finish, but again, is a long, LONG map with the most tedious parts are the mazes and that long backtracking stairs... Pretty meh   Also this map crashes on Doom 2 exe (DosBox) when you save the game, so i played it with a limit-removing dos port (doom 2 plus) without any trouble, so if you want to play this you had to use a limit removing port.
    • By Walter confetti · Posted
      Nice mini episode, reminds me of some sort of amateurish Plutonia Experiment sometimes. Pretty enjoyable!
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