Had a lot of fun with this mapset, which is inspired in PWADs of the Olden Tymes. The visuals are pretty ugly, but the intrincate layouts, often probably freehand drawn, compensate for that. Most maps are linear but have branches, loops and optional areas which make them interesting to explore. Only the first maps were a bit weaker in my opinion. My favourite map was probably MAP09 with the huge height differences and some cool vistas of an underground (retro)futuristic city.
Gameplay is mostly easy, with some exceptions like MAP08 but which seldom really reach "Plutonia" difficulty, although hitscanners can drain the often relatively scarce health fastly and there are some surprise traps as well. However, you're often given more than adequate weaponry, like BFGs for some cover-less archviles.
The "vedette" of this mapsets are the secret hunts: while some tripwire lift secrets were a bit too difficult to hear for my taste, I'm very fond above all of the tiny ledges and the shootable switches in unconventional locations. Huge LOL to the cute midis, above all map04 and map11, and "Children" sounded almost like the original (did Robert Miles use my soundfont)? Anyway, that mapset inspired me to look into really old maps and mapsets before the Memento Mori era. Deserves its cacoward (4,5/5).
If this was the 2001 year I would rate this 5/5. But in 2022 this wad is nothing but a lame retro.
I got the feeling that this wad was trying to showcase the advanced Zdoom capabilities rather than trying to create a
good game play, and even with the advanced features the design still feels flat!
HMP or lower players will probably enjoy this as it is a below average difficulty with plenty of ammo/items.
I wanted to rate this 2.5/5 stars, but since half star cannot be selected I rated it 3 stars.
We really need to be able to select half a star in rating.
I love SkillSaw's work and this is a magnificent wad, but I am writing this review to mark it for folks like me, who would love the level design, but wouldn't connect with the gameplay. Which is fine, no wad is made for every player.
What didn't work for me in this megawad - as far as I checked it out, playing several levels from different packs - was gameplay geared towards maneuverability and making it without strong weapons and much ammo.
To me Doom is a shooter. When faced with a lot of strong enemies, I would like to be able to get them down with a double shotgun or a rocket launcher. These levels are more about running around quickly with a gun, a berserk pack and a shotgun with only a few shells. In he middle of the level you typically get a chaingun.
And that just turns the game into a platformer for me, which is fine, just not my kind of gameplay.
The design and music are top notch. Even the menu is eye candy. I wanted to adore this project, but I just cannot connect with it.
I will, however, keep it on my hard drive and return to it from time to time. Will update this review if I ever get it.