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LucidLocomotive

Is TNT: Evilution severely underrated, or does it just get significantly worse?

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Because so far I must say this is my favorite Doom that I’ve played. After playing Doom Eternal, with all the extra time on my hands due to covid, and with these recent PS4 Classic Doom updates making them awesome, I decided to go back and play every single canon Doom game in chronological order. So far I’ve beaten The Ultimate Doom, Sigil, Doom II: Hell on Earth, The Master Levels for Doom II, No Rest for the Living, and now I’m on to Final Doom. I am only up to level 10 of Evilution, and it is the most fun I’ve had with Classic Doom since The Ultimate Doom (so far that and TNT are probably tied for my favorite). Every level so far has just been a total banger. I know the game gets a pretty bad rap, so I thought I would ask if anyone here actually enjoys TNT, or even better, considers it their favorite. Does it just get worse and worse from here? If I enjoyed the hell out of maps 1-10, how likely am I to like the rest of it? With the level of detail put into the visuals and the overall level design in the first “chapter” (first 1/3rd), I find it hard to believe that the same developers could end up making trash to the level that I’ve heard this game referred to as

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Yes, it really does get much worse the further you advance into the game. The first half of TNT is solid, it even comes with great new music, but the maps kinda go down like a crashing plane after MAP20, with the likes of Habitat and whatnot.

 

Basically, "TNT's highs are higher and its lows are lower than Doom 2" - © @Spectre01.

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I remember when I first got into Final Doom I thought the same thing as I liked the first TNT episode too.

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Posted (edited)

It's underrated. It's my least preferred IWAD but it's consistently good.

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I think I enjoyed most some of the E2 maps, before the maps started getting too big (but at that point I guess it's already E3). In E1 there are already some stinkers hehe

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TNT is my favourite megawad. But yes, it get pretty annoying after map 20. But with several plays, one start to found a different taste to those maps. To explain myself better, map 21 to 30 aren't bad at all, but they feel lacking in details in contrast to the well detailed previous maps. And the problem is that this rushed maps are one after another. Some had desingning problems, like mandatory secrets or so, and others are innecessary big, making them drag a little. But even those maps have neats details that make them enjoyable aesthetically, but not soo good in the gameplay department.

The music of this megawad is the best company to the maps. Wormhole wouldn't be the same without death bells, and Deepest reaches wouldn't be soo cool without blood jungle.

Also, at first one would think that the story makes little sense, and indeed it is strange, but if you look at the details of the maps you will find a lot of clues about what is happening.

TNT - Evilution is the perfect balance between Ultimate Doom moody atmosphere and Doom 2 (bad and good) gameplay.

Whats better is TNT - Revilution, a community made sequel that combines the enthralling atmosphere of Evilution with The Plutonia Experiment gameplay.

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I hesitate to call TNT underrated in any sense of the word. I used to think Final Doom as a whole was underrated, funnily enough, but the more I play TNT these days, the less I like it. Maybe it's just due to my grown standards after having played a lot of awesome custom maps, though.

 

That's not to say I dislike TNT in its entirety, because it does have its good moments.

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TNT is great. The large maps at the time felt really epic and like an evolution from Doom II. The only thing that bothers me is how incredibly easy Heck is compared to the previous map (Mount Pain).

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Evilution has some great levels and some real stinkers. I always looked at it in a pretty negative light, but on my most recent playthrough I found it a solidly enjoyable experience most of the time. It's a product of its era and mired in questionable design choices, even in its good levels. Underrated? Probably only because Plutonia has a more solid design aesthetic and skilled (if often totally unfair) monster usage.

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While I do think both E1 and E2 are pretty solid, it's by episode 3 that things start to get a little stale in some areas. The last few maps are probably my favorite (although the torch puzzle of MAP30 can get a little annoying if you're new to it) but honestly I don't mind Drake O'Brien's maps either. MAP22: Habitat has some bizarre and janky-looking areas, but at least it's easy to speedrun. MAP23 and MAP24 (Lunar Mining Project and Quarry) are inoffensive but not very interesting. MAP25: Baron's Den feels devoid of detail with lots of single-textured dirt walls and dark hallways. MAP26 has some cool-looking areas but parts of it are overcrowded with tight hallways.

 

The only other low moments I can remember are that large open area of MAP08: Metal where hitscanners get kind of annoying, and maybe the low health supply in a few maps - namely Drake O'Brien's levels. Aside from this, I enjoyed TNT the first time I played it, however I felt Plutonia was the better of the two. Over time though I'd come to appreciate them both just the same, maybe leaning more toward TNT because I love the space maps and the secret levels.

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I've said it before but I think TNT (and the master levels) worked a lot better on the PlayStation version of Final Doom, the designs just gelled a lot better with the PSX theme IMO in a way that didn't really apply as well to Plutonia. Lunar Mining Project's long corridors, living quarters and control rooms have stuck with me for years thanks to that whereas with the PC version it's typically regarded as a weaker map.

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Honestly Lunar Mining Project (and areas of other maps like Central Processing's offices) are where my mind goes when I recall disliking TNT's aesthetic. Maybe those rooms were impressive in 1996, but even in the early 2000s when I played Final Doom for the first time I recall them being really silly looking. The sector-based chairs, desks, and beds (wtf?) just don't do it for me.

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4 hours ago, Phobos Anomaly said:

I feel TNT: Evilution is far superior to Plutonia. I find Evilution to be superior to Doom II. 

I haven’t played Plutonia yet but I agree about Doom II. I love Doom 2 but I feel like the level design in TNT is more detailed and makes more sense. Exploding barrels and toxic waste warning signs in Hell? Really? The TNT levels feel like a return to the quality of UD imo so far

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I remember playing TNT & it blew me away that it had different soundtrack & adventurous feeling to it. Mind you, this was around in 2006 before I discovered that fan made wads were a thing.

 

I enjoy it up till map 21. That's when it goes down the drain. Maybe 'Heck' is decent & map 23.

But hey, this is 1996, so I can forgive its flaws.

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Posted (edited)

I find Evilution to be quite underrated. I think there isn't a single bad map from 1 to 20. 7, 14 and 17 are not that great, but they're still pretty fun. All the new music is fantastic.

 

You are very likely to enjoy 11-20, since they are mostly pretty similiar to 1-10, except they are bigger. Only Steel Works (14), Deepest Reaches (16) and Mill (18) differ from anything in 1-10, but I think they're great levels.

 

20-30, now that's something to talk about.

Evilution's last third is definitely the weakest. Maps are much less detailed than the previous ones, mostly (*cough* Administration Centre *cough*) and the aesthetics are very different as well. Also, there are 4 (yes, four) underground cave-type levels, none of which is as good as Deepest Reaches.

 

With all that being said, I still don't think it's as bad as everyone says.

The only truly awful map, possibly the worst IWAD map in fact, is Habitat. And even that has some genuinely interesting stuff in it, and it is one of the shorter maps. Just don't try to find all of the secrets in the sewer area, trust me, it has some of the stupidest secrets ever. 

 

Administration Centre is a great, well detailed map if you take a break about halfway through and continue on the next day. If you try to complete the whole map in one sitting, it will drain all your energy and make you not want to play Doom for some time. I have a love/hate kind of relationship with this map, it has many great things in it, but it's so fucking huge and tiring....

 

Lunar Mining Project, Quarry, Ballistyx are mostly caves, which sounds bad but unlike the other levels, they are really short. And while forgettable, they are not bad, just average, really. They have some interesting structures in them. Especially the end of Ballistyx.

 

Baron's Den is another underground cave level. Possible the least detailed map after Habitat. Very long, full of monotonous caves and few interesting areas between them, I kinda like it, but it's not a very good level. 

 

Mount Pain is one of the most hated levels, but it's for the same exact reasons as Metal (08) and since you liked that one, you will probably join me among the few people that love it.

 

Heck and River Styx are the two standout maps of the last third. Large, beautiful, challenging and fun. River Styx is easily the best penultimate map of the IWADs. I have nothing else to say, just two amazing maps.

 

Last Call is.... fine?  The IoS fight is not very good, but the puzzle at the beginning and general aesthetics are very interesting and they really sell the feeling of a final level.

 

So in conclusion of a massive wall of text with bad Eastern European English. I definitely think you will enjoy the second third of Evilution and it is possible you will enjoy the last third. I thought I was gonna hate entirety of Evilution after seeing some videos, but it ended up being my favourite IWAD, and I even enjoyed many of its notoriously hated (and supposedly bad) maps, like Metal or Mount Pain. I do hate Habitat, though.

It is definitely underrated and worth playing.

Edited by Sankhatayan

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34 minutes ago, LucidLocomotive said:

I haven’t played Plutonia yet but I agree about Doom II. I love Doom 2 but I feel like the level design in TNT is more detailed and makes more sense. Exploding barrels and toxic waste warning signs in Hell? Really? The TNT levels feel like a return to the quality of UD imo so far

 

This is exactly how I feel. UD has the best level design in all of the id Software commercially released Classic Doom products, which is why it is my favorite game, TNT Evilution is a second in that regard.

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12 minutes ago, Sankhatayan said:

I find Evilution to be quite underrated. I think there isn't a single bad map from 1 to 20. 7, 14 and 17 are not that great, but they're still pretty fun. All the new music is fantastic.

 

You are very likely to enjoy 11-20, since they are mostly pretty similiar to 1-10, except they are bigger. Only Steel Works (14), Deepest Reaches (16) and Mill (18) differ from anything in 1-10, but I think they're great levels.

 

20-30, now that's something to talk about.

Evilution's last third is definitely the weakest. Maps are much less detailed than the previous ones, mostly (*cough* Administration Centre *cough*) and the aesthetics are very different as well. Also, there are 4 (yes, four) underground cave-type levels, none of which is as good as Deepest Reaches.

 

With all that being said, I still don't think it's as bad as everyone says.

The only truly awful map, possibly the worst IWAD map in fact, is Habitat. And even that has some genuinely interesting stuff in it, and it is one of the shorter maps. Just don't try to find all of the secrets in the sewer area, trust me, it has some of the stupidest secrets ever. 

 

Administration Centre is a great, well detailed map if you take a break about halfway through and continue on the next day. If you try to complete the whole map in one sitting, it will drain all your energy and make you not want to play Doom for some time. I have a love/hate kind of relationship with this map, it has many great things in it, but it's so fucking huge and tiring....

 

Lunar Mining Project, Quarry, Ballistyx are mostly caves, which sounds bad but unlike the other levels, they are really short. And while forgettable, they are not bad, just average, really. They have some interesting structures in them. Especially the end of Ballistyx.

 

Baron's Den is another underground cave level. Possible the least detailed map after Habitat. Very long, full of monotonous caves and few interesting areas between them, I kinda like it, but it's not a very good level. 

 

Mount Pain is one of the most hated levels, but it's for the same exact reasons as Metal (08) and since you liked that one, you will probably join me among the few people that love it.

 

Heck and River Styx are the two standout maps of the last third. Large, beautiful, challenging and fun. River Styx is easily the best penultimate map of the IWADs. I have nothing else to say, just two amazing maps.

 

Last Call is.... fine?  The IoS fight is not very good, but the puzzle at the beginning and general aesthetics are very interesting and they really sell the feeling of a final level.

 

So in conclusion of a massive wall of text with bad Eastern European English. I definitely think you will enjoy the second third of Evilution and it is possible you will enjoy the last third. I thought I was gonna hate entirety of Evilution after seeing some videos, but it ended up being my favourite IWAD, and I even enjoyed many of its notoriously hated (and supposedly bad) maps, like Metal or Mount Pain. I do hate Habitat, though.

It is definitely underrated and worth playing.

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah Metal was actually one of my favorite levels so far, along with prison. In metal I just love having a chainsaw and going through the tight corridors shredding everything. And the music in “prison” as well as the cosmetic designs, like the two large pump things with the switch, are just great touches

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I think most of TNT is either good or decent, but the wad has some maps that are REALLY bad (namely stuff like Metal, Habitat and Mount Pain), but even those have at least one good aspect going for them.

But yeah... even then it's a megawad I have a fair amount of fun when I play. It's tied with Plutonia for me (mainly because Plutonia has extremely dickish traps and it gets really tiresome to play all the way through, I'd rather play its direct sequel).

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1 minute ago, [Vitz!] said:

I think most of TNT is either good or decent, but the wad has some maps that are REALLY bad (namely stuff like Metal, Habitat and Mount Pain), but even those have at least one good aspect going for them.

But yeah... even then it's a megawad I have a fair amount of fun when I play. It's tied with Plutonia for me (mainly because Plutonia has extremely dickish traps and it gets really tiresome to play all the way through, I'd rather play its direct sequel).

That is interesting. I found metal to be one of my favorites so far. I love going through the tight corridors with the chainsaw and save/load trial/error dark souls style strategizing with the traps, and the music 

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9 minutes ago, [Vitz!] said:

I think most of TNT is either good or decent, but the wad has some maps that are REALLY bad (namely stuff like Metal, Habitat and Mount Pain), but even those have at least one good aspect going for them.

This, Several of my favorite levels of doom come from TNT, because although the iwad contains very bad maps, there are others that are worth it.

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i remember final doom not to be as the same good quality as doom/doom2

also i found nrftw and masters levels for doom very good

 

i tried other "official" levels, but i didnt find that fun...

 

problem is: to finish level you either have to hit a very well hidden switch, or go through a secret door... not good

secret door and hidden switches are supposed to give you something extra, not being mandatory...

 

as far as i know doom 1 has only 1 hard key to get: blue in e3m6 mount erebus, and the level with teleporters can be cheapened with jumping... they were supposed to keep the player stuck for long when there was only doom 1 and had only 3 episodes, and you were on the end of the game.

 

i call it bad game design.

 

at least in ion fury, while being full of secrets, you do not need to find them to finish the game...

i just accepted that i had to look for a guide to access the secret level of the game...

i do not accept that i have to look for a guide to find the exit to a normal level.

 

-------------------------------

 

recently i played wolfenstein 3d on a port,

i managed to edit 4 levels out of 60, those levels had either a mandatory key, or exit door hidden through a wall... i just edited the level and either make the key being visible but not accessible through an opening, or traces of blood leading to the secret wall, or the secret wall being different to the nearby walls...

 

it is 2020, when i want to play i want to play, not to trash and waste hours just to find a stupid secret to be able to progress into the game.

same for japanese rpg where you have to grind, i rather prefer to play dishonored, or prey 2017 (or system shock 2, deus ex, bioshock 1,2) instead of wasting hours in a grindy bloated game.

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curiosity: anyone thought about making a "patch" to fix all bad levels of final doom pack ? and maybe other official or semi official doom releases ?

 

of course, another solution is just to restrict doom official packs to only the good packs, and then just suggest the best levels and packs made by fans...

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1 hour ago, nayoz said:

curiosity: anyone thought about making a "patch" to fix all bad levels of final doom pack ? and maybe other official or semi official doom releases ?

 

of course, another solution is just to restrict doom official packs to only the good packs, and then just suggest the best levels and packs made by fans...

I made a slightly modified version of Metal for myself. Nothing fancy, just a little more cover and health and a few less chaingunner traps. I really like the level and the design and the ideas therein, just felt like it needed some tweaking.

 

I don’t get why people hate Mt. Pain. I fired it up to see how bad it was after getting too bored to finish TNT around map15 (I can only clear out so many rooms of imps and zombies with the SSG and no tougher enemies for so long) and was quite pleasantly surprised. Some of the texture work was downright awful, but for the most part it felt fair in enemy and health distribution (the last room was a bit  of a mess) and there were quite a few genuinely interesting encounters. The map following (Heck?) is probably my favorite TNT map I’ve played.

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TNT has few good levels, with some decent ones being in E1, and then having some gems spread out the next episodes. The issue is that, even those 'gems' are only average quality at best, so there's not much incentive to keep playing it.

The bad levels are very long, boring and tiresome to play, so in a casual playthrough, it's common to get tired of it less than halfway through and play something else better, like Plutonia, which has no single bad level I can think of.

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Evilution captures the imagination in a way that Doom II doesn't (particularly for a new player), because it has way more "realistic" stuff like the truck, various desks and other sector furniture to give you a sense of place. However, once you've played a lot of Doom maps from all sorts of mappers (and even, to an extent, after you've gained some experience with the harder, more "game play" minded Plutonia), you go back to those long corridors, horrible custom textures and heavily "room-door-room" layouts and see way more flaws than anything else. It benefits from nostalgia when you don't revisit it, I think.

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I disagree. Plutonia may have better gameplay (and it is really great, much better than Evilution), but it is behind in every other regard. Most of the maps are small, tight and devoid of anything interesting to explore (although there are some notable exceptions) and many of them have absolutely no atmosphere, with mostly bright rooms, and lot of green and brown. The maps don't connect in any meaningful way. You go from jungle temple to Abandoned Mines with metal textures all over and so on. There aren't even many interesting visual details. Half of the levels feel like characterless arenas, with combat being the only priority. And it gets old really fast. 

 

In Evilution, almost every level feels like a journey. Great atmosphere with fantastic use of lighting, grand locations full of secrets with many interesting places to explore with numerous ways to approach them. And, while not as good as Plutonia's, the combat is mostly okay, and there are some maps which have genuinely amazing encounters (Stronghold, for example). The music is also fantastic and helps the atmosphere.

I don't see any problem with the custom textures. There aren't many of them, they are used sparingly, and most of them look great.

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7 minutes ago, Sankhatayan said:

I disagree. Plutonia may have better gameplay (and it is really great, much better than Evilution), but it is behind in every other regard. Most of the maps are small, tight and devoid of anything interesting to explore (although there are some notable exceptions) and many of them have absolutely no atmosphere, with mostly bright rooms, and lot of green and brown. The maps don't connect in any meaningful way. You go from jungle temple to Abandoned Mines with metal textures all over and so on. There aren't even many interesting visual details. Half of the levels feel like characterless arenas, with combat being the only priority. And it gets old really fast. 

 

In Evilution, almost every level feels like a journey. Great atmosphere with fantastic use of lighting, grand locations full of secrets with many interesting places to explore with numerous ways to approach them. And, while not as good as Plutonia's, the combat is mostly okay, and there are some maps which have genuinely amazing encounters (Stronghold, for example). The music is also fantastic and helps the atmosphere.

I don't see any problem with the custom textures. There aren't many of them, they are used sparingly, and most of them look great.


Oh, pal! i think i found a soul brother in you :D
I feel the same way. I like Plutonia, but the less than zero story details is very awful to me. I not play Doom to test my capabilities, i play it to have a good time, look at exotic locations, amaze myself with brilliant design and great encounters, and feel a sense of progression or achievement when i reach a text screen. And Plutonia, as much i enjoyed it, it only turns into an interesting place too look at after map12: Speed, before that... its like you say, separate combat arenas, like a Roman colliseum.
One might say that Hell Revealed, Kama Sutra or Scythe suffer from this, but i might say no. I don't know why, but i found an implicit narrative throught those wads. A masterfull sense of place, a lot of atmosphere through lighting details, and contextual details that tells a story without words.
Specially Kama Sutra, as i found marvelous in that department. Gusta and Method might just come lazy about writing a story, so i write one, tongue in cheek, story for when i play with myself.
About the textures, TNT made a few replacement, but they... i want to think it this way because i can't find an explaination to it, well, team TNT ''forgot'' to remade the TNT Box texture... and it just look horrible in game.

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14 hours ago, seed said:

Basically, "TNT's highs are higher and its lows are lower than Doom 2" - © @Spectre01.


What an accurate statement. I said something recently on Discord that when it's good it's better than most of Doom II and when it's bad it's worse than any other IWAD period.

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