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The Darkening

   (105 reviews)
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About This File

It has been 3 years since the destruction of the huge demon that masterminded the invasion of Earth. Your journey back home was almost as difficult and bloodthirsty as your journey into hell, but you made it. You had expected to be made a hero; after all, you had saved Earth and all it's worlds from a fate worse than death. But it was not to be that way.

Upon your return, you discovered that things had begun to change. The UAC, deprived of some of it's key personnel, had become more secretive and shadowy. You could swear that the Mars station's light levels were lower than you remember them. . . Instead of briefings by the top brass, troops were given datapads for their missions. Sometimes people would go missing. . . Some of the other marines decided that they would leave. Their ship blew up shortly after departure.

Recently, things have gotten worse. All remaining marines have been confined to quarters for weeks, and contact with Earth has been cut off for months. Some of your closest friends have started to disappear Perhaps hell won the fight after all. . .

Then, one night, it is your turn. Your dreams suddenly turn to nightmares, a Spider Mastermind strafing your body, it's manic laughter the only thing you can hear ... As the last bullet pierces your skin, your eyes blink open. Something is wrong. . . it seems even colder and darker than it did before. . . Suddenly, everything goes black. Fearing the worst, you reach under your bed for the pistol you always keep there. Your chaingun and shotgun are in the other room, but it is too late and too far.

Your sight begins to return to you. But where are you? You are in a tiny brick room, a silver door the only way out. Tightening your grip on the pistol, you open it and step through and prepare to discover the purpose of this ... this Nameless Project.


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I Drink Lava

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

An 11-map episode consisting of bite-sized, not-too-difficult maps from the Doom community's transition to the modern era. Personally, I found it uneven in quality. Jan Van der Veken's and Travers Dunne's maps are full of excellent texturing, detailing, and lighting effects. However, John "Gestalt666" Bye's, Nick Baker's, and Adam Windsor's levels feel seriously below-par. They could've come from any random episode from 1995, albeit with better texture alignment. MAP04 and MAP05 were definitely the highlights for me with their Quake-esque 3D layouts. 3.5/5

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JBerg

  

I just played this for the first time in 2021 and I enjoyed it a lot! The maps are sort of old school but play very well.

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printz

  

Great classic Doom II episode in the style of Thy Flesh Consumed / American McGee / Quake.

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Endless

  

Entering with the expectations in 90s mode, I was waiting for a good quality collection, of course, but what I have found I think is something much more promising (20 years later, ups.) The Darkening is a collection full of interesting little maps made with the idea of continuing a frenetic and relentless rhythm, it reminds me quite a lot of Scythe, we could say that it is a kind of prototype of the latter, excluding the difficulty. This wad is much easier compared to modern wads or even other classic wads. Both its simple design and its reduced number of demons contribute to this fact. However, who said that chilling out a little is no fun? 

 

For me, solid 3.5/5

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P41R47

  

Pretty interesting set of maps, ranging from small to medion size, but nothing too marvelous or amazing that stood up. Its just a very good mapset in the good old style of Doom: cramped corridors, dark areas, and with a few new textures.
Storywise its kind of a sequel to the original Doom 2, starting 3 years after the demise of the Icon of Sin.
Its not bad, but i felt that its needed something else to be way better. The new midis are interesting, but a full set of them would have been better.
Aside from that, i enjoyed the maps, but the not soo much appealing environment was really a let down, because, even original Doom 2 mapset have somekind of eye candy that one can stood, look at and say: yeah thats a hell of a picture!

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JudgeDeadd

  

A set of 11 fairly short, but still fun maps. The visuals are high-quality and the overall gameplay is fun, although it gets way too easy on later maps (especially when you move through narrow hallways and effortlessly mow down enemies in your way.)

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NuMetalManiak

  

that's odd, I never wrote a review for this. okay, would've honestly still thought that this is better than Darkening 2 only by sheer virtue that this set is fairly short. on the surface though, there's not a whole lot that Darkening really has to offer. it's just a standard 11-map set with short maps and decent, but not overly tough gameplay. the secrets can be really confusing, that's about all I can remember. Doomers these days yearn for more advanced stuff than this. it tries its best being a story-driven set, and it's just...well...humble I guess. that's about all this wad is though, humble. not great, not complete shit. note that you need RESOURCE.wad to get the textures right as well. there's also the DM-only set, something that Darkening 2 would also hold. all in all, it's short and can be a good quickie for on-the-go Doomers.

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Budoka

  

Mostly well-crafted, but all around forgettable content. From a total of 11 maps, there are like two or three standout fights and that's it. And all the maps look pretty much the same. Yeah, there just isn't much to say about this, even Adam Windsor's map is complete throwaway material somehow.

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Gato606

  

Cool wad to play, enjoyable, short maps with nice design.  Really interesting use of Quake I textures.  Sad it's a short mapset

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Spectre01

  

I didn't really enjoy this wad; compared to the IWADs or other 90's PWADs that I've played. The visuals were 90% brown brick/rock. Pistol Start balance sucked. And the gameplay/map progression was mostly uninteresting. I'll keep the negativity to a minimum so - overall score: 1/5.

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Obsidian

  

A nice little collection of well-made (albeit remarkably brown) maps, with a DM set coupled alongside as a nice bonus. I can't really comment on that seeing as I don't DM, but the SP maps themselves are really nice and the added textures compliment the stock ones used quite nicely. And above all, it's fun. 4 stars!

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slowtorturepukechamber

  
...not sure why anyone would want to make an exe a batch file.

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Guest

  
excelent

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Proof that they just don't make classic wads like this anymore. This wad is perfect in its simplicism and atmosphere. Certainly the best from 1999. I hate those modern wads with their over-the-top map deisgn and unplayably challenging gameplay. Oldies like The Darkening (and its sequel) shit all over them. 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
I started it up in Zdoom and there are no textures showing for the first map. Otherwise, the level design is interesting and all that. 4/5 Good

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Simply amazing. Looks good, plays well, fantastic map flow, great ambiance. 5/5

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Flawless. Just flawless.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Beatiful looking, but in some places poor balanced maps. ****

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Meh. Cramped, confusing, poorly-textured artifacts from the days when "kewl" gothic detail was new and amazing. A few nice maps here and there, but prepare your idclev cannons.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Great effort, very fun to play through... 5 stars

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Guest

Unknown date

  
it sux

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Awesome mapset! It's the perfect fix for the Doomer that wants a fun map set that won't frustrate, but isn't easy either. The theme is top notch, using Quake style brown tones, but they actually fit so much better in the Doom engine, and provide an excellent basis for this episode. Favorite map is #9, which is actually an Episode One style map, but it fit perfectly.

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Guest

Unknown date

  
^ I agree, the architecture is particularly good, but is nowhere near as beautiful as my ex-girlfriends (even the fat one when I was desperate). I remember playing this back in '99 when it was new and shinny and it still glistens today (06/2007). The only fault is that is is not actually a complete megawad. Still gets 5/5 from me...

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Guest

Unknown date

  
A story to remembe as the others, its the best ya can find!

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Guest

Unknown date

  
Stands the test of time. Both episode are good but with smaller levels this one actually has arguably the lower chance of falling into repetition. I'd say anyone should play it at least once. Very solid overall.

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  • File Reviews

    • By PsychEyeball · Posted
      The most avant-garde Doom will ever get. Obviously not a WAD for everyone, the core target for such a mod is mainly people who are in video game glitches, corruptions and to some extent, creepypastas (whether that love is ironic or not). Nothing works as it is supposed to. You can hardly understand most of the things that are happening to you. Some of the custom monsters (like the hitscanning corrupted pinky) will put you on edge and keep you paranoid about the ruleset of the game.   The aesthetic of lilith.pk3 is one of a kind, horribly mangling the rendering engine of old ZDoom beyond belief to disform sprites, textures, text and even sound effects. The end result makes close to no sense, your Doom marine sprite is heavily dislocated and looks more like one of those creatures from Alien than a human being and the list goes on and on. The confused looks obviously doesn't always make for clean or concise gameplay, especially in later levels which crank the confusion up to eleven and manipulate the level geometry to do things you thought weren't possible in the game. Even basic things like crushers, slime pits or a turnstile look horribly out of shape and makes the player uncomfortable.   This is essentially what lilith boils down to: an unfamilarity to something we thought we knew by heart, a rising sense of uncomfort as the level design makes less and less sense and offering the player a new perspective on what Doom is. Don't play lilith expecting top-notch Doom gameplay, but play it for the one of a kind experience it offers you. For the better and for the worse, there are no WADs like lilith anywhere and there will never be.
    • By Skittle · Posted
      I think that the combination between shotgun and chaingun combat, and the hitscanner shootouts this WAD offers are really fun and engaging. Pinky Demons are placed in areas where they're not frustrating, (The opposite being something I see very often, nice work Romero :P.) My only issue with this WAD is that one or two of the secrets, specifically those found in the darkened tech room, are sort of esoteric. The one where you have to jump from a platform isn't the worst, but the one for the Mega-Armour is annoying and in my opinion, unfair to find.   Despite these small issues, I think that Phobos Mission Control is an excellent and exciting level to run through, and I applaud Romero for returning to the Doom Community to make new levels.
    • By top10epicfails · Posted
      this wad SAVED MY MARRIAGE. 3/5
    • By finnaboing · Posted
      LOCAL DINGUS PLAYS EVERY SINGLE DOOMER BOARDS PROJECT PART 2: CIRCLE OF CAINA SP   (if you don't know what the Doomer Boards Projects are, here's the Doom Wiki article on them)   The next installment of the Doomer Boards Projects, April 2018's Circle of Caina SP, helmed once again by 40oz, is a notable step up from its predecessor. Inspired by FraGMarE's "icy deathmatch map" of the same name (y'know, minus the "SP"), it's a set of eight levels based around a wintry theme and it single-handedly got me excited for the rest of this series.   First and foremost, this WAD looks incredible. Every arena feels very distinct from the last - none of these fights blend in with one another and they're all the better for it. 40oz chose an amazing resource pack for that month, with the textures being perfectly suited for the cold, jagged landscapes. Normally, I either wouldn't notice the blockiness of the terrain because I'm so used to it in Doom or I'd dock points for it, but here, it works so well with the vibes of each map that I honestly love it. I'm already partial to ice/snow levels in video games for a ton of reasons, so this WAD going all in with the lighting and icy aesthetics makes me so happy. The music choices are also perfect (other than Hell Revealed MAP16's MIDI for "Cold Shoulder" for some reason but it's not that out-of-place), with a lineup of classic MIDIs that also happen to evoke that chilly feeling.   That's not to say it's all style and no substance, though - even if the fights do feel like they have a less intense bite overall than MoM, there are a lot more tricky "gotcha!" moments here that really keep you on your toes for longer. Each new arena feels dynamic and well thought-out (even the random pop-up monsters in MAP08 that feel a bit forced in but still work somehow even though you got a free BFG (the only BFG in the set, if I'm not mistaken) in the first room and plenty of cells along the way so it doesn't even really matter but whatever). The whole WAD flows super well, too, and lends itself very well to marathon sessions. Each map has a degree of momentum that keeps everything moving at an enjoyable pace.   I found the ammo balance to be a lot more generous than Monuments of Mars for this one too. I don't know if I'd necessarily say that means this WAD is "easier," but it feels a lot more beginner-friendly (as in, me. that's me. I'm beginner) and makes fights feel a lot fairer. Outside of MAP07, "Below Zero," being WAY harder than every other map in the set (and almost every map in DBP1, for that matter), the difficulty stays pretty consistent throughout. MAP01 starts out really simple and minimalistic, MAP08 is a bit of mini-slaughter, you know, the usual.   For me, the show-stealer is MAP05, "Frosty Cream Glade." It is maybe one of the greatest Doom maps I've ever played. It doesn't look like much when you first see it, but the way everything is so interconnected and how clever yet simple the encounters are and how pretty the visuals are and how the nonlinearity of the map lets you tackle the encounters in almost any order you want so it feels a lot more personalized and how the map's layout means that part of the puzzle is figuring out how to get where you want to go and the indirect signposting is so well-done that you're probably guaranteed to find it but it still feels satisfying AAAAAAAAA I love this map it's so good. If there's one's map you need to play from this set, it's "Frosty Cream Glade." The AUDACITY of supercupcaketactics to use the MIDI from Scythe 2 MAP21 and somehow completely justify its placement is something I aspire to.   This WAD's far from perfect - 40oz's maps can be underwhelming, some of the levels' freeform nature greatly hurt their pacing ("Cold Shoulder"), they take FOREVER to give you a rocket launcher (you don't get one until MAP04, that's annoying), MAP04 and MAP08 use the exact same MIDI which is really jarring when you play MAP08 for the first time, and for whatever reason MAP05's exit is tagged as a secret even though it's not hidden at all and is required - but I'm getting nitpicky. Circle of Caina SP is a fantastic set of levels from some highly talented people working with a theme that I'm already a huge fan of. Definitely a WAD to check out if you've got a few hours to spare.   OVERALL RATING: 8/10 FAVORITE MAP: MAP05 - "Frosty Cream Glade" (by supercupcaketactics) LEAST FAVORITE MAP: MAP03 - "Some Other Circle" (by 40oz) (it's not terrible by any means but it feels kinda meh compared to the other maps) HARDEST MAP (for me at least): MAP07 - "Below Zero" (by 40oz) MAP YOU SHOULD PLAY FIRST IF YOU WANT A SAMPLER: MAP01 - "The Chill Before The Thrill" (by noisyvelvet)
    • By BoxY · Posted
      Horribly glitchy and impossible to see or do anything in the game. Literally every single texture is glitched out, only thing that works normally is the shooting sounds. 5/5
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