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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 tempdecal.wad · Posted
      Um lol the TITLEPIC, also this wad lets you shoot crates to lower them and get ammo, and I like how the Minecarts puzzle was recreated using only Pain Elementals, however I have to say this isn't really well done, the puzzles are weird and you're expected to hug, shoot and press walls and some weird "Dormant" monsters, I applaud the effort that went into recreating the layout of the level, could use some 3D Floors and some Slopes though, but the visuals aren't all that great and the puzzles are somewhat different so if you haven't played the original level this will confuse you even more than their Decay counterparts, partly due to lack of hints and the weird and confusing visuals (I keep using the word confusing but there's really no better way to describe it).   1 star for the layout Faithfulness (barely), 1 star for naked Rosenberg.
    • By BaraKornel · Posted
      Fun map, with some decent design. I don't get the last teleport though, where the player can use the teleport to teleport to exactly the same place.
    • By Nine Inch Heels · Posted
      I've never done a review for a rocket jump WAD, so this might turn out somewhat like a ramble. Apologies in advance if it does.   I picked up RJSLOTH while learning the most basic things about rocket jump maps. That said, I really should have waited with this WAD until later, when I'd be more consistent with basically everything this genre entails. For those of you who have never made contact with this genre I'll have a short description in the spoiler below:

          Even map 02, in spite of being dated in the sense that it was made prior to some discoveries in rocket jumping, turned out to be somewhat demanding at first. However, as is the case with many ToD maps, there are consistency checks here that really helped me to get some moves into my muscle memory with brute force. Especially things that require precise timing are something that you either learn to do properly while you play this, or you give up trying. The map also features some "combo-jumps" in places, basically as "highlights" of a given section to round off the package. I'm glad I didn't give up. Beating map 02 felt really good.   As for map 10, which is a brutally tuned up version of map 02: You're looking at something that seems to have been built in a laboratory with a calculator. Each one of the jumps there requires extreme precision, and if you're anything like me, which means you're still looking to become consistent with the techniques for "(relatively) modern rocket jumping", you should only attempt this map during a weekend or so, because it could take you "some" time to nail these trick shots perfectly. I didn't manage to finish this map yet, but from the obstacles I have made it past I can tell that this map, as well as map 06 of this WAD, is aimed at people who can do certain tricks of ZDaemon rocket jumping blindfolded. Being able to build maps like this, so precise and unforgiving without feeling totally unfair is an impressive feat for sure, but for my tastes and current skills it is almost impossible to "digest", also due to the sheer size of map10. I will come back to it eventually though, because I wanna see the end of it.   The only reason I'm not putting down 5 stars here is that these maps are a little bit too repetitive for my liking in places. Obviously that's an easy impression to get when I can't do things very cleanly, which results in repeated attempts, so take this reason with a grain of salt and you'll be fine.
    • By galileo31dos01 · Posted
      Done with these settings:   - GLBoom+ 2.5.1.4. complevel 9
      - Ultra-Violence
      - Continuous combined with pistol start mindset.
      - Saves every 10 minutes or so.   This is a slightly improved sequel of a mediocre megawad. It has no story whatsoever, not that it needs one, it's practically designed without an overarching theme and focused on Boom compatibility, something that the prequel didn't communicate very well. Although you rarely see tricks like conveyors and silent teleports put to specific purposes, they're mostly for the atmosphere. A couple of maps use custom colormaps in particular setpieces. One is to simulate immersion in toxic, and the other in blood, or perhaps portals to hell?. Anyway, Community Chest 2 has some nice visuals using stock textures. While not every map looks great, a bunch are simply awe-inspiring because of the author's creativity. I dig the idea in "Death Mountain", the sinuous terrain with mounds everywhere is very neat, as it's theoretically a mountain floating in the air. My only gripe is the trees are placed to get stuck in. Other locations are plain techbases, brown caverns, wooden complexes, Inferno-styled hell and unknown places. Most of the music available are tracks from other wads and games, with only one self-made piece for map 24 by the same author, an amazing melody by the way. I would suggest to add your own tracks for the maps lacking them, for a stronger experience if it helps.   For those who have played the prequel first, and I'm sure everyone did, there are quite a few familiar names to be found, some of which contributed with more than one map. Gene Bird cooked around five for example, evoking a conservative "rooms with monsters" 90's style. His maps don't vary in any aspect to each other, nor to his previous works in Community Chest 1 unfortunately, but they blend well enough with the tone of the mapset. The first map is already by Erik Alm in his well-known Scythe fashion. Then we have individual entries from Andy Leaver, Kaiser and Use3d, the latter came as an improvement to be honest. On the other hand, a big portion of the people involved were completely new to me, and that's when I had to expect the unexpected, sort of. I'd say the maps had their ups and downs, generally enjoyable if some exceptions. They were also organized in a very random way, but that's no news. Just like a traditional community project, this megawad features a wide range of concepts, layouts, and forms to entertain the player, for better or worse. Fans of old-school and/or adventure maps will be delighted, as there are a lot of them in all sizes and difficulties, even several inspired by the original Doom levels. The obvious standout is "The Mucus Flow", a brutal map that can only be understood with patience and dedication, mostly the former one, and heavy chainsaw practicing. Besides, its curvy "mint-chocolate" design is beautiful and unique, or used to be, since tons of future releases found inspiration from it (e.g. Speed of Doom). A shame it has glitches in the sky. There are other remarkable moments to be experienced, such as to explore a city in depth to figure out the secret exit, or to fall in a sequence of fake exits that only exposes you in circles of chaingunners. I'm not sure how others will take it, but I couldn't hold my laugh after the second time.   Secret-wise, the first thing to know is that PRBoom users need to activate the "Linedefs w/o tags apply locally" option to enable access to some ZDoom-only secrets in maps 06 and 24. There is also a secret in map 20 that requires an archvile jump, but it's not possible to reach it outside of ZDoom versions. Other than those, hope your sense of exploration is wide awake, as there is plenty to locate and highly appreciate. I'm thinking of the standout map, of course. For favourite maps I will pick 19, 24, 27, and 31. Some others like 06, 13, 23 and 32 were entertaining for the most part, but not convincing as a whole. The rest range from good to dull or tedious, like the final map.    Overall, it's certainly an upgrade in quality, and I'm inclined to believe the successors are much better. Still, it's nice to traverse the history of the community chest projects. If you and I share similar tastes, then you'll probably find content to enjoy here, and if not, well, skip the unnecessary. My rate is 6/10.  
    • By tempdecal.wad · Posted
      It's bad because it's hard.
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