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hardcore_gamer

Doom 64's uneven level design

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So I am playing through the Doom 64 campaign on a real N64 console and have finished much of the game, and have also finished watching Vinny's let's play of it. I must say, as much as I like the game I feel the game has very uneven level design. I love the first part of it that takes place on the space stations, but many or I even dare say most of the hell levels are just badly designed and not every interesting. Some are even downright cheap. Oh, and the final boss is total bullshit and a broken mess.

I actually feel kinda shocked at how uneven the quality of the level design is. Some levels are awesome but then others are just kinda garbage. Do you feel the same way?

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Same with Doom and Doom 2. When you stuff in 30+ maps with a time constraint to the standards of the time, at least a handful are going to be sub-par in comparison to others.

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SavageCorona said:

Same with Doom and Doom 2. When you stuff in 30+ maps with a time constraint to the standards of the time, at least a handful are going to be sub-par in comparison to others.


But we aren't talking about a handful. I legit think something like half of the game's levels are mediocre or even downright bad. Who were the level designers for the game?

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Not that id was full of quality map designers. Sandy, in particular, is associated with the lowest quality maps, minus ones he took credit for that Tom Hall made.

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Doom 64's level design is a lot less uneven than Doom 2's. I can't say I'm a big fan of the game (mostly due to the ugly monsters) but it's not like some ok map is immediately followed by a bottom-of-the-barrel one and back, like in Doom 2.

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Base levels are a little on the bland side. I like the hell part more.

The only problem would be the constant lone hellknight abuse. Even with the reduced mid-tier bestiary (compared to Doom 2) they could do better than that.

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I very much prefer the Doom 64 maps to Doom II. I lose interest once I reach Map 09: The Pit.

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Graf Zahl said:

Doom 64's level design is a lot less uneven than Doom 2's. I can't say I'm a big fan of the game (mostly due to the ugly monsters) but it's not like some ok map is immediately followed by a bottom-of-the-barrel one and back, like in Doom 2.


What would you consider to be the bottom of the barrel maps in Doom 2? There are some maps in Doom 2 that I don't like but none I would call terrible.

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Maps I did not like in Doom 2:
Nirvana
Refuling Base
The Pit
Industrial Zone
Blood Falls
The Factory
Icon of Sin
The Chasm (well not me, I'm indifferent to it :P but most people hate it)

Maps I did not like in Doom 64 were:
Dark Entries
The Bleeding
And all of those I liked better than Doom 2's maps.

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Uneven? In my experience Doom 64 has the best design of all the official 2.5D releases. They flow nicely and have a solid mix of cramped indoor areas and larger outdoor arenas. Architecturally, it's a lot more organized than Doom 1 or 2.

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What exactly is wrong with Nirvana? It's not a great map but it never stood out to me as being bad. Aside from Chasm I wouldn't consider any Doom 2 maps to be bottom of the barrel. At least not compared to TNT and the crap you find in "legendary" 90's PWADs.

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GoatLord said:

Uneven? In my experience Doom 64 has the best design of all the official 2.5D releases. They flow nicely and have a solid mix of cramped indoor areas and larger outdoor arenas. Architecturally, it's a lot more organized than Doom 1 or 2.


This actually sums up my feelings quite nicely on the subject.

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hardcore_gamer said:

What would you consider to be the bottom of the barrel maps in Doom 2? There are some maps in Doom 2 that I don't like but none I would call terrible.




Nearly everything made by Sandy Petersen, the top of the list:

MAP21
MAP30
MAP16
MAP09
MAP12

which not only look like shit, they also play like shit.

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If it wasn't for the still-buzzing modding community that surrounds Doom, I think Doom 2 would have been easily forgotten in place of Doom 1. Nearly all of it's maps are less enjoyable and dare I say look worse than the maps in Doom 1. My experience of D64 is limited but it seems that the worst maps on D64 are equivalent to the mid-range 'ok' maps in Doom 2, because Doom 2's worst is utter shit. I needn't list what maps suck, everyone's already done that for me!

On topic - I think there's very few commercial games in the 90's that feel consistent when it comes to level design. Shooter games in particular come to mind when I think of level inconsistency.

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I will never understand Doom 1 apologists. E3 looks like shit and E2 is close with it's better levels maybe having less textures period so looking more uniform.

I had to laugh at anyone thinking Hall's maps Sandy "took credit for" were anywhere close to better than Sandy's weakest original maps. Have you seen the some of the originals? Played Refinery? I like the guy but Hall has a legendary cratemaze to his name.

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I didn't say Doom 1 is particularly good; but the levels are better than Doom 2's.

Both Doom 1 & 2 are shit compared to what the community produce for the game. The base mechanics, the bestiary, the weapons etc are what make the iwads fun enough, but the pwads provide the levels to make it far, far more fun.

Doom 64 to me is more like a PWAD than an IWAD because it's better and different. :)

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Graf Zahl said:

Nearly everything made by Sandy Petersen, the top of the list:

MAP21
MAP30
MAP16
MAP09
MAP12

which not only look like shit, they also play like shit.


Map09, Map12, and Map16 are great gameplay-wise imo. Suburbs in particular from a pistol start is still challenging even by today's standards if you have forgotten where everything is. I played it recently and I had like 60 monsters on my tail for quite a bit -- including two archies <3 :o :D -- before finding any decent weaponry.

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rdwpa said:

Map09, Map12, and Map16 are great gameplay-wise imo.



No, they are not.

MAP09 suffers from bad use of Pain Elementals and some ridiculous monster overstuffing.

MAP12 is just a random collection of yawn-inducing and annoying traps.

And MAP16 is that one huge slaughterfest (Can it get any more lame than an endless horde of monsters teleporting in where you just have to take out the rocket launcher and pump out the rockets?) plus an otherwise unremarkable map. BTW, you can find 'any decent weaponry' if you do stuff in the right order and not jump the gun on the trap. In particular this means killing the Arch-Viles first, before the horde starts teleporting in!

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Da Werecat said:

PROTIP: if you present your opinion as a fact, people will more readily agree with you.


I would argue this is actually true. How much propaganda do you see questioning it's own message?

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E1: Overrated
E2: Bland
E3: Looks like shit
E4: Unbalanced
Doom 2: Boring
Doom 64: Uneven
Doom 3: Grey and linear
Doom 4: Arenas and corridors

People these days...

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hardcore_gamer said:

Oh, and the final boss is total bullshit and a broken mess.


I have no idea what happened with Vinny's experience but I don't remember the Motherdemon just spamming its attack nonstop when out of sight.

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hardcore_gamer said:

What would you consider to be the bottom of the barrel maps in Doom 2? There are some maps in Doom 2 that I don't like but none I would call terrible.

IMO: The Chasm. What a turd! I do not care about thin walkways, they were not hard to me. I absolutely despise this level for the last pit, which cannot be escaped and has Lost Souls lurking to throw your ass into the acid. This level should get nuked. (BTW: recently Sgt Mk IV pretty much copied this pit into his Starter Pack - beware of Map 25...)

jazzmaster9 said:

Maps I did not like in Doom 2:
(...)
Refuling Base
(...)
Industrial Zone
(...)

What? Refueling Base is great. Very non-linear, plenty of open space, nice use of textures, lots of reasonably spaced monsters, and interesting Cyberdemon fight. After I beat Dead Simple I am always looking to it to diminish the pain after the chore that is The Pit.
And Industrial Zone is even better. Long, but not tedious (because you can see and survey most of the map right on the beginning), varied encounters, lots of zombies to slaughter, lots of height variation. The most fun Doom 2 map for me.

rileymartin said:

What exactly is wrong with Nirvana? It's not a great map but it never stood out to me as being bad. Aside from Chasm I wouldn't consider any Doom 2 maps to be bottom of the barrel. At least not compared to TNT and the crap you find in "legendary" 90's PWADs.

It is a disappointing return-to-Hell map, with boring environment in general. Also, it has that one teleport that places you in a sector surrounded with a swarm of enemies. The Factory's teleport trap can neutralized from other way at least, but here you are exposed to multitude of attacks immediately with no way around it besides outright brute force. Not a good idea at all. But I agree it is not horrible - from Doom 2 only The Chasm deserves this adjective.

Marcaek said:

I had to laugh at anyone thinking Hall's maps Sandy "took credit for" were anywhere close to better than Sandy's weakest original maps. Have you seen the some of the originals? Played Refinery? I like the guy but Hall has a legendary cratemaze to his name.

Played all of Ultimate Doom, so? For me Doom 1 is more consistent in quality and better overall regarding map design (but I would not like to discuss this here, since this is a thread for Doom 64). Refinery is decent for me (but nothing remarkable). Oh, and you blame Hall for the E2M2 starting area, even though you can pretty much bypass it entirely by just staying by the walls. For me this maze is pretty unique and I like to traverse it.

Winged_Warrior said:

People these days...

Are you being serious here? Anyone can put forward based criticism.

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