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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: Uprising

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Fell a little behind yesterday...
 

MAP16 - Thermal:
Back to the regular map lineup, and with a fairly unique theme for this episode. I like the change up in aesthetics, while Uprising's visuals are always great, I was getting a little tired of the grey and reds everywhere, so the larger emphasis on brown and darker textures is much appreciated. The initial rush for weapons (which consists of the first 60 or so enemies) is fun, you've got monsters on all sides, and there's a constant threat of falling off the edge into the lava. I do think the main complex is a bit too big, there's a few parts here that feel like rooms for the sake of rooms.

 

All of the key fights are rather large teleport ambushes with small mix-ups thrown into them, the yellow key fight has you balancing on limited ground with no guard-rails that will send you into the lava if you mis-step, the red key fight is limited on time since the vast majority of the ground is damaging and you've only got a couple of radsuits. The final blue key ambush throws archviles, cybergunners and cacobots at you with very limited space to move since this whole area is blocked off with fences - it's quite a tough fight and I'm not sure how you'd do it if not for the secret plasma gun. I like these three ambushes, particularly the red key

 

Overall, this is a solid map that provides a welcome switch-up in theme.

 

MAP17 - Digsite:
What seems to be another very generic Episode 2 map hides something sinister under the surface. For the first few minutes of the map, you'll be low on weapons and ammo (again!) and have to fight with just the pistol and shotgun for a pretty long time for this point in the megawad - I think that Episode 2 has been harsher with weapon placement than Episode 1 so far. Going for the blue key rewards you with an SSG, but if you've not gone to the other side of the base, you'll be without a chaingun which really helps for this ambush as the lack of ammo means I had to pistol three revenants to death!

 

After getting the blue key, we open the titular Digsite and descend into a creepy grey temple. Fittingly, this lost temple is filled to the absolute brim with skeletons and these revenants will be the bane of your existence here. The visuals here are very monochromatic, which makes the small dashes of colour stand out even more than normal, and I think the aesthetic pulls together fantastically. The red key fight unveils a horde of revenants and dark imps, which is tough to take out with just the SSG, and the red key opens the way to a rocket launcher and an enormous teleporter ambush. Space is fairly limited here, and while it's not too difficult to get the horde into a clump to circle-strafe, the first few seconds of this fight are very tense.

 

The yellow key trap unveils mancubi, and two cybergunners - I found the mancubi to be a much greater threat here, since I hadn't found the secret plasma gun yet and because the SSG just isn't quick enough to ensure survival, the rocket launcher was the only real option which led to a bunch of self-damage. The finale spawns two archviles onto the pile of corpses left in the large rocket launcher fight and is really mean since you'll likely be low on rockets and the lack of much cover can make it very hard to not get overwhelmed - without the plasma gun secret, this fight might tip into being actively unfair.

 

Overall, this temple contains unusual visuals and tight combat and I enjoyed my time with it.

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MAP17 - “Digsite”

 

The techbase sections are very ho-hum, the ruins beneath were not that much better. A lot of the combat is rather sluggish and the bigger fights were either easy to put down or very aggravating. The biggest fight comes before the yellow key, which isn't too bad, but the area being populated with two archviles is very painful given you will have depleted your resources (Mostly health from earlier). The yellow key itself has some rather poor usage of those custom monsters (They are too slow to be a threat here). After this it is a trek back to the tech base and onwards to the exit.

Overall, this was a little dull and the bigger fights lacked the fun factor that was present in earlier maps.

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Playstyle: dsda-doom (-cl2), UV (generally max but occasionally might skip secret hunt), pistol start, sparse saves/rewinds (no mid-combat)

 

Map 17 - Digsite

 

Starting off in a small courtyard, we're put into the most typical Uprising situation - getting shot by fodder from somewhere you didn't have enoough attention span for. Right away, I manage to go the wrong way, skip the entire armor/chaingun progression and, well, trip and die in BK/SSG fight becase <100 hp 0 armor to begin with. I opted to just restart and go look for stuff, which, surprise surprise, makes everything a lot more manageable.

 

Once I get to the caverns, vague memories of the map start coming back. The big fights are neither bad nor remarkable. The big arena sort of takes care of itself. YK is probably my favourite here -  it requires trigger discipline around mancs with RL (or secret plasma for those who don't have one).

 

 

Bonus content: Vilified

 

Outside of Derelict's solo-net, this map features the most drastic increase in coop viles.

 

BK fight gets the obligatory Cyber (a ton of starting shells and some extra bullet boxes do exist), but also two deaf viles in side alcoves. The only sane strat I've got for this is to dance without a single shot near BK closet to lure out stair pinkies and beeline away to the safety of the lift.

 

Catacombs don't change drastically, outside of random viles everywhere. For a change, I've figured out a way to skip the first lock-in in the cage arena and turned it into corridor carnage instead.

 

YK fight also adds 2 viles and 6 revs (enough to win against one cybergunner, as it turned out). It gets really busy and difficult, plasma is not really optional anymore. There are 2 extra supercharges which may or may not help.

 

I got locked out of 2 regular caco kills on this 2nd run due to them getting in perfect sync while teleport destination was blocked:

Spoiler

image.png.90a421fb66367abf2ed8c8573b3172d5.png

 

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So I'm all Doomed out for the moment period, so I haven't been posting anything in this thread. I did want to pop in and say that I loved both secret levels. Map 31's atmosphere is top-notch, and I had no idea what to expect at any point during my playthrough, and the tension in those initial moments is through the roof. When you finally shoot the switch that unleashes what killed everyone in the area, it was not what I expected. Ditching the expected archies and instead having it be a new enemy called the traitor (which is just Mr X from Scythe 2) was an incredibly smart move, and setting dozens of them down into this cramped area makes for some great panic-induced fights. 

 

Map 32's concept is really cool. I like the idea of time traveling to different areas and fighting through scenarios. I liked the trenches and the London (iirc) part, though the cybs in this area can really catch you off-guard. I was surprised that in my playthrough a month or so ago that I did not die in the final area, a neon green slaughter arena that's one of the best looking areas in the WAD. True, there is a carp-ton of health spheres and 2 invuls, but I still suck at slaughter fights, even with the BFG.

 

So yeah, 2 really cool secret maps. Some of my favs in recent memory. I'm going to pop back in on map 29 since I didn't really beat that map properly before, so I have a score to settle with it. In the meantime, I'm enjoying reading the posts on here, and it seems like the general response has been positive so far! There's still some really good maps coming up, and a few gigantic ones that rival map 32 iirc. 

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Playstyle: dsda-doom (-cl2), UV (generally max but occasionally might skip secret hunt), pistol start, sparse saves/rewinds (no mid-combat)


Map 18 - Biodisaster

 

Oh I remembered this one as I loaded in. Wonders of weird plant research in a snowy (mountainous?) facility.

 

The start has long and painful ammo economy if you don't know exactly where to go, which I didn't. You get an immediate SSG, which is pretty amazing for Uprising's track record with that weapon's availability, but you have to be very selective and efficient. That is until you get to RK fights, at which point you're pretty much all set even if you miss the secret BFG. Add to that hiding enemies behind vines, plentiful mid-tiers, the usual roaming flankers and uhh yea I'm no fan of the start. I'm sure some will find it really fun, but not me. The silver lining is you start out with a megaarmor, so health pickups double in value.

 

The secret BFG was a fight I remembered, but completely forgot to save a radsuit for it. Oh well, there's plenty of health/armor in the level.

 

The big slaughter fight solves itself too hard to even bother shooting. Just run around in circles, maybe widen a break through hole once or twice in the first 15 seconds, be aware of the sniper rev cluster if any... and you're done. BFG is very optional, and you're now swimming in cells to the very end.


Bonus content: Disaster averted?

 

As usual, extra shell boxes at the beginning come in handy. There's no need to switch off SSG every 10 seconds and you can save CG bullets for later instead of scrounging for every single demon, which feels great in contrast to original.

 

The biggest change is probably non-secret bacpack area - it now houses 2 extra viles but also 2 blue faces to fall back on. Plsama fight has the obligatory Cyber (awkward to kill edition). RK segment is mostly the same. Big slaughter fight is a bit more dense and has 2 roaming Cybers in the crowd making it an extremely fast and brutal affair, but also provides 3 Megaspheres.

 

 

This is probably a good point to talk about the most unusal thing I've noticed throughout Uprising. I don't know why, but the amount of cases where projectiles get silently consumed upon collision with a wall is at an all-time high throughout this megawad - easily in two digits. No idea exactly what shenanigans are afoot, but the density of this bug compared to any other megawad I've played is astonishing.

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Choo choo, I've been lazy so review train time

 

MAP14: Lockdown

Kills: 76%

Items: 29%

Secrets: 20%

Time: 9:35

 

Lockdown I feel is a little worse than the last few maps, but still pretty good. The layout here is a bit more complex than usual, interspersed with the higher density of monsters we've been seeing from E2. I find the ground troops can cause the most trouble of all of them, however speaking of new enemies, Uprising has yet another trick up it's sleeve. Beware the Cybercaco in this map. A flying metallic replica of hell's tomatoes, it spits a row of Mancubus flames and a Revenant rocket from it's... eye?? I'd also recommend taking on the red key fight more carefully than I did, you can easily get stuck there. This one feels like a slightly calmer Shipping Zone.

 

Grade: B
Difficulty: C

 

 

MAP15: Communications

Kills: 93%

Items: 65%

Secrets: 0%

Time: 9:59

 

Communications is definitely the most surprising map in Uprising. I wouldn't call it particularly heavier on setpieces or anything, but it's simply way denser on enemies than your average Cheesewheel joint. You can barely catch your breath in this one. Almost anywhere you go spawns in new monsters. You know, my main issue with that is funny enough the opposite of virtually every other map so far. This map can feel a bit too overcrowded for my tastes, especially indoors, but honestly I'd call it a minor quibble overall. This map's best moment is definitely near the end, a freeform yet energetic and upbeat Arch-Vile fight with a dash of Cyberdemon. You don't have to worry about ammo here, simply left click and enjoy. This megawad's must-see secret maps are pretty easy to find thankfully, simply hunt down three obvious shootable switches that all look the same and take the elevator at the end of the map.

 

Grade: A-

Difficulty: B+

 

 

MAP31: Dereliction

Kills: 100%
Items: 44%

Secrets: 50%

Time: 6:34

 

Forget everything I just said about MAP15 being surprising and introduce yourself to Dereliction. This eerie mothership may prompt an eye roll initially if you're like me and expecting the most cliche thing ever, a ton of Arch-Viles appearing from the walls, however I'll admit I didn't expect Mr. X to be mixed with Equinox MAP10. It can be surprisingly difficult. Several of the enhanced, plasma-wielding super-soldiers don't wake up immediately, so tread through the base carefully. After killing them all one by one, head back to the yellow key room where you can open the path to MAP32. This map rules, the MIDI, detailing and enemies all come together in a wonderful way.

 

Grade: A

Difficulty: C

 

 

(transition to GZDoom 4.8 here)

 

MAP32: Beyond

Kills: 85%

Items: 72%

Secrets: 25%

Time: 23:32

 

Alright, we've got four different segments to do, gotta go fast. The ship at the end of Dereliction ended up dragging you to the UAC Chronology Labs which has embarrassingly low security. After shooting through the corridors, you'll reach the first 1900's segment, and I have to say, the idea of going back to real historical events in a Doom map is just inherently cool. I don't need to explain it to you. Anyway, the first is easily the weakest in my opinion, mainly because nothing god damn happens in it. It's not much of a complaint, the map is still just getting started at this point. The 1500's segment is pretty cool, less really for the combat and more so how beautiful these ancient brown passageways and volcanic valleys look rendered by Cheesewheel, a lot of good lighting here too overall. The 1300's segment is pretty dark and gloomy (HAH) but it has a nice flow. I initially rolled my eyes at the sight of switches at this part but it actually comes together really nicely. The final unknown segment is, surprisingly, a pretty intense slaughterfest in a green purgatory, however you get a sea of ammo and Megaspheres to patch things up easily. I'm not sure what this place is supposed to be specifically and Cheesewheel doesn't either, but personally I like to imagine it's either at the start or end of the universe. This map is more than the sum of it's parts for sure, I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up my favourite in the entire wad, let alone top three.

 

Grade: A

Difficulty: B+

 

 

MAP16: Thermal

Kills: 89%

Items: 88%

Secrets: 25%

Time: 11:43

 

Similar to MAP07, this is another one that does all the right things but kind of underwhelms me in the end. I will say initially I find it kind of strange this map takes a vacation in Hell, when MAP15 was snowy and we go right back to the glaciers in 17. This is another one that has good moments but fails to connect the dots in a super satisfying way. I have trouble describing how I feel about it. All the key fights are pretty good here, but everything else in between can feel somewhat annoying to be honest. This one comes and it goes. Although Thermal feels less than the sum of its parts, those individual parts are good enough to score an overall okay rating.

 

Grade: C+

Difficulty: B

 

 

MAP17: Digsite

Kills: 83%

Items: 93%

Secrets: 66%

Time: 13:55

 

Okay I'm gonna get the elephant out of the room first. Digsite is a cool map because of the underground segment. I mean sure, it comes pretty suddenly all things considered, I'd probably say too suddenly, it does just kind  but the fight in the prison, unique aesthetics and cool lighting have won me over here, even if that prison fight itself is pretty brutal. The rest of the map is also pretty neat, more of that MAP11 density we've been seeing lately. Although Digsite comes together in a perhaps questionable way, I think it works well enough to be an Uprising starlet. 

 

Grade: A-

Difficulty: B-

 

 

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MAP32: Beyond. 1136/1194 K, 4/4 S. Completion time: mofoing 1:24:02.

 

So, a Citadel at the Edge of Eternity... But actually a great one! Or, um, okay. Ambitious is a keyword here, and if I had complained winter techbases being "samey" in a long run, this one really, really provides a change of scenery and pace. I love it, and I love the rendition of TNT Wormhole music here (is it called Death's Bells?). I'm glad it's chosen as the track because the UV-MAX prone players get to hear that for a long time. Although I know for a fact I'm a slow player.

 

That said, it's not all great. I was really starving for ammo, which was really painful by the time I got to the Aztec part. The first half of that place felt like a chore because of having not enough ammo. Once I got through that, the situation started remedying itself, and while the London section was a bit overwhelming at first. Either that, or then I was really exhausted when I first reached it. Because as much as I love the idea and individual parts of the map, a level that spans for over an hour isn't really my thing. I almost wish these time travel places were individual levels, and part of the actual map flow, with player returning to familiar chronology tech base center at the end of each map, so that the whole thing would constitute an episode inside the megawad.

 

Speaking of overwhelming; the emerald hell part. It's a BFG fest, but for me it was hard. If I hadn't found the second invuln sphere, I don't know if I'd be writing this capsule review.

 

But who am I to complain, this was one great outing. We've come a long way from MAP01.

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(Played continuously on UV with Prboom+, saves are allowed)

Map 18: Biodisaster

100% kills, 29% items, 100% secrets

Time: 16:35

 

Biodisaster is sadly another level that I don't love. Let's talk about the positives first: the visuals are great as the green base aesthetic contrasts nicely with the lava and Jimmy's midi obviously fits very well. Some ambushes are really fun like the cyber, hitscanner and revenant fight before the red key or the penultimate fight, a wide open splatterfest which is even more fun with the secret BFG. However, most of the gamepay feels lacking as the incidental combat is just okay and some ambushes are underwhelming, with the main example being the final one with the lava, mancubi, arachnos and knights, which feels like it was put here to pat out the map's run time. Also, the excessive presence of the damaging lava makes some fights like the revenant, archie and zombie teleport ambush beyond the red doors really annoying, especially as the map only has 2 rad suits. I appreciate Biodisaster's visuals, slightly non linear layout and a few of it's encounters, but the rest of the combat is below Uprising's usual standard.

 

 

Rankings:

Spoiler

 

Love:

Map 9

Map 15

Map 13

Map 32

Map 12

Map 4

Really Like:

Map 16

Map 6

Map 31

Map 1

Map 14

Map 10

Map 7

Map 3

Map 5

Map 2

Like:

Map 11

Map 18

Map 8

Mediocre:

Map 17

 

 

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MAP18 - “Biodisaster”

 

This was a lot better than the previous map, though not as fun as a fair chunk of episode 2. The start yet again sees you wandering through quite tight quarters with limited resources (Though the SSG is provided at the start). In the end when you lower the red key, the pace you play this with will take a significant step upwards, as for the most part ammo is plentiful and you will have everything except the BFG, which is sufficient enough for this map. There are two cyberdemons here, who are frankly placed rather poorly and can be easily dispatch. The first for the red key isn't too bad, but it needed more than the revenants in the lava moat to carry some threat. The second cyberdemon is probably the worst, he is unable to impose himself due to blocking lines around the room he is stationed in. I know this is supposed to prevent the player from rushing in and escaping, but he was pretty useless as a threat, the revenant snipers were far more effective. As it is the yellow key fight kind of extinguishes itself. 

I think that was a general trend of a lot of the big fights, either they were quite simple to dispatch when you did have to confront everything, or the traps was deployed in a matter than fleeing and taking a defensive stance somewhere else was the better option. In that sense the final stretch behind the yellow key door was probably the best because it presented a combat set piece that actually required the player to actually think of a way out, in this case remaining in the lava is no option so equip the plasma and hose down the spiders, oddly I wonder if something more threatening could have been used here. The monster in the exit room was a waste of time.

In the end the incidental combat carries more threat here, that said despite the high monster count, you can breeze through this one quite quickly once you have the weapons. Also health and armour is more generous here, so much to the point where the use of damaging floor wasn't an issue really. 

Overall this was solid, I had fun but there are better maps in this episode.

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MAP18 - Biodisaster:
It's as if Cheesewheel could tell that the lack of decent weaponry was becoming samey, since this map hands the big guns much quicker than any other E2 map so far and throws some large scale ambushes with tanky foes at you which the SSG and chaingun would just not suffice for. The visuals are pretty unusual for this wad, this map is mostly comprised of green concrete and lava, and I think this aesthetic works very well. I do find myself getting a bit irritated by the large presence of damaging floors everywhere but this definitely lends this map an fairly uneasy feel since you're pretty much never safe from falling into the lava.

 

The red key sequence is great, you open the walls of the area you're in and a load of plasma troopers, cacobots and arachnotrons lurk behind them to absolutely destroy anyone who doesn't immediately react and flee to safety. You then lower the red key and have to fight a cyberdemon in very limited space, especially if you fall off the upper ledge and have to get up close and personal with him to grab the red key. The yellow key is protected by an enourmous ambush, hordes of chaos knights, pinkies, revenants and arachnotrons await you in a large courtyard, this fight requires quick reactions and movement to dodge the sheer amount of projectiles being hurled at you.

 

After the yellow door, there's a couple of small ambushes that drop you straight into the lava. The best way to deal with these is to get out of the lava as soon as possible, ignoring any glancing hits from the chaos knights or mancubi. There's a secret BFG hidden near the red key that I only found at the end of the map, I remember from my first playthrough that I found this fight incredibly frustrating - an archvile spawns both in front and behind you, there's damaging floor everywhere and very little cover and health. I managed to first try it on this playthrough so I guess I got lucky here.

 

Overall, this complete switch-up in visual and combat theme from the rest of Episode 2 that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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MAP16: Thermal. 258/259 K, 4/4 S. Completion time 34:32.

 

I think Thermal is a great earth metal base level. It doesn't overstay its welcome by exhausting the player and it should be upper tier experience for the player. My problems (yes, there were some) is probably because of my own bad routing and pistol starting.

 

Because for a good chunk of the level I was underequipped. I shotgunned my way through barons and revenants, I had to cheese the YK fight because all I had was a shotgun (and a chaingun, but no ammo). I totally missed the rocket launcher when you first enter the outdoor area, because I had to take refuge somewhere from the hordes that attack you, and when that happens, it's gonna be a miserable time. I should have suspected something when I had 50 rockets in my inventory (missed the backpack, too, even if I got very close to it in the first half of the level) but no rocket launcher. I guess it wouldn't have mattered that much, but once again I feel the SSG is given way too late in the level. Plasma gun can be found early (although it was a secret), but I could barely find any cells, wasted them all on the barons that emerge when you press the switch in that same room.

 

I suppose a replay of the level would be much better, or much faster. And with all my negativity, I think it's still a great level, I thoroughly enjoyed the set pieces, and the soundtrack.

 

One other thing: I couldn't get all the kills. Have you others been able to do that? It's really strange, I tried looking for the final enemy, too, using IDDT, and I still couldn't find it, whatever it was. When I couldn't think of anything else, I used the TNTEM cheat to kill everything, and it said something like 22 monsters killed (of which 1 was apparently the one I missed). I think the cheat (in DSDA-Doom, at least) should play the death sounds, but activating the cheat was totally silent. When I repeated the cheat, it said 21 monsters killed, and I started hearing demon growls. The cheat had somehow resurrected the cyber-cacos, which now were unkillable. I suppose they were somehow resurrected from a crushed state, like sometimes happens when an archvile resurrects a corpse that's been crushed under a ceiling (or a door). Strange.

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I didn't have enough time for proper write ups during this week.

 

For now, a few general observations on difficulty settings in Uprising:

- Most "arena" fights on HNTR are much easier. Sometimes they feel as casual, as the incidental combat before them.

- Smaller-scale fights and incidental combat mostly stay the same between HNTR and UV.

- UV has a lot of incidentally-placed mid-tiers. (That mancubus on a column in the first half of map 14? On HNTR, he is gone!)

- Thus, the arena fights are made much less overwhelming on HNTR. The incidental combat often feels like the main focus.

- With less midtiers, ammo on HNTR becomes plentiful.

 

My overall impression about HNTR and UV (at least, so far)

UV difficulty feels somewhat like a middle ground between TNT:Evilution and Valiant.

HNTR, by contrast, feels like a modern take on Doom 1 maps.

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Playstyle: dsda-doom (-cl2), UV (generally max but occasionally might skip secret hunt), pistol start, sparse saves/rewinds (no mid-combat)

 

Map 19 - Circuit Break

 

Continuing from the previous map, we're trying to stop the massive mainframe of the biodisastrous facility. A single arena with massive ledges (parts of the mainframe) in the center, some outskirt mancubi and a path in the middle of it all that showers you in Megas, Invulns, rockets and plasma.

 

The hardest part is probably to not accidentally trip on the stairs around the red key pillar - they are really easy to miss as you're blazing past and the ledge will stop you dead in your tracks. It won't do well for your health if there are Cacobot missiles or a CK volley chasing you.

 

On replay - if you're efficient and get BFG immediately, you can pretty much be invulnerable until almost everything is dead.

 

Bonus content: None

This map that features no coop thing placements outside of player starts.

Edited by Doomy__Doom

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MAP17: Digsite. 265/265 K, 3/3 S. Completion time 42:06

 

Digsite is an okay level. I saw some critical remarks of it here, but I don't know, I didn't have that much problem with it... unless you count the fact that again I was really suffering through ammo scarcity in the first part of the level. This, I think, is once again partly my own fault, obviously I didn't take the intended route, because several minutes of playtime went by with me trying to incite infight amongst some barons (or what are they called, chaos knights?) and revenants that emerged in the BK room, which I had to flee because I didn't have the necessary firepower. Some of the revenants I could down with a pistol, but that's not exactly high-octane gameplay there.

 

Upon reaching the digsite the situation is quickly remedied, helped by finding the not-too-obtuse secrets, and I could start having fun (although I resorted to savescumming and berserking revenants just in case scarcity strikes again, which admittedly took away a part of the excitement, but that's definitely on me).

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(Played continuously on UV with Prboom+, saves are allowed)

Map 19: Circuit Break

100% kills, 72% items, 100% secrets

Time: 7:24

 

Circuit Break is exactly what we needed after Biodisaster and Digsite, it's short, compact and explosive. While the space may be small for the +300 enemies, there are way more cells and rockets than necessary to load your guns and Cheesewheel gives 3 soulspheres, 5 megaspheres and 3 invulns, making the combat easier than it may seem with the only real threats being the cacobots and the 2 cyberdemons guarding the last switch. Even if you are showered with supplies, I ain't complaining at all as it favorises more aggressive play, which is something that I always really appreciate. Of course, the map also looks great as the techbase itself but also the void-like background with the red lights are really pretty and Jimmy's midi is very fitting. Circuit Break is another short, but very fun and exciting map.

 

 

Rankings:

Spoiler

 

Love:

Map 9

Map 15

Map 13

Map 32

Map 19

Map 12

Map 4

Really Like:

Map 16

Map 6

Map 31

Map 1

Map 14

Map 10

Map 7

Map 3

Map 5

Map 2

Like:

Map 11

Map 18

Map 8

Mediocre:

Map 17

 

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MAP18: Biodisaster. 330/331 K, 3/3 S. Completion time: 46:05

 

It's still a earthly lava tech base with a touch of ice, but this time I had better time from the get-go. We're given SSG right away, as well as the rocket launcher, and while ammo wasn't overabundant, there was no annoying scarcity either. I felt like Cheesewheel equipped me with the right stuff and had me see if I could survive the onslaught.

 

I believe the highlight here is the battle for the YK, it's borderline slaughter, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chaos of it.

 

Once again the level is quite a long one, or at least it feels long, looking at my completion time, and sometimes I wish levels' would just be more bitesizy. When I look at my Haste/MSCP stats, not a single level took me over 28 minutes. I mean, that's not a complaint, but I kinda hope levels don't grow too much from this point.

 

I think one enemy failed to teleport in from some closet, at least I couldn't find any more prowling the level.

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MAP19 - Circuit Break:

Similar to Map09, Circuit Break functions as a focused combat set-piece to serve as an appetizer for Map20. I like the visuals, the black and red looks great together and the pulsing red lights in the background contrasted with the void is just cool. At the start, you're given weapons 5 and 6 as well as an invulnerability and can go nuts through the initial hordes of monsters. This is really fun, like all of the slaughtery arenas Uprising has presented so far, supplies are plentiful and this allows for a very aggressive playstyle. There's the wad's first non-secret BFG, which I delayed picking up assuming it'd be protected by a large trap which isn't the case. 

 

I think the map loses some steam after the initial few minutes since both of the key fights are very wimpy compared to the first horde, especially since you've got a BFG. This might be because I chose to completely clear out the first area before triggering either of them but it still felt a bit off. I was able to save an invulnerability for the finale, and this made it very easy, but there's plenty of cell ammo and few enough enemies that BFG spamming your way to victory shouldn't be too challenging. Of the two maps of this type in Uprising, I think I prefer UAC HQ over Circuit Break but this is a fun map to tear through and doesn't feature any mean ambushes like the rocket launcher fight in UAC HQ.

 

Overall, this is a fun, fast-paced penultimate level for Episode 2 that I think goes a bit too easy on the player.

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MAP19 - “Circuit Break”

 

This map is very blunt, however I'm a little torn on this one. Sure mowing down monsters with the heavy weapons is fun, but it was more a chaotic mess where you rely on invulnerabilities to offset said chaos. You will die a lot until you figure out where everything is, and then everything else will dies without much of a fuss. The keys and BFG are lightly defended in comparison to the mass of monsters running around from the start. The final fight is a piece of cake really, you have all the ammo in the world to take this down. 

In the end the map felt like one of those close to impossible maps where you are tempted to simple IDDQD or IDKFA your way to success.... except here the author basically hands you everything on a plate. As such victory feels quite hollow here.

Overall the map looks neat and a nice change of scenery again, but outside of blowing off steam, there isn't much to this one. I prefer UAC HQ, which had the same sort of gimmick going on as you still had to fight to hold your ground in many part of the map.

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MAP19: Circuit Break. 326/326 K, 0/0 S. Completion time 12:48

 

My prayers were answered, here's a shorter map! My first experience with it was that of frustration: I didn't realize there was a BFG and more than one invulnerability sphere, so I had quite a miserable times until I gave up (ahem, rage quit). The map felt like it might have been possible with only rockets and plasma gun and the one invuln, but it was going to be too much for me.

 

Then, after taking a break, I told myself in Christian Bale's voice: Let's see @NiGHTS108 run, and I realized I had missed the vital component, the BFG. And all of the other invuln spheres, but the BFG was the key, and after finding that I also found myself enjoying Circuit Break, it indeed was the much needed break from marathon maps. Also, loved the soundtrack.

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monday, time to play some doom! 

 

MAP 17 - Digsite :

we've come to the cold, and up the steps to the left there's a green armor with some drones protecting it, and on the right, inside the garage, a lot of zombies guarding a switch that lowers the floor, giving us the SSG and the blue key. A couple of revs and pinkies join some imps to force us to use the newly found SSG, and then it's back up. A few more zombies show up, then there's a almost hidden switch, a berserker. Enter and you'll find the path to the other side, where the green armor was, and close by the chaingun, protected by a chaos knight and a rev. After that take the lift to the blue door, press the switch and open the door.

And now we reach the actual dig site, some ancient ruins of hellish look and labyrinthine disposition. I reach the red key and get killed there. So now, back to the start..

 Back to the ruins entry, this time I take my time moving through the corridors. Find the secret back pack and rockets, release an AV that almost kills me, go back for health, find a face switch that does not appear to do much, save, die again to the dark imps on the red key. Third time is the charm? It was. Found the secret from the face before, and now off to the red door. Oh, this seems like it will be a good time.. Switch to rockets, kill all, switch, switch, kill the revs, enter deeper into the ruins. Oh, more revs. Tons of them! Secret plasma! Not secret bluesphere and it's chaingun totting friends, then grab rockets, armor, and switch. Only a few more revs. Nothing big. Switch, switch, cacos! And now time to go back. Oh look, more revs.And now off to the exit. But first, health. And! 

100% K/I/S, 2 deaths, 27 minutes 14 seconds.

 

MAP 18 - Biodisaster : 

Always a good sign when the level starts with a blue armor, the SSG and a chaingun, is it not? I found myself in a new place, lava flows freely and vines cover the walls, corpses litter the floor. From every nook and cranny the hordes from hell shoot at me. Whatever purpose this place has served before now it's little more than a demon infested thorn in my path and armed with my shotguns I'll cross it. Left over ammo, health and armors mark the way, but every step must be won. There are traps set by the demons :  a rocket launcher lying in the floor, innocently, will bring a few dozen zombies to shoot at me from hell itself it would seem, vines hiding chaingun wielding zombies ready to shoot at me from behind, switches lowering walls and releasing even more hellspawn.. Hidden around the old place are still a few secrets. A wall of a different color leads to a blue sphere that raises my spirits and makes me feel alive. I keep moving, I'll need the red key to open the door and progress further inside, and I do indeed find it, in the middle of a pool of lava. Pressing the switch triggers another trap, but I've survived this far, I'll survive longer. Ambush after ambush I survive and now I have one of the red doors ahead. there are more demons inside, bigger demons. Killing them I find a path outside, a megapshere next to a button tells me the demons like to play somewhat fair. What they might not know is that I'm not that fair and I have a BFG. The trap they had for me was reduced to rubble in a second. After that I grab the yellow key and find my way to the exit but once there my instincts tell me there's still more hidden in this place.. My instincts were correct. I removed the finaldemons still alive in here, grabbed a new BFG and then marched my way to the exit! 

100% K/I/S, 0 deaths, 29 minutes 01 seconds.

 

MAP 19 - Circuit Break

The fact I can see three invincibilities from the start means it is going to be one of those levels. I had managed to kill about half of the demons when an AV threw me overboard. I eventually die at 136/219. Next try. I believe the first wave is done. With invun and mega 'spheres to waste. Blue bars, red bars, switch. Oh it's just a wave of revs, fine then, I have a BFG and since they are higher than me even their homing rockets have a hard time hitting me and my 200 health and armor. Plus, even the few that hit are not a problem when I have two more megaspheres in this room. Done.

100, 94, 100% K/I/S, 1 death to AV throw, 7 minutes 17 seconds.

 

Totals* : 100% Kills and Secrets, 15 deaths, a total of 06 hours 11 minutes and 38 seconds.

 

*not counting secret levels. 

Edited by kalaeth

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Playstyle: dsda-doom (-cl2), UV (generally max but occasionally might skip secret hunt), pistol start, sparse saves/rewinds (no mid-combat)

 

Map 20 - Heroism

 

A massive map with more modern design - busy fights interspersed with exploration inbetween.

 

RL fight - cool massive area with stairs, pillars, towers for cacos to climb, walls, snipers on all sides. You want to carve out safe space aggressively at the start, and all the verticality makes it easy to take unhealthy doses of stray damage.

 

Plasma/YK fight - "circlestrafe/u-turn and watch everything die by itself" affair. The Cyberdemon didn't last 20 seconds btw. Ended up with 200/200 and a spare supercharge in front of YK. I'm not sure why, but you get an invuln for it.

 

After YD exploration comes what I found to be the hardest bit - snowy pool fight, got me good a couple times. Cacobots shine here, throwing a massive wrench into an otherwise manageable pinky/rev/CK crowd+2 viles. Cacobots generate awkward rev missiles that upset the standard flow for "revs in a prolonged area with walls" situation.

At the end of the day however nothing is stopping the player from backtracking up the lift and splitting the caco from the rest - ample space on sides of the lift ensures it doesn't get clogged provided you killed as much as you could beforehand.

 

RK fight is supremely escapable, and given you can hear viles in the pillars as you go towards the trigger there's all the incentive to pile corpses far away.

The NO RETURN fight is mostly about not getting stuck in Cacobots and knowing how U-turn correctly with a rev cluster on you. And I guess stray rockets? It's not that dense and cleans up pretty quickly.

 

Afterwards I've spent a bunch of time excercising in "can I rocket jump to the invuln secret from the NO RETURN ramp?" (the answer is I didn't figure out a way) and then realised I'm miissing enemies. Because of 2 CKs stuck in ceilings (closest ones), two closets destined for plasma fight's plase 2 do not function on -cl2 (not that it would change much):

Spoiler

image.png.32a86d339be54586af2ffd98c7f24bbc.png


Bonus content: not worth, or might as well

This is too long to play 2nd time in a row with coop stuff, so I took a look in the editor to decide. A couple cybers, a couple more viles in YK fight, some incidental padding with mancs and arachnotrons... the only thing worth attention is an incredible increase in dark imp density for the first big fight (RL one). That gets quite nasty, you need to be more aggressive with making space with rockets, Although ultimately the U-shape around 2 red towers works out once you've pulled cacos in a bit. Rest I didn't play, I can't imagine much difference and got stuff to do.

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(Played continuously on UV with Prboom+, saves are allowed)

Map 20: Heroism

103% kills (with cheats as it seems like some enemies can't teleport), 87% items, 0% secrets

Time: 32:24

 

Cheesewheel decided to close his second episode with a banger, and what a banger it is! Heroism is a punishing magnum opus taking place in another grey snowy techbase, but this time, it hides something dangerous.... The techbase portion is full of deadly encounters that range from different combinations of heavies to cyberdemon infight parties, which are all very fun. However, what you don't know at first is that all of these fights build to a climax. After pressing the red switch, 4 monster closets open and after pressing some other switches, you will open a room in which "no return" is written on the wall, which is a good way to warn the player. In here, a BFG is offered to you and you can drop down from a hole and doing it reveals what the map's been hiding all along, a Speed of Doom-esque hellish landscape (probably inspired by this wad's map 26), in which the demons are not happy to meet you as they send tons of mancubi, arch-viles, pinkies, revs, cacos, cacobots.... which all want to annhilitate you and on top of that, opening the exit reveals even more revs. In total, this arena contains over 600 enemies. A journey like this always needs a great midi, and Jimmy's “2012” is the perfect fit for such an epic adventure. Despite it dragging a bit, Heroism is a brutal map that serves as the perfect conclusion to Uprising's second episode.

 

 

Rankings:

Spoiler

Love:

Map 9

Map 15

Map 13

Map 20

Map 32

Map 19

Map 12

Map 4

Really Like:

Map 16

Map 6

Map 31

Map 1

Map 14

Map 10

Map 7

Map 3

Map 5

Map 2

Like:

Map 11

Map 18

Map 8

Mediocre:

Map 17

 

 

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MAP20 - “Heroism”

 

Wowzers, this is a huge map. This has its flaws, but it certainly impressed me on the scale and execution of the map.

The map starts fairly slowly, but its true colours are revealed when you reach the rocket launcher, and in my opinion the best moments of this map involve the excessive used of the rocket launcher. The fights for the blue and yellow keys are extremely fun and the incidental combat can be blown away without much of a sweat. The first big sticking point is beyond the yellow door in the snowy canyon, here the cacobots are extremely annoying as their speed has the habit of checkmating the player by getting them stuck, or worse and eating a load of revenant missiles. My final route involved me pushing through the crowds once the pinkies has fallen and going to the red key area. Once the cacobots were dead I returned to the fight to finish everything off.

The red key is probably the biggest dud fight, given flight is the best strategy and practically signposted. 

The final fight soured the experience a little for me, the use of archviles is a random lottery and several deaths occurred because of getting unlucky with them (Either immediately zeroing in on your or catching you in the middle of the chaos). Once the viles are dead the fight is essentially over, despite there being hundreds of monsters, you have space and resources going spare here. As such it seems to me that this fight doesn't work particularly well and given you will have been gunning for half an hour by this point, it probably has the capacity to cause a rage quit moment.

Overall a seriously impressive spectacle and this map offers probably some of the highest points of the megawad so far. However there are issues here and these cut deep into the DNA of this entire megawad, this is about being able to create fun and engaging set pieces. There is a knack to doing this well, but so far a lot of the big fights have become more a chaotic mess than something where I can clearly see what the author was thinking. I will say one thing, this map was not a slog and the run time isn't overly excessive given the amount of ground covered.

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MAP20 - Heroism:
Unfortunately, I felt rather mixed on this one. It definitely functions better as a finale to an Episode than Map11, but I thought it was a bit too long, and that most of the fights don't really do it for me. The visuals are very reminiscent of the first half of the episode, but on a much larger scale and I think they look great. A lot of the teleport ambushes between the key fights are very revenant heavy and became samey after a while. The yellow key fight, for all it's spectacle, clears itself due to the invulnerability and cyberdemon - which has become a pattern for Uprising's "slaughter" fights. I didn't like the large fight in the snowy area either, the archviles and lack of cover in the main area make it hard to engage with the fight in a fun way, you kind of just have to hide behind a couple of little rocks and hope the archviles come to the front of the group. The red key fight doesn't lock you in so can be defeated by leaving the room, which is a bit lame.

 

Thankfully, the rest of the map is better. I like the rocket launcher ambush, the revenants and cacodemons work well together to take up space and not playing aggressively will result in your rocket launcher becoming rather useless for taking them out. I also liked the finale, the aesthetics of the hellish cavern breaking through the ice look great (lava + ice is a visual theme I've really liked since playing Super Mario Galaxy), it's a BFG spam arena that you get effectively infinite ammo for, but for the first time you don't get an invulnerability so death is an actual threat. There are loads of megaspheres around but I did come close to dying a couple of times due to stray cyberdemon rockets. This arena is a great way to end off the episode and prepare us for Uprising's final act.

 

Overall, this is a decent finale to episode 2 that doesn't do quite enough to justify it's length.

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MAP18: Biodisaster

Kills: 88%

Items: 70%

Secrets: 33%

Time: 16:22

 

Biodisaster to me is another kind of frustrating "Yeah, but..." map in Uprising. First, this is probably my favourite map visually in Uprising, at least so far. Seriously, I could play a whole episode of jungle tech bases. Somewhat similar to something like Doom Gardens from Scythe II. Really pretty. The start of this map is pretty fun, typical E2 monster density as I've been saying, with probably a little bit less room to move. Not a fan of the ordeal that is obtaining the red key early on to be honest, maybe there's an easier way to get around it but I'm not wild about all those Arachnotron and Plasma Marines making it virtually impossible to get on the ledge without sniping them, and a little after that I don't think the Cyberdemon adds much to the map either, comes off to me as mostly stalling. Also the setpiece at the end is as fun as it is predictable, however it's another Cyber I'm not wild about. I wish he was able to get out of his hole and infight more and Barons were guarding the switch or something, feels like a bit of lost potential. Overall I like Biodisaster more than Thermal or Human Processing but it isn't really my cup of tea.

 

Grade: B-

Difficulty: B-

 

 

MAP19: Circuit Break

Kills: 100%

Items: 90%

Secrets: 100%

Time: 6:07

 

The best aspect of Circuit Break is definitely the placement of this map. What's essentially the sequel to UAC HQ is even more brisk and punchy than the original, a huge mass of heavies against fully loaded heavy weapons. There's frankly not much to say about this one, I enjoy the very fast paced action in between several larger maps. All I'll say now is I definitely prefer UAC HQ to this for one critical reason, Cheesewheel really really enjoys using Invulns and Megaspheres here to the point where it gets distractingly easy and takes away from the overall experience for me. I tried it, and you can beat this map being invulnerable the whole time relatively easily. Let's hope this doesn't become a trend!.. ha... ha...

 

Grade: A-

Difficulty: D+

 

 

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MAP20: Heroism. 1352 / 1367 K, 2/2 S. Completion time 65:39.

 

Another ginormous map, or one that feels like one. Had to play this in three or four sessions. I can't remember the first session all that well, but I think I had a little trouble with ammo situation, can't be sure, but the for the most part the skill test lies elsewhere than resource management.

 

It's fun. At times it borders overwhelming for my skills, and I don't know if the intended way to survive the attack in the ice valley sometime before the RK is to retreat to clear out the first wave of pinkies and the robodemons, and then to run through the hordes to the place where the RK sits on a pillar, and do the rest of the ambush from there on. I don't know which would be my favourite fight; probably the last one for its chaotic messiness. I wish I had known how to obtain the invuln sphere, but with two midfight saves (yeahyeahyeah, shame on me) that wasn't necessary.

 

Speaking of secrets, however, I confess I needed Ultimate Doom Builder for them both. As I reached the point of "no return", I hadn't found any. I knew the final would be in the final arena, as my automap already indicated, but the other one I couldn't find even with IDDT cheat. So I looked it up. I guess I'm silly for missing it, I could have used it back when I first passed by it. The second secret, well, at first I though the key was to flip all the lion switches in the arena, but apparently all they did was opening the pathway to the exit. Then I was certain an archvile jump would be needed, and as the arena was chaotic, I figured I'd just be frustrated trying to do two jumps it looked it needed. So, as it also looked like I was going to miss some kills (red dots were moving in remote closets, I guess they didn't trigger when they should have?), so I thought I'd just give up on UV-Maxing. But because I already UDB loaded up, I figured I'd make sure... and no, there was a teleporter. The lava pit looked inescapable, I wouldn't have figured there was something there. Not sure if I like the design here, but then I could be just disappointed in myself for not having discovered it legitimately.

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Playstyle: dsda-doom (-cl2), UV (generally max but occasionally might skip secret hunt), pistol start, sparse saves/rewinds (no mid-combat)

 

Map 21 - Voidwalk

 

Episode starter makes an aesthetic shift to a void-filled demonscape, vaguely reminiscent of Digsite's facility vibes but in space. Gone are the human enemies, only demonic ones await.

 

It is in many ways a breather level - I suspect both for us and for the author. It still leans heavily into recognizably Uprising's snipers-across-open-area design. How you're going to feel about it is probably contigent on whether you pick the blue armor secret up by way of early intended switch or very late by platforming.

 

 

Bonus content: oh how the turntables

 

In a completely unexpected for Uprising fashion, coop version gives SSG right away in the spawn location, drastically changing the dynamic of the level.

 

The standard shell/box shower in the start, a bunch of extra enemies with access to all of the sniping roam the ledges, obligatory Cyber in BK area. Traitors make a return, 2 on the manc/green armor ledge and 2 sniping unsuspecting player from the exit room across the void.

 

Once you've calmed the storm, past the blue door things are essentially the same. Overall I guess I recommend coop version over standard one, with a caveat that health situation in the beginning isn't nice if you don't know where to go.

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oh, today is the 21st, so it's map 20 and 21. Monday does that to math. 

 

MAP 20 - Heroism

So we exit into the snow, a lot of zombies and an almost hidden cache of imps with a manc. I decide to go that way first, but since there isn't anything there I just take the stairs and entry on the left instead. More zombies, a blue door, a lift locked by some bars, a chaos knight and imps and then a switch to raise said bars. Lift up, a chaos knight and some troopers, and then as soon as you pick up the RL, a swarm of revs, cacos, cyber cacos and dark imps. It might not be a bad idea to retreat back outside and let the cacos come to clear their number in a less rocket-to-the-face-friendly-environment. After clearing it up a bit, cross over, go down, clear the spiders (and everything else), press the bluesphere offering switch, remove the revs (and pinkies), go grab the back pack, then go press another switch, there will be a caco-rev swarm, and a new path will be there for the taking, back into the building, check the map and realize there's a bazillion enemies in this map. Again. And the die to a rev ball. From the last of the revs. Restart from the 2nd switch, back inside, kill the revs, and we are behind from where we started, and a lift. Take the lift and it's chaingunners, CKs and a mini-cyber. Kill them, go down the stairs, kill the next wave of revs, go down, up some steps, switch. And it's an AV! And more revs? And Chaingunners? Dead once, dead twice, remember I have the BFG, clear it. Restock on rockets, health and then blue door. Another blue door, switch, and the next zone. Enter the new building, there's an outside zone without much to do and then steps up, steps up and a bluesphere, and a ton of everything. First try ends with my death

but also the knowledge there is an invunerability there. Second try I grab the invun and BFG my way top the switch, lowering a cyber, clear the fight, refuel on ammo, grab the YK and then another invun, clear the smaller second wave and then back out.

 And then die after the yellow door. Retry up to the door and then stop here for today 'cause I have no more time.

 

428 kills in 26 minutes is the partial total for the day.

 

Deaths : IIIII

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(Played continuously on UV with Prboom+, saves are allowed)

Map 21: Voidwalk

100% kills, 92% items, 100% secrets

Time: 5:09

 

A way more shorter and relaxed entry than Heroism, Voidwalk serves as the introduction to Uprising's third episode. The level takes place on a fortress suspended in the void (like the title implies) and built out of stone and marble. Of course the map looks great and the theme works very well with Lee Jackson's midi. Combat-wise, Voidwalk is notably easier than the last few maps, but that may be partially because of continuous play as you can just snipe the snipers with the rocket launcher as soon as the map starts. The traps are also pretty unthreatening outside of the revenant and arch-vile teleport ambush at the yellow key. Overall, it's a nice start to Uprising's last third.

 

 

Rankings:

Spoiler

 

Love:

Map 9

Map 15

Map 13

Map 20

Map 32

Map 19

Map 12

Map 4

Really Like:

Map 16

Map 6

Map 31

Map 1

Map 14

Map 21

Map 10

Map 7

Map 3

Map 5

Map 2

Like:

Map 11

Map 18

Map 8

Mediocre:

Map 17

 

 

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MAP21 - Voidwalk:
The opener to Episode 3 is the first of two void maps in Uprising, and I think it's a good tone-setter for the final episode. It forgoes the common trend for void levels to have bright colours to contrast the black background by having the primary colour of the scenery be a light grey, which makes the map feel lifeless and dead. Unlike the previous openers, this map doesn't mess around in the combat department, containing many small ambushes that rely on good monster placement and lack of weaponry to create a challenge. I think the opening few minutes of the map is the best bit, you've not taken out most of the snipers and the monster placement is at it's most mean.

 

Most of the structured ambushes in this map aren't particularly interesting, they're not bad but come at you from one direction and mostly revolve around SSGing stuff. The best of these fights is probably the little ambush that comes before picking up the red key, a cacobot spawns silently behind you and stalks you before shooting you in the back. I did like this map, the atmosphere is excellent and the fights are fun despite their simplicity.

 

Overall, this is an unsettling opener for the final episode of Uprising that was pretty fun.

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