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Umbra of Fate

   (6 reviews)

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About This File

A man is on vacation and is out enjoying a day of hunting while his wife and infant son are at home. After a long and boring day, he starts walking back to his car, only to discover a ravine that wasn't there before. Feeling an unusually strong urge to find out what lurks beyond the ravine, he jumps down into it and heads out into the dark, foggy forest night.

Umbra of Fate is something of a personal experiment where I try to push the type of gameplay I enjoy to the limit.


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Zalewa

  

Even though I agree with other reviewers that this map is not flawless, it still gets plenty of stuff exactly right. The truly dark and gloomy atmosphere (instead of Doom64 crap), the architecture, the dynamic lighting, the journey, the story bits, the action packed gameplay that still does fit the theme of the level and the great soundtrack.

 

I've went through the map on normal difficulty and I think that it's fair. It's not exactly easy, but except for the second cyberdemon fight (in the moving lava room) I rarely had problems. I can agree with other reviewers that the map could offer a bit more rocket ammunition, but I exploited the respawning ammo during the fight with the first cyberdemon to stockpile.

 

Anyway, this now becomes one of my most favourite WADs. I would use it to show a non-doomer what the GZDoom engine and the mappers are capable of.

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NuMetalManiak

  

Umbra of Fate is an example of a story-driven single map. it's very interesting to see the story unfold in media res as you go through, although some are probably gonna be inclined to skip the story scenes for the gameplay. well, the gameplay is good enough, enemies spawn in ZDoom style and are generally challenging in most cases, look out for the pyro-succubus enemies as well as several more ambushes around. the secrets are something else, got 12/16 so far but I'm not able to document all of the non-sector ones. the boss fights, like the two cyberdemon ones, are pretty good. and the final fight with the Avatar is certainly challenging, but in a way not unlike fighting Hexen's Heresiarch (he even has an invulnerability move, souped up to just summon four bruiser demons into the map making life really hard). the boss honestly is the biggest highlight of the whole map, and is one of the harder boss fights I've seen in a ZDoom map. add to it the brooding atmosphere and detail, the linear but still workable combat, and you got yourself something well done.

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faad3e

· Edited by faad3e

  

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Denim Destroyer

  

Absolutely amazing looking level that manages fuses Quake and Doom aesthetic into one colorful yet gloomy nightmare. The music and detailing is outstanding however, like other people, I managed to get stuck on a piece of trim or oddly placed pillar that almost ended in my death.

Gameplay wise this level can be rather challenging in a few spots. Few of the custom enemies present can drain massive amounts of your health in one or two shots which would not be an issue if those particular monsters were placed with less monsters around them. For instance the Pyrosuccubus can drain massive amounts of your health in one shot and they are never by themselves. On the topic of monsters, the Hell Knight and Barons have faster moving projectiles which is an unexpected change that proves to be annoying in a few instances. The last topic I want to touch upon is the final boss. Without spoilers I will mention that I had to enable cheats in order to kill a supporting enemy allowing me to defeat the boss. The reason for this usage of cheats is that the supporting enemy was stuck inside a pillar causing it to not take damage.

Overall I give this four out of five stars due to the graphics, music, and the level being a decent challenge. The reason it isn't a five is the couple instances of annoying monster encounters and the issue with the boss, I do concede that last part isn't necessarily the mappers fault but is something I found annoying. In spite of the few issues present I still highly recommend Umbra of Fate to any person looking to see what GZDoom could do.

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Nine Inch Heels

  

Four stars (Read: 7/10) and here's why:

Aesthetically, this is as good as you would expect after Shadows of the Nightmare Realm: Dense atmosphere, fitting soundtrack, detailed environments and striking use of colours create a place that is both believeable yet surreal. There really isn't anything else to say other than it looks spectacular.

 

Unfortunately some of these details come with a cost of their own: There are several occasions in which details or placed objects are either mildly annoying or even dangerously intrusive at the worst possible time. I think that some "smoothening" here and there would have helped.

 

The gameplay marches to the beat of its own drum, whether for better or for worse is definitely subject to the eye of the beholder. There are some things that just don't work with my "palate", because quite frankly some encounters overstayed their welcome a good deal. So much for the TL;DR, here's some things that sprung at me:

The lack of higher grade ammunition over certain stretches in this map, especially on the higher difficulties, is something I find hard to digest. Whenever you get your hands on some rockets or cells, think twice about using them right away. The "player output" to monster health ratio leans a lot towards meaty and (borderline) grindy situations in spite of the relatively low monster count. SSG fights against (slightly buffed) Barons of Hell at varying distances, chaingun-tap-sniping at distant enemies, and the occasional cornercamp are something you're gonna have to deal with. For the purpose of seeing all the content in a timely fashion, I ended up trying to skip basically everything that wasn't a hitscanner, and also most other things that aren't tied to a "kill trigger" whenever I could. It saved me some higher grade ammo for when I actually could make good use of it. If you're a die-hard completionist, you will need to love the SSG even more than a decadent breakfast in bed. Personally I think the higher difficulties here are asking for some more rockets in order to make shorter work of the trivial albeit meaty fights.

 

There are some conceptually interesting fights in this map, in particular the first Cyberdemon and the actual boss come to mind, and there are some setpiece-based fights which have a nuance of their own.

 

As for the first Cyberdemon: That one I have really mixed feelings about. It's sort of like a "miniboss" fight that has two phases to it which loop. The first phase you get to fight the Cybie (watch out for the faster rockets), and during the second phase the Cybie becomes invulnerable and you have to deal with "fodder" instead. Kill all the fodder, and then get back at the Cybie.

 

The idea is cool, because -conceptually speaking- you get a fight that basically shifts between one larger threat, and several smaller ones. The problem I have with the fight is that the time at which the Cybie warps away is based on a timer, rather than on damage dealt by the player. If you play this one too defensively, you're in for a lot of meat, and to make matters worse there is a chance the Cybie warps out and turns invulnerable shortly before you deal the death blow, which happened to me the first time I played this map. Depending on how ballsy you are or how merciful the Cyberdemon is, this fight can either be over really quickly, or you're gonna be dealing with the fodder more often than you may enjoy.

 

The actual boss fight lends itself to either playing it safe at the cost of grinding (unfortunately repetitive) phases, or perhaps taking some minor risks here and there in favour of point-blank BFG action. In a way it's somewhat similar to the first Cyberdemon. Not gonna say more about that, you'll see it when you get there.

 

If you wanna see the latest hotness in terms of GZDoom based detailing, this is where you can get your fix, just don't be surprised if you can hear the rhythm of the SSG for the next several days no matter where you are and what you do.

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Kristian Nebula

  

Great map, stunning visuals and very atmospheric music! Played it on hard and the boss proved a bit too much... so I IDDQD'd it after a few tries and saving in the wrong place to have a try to BFG him down right in the beginning. :D MDK was also found a good use there...

Well done!

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