The DWmegawad Club plays: Revolution!

MAP14: Dead End
100% kills, 1/2 secrets

I really like the opening of this map, nice bloody corpsefield with the imps rising out of that. Unfortunately what seems like it'll finally be an exciting, tough arena fight with monsters from all sides instead turns out to just be Corner Camp: The Map. And the map has a great climax after the Cyberdemon telefrag by making you fight... FOUR IMPS!! And then the rare Effect 11 exit, but in a poorly executed fashion (empty room, nothing much to see except stone).

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MAP15: Battleground

This one clicks much better for me, with a multi-level complex to explore, strong use of light and shadow in the interiors, and a cool vista with a sector tank positioned to bombard all that lies before and beneath it. The death exit of the previous map leaves the player in an initially precarious position but it's easy enough to get your feet back under you. I liked the improvised torture/execution chamber that, with its prominent signage, obviously began its existence as a lobby or similarly welcoming space.

I'll come back to do the secret level(s) later today.

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MAP15 - "Battleground"

I guess the association with battleground comes from the tank vehicle near the exit, but on the contrary, most of the map took place indoors. What I liked about this map was the first secret hidden in a dark corner. The secret-exit secret wasn't so great, as it had to be found via automap, but at least I've found it at all.

This map's placement of keycards was so random and I paid so little attention that I grabbed both the red and the yellow one without realizing it, then spent quite some time wandering around the map in confusion, before I discovered that now I have the keycard to open that one door I've been passing by.

Visuals were OK and gameplay was good, mostly.

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MAP31 - Raw

Kills: 100% | Items: 90% | Secrets: 100%

This one reminded me a bit of some of E4 maps for its setting of a dungeon-like level with lava, but instead of the green marble we have bricks and stones. Fights overall were more exciting here, and for the first time in the wad I found some difficult moments. I really liked those 3D-like "bridges" using doors and lifts. This was a really cool level.

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MAP31: Raw

A compact level with a relatively dense monster population; the dungeon-like atmosphere with brick walls, hanging cages, abundant lava, and numerous balconies and small stairways put me in mind of some of the more devious Quake maps. There's an inherent viciousness to it, as you're repeatedly coaxed into situations where the emphasis is more on minimizing hurt than avoiding it entirely. Compared to the dominant themes of the WAD it's a bit of a change of pace, well-suited to its nature as a secret level, though it wouldn't feel out of place around episode 3 of a conventional Doom storyline either.

MAP32: 'Zombie or Not to Be'

That title is gloriously terrible. The level itself is obviously playing with the concept of "nothing but zombies" - lots of glass-cannon chaingunners, the occasional swarm or pincer, but without the high-tier bullet sponges combat moves along at a remarkable clip. Some cool design moments like the crenellated tower rising slowly into view, and the teleporters that initially yank you back and forth in a disorienting way, only for the big picture to later emerge with all the different areas interconnected and wrapped around that tower-core.

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MAP13 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
I'm beginning to notice a theme with this WAD: lots of twisty passages/vents/tunnels everywhere. After obtaining the big pile of rockets, I was expecting a cyberdemon to pop out, but nope, the only danger here was at the very end. I liked the map, but it was again on the easy side with far too many health items scattered around and not enough exciting moments.

MAP14 (100% kills, 0% secrets)
Here we have an arena map - the first in this WAD. From the very beginning, I was surrounded by all kinds of nasty enemies, but was able to easily take care of them from the lower areas. The big scary cyberdemon was easy to take out from the area just below him, and although the map was more challenging than most of the stuff before it (as it should be), it was still not what I would call difficult. Unfortunately, the death exit has dumped me in the next map with 10% health... things aren't looking good for me...

MAP15 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
Thankfully, after the nasty death-exit of the previous map leaving me with 10% health, the author put a berserk pack right at the beginning (along with a few demons to knock out). This map uses a metal/rock theme quite well. There's also a neat sector tank near the end (and judging by the state of some of the walls, it looks like it's been fired)! I was hoping for the tank to play a part in the map, but it is just decoration. Gameplay is fairly consistent with the previous few maps, still not too difficult yet. I did like how one of the secrets is very similar to another secret in Doom II's "Industrial Zone" (which takes up the same map slot).

Click spoiler for secret maps!

Spoiler

MAP31 (100% kills, 25% secrets)
A tight and action-packed map. The challenge is certainly present, and I actually died for the first time here (due to not knowing how to deal with the teleporting arch-vile). I also applaud the use of combination lift/doors to create an effective bridge - another concept present in Industrial Zone of the original game.

MAP32 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
The name of this level is accurate - there are zombies everywhere! However, for a secret map, it was rather uneventful. I was hoping for a huge 300+ enemy slaughterfest! It is so much fun to use overpowered weaponry on weak enemies. Nothing wrong with the map, I just think it's a missed opportunity for a map like this. Even with vanilla limits, I believe it could have been pulled off.

Thoughts so far: The maps are not getting much more difficult, they are a little below what I would consider a fair difficulty. I rarely feel in danger of dying, and the only thing that's got me killed up to this point is curiosity to see if the rail tracks in MAP02 did damage (they did) and the thing I mentioned on MAP31. The first few maps had a theme going (train -> station -> city -> beach -> sewer) but now we're just going all over the place. Nothing wrong with that, just a bit strange to see the WAD implement an idea and then drop it. I don't know, maybe there is a theme that I just don't see...

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15 3/5
Great ideas there and there, but it keeps many dull moments inside. The first encounter was boring, you can easily stand in the cell's opening and punch out all there is, some boring caged enemies and some other basic boring placements, I was hoping I could use the tank to dispence explosive barrels onto a horde of imps or whatever, but it was a broken tank. The secret exit was lazily hidden, there was no clue of it.

31 2/5
Starts off nice, funner than usual and then it makes you run over huge amounts of lava while chaingunners and other monsters rip your flesh apart and you don't get the radiation suit untill it's useful for a specific fight which you're supposed to find quickly or else your suit expires and you don't get another so you have to restart, I also went the wrong way when looking for the suit and I ended up having 50 HP running across lava alone with occasional chaingunner, also the super secret level isn't super secret, because it's the only map you can go to after MAP31.

32 4.5/5
Frenzy hitscanner map with clever encounters round and round, hardest map so far, this map makes you think upon every encounter, non-linear strategy maps are cool.
I especially like the rising ruins in the main area, worth a watch, although the secrets are way too giving, one of them has a BFG and it's simple to find it when you're trying to look.

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MAP32 - Zombie or Not to Be

Kills: 100% | Items: 100% | Secrets: 100%

Here we have a thematic gameplay of using only zombie enemies. Some interesting things like the central tower rising and the closets opening while climbing its stairs.

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MAP31 - "Raw"

Somewhat Quake styled map, with decent monster density and usage. Good looking and well-made, IMO. The Radsuit could have been grabbed through the bars prematurely, which is what I did, and then had to be quick before it worn out while I still needed it (yes, I died once before I learned so). Found all secrets and gave up search for a secret exit, only to find out that the main exit leads to MAP32 - slightly disappointing.

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MAP31 - Raw
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

Time to hit the secret levels. Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed since I was expecting some unique themes for a secret level. But it does not mean that this level is bad. It was actually fun to play thanks to the clever layout and acceptable monster placement...... well, except one arch-vile. Seriously, I'm not a big fan of encounting an arch-vile without any solid covers. But you might pass that annoying trap since it's a part of secret; you only need to encounter it in order to hit the level with UV-Max.



MAP32 - Zombie or Not to Be
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

Zombies, zombies everywhere! Gaze upon the mighty of inevitable hitscanners! And because of this, you might want to proceed the level with passive movement. Somehow, this level provides every weapons if you hit the secrets although all you need to hold in this level are chaingun and shotgun. Except the exit area where you may find a satisfaction with bigger guns.



MAP16 - Utopia Factory
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/90/100

Okay, 4uck that chaingunner ambush with zero-brightness. Other than that, this level is acceptable. Although this facility looks like a radioactive reactor rather than factory. There are numerous poison sewages around the level, but that's totally okay to me this time since there are plenty of radiation shielding suits. Not to mention that blowing a reactor core with rockets in the end was interesting.

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MAP15: Battleground
100% kills, 3/3 secrets

Hey, isn't the post-death Tyson map supposed to be on MAP21? :) Anyways, the Tyson start quickly hands over the shotguns and chaingun, so it's not really much of one. Not much threat here, and the embarrassment of health riches here means the player can play recklessly since there's always plenty to patch up with later. The tank was cute. Isn't that "ALL DEAD HERE" from another wad?

MAP31: Raw
100% kills, 3/4 secrets

As others have said this does have a bit of a Quake feel to it, I'd guess that it's the lava and "3D" elements like the two-way pillar setup. I was finally glad to see some teeth here, as the hitscanners can be tough at first (mainly because the armor isn't given to you right at the start) and the two Arch-Vile setups require some care (though both have some easy solutions if you find them)

MAP32: Zombie Or Not To Be
100% kills, 3/3 secrets

A map filled with nothing but hitscanners. Verticality and another delayed armor make the start dangerous, but once the main chamber is cleared out and the player starts to stock up it's pretty easy sailing. Had the first instance where I was lost for a bit, didn't notice one of the lifts had two exits. There's some interesting design here with the level looping around and shifting ceilings/floors to open up back to other areas of the map, unfortunately the map kinda peters out without really making use of it in an interesting fashion.

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MAP16: Utopia Factory

Very much liked this one; the combat's generally easygoing, even the demonic horde encounter (thanks to the considerately placed stacks of barrels - unloaded buckshot into each cluster and watching a swathe of demon meat get strewn about never gets old) which leaves more time to appreciate some of the nicer aesthetic quirks of the level. The use of rounded shapes is very reminiscent of a chemical works, though conventional wisdom would establish them as storage tanks rather than containing navigable areas, and there's just something about the partitioning of the level into believable 'working' spaces, parts of a functioning whole rather than discrete rooms for gameplay purposes, that I really like.

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MAP16 - Utopia Factory

Kills: 100% | Items: 70% | Secrets: 100%

An industrial setting now, quite simple but effective with the few nice things it has. From the start by making a long walk into the nukage you can get to the back of the factory (with the loss of lots of health) and using it as some shortcut if you know the map. As I had low health and ammo to deal with the monster there I died so I took the normal route. The chaingunners in the complete darkness were a bit cheap. Here some of the backtracking felt uneventful, but overall it was a good level.

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MAP15 - "Battleground" - UVMax on first try

Not really a battleground, more like a bunker of some sort with that well done tank outside. Difficulty dropped off a bit, arachnotrons have not been forgotten. Overall an above average map. It seems the author likes the "jump to a fake wall" kind of secrets.

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MAP17 - The Miners

Kills: 100% | Items: 86% | Secrets: 100%

The title is self explanatory. I really liked this level, many cool structures and exploration. The elevators activated by computer panels instead of the usual switches was really interesting, they gave me a nice sense of interaction with the environment. Idk why but this level reminded me of Quake II, especially the room with the big drill.

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MAP16: Utopia Factory
100% kills, 1/1 secret

Decent map here, with good use of landmarks and the like. I think the main failure is that the player isn't able to see the red key (and eventual core to destroy) room until they open it up. Had the player been able to see it from the start (like a lot of the rest of the areas) I think it would've been a great final piece to the layout. Somewhat similar complaint about the secret... I like that the player can see it from the start, but it's placed a little too late in the level to be useful (the only thing that's left is the five caco fight by the red key). Needing to rocket the core also felt a bit unexpected, woulda been better off with a text replacement and coming as an episode ender.

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MAP17 - The Miners
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/86/100

Well-designed underground mine theme in vanilla details got my attention. The layout was interesting with no annoying moments throughout the game. The secret right after I obtained a yellow keycard was a little bit out of place; is that a secret? but It was okay anyway since it allowed me to have less trouble dealing with demons.

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MAP17: The Miners

Solid, grimy industrial environment with sluggishly coursing water and chunky technological structures embedded in the cavernous excavations the title suggests. One common element through the MAP15-16-17 progression has been a sense of 'concourse' early in the level, with a path that first takes you through a wide-open (by local standards) area at ground level exposed to fire from above, only later bringing you back into that area from that elevated perspective. I liked the use of recessed control panels rather than conventional switches, and the fact that it's a repeated motif makes it feel less arbitrary; the level teaches itself to the player.

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MAP17: The Miners
100% kills, 3/3 secrets

Pretty solid map, I think all the layout decisions came together pretty well on this one. Probably the best job of the "enter at ground level, return to elevated perspective" design that TheOrganGrinder mentions. I think the yellow key fight could've been a good battle, I almost was disappointed that the secret de-fanged it so easily.

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MAP32 - "'Zombie or Not to Be'"

Easy map, generic all around, and the zombie-only gimmick wasn't even remarkably taken advantage of, resulting in a mildly tedious and disappointing map, although not really a bad one (thanks to certain elements of nonlinearity and surprise). IMO, this map slot would have deserved a much better map than this one.

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16 4/5
Great map, the megawad finally begins to throw hordes of monsters at you with clever gameplay mechanics such as the demon encounter and the zombieman encounter, the ending was too cryptic, I had to watch a demo to understand how to beat it.

17 4/5
Another great map ruined by certain moments, the startup encounter was pure genius, you see a shotgun in a building and immediatly try to enter the building, cutting bars is a cool technique to get through the map but the big encounters are easily broken accidently, the demon trap was breezed through because I accidently hopped into the window, the spectre trap was useless since you're going forward anyways, and there's that random damaging floor, nice vent action though.

18 0/5
Worst map so far, so much mandatory lava walking, this map is one of those which has the fewest monster, but this one is special because it manages to be a huge pain in a small map.
The starting encounter is pointless, just grab the gun and drop down, then you get to run through a bit of lava and sunken health packs, go through a boring layout with corridors, rooms and doorways where you just camp, get through a teleport, do the same again for a while, then you go through a worse room; it's a puzzle room and it's also a bad one at it's purpose because each time you don't take a correct step you have to go through lots of lava and lots of lifts filled with dully placed demons for when you first arrive and then no more, that puzzle room has an awkward candle walkway where if you touch the candles you get through a borefest, some of the candles look as they're far enough from each other but when you step inbetween them it's not what you thought and you have to try again with less health each time, there's a soulsphere nearby, but it drains real quick because after it you get to a room of red pillars that pull your health down very quickly and it doesn't repay you after you get the yellow skull.
After the puzzle room there's a lame parkour section, after that you get the last part of the map; the fight against the spider mastermind, easily skippable, you run past it into the exit doors and you're done.

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getting behind and nowhere again.


MAP06 - "Wasted!"

start with mandatory damage in slime, but at least there's plenty of suits afterwards. a subterranean complex with slimy nukage canals populated by mostly imps, and some revs and mancs locked behind grates - i left them alive believing that i won't have enough ammo. had to collect all 3 keys for the exit, which was quickly done.


MAP07 - "The Valley of Death"

the valley of death is a deep chasm where you die quickly if you fall in, except for a secret cave with an armor or whatever was in there. above on the edge there's some rudimentary building with many chaingunners guarding the ssg. it's the map with that door having "all dead here" written on it, which wasn't the case during my playthrough.


MAP08 - "Rockit"

a brown metal techbase built around a central structure. the double side locked doors were unnecessary. best to use some rockets in the tower of chaingunners, ssg might take too long. not a map with spectacular gameplay, the best part was the surprise in the end, when a rocket rose out of its silo: doomguy is going to space.


MAP09 - "Wrath of Man"

doom2 map01's entrance stairway, but the rest of the map is built in brown stone and wood. two elevators sideways with a few imps, one courtyard with a lone mancubus. some monsters were not used very effectively, as i could simply retreat in the revenant room and shoot them through the door. same with the barons in the end. getting a soulsphere at this point was probably meant for consecutive play.


MAP10 - "Lab of the Lost"

a lab with mostly square corridors and rooms, and air ducts connecting them. a bit much of this, with lost souls inside. one can straferun to the blue armor near the imps. i had expected some resistance behind the red door, and then came a lone knight and the exit.


MAP11 - "The Transporter"

a bit of industrial zone and sewers, square corridors and light opposition. a berserk pack to use on zombies and demons. neat effect with the nukage rising, filling a room. tore them all apart at the exit, jumped at the baron guarding the exit, and the map ended ;)


MAP12 - "Utopia"

brown stone courtyard where a zombie assault from 2 sides is supposed to bring one down, in fact it's very easy to corner camp them to death. the knights and revs on rooftops weren't a threat either. there's a single cyber in the room with the pillars, but then the plasma rifle is in plain view from the beginning. i found the ending room a bit strange, as the archies are stuck on their pillars and can be shot with the pistol if you're patient enough.


MAP13 - "Amok"

i liked the change, orange sky over a pretty desolate landscape with a few wooden structures. fought some time only with the shotgun until i found the ssg tucked away behind some graves. zombies rose out of them. the courtyard with the chaingunners on pillars is easily handled using the blursphere. ride a pillar to get the yellow key. a lot of rev will come out of the last door, but you're stocked with rockets at that point and can simply fire them at the door until it's over.


ok, i hope i can get the rest done tomorrow.

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MAP18 - XS
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/95/100

This level welcomes you with rainy day, although this time it looks a little bit weird because of sky texture; the previous one fits well with blue sky. Anyway, this level is pretty much linear with some enjoyable fights and some annoying moments. The worst thing in this level for me was a "catwalk with candles". I failed five times to get through that trap until I realized that I need to stick to the cliff at particular path, damnit. Other than that, it was just okay.

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MAP18: XS

From our crawl through the mines we emerge upon Utopia's surface to find... another invitation back into its depths, this time in the form of a glistening organic passage piercing the planet's crust. What follows is a descent through several distinct challenge setups, tracing a route that suggests a descent through subterranean ruins already partially subverted by Hell's influence. There's nothing here that isn't comparable to Doom II at its most gimmicky, though the candle-path room was made annoying by its compact dimensions and the grid-like layout of the candles making the actual boundary difficult to trace visually. The le parkour section felt like a bit of a missed opportunity for cacodemon/pain elemental action.

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MAP16 - "Utopia Factory"

Very well done factory-like design and "feeling". The secret vent shaft near the start area shouldn't have been openable from the outside, as the player can't climb there anyway. Gameplay was OK.

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MAP16 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
I enjoyed this level. The chaingunner trap at the beginning is clever, there are some nice scrolling crates on a conveyor belt, the author put a little lift to allow players who fall behind the bars to escape the slime, but my favorite feature was the ending: Romero's head was used very effectively to create an epic explosion to conclude the map.

MAP17 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
Another fantastic level! The map takes place in a surprisingly large (for this WAD anyways) underground place with lots of buildings and small tunnels and stuff like that. There's also a cool laser. Why is it cool? Because it's a friggin' laser! The gameplay was varied, and lots of additional touches were put in place to make the level feel more alive (for example, the small lights in some of the narrow tunnels and the details on some walls).

MAP18 (100% kills, 100% secrets)
I found this map to be strange in a way. Instead of the usual twisty hallways and tunnels, the author throws something a little different into the mix. After dropping down into a fleshy hole and dealing with an easy mancubus, we're teleported into a strange grid-like maze of hallways. The next room has some platforms similar to the ones near the beginning of Doom II's "The Chasm". Next is a frustrating invisible teleporter maze which almost killed me, and finally a not-so-epic fight with the spider mastermind (and, for some odd reason, a single regular arachnotron afterwards). Good concept, but the candle maze could have been more clear to the player.

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MAP17 - "The Miners"

Very "classic-styled" (whatever it means) in a pretty good way, IMO. Reminded me of the IWADs with minimum explicit shoutouts, rather featuring its own unique abstract semi-realism. As usual in this megawad, the visuals, combat and non-linearity were OK, although they could have been pushed even further.

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MAP18 - XS

Kills: 100% | Items: 100% | Secrets: 75%

Lots of weird stuff here. It looks like a Sandy map, it only needs a more weird texturing, this map wouldn't feel out of place in Doom II. The rain at the start looked really unfitting, I guess that the author wanted to use it at least one more time. I liked the stair of lift and the YK room. The spiderdemon encounter was interesting somehow.
A hit-or-miss map overall.

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MAP19 - Xenocracy
ZDoom, UV - Pistol Start, KIS(%): 100/100/100

A super shotgun at the very beginning, yay! It's another compact level with decent layout. Although this level has a full of poison bloods, but it's okay anyway since the level gave me enough radiation suits. And somehow, crushing a hell knight squadron was fun to watch. While the other secrets were not hard to find out, the last secret with blue armor was too cryptic to find out; it took me lots of minutes to figure it out after I cleaned up the entire level.

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MAP18: XS
100% kills, 3/4 secrets

As others have said, this does feel like Sandy's Doom II maps, specifically the inside parts of The Factory with a bit of The Chasm thrown in. Very linear, unfortunately lacking any real good battles. The candle walk was incredibly annoying, since like Antares, the candle grid layout made it difficult for me to realize I was supposed to walk along the cliff for part of it. The Mastermind fight was far too easy.

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