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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

   1 of 2 members found this review helpful 1 / 2 members

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

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

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

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

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

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

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

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   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

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

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

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 TFK · Posted
      This fills up my retro glass!
    • By The_SloVinator · Posted
      Let me get E1M8 out of the way first because it's the most confusing thing I've witnessed in a Doom wad. So, you got four switches that kill four barons outside of the map, to make two walls & four marble cubes lower. Basically, a special tag 666 situation. I press all four switches & nothing happens after I wait for awhile. I tried with PrBoom 2.5.1.4., PrBoom 2.5.1.5., GzDoom 2.4.0 & on the latter, only worked once. I looked up the walkthrough of it & there is nothing I did different from the people playing it but they got it to work somehow. It's very strange. If anyone knows what's up, I'd like to know.   The rest of the wad is alright. Maps are way too lengthy and forgettable & just cluttered with too many enemies. Traps are fairly challenging & were the best part of the wad.   But all that wasn't worth it for the last map of the wad to crap on me.   Totally not worth a Cacoward 2011.
    • By damned · Posted
      All the maps are above average, but this is Legendary wad because of Ty and Map10, which is true masterpiece of art. 5/5
    • By Agent6 · Posted
      And thus, Stardate 20x6 is finished.   Stardate 20x6 is a 8-level wad consisting of challenging levels with enemy placements and encounters in the vein of slaughter, with an actual slaughter level featuring 1000 enemies at the end.   The wad is centered around the color purple. This means that a number of textures and effects have been replaced and purple plays a major role in creating the mood and atmosphere of the levels, but isn't overused so that it becomes an annoyance. Besides a new set of textures it also features a new soundtrack similar to the one heard in Sunlust, but with a slightly more emphasis on the atmosphere rather than epicness while still very much keeping you and the action going (Sunlust did include a few "battle" songs which were used in a few levels, and in another megawad as well, I think), a new menu background, and intermission screen. It does not feature new enemies, weapons, or sounds.   Considering these levels have been created by Ribbiks, there are many similarities in terms of gameplay and design with Sunlust. One of the easiest similarities that is immediately noticed is the enemies who are in plain sight in a couple of levels are in a sleeping/unalerted state with their backs to the player. As I assumed in the case of Sunlust, it was likely done in order to allow the player to observe his environment and create a strategy of sorts before jumping into the action. The difficulty is also designed the same way, with UV being reserved for veterans and highly skilled players, while everything else is for less than stellar players. I have completed Stardate on HMP.   The maps are solid, combining challenging gameplay with good architecture and atmosphere, and also include a few ingenious traps which are less cruel than what could be seen in MAP29 of Sunlust (or should I say the Arch-Vile room instead?). The action takes place mostly on various space bases and every now and then a breathtaking sight might catch your attention when you find yourself outside. My favorite level is going to be MAP03, and the trap with a Cyberdemon on one end and Revenants on the opposite was damn fun. It might look threatening at first, but really, all that needs to be done is avoiding potential damage caused by their infighting and taking care of the incoming waves of Imps and Hell Knights until they're done slaughtering each other. As about design flaws, there are some dark rooms in certain levels where it's pretty difficult to navigate. The enemies are always visible so the problem is not that you don't know where you're taking damage from, but rather the room itself because it's so dark it's difficult to see what's in front of you sometimes. I did manage to hurt myself with the RL as well as get killed by a Cyberdemon because I accidentally ran into a wall. I would not advise using that weapon in these rooms. Use the Chaingun, SSG, or Plasma Gun instead, and always be aware of your environment. It's always good to rely on the environment as much as possible to make things more interesting and challenging, after all, many of the later levels also include some really tricky platforming sections, but the use of lighting could be more efficient. For this reason I would definitely not advise using the Software of your port of choice either.   The final level, as previously mentioned, is once again a slaughter map with a couple of nasty but highly creative enemy placements. Ever seen pyramid-like structures with Chaingunners on them? Me neither, until now. No Icon of Sin boss, and once everyone's dead you have to destroy a reactor (or, I think it's a reactor anyway) which ends the journey. A great level, but the existence of the said reactor is a bit questionable considering the location. I think it was just fine without it.   And I think that covers everything. It's short and sweet, go check it out, it's worth your time.
    • By Summer Deep · Posted
      A very well put together mapset. Excellent layouts, spectacular graphics and testing gameplay (which includes five archviles in a lava pit at one point...). Level three is perhaps the standout, but really there are no duds.    If I had to nitpick, I'd say the authors could have made a concession to exponents of continuous play by consistently placing a couple of 25% healthpacks and a green armour near the start of each level (try doing some of these if you finish the previous one with 20% health and no armour!). Also the ending of the game is a little weird and something of a letdown in my view.   9 out of 10.
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