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The DWmegawad Club plays: Abscission

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Abscission.jpg

 

What is the DWmegawad Club?

This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

 

Can I join?

Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

 

What levels am I allowed to post about?

Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it’s the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

 

Do I have to post an entry every day?

Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

 

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?

Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add one “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count. For example:

 

+++ Ultimate Doom

 

Note that you can vote for up to three separate nominations in a single month, and every wad must contain at least three maps each. The winning nomination must receive at least four votes for a thread to be made. Ties will be decided by RNG.

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>>>DOWNLOAD ABSCISSION HERE<<<

 

Break out the hot fudge because it’s time for some vanilla-flavored goodness! Abscission is a one-woman-megawad by Snaxalotl, thrusting the player into a moody set of dark, Doom 2-esque maps. Check out the MP3 music pack to enhance your experience!

 

Maplist for Abscission:

MAP01 - “Arrival”

MAP02 - “Water Purifier”

MAP03 - “Hydroelectric Grid”

MAP04 - “Service Tunnels”

MAP05 - “Sludge Conduit”

MAP06 - “Slag Dump”

MAP07 - “Corroded Ruins”

MAP08 - “Demon Core”

MAP09 - “Hadal Facility”

MAP10 - “Industrial Crypt”

MAP11 - “Sarcophagus”

MAP12 - “Outer Plane”

MAP13 - “Prophetic Vision”

MAP14 - “Oasis”

MAP15 - “Collapse”

 

MAP31 - “Reanimator”

MAP32 - “Bed of Creation”

 

MAP16 - “Cold Ascent”

MAP17 - “Predation”

MAP18 - “Elder Shrine”

MAP19 - “Phosphene”

MAP20 - “To Hieron”

MAP21 - “Of Flesh & Fission”

MAP22 - “Mausoleum”

MAP23 - “Hazard Pay”

MAP24 - “Abyssal Refuge”

MAP25 - “Exsanguination”

MAP26 - “Igneus”

MAP27 - “Maligned Annex”

MAP28 - “Thresholds Beyond”

MAP29 - “Epiclesis”

MAP30 - “Abscission”

 

BONUS CONTENT

Doomwiki

DSDA

MP3 music pack

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OLD THREADS

Spoiler

The DWmegawad Club Metathread

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

 

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I had played first three maps of Abscission at one point, I suppose soon after its release. I can't remember why I dropped it, I guess something else came by. Also, I had played Stickney Installation first. It was a good wad, but for some reason I couldn't get very excited about it. I seem to remember feeling some of the maps were a bit too much like their Ultimate Doom counterparts, but that's about all I remember. I think I might have been frustrated by some of the maps, as well? But can't remember why, I don't think Snaxalotl's design ethos equinoxian starvation or anything...

 

Whatever may be the case, DWMC is the perfect excuse to re-attempt Abscission, so here goes.

 

*

 

MAP01: Arrival. Played on UV, pistol start. DSDA v0.27.5. K: 29/29, S: 2/2, I: 9/9. Comp. time 1:24

 

I roughly remembered this map: that it wasn't that long, but the first time I had a lot of trouble finding either of the secrets. This time I clearly saw the switch that reveals the rocket launcher hidden "half in plain sight". Clever! The other secret not so much, I still feel it's a bit random. Knowing all the secrets, I could lower my runtime down to 84 seconds. The other secret aside, I guess my only real criticism would be that the map's a bit too short... And I'm often complaining about maps being too long!

 

Considering the resemblance Stickney maps had to their original UD map slots, I guess Arrival does resemble Entryway by the texture set and rocket launcher and green armor being the secrets, and while the chainsaw is not a secret, it's still slightly similarly placed behind player start such that it can be missed permanently, just like in Entryway... but I don't mind. Solid start.

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Posted (edited)

I'm back. I've been here before.

 

For me, a big part of Abscission's appeal lies in the way it echoes familiar elements from Doom 2's original level layouts but frames them in such a way that they become cold, eerie, alien. Hence, coming back to it after a while with vague memories of my first run through feels oddly fitting. There's another loop in the chain of memory now, another night of the same half-remembered dream.

 

MAP01: Arrival
(UV, pistol start, K: 100% / S: 100%, Woof!, complevel 2)


We start with something light, a short romp through a couple of shadowy techbase rooms and a few dozen imps and zombies. Just like back in Entryway, you can step left to grab a chainsaw and hold the fire button down until the end of the map, which will be about a minute later unless you stick around to search for secrets. Snaxalotl's original soundtrack is the star here: the music is what tells you that this isn't going to be just another retread of Doom 2.

 

The most intriguing part of the map isn't anything you can see while playing it normally. Instead, it's the whole other level that's just there, dark and derelict, floating in the void west of our starting location. Accessible only via noclip as far as I know. Normally I'd be asking why it's there, but in this particular case I'm satisfied with the answer "Abscission".

Edited by veevil

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Posted (edited)

I'm back for another vanilla-compatible wad. I've played only the very first maps of Abscission when it was in release candidate state and and what I've seen, it's tailor-made for what I'm looking for. I admit I played no Snax's level besides the first maps of Abscission but I have no doubt that I'll have a great time with this wad, as a vanilla-addict.

 

Map 01 : Arrival

 

Abscission_MAP01_map.png

Like "Entryway" from Doom 2, Arrival offers a brief playtime but it suffices to showcase the really unwelcoming ambiance from "Abcission". The partially flooded passage, the dimly lit rooms, the jammed door near  the green armor and of course the quiet but disturbing music instantly tell you that "Hell on Earth" must not be taken as a joke anymore. Add to that the presence of several small traps, that make "Arrival" more dangerous than "Entryway".

 

Overall, Arrival introduces you efficiently in the terrific world of "Abscission" with this "defective" version of Entryway.

 

Sidenote but I also prefer the term "Arrival" over "Entryway". It sounds more menacing. It gives me the impression that I've arrived at a destination, but I don't know where, and it's not long before I find out.


Grade : B (14/20)

 

 

 

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Time has come to play for me to come back, and it seems the selection this month is really good. I haven't play Stickney installation, so I don't know what to expect for the mapping quality, but I'm always open for "re-imaginative" kind of wads, and a bigger, badder version of doom 2, is always welcomed by me. 

 

Playing this blind UV on Woof 12.0.2.0 with the mp3 ost autoloaded in for shits and giggles.

 

MAP01 - “Arrival” (Saveless, 96% Kills, 100% Items, 0% Secrets)

 

We already start with a decent opener that prioritizes atmosphere over gameplay, and has relatively better combat than its source material, with its shotgun/chainsaw weapon combo. The enemy placement compared to entryway makes it a bit trickier to use your chainsaw, since the map is mostly obstructed with like 3 imps every turn to prevent you from just rushing past the exit.

 

I would like if there was a bit more to do progression-wise than just running in the U shaped room and calling it a day, but well, despite potential to make a better opener, this isn't bad.

 

6/10

 

MAP02 - “Water Purifier” (Pistol started, saveless, 100% K/I/S)

 

Underhalls with platforming, a good atmosphere and health scarcity. Hitscanner are actually threatening if you haven't found the mega armor for the miracle of god, since they're in corners and you know, they can blast your hp off in seconds. Also, that blue key trap was a wakeup call after I haven't played doom in months.

 

Other than that, I wished the map at least had more stuff to differentiate itself from its source material.

 

6/10

 

MAP03 - “Hydroelectric Grid” (Pistol started, saveless, 100% K/I/S)

 

First map I actually like better over the source material, since this has a defined aesthetic and actually tense combat at moments. The secret hunting was a bit better than last map, with the most clever being the soulsphere one, and really recompensates getting out of your way, since some of these ambushes can get extremely messy without the extra equipment.

 

7/10

 

MAP04 - “Service Tunnels” (Pistol started, 1 attempt saveless, 100% Kills, 97% Items, 0% Secrets)

 

Another map that is superior to its source material, with some verticality and decently challenging encounters. The layout for some reason reminded me of perfect hatred, and the map departing more from the focus was a great choice, especially in removing the more rough around the edges aspects of it, like that weird lowering crate in the og, here being replaced with simple crate platforming.

 

Other than that, I don't have much else to say, it was just good, that's it.

 

7/10

 

MAP05 - “Sludge Conduit” (Pistol started, saveless, 93% Kills, 100% Items, 0% Secrets)

 

The waste tunnels, but this time it actually has interesting combat. The sections at the beginning were a blast, having to react quickly, trying to get space in the confined walls that limited your mobility, and once in the ashwall section, a bunch of mid tiers are thrown at you with hitscanners all over the place. After that, the map loses a bit of steam, and the blue key ambush is uninteresting for my liking.

 

btw you know if there's a torch secret in this map? I tried to find it for 3 minutes, and I haven't figure it out.

 

7/10

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Ahem, in my timezone it’s still the 1st of July, certainly not the 5th :P

 

(Club rules dictate on the nth day of the month we post only about MAP01-MAPn, except for the secret maps; if they occupy the traditional slots, we can post about them on the 15th).

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Woof!, -cl2, pistol-start with saves, mostly blind (I've played MAP01 and seen demos of MAP32).

 

Abscission is a wad I've wanted to play for a while, especially seeing the praise it received from MtPain27, so I'm glad it was chosen. The only other work of Snaxalotl's I've played was her map in Doom 2 In City Only, which was fine and definitely nailed the atmosphere, but because of the issues I've had with D2ICO, I might have not been able to give it a fair chance. Still, it seems the maps of Abscission are much more concise, so I don't thing burnout would be that much of an issue.

 

MAP01: Arrival

 

Abscission opens up with a dark and moody techbase. While no bigger than Entryway, the monsters attack in larger groups. The rocket launcher is actually useful here, however to access it, you need to spot a small button on an upper edge of a door frame. Also, I ran out of shells by the end and had to kill several imps with a pistol. It doesn't make the map harder and it takes like 2 minutes to complete either way, but it's a tiny annoyance.

 

Anyway, Arrival is a strong opening, with great atmosphere and solid action that finds a right balance between difficulty fitting for an introductory map and providing something for the player to not get them bored.

 

PS: Check out that ENDOOM screen. 

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MAP01: Arrival

 

The demons - packed tightly, but not strongly - are easily subdued. In their absence, this place feels unassuming and dispassionate. Dominated by a hallway, bordered by doors that don't open and windows that look out into a featureless sea, this feels like an in-between space, a corridor you would never bother to remember, until the demon invasion turned it from route to destination.

 

Quote

doom38.png.b319b3c60a4b3ac40d7a4d84bc1ca170.png

 

I'm fascinated by this room. By the time you get here, the exit door is already in sight. Doom logic tells you that, if there's a room right next to the exit door, you need to go in there before you can leave. So you go up the stairs, and run into enemies - perfect, you think; this is where you need to go. There's even a little raised platform, always a sign of importance, of direction, of progression. You dutifully saw through the imps and zombies, ascend the steps, and...

 

There's nothing up here. No switch to press. No keycard. You search the room for anything you could use to open the door below, to progress; but the walls are flat and unyielding. Bewildered, you head back downstairs, only to discover that the exit door was unlocked the whole time.

 

 

...Secret? What secret?

 

 

We're off to a great start.

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So I've already played Abscission all the way thru (and it might be the only megawad I've played entirely on my YT channel) but I thought it was more than good enough to revisit for DWMC this month, so here we are.

 

Map 01 - Arrival

An incredibly digestible WAD opener that comes and goes practically before you can blink. Nothing about it is particularly dangerous, but it makes a good example for incredibly economical monster usage (something I'll be saying throughout this WAD) that you can't exactly sleepwalk your way through. This map bears pretty strong resemblance to Entryway both visually and in terms of monster and item roster, but the ominous atmosphere, punctuated and double underlined by the music, sets the stage for the rest of the WAD to come. If it feels like there's something sinister going on...there is. And there's much more of that in store.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Very nice, so glad this got picked it's a super impressive megawad made surprisingly quickly but with quality passion and care even making custom music too! 

 

You guys are in for a treat. I already played this some time ago and had the privilege to have snax on with me for most of it, commentary with buddies, just scroll down past the stickney vids,  which by the way if you guys have not, is a sort of prequel or predecessor to abscission for the doom 1 

 

This brings the Nostalgia in an awesome way vanilla spooky goodness

 

Giver

 

Anywho take care love these Lil community side ventures fun times 

 

Stickney & Abscission  by Snaxalotl:

 

Is this how you embed playlist no idea what I'm doing

 

Edited by Clippy : My phone sux

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Map 01: Arrival

Crispy Doom, UV, pistol-start

 

The first map and boy is this mood heavy! There's something inherently gloomy here, kind of like a standard early Doom 2 techbase but profoundly dangerous with enemies emerging from every corner seemingly. Oh, and shotgun ammo is seriously limited. This feels like it's going to be an infight-heavy megawad but I'm in a rush and anyways, this map is tiny. I did find the green armor secret, though I missed the other. Perhaps it was a shootable switch I'd missed earlier. At least there's a chainsaw at the beginning for those who run out of ammo too quickly.

 

 

 

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I love everything about this megawad. Snax shows both an incredible understanding of, and appreciation for, stock Doom 2 textures yet masterful restraint is shown alongside wild creativity.
 

The music! Ah, the music is very hard to put into words other than it’s like a demon had music explained to them, they nodded, and let forth these guttural screams and chugging booms on the midi keyboard. Easily one of the most individual soundtracks I’ve yet heard for Doom. 
 

Really hope Snax keeps working on more Doom! Likewise hope y’all have fun playing through Abscission; I certainly did.

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In the context of a megawad I feel that having a few very short levels helps keep the whole project from being too drawn out or tedious. Map01 "Arrival" was made to set the tone for the wad and be of little note otherwise, very short and of a low difficulty but it sets the vibe and leaves a lot of room to build upon.

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Yay small maps

 

Gonna be playing UV, mouselook (GZDoom), save scumming, pistol starts.

 

MAP01: Arrival

100% kills, 1/2 secrets

 

Small punchy map that's basically a zombie/imp ambush from all sides once the player pushes into the map a little ways. Shotgun provided if you want to play it traditionally, chainsaw if you wanna have some fun (though I recommend grabbing one of the armor vests first). Apparently the theme for this WAD is maps that echo the theme of the IWAD maps, and I can see the resemblance to Entryway, though moreso in layout than textures as there's a lot less brown here (thankfully). Got stumped on the RL secret, but after looking it up I now know what to look for. Funny enough I sussed out what was supposed to be the other secret, but had already opened it without realizing as a zombieman shot it early on for me.

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7 hours ago, RHhe82 said:

Ahem, in my timezone it’s still the 1st of July, certainly not the 5th :P

 

(Club rules dictate on the nth day of the month we post only about MAP01-MAPn, except for the secret maps; if they occupy the traditional slots, we can post about them on the 15th).

doing it so I could skip playing this week, I'll come back to the daily format of the club once my college semester ends

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MAP02: Water Purifier. Played on UV, pistol start. DSDA v0.27.5. K: 91/91, S: 1/1, I: 17/17. Comp. time 6:51

 

Water Purifier is a solid map as well, that feels very much like Underhalls with its watery dark tunnels surrounded by stone and bricks, and the one place where you have to fall down from a square to further beneath the sewers. It's a fine map, I just wish it was more liberal regarding its map slot. Like Ultimate Doom in Name Only also follows the cues from the original, but takes far wilder liberties with regards to the originals, and as such it's a bit less... I don't know the right word for it; I guess it's just that I've seen the originals and their faithful re-imagings a bit too often.

 

But I shouldn't complain, because what we have here is still a solid map and certainly a better map than Underhalls. The secret was again a bit obtuse -- I had found it on my previous playthrough, but I couldn't remember just how to access it. I swear: I tried shooting the bright silver wall with all the hitscan weapons I had, and that I finally idclipped my way to the room to find out you really have to shoot it, and only by chance I thought of standing in one the watery pools to shoot it. The staircase platform wouldn't cut it, nor the window in the brown brick building near the staircase, with a clear view into the blue armor room.

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Map:          MAP01: Arrival

Port:          PrBoomX

Difficulty:    Hurt Me Plenty

Pistol start: Yes

Saves:        Yes (I only load if I die)

 

Cool opening map, the playable area feels way too small though, very claustrophobic. I missed the chainsaw at the start so I restarted the map (I wasn't doing pistol starts at that time)

This just feels like an uninspired Entryway clone, with a bit of No Rest For The Living MAP01 thrown in. There were also to many enemies, not in a hard way but moreso just just big walls that you mindlessly shoot at with barely any challenge. Looks cool, but the gameplay is just boring

I got the security armor secret without even knowing it, didn't have a clue as to the rocket launcher secret though.

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Gonna try to keep up with the earlier timezone folks for this one so I'm not always the last one posting.

 

MAP02: Water Purifier

100% kills, 1/1 secret

 

I agree with @RHhe82 that this one feels a little too strongly inspired by its original - if last map could be said to evoke the theme and spirit of Entryway, but in a manner subtle enough to be overlooked, this one basically rushes up and slaps you in the face by comparison. Definitely be something to keep in mind as the WAD plays out. That said, I do like the layout of the map, with the two-tiered setup and the really fun parkour bits in the center part of the map leading to the exit. I hope this is something we get to see more of. Combat is pretty easy, lots of shotgunners but the placement/layout makes them not very threatening (as they rarely will get the drop on the player) but I'm sure things will ramp up.

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Absission map 01

 

I will be trying my best to keep up with ya'all this month but I make no promises. I have also never played Stickney but did play this set during its RC 1 phase. So anywho, first map... super short, and super easy. I couldnt find either secret but I did find one little mis-texture but I couldnt be bothered yet to download the newest version and it may well have been fixed. I will remedy my indescretion after work and give this another quick run. 😀

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MAP02: Water Purifier

 

0/10 no zombie stuck in a barrel

 

Quote

cf94415f0f58cff934a81c4f295f3b93914389e9.png.957e0420c4723a2df707f1f07d00570e.png

 

This map feels like it flayed Underhalls alive and is wearing its skin. All the familiar superficial elements are there, but the bones are different - denser, darker, more twisted. You can literally hear it breathing at you as you slowly peel away its facade.

 

The flow is smooth, the use of vertical space is effective, and the lighting and detailing are on point:

 

Quote

c189566d13918e3fa0c57eed211e6e28fed65116.png.8bfa1f8dc6c2ff51bbd7d4fdd899dc78.png106eab52ade39f12b0c17bf55e5073d721834ff5.png.4155ef4a98d9b0cbcf08c97b8b5603a0.png

 

This is just a satisfying map, both to look at and to play.

 

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So, I have lots of things to do (Like ordering my life), but I've promised myself to play this one when the Club plays it. So here we go.

AB.wad - Abscission - Snaxolotl:

Here is a fully crafted 32-mapset of short levels made by one of the current mapping newcommers, Snaxolotl, who has recently pulled out a couple of mapsets for both Doom I and II, becoming one of the more promising newcomers in the community.
Luckly, maps are short for this month, and they will aim for your classic "Doom II+" experience, hence the Vanilla Doom compatibility.

MAP01 - Arrival (100%K/100%I/50%s):

A really short map you can end in 10 seconds, it has the iconic "horseshoe" shape you may expect from MAP01's. The same formula successful MAP01's could have. The idea is to explore it a bit more and find some secrets, but I couldn't find one of them. The map gets a bit too crowded by imps for you to chainsaw them all, and playing in Chocolate Doom, I struggle a lot with this mouse sensitivity, so I almost die, shamefully on the easiest map. Sweet map, I expect the same of the next one, also, it feels the music here is more atmospheric than the usual "metallic" Doom stuff. I like it.

MAP02 - Water Purifier (98%K/100%I/0%S):

Switched to Crispy Doom after this map, because I can't take the mouse sensitivity anymore. We continue from where we left off the previous map, this one is a clear Underhalls revamp, with most of its gimmicks still here. The SSG, the same texture choices and halls with water that open up revealing more progression. The same use of keys and doors. The usage of "run-jumps" from a building to another. Interconnectivity. All that stuff. It's a nice take, but I feel like it was quite hard in comparison to its original counterpart. Nice map, and again, nice atmosphere provided by the moody soundtrack.

(UV - Playthrough/Crispy Doom)

Order of preference:
 

Spoiler

MAP02
MAP01


I think I'll keep my reviews short for this month though.

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MAP01: Arrival
It's not a bad map, it's just there's not a whole lot to say about it. A U-shaped hallway that throws almost every single one of the 29 monsters right at you in one go. Save for 3 Imps in the exit room. My dog could 100% this map with their eyes closed. Really, I spent far longer looking for both secrets on this map than I did anything else. The most interesting part of this map can be found by idclipping outside the normal boundaries of the level. There's another entire level out there devoid of any monsters or items while retaining functinonal switches. Ain't that peculiar?

 

MAP02: Water Purifier
When it comes to Underhall remakes, this is the Doom (1993) Remastered 4K 60FPS Ray Tracing ON version of Underhalls. It's so close to the original Underhalls I'm pretty sure American McGee should be receiving royalties from it. It's a lot more confusing that the original. I found myself constantly running into dead ends and mashing my face against doors that do nothing. If you don't find the secret mega armor, the sheer amount of hitscanners here can make this map a war of attrition. Every little shotgun pellet that grazes you can have deadly consequences by the end.

 

 

ab01-02.zip

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MAP02: Water Purifier

 

You know how MAP02 feels like? Like someone tried to re-make Underhalls based solely on second-hand accounts. Everything is here, but it's expanded in some odd way. For instance, you still need to jump through a window to reach the red key, but now it's a series of buildings to hop between. I like the details such as unusable doors that make the place feel bigger than it is, like a piece of a larger complex.

 

On the action side, it's the same stuff as Underhalls: a ton of shotgunners in narrow corridors, but also you get a super shotgun to eliminate them en masse and explosive barrels are placed in strategic locations. Nevertheless, being ambushed right after picking up the red key and the blue key pit are the two most exciting parts. The latter is very cramped and it's easy to get blasted. There's one blue armour here, but the way to get it isn't very obvious.

 

I like this one a lot, it's an interesting reimagining of a classic map that feels both familiar and fresh.
 

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Map 02 "Water Purifier"

 

Abscission_MAP02_map.png

 

"Water Purifies" has a much richer interconnectivity than its iwad counterpart. The sensation of wandering through sewers was less intense, but there are now benches to sit on, which is cute for a wad of this kind.

 

I'm not particularly expecting a particularly difficult wad but I have to admit that the level would have been more impactful without the SSG. Small enemies pale in comparison to this weapon and it's easy to find, unlike the blue armour, which I didn't manage to get.

 

I do like the exploration aspect of it, though, and getting lost in the dark corridors fits in perfectly with the atmosphere, which is as gloomy as ever, as you'd imagine.

 

Grade : B (13/20)

 

 

 

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Map 02 - Water Purifier (UV - 100%)

 

For my money, this map is one of the most similar to its original counterparts in the entire WAD; so much so, it might set a false expectation for what's to come. The prevalence of PIPEWALL2, the blue water, the red key bars, and of course the SSG, all echo imagery from Underhalls. One thing I appreciate as a notable difference in many Abscission maps is they have a much clearer sense of purpose. I also appreciate the continuity between level transitions present in many maps. Gameplay-wise, this map gives you a pretty nice power fantasy with an early SSG to curtail the danger of the hitscanners that varies depending on if you find the Blue armor or not. Speaking of which, I don't like how you access the secret (shoot the computer behind it) since there's not much indication of how its opened, but given how powerful it could be considered in this map, I guess being a bit obtuse isn't COMPLETELY uncalled for. Overall, another really short map that should at this point have awakened your appetite for more.

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Map:          MAP02: Water Purifier

Port:          PrBoomX

Difficulty:    Hurt Me Plenty

Pistol start: Yes

Saves:        Yes (I only load if I die)

 

I really liked this map, the combat was much better than in the first one, it looked great also.

The doomcute benches were simple, but added a lot to the map.

What I didn't like however is the constant use of door textures of decoration.

This map felt very cryptic though, with you having to run through windows to get the red key with no hint that that's what you're supposed to do, after I got the red key I found myself running around aimlessly wondering what I'm supposed to do, until I stumbled across the red bars. The map was pretty easy after that.

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MAP01 - “Arrival”

 

A fairly brief and straightforward opener, the map is essentially one fight given there is one linedef that opens multiple monster closets. Not much to this one but it does the job and the secrets are decently hidden. 

 

MAP02 - “Water Purifier”

This map definitely borrows a lot of motifs from underhalls, but honestly I enjoyed this one less. Despite being fairly short you can get lost from time to time and monsters (Especially sergeants) can sneak up on you. The great thing about Underhalls is the simplicity and fun in destroying weak monsters with the SSG, this element is lacking and honestly the more complex design and parkour does little to remedy the losses elsewhere. I will add that there was a very slow monster ambush on the route to the exit that meant I left monsters behind. 

This isn't a bad map, but one felt like it was lacking something.

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Map 02: Water Purifier

Crispy Doom, UV, pistol-start

 

Seems an awful lot like Underhalls, but direct homages are avoided, like the pinkie attack or secret near the red key. Enemies are scattered around a little more when compared to the original but placement proves to be no less deliberate when carefully analyzed. In contrast to the last map, there's definitely enough ammo to get by, although perhaps one would be advised to have the single shotgun out in the narrowest corridors. In the red key courtyard and subway at the end, there are these snug benches that definitely didn't exist in the IWAD and almost hint at Doomcute whose shape is simple but effective. Megarmor secret is not hard to find, but finding the trigger might take a bit of effort.

 

The red key itself doesn't really appear to do much but head back through the obvious hangar-type door, then several enemies will teleport into a profoundly tight space while a fake teleporter lowers which stepping on will allow the lowering of a lift to get out. Be careful when the switch in the red key bar station gets pressed since shotgunners will have been alerted to give us some nasty hits. The blue key's in a location very similar to Underhalls. Have your Super shotgun ready for the swarm that gets unleashed from both sides in front around this time. A rare moment of swarming in a map determined to economize it's threat level.

 

I don't have lots to say about the midi beyond it's menace of industrial minimalism is not my favorite but can probably be related to the constant low-key tension.

 

 

 

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I've already played all of Abscission once to varying degrees of success, so I'm looking forward to really looking into what works this time around.

 

Map 01: Arrival

 

  A ton of Abscission plays it very close to the chest, not only keeping the general idea and theme of the Doom II map from which each level is inspired, but going as far as to keep the landmarks as well. The secret Rocket Launcher, somewhat optional Chainsaw, side panel Green Armor, it’s honestly closer to a TWID map than it is to the rest of the WAD. The fight is pretty good, I’ll always enjoy the rhythm of the Shotgun so long as I can make timely progress with it.

  One thing to get used to very quickly in this WAD is just how brutal the secrets are. They require a lot of compartmentalization of how the maps work, keen eyes for going off beaten paths, and overall extremely high intuition to work out. Just getting the two in this map necessitates enough focus to explore the bottom lips of doors and monitor columns to notice that something is off in the first place. This will continue for the whole WAD, and it’s something I’m excited to unravel fully with the excuse of a regimented club.

 

Map 02: Water Purifier

 

  I really like how this map subjects you to ambushes, both in the more literal sense with the Blue Key opening squads of Shotgunners, and how loose hitscanners are almost always wandering around in the lower pipe levels, only giving themselves away with their shallow breathing. It’s easy to make maps more frightening by just killing the lights and ramping up the surprises, but there’s a genuine unnerving brought about from the combination of elements at play, not to mention how much damage a Shotgunner can pull off.

  The whole interpretation of the brick building is my favorite of the collection, amping up the platforming that was lightly suggested in Underhalls, and sticking me with the first secret that stumped my on playthrough 1. The teleport trap leading to the exit door drains a bit too slow for my liking, but everything else is tied together very nicely to provide more than a reason to keep shooting down every gap. It’s good stuff.

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With map02 I hadn't hit my stride yet with what I really wanted abscission to be, as such it has much more in common with the iwad counterpart than most levels do. I was still in a similar mindset as when I had released stickney not long before, that being said I liked how this one turned out especially in regards to its atmosphere. My intent with the super shotgun and mass amounts of hitscanners was to also capture the power fantasy aspect that underhalls had, if there is any place to let the player off easy its in the beginning of the wad while they are getting warmed up.

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