Your thoughts on Plutonia

Tough IWAD with decent map detailing. Last few maps weren't my thing, especially map 29. Too large & kinda boring.

I think up to map 27, it was enjoyable. The arch-vile maze was something.

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12 hours ago, tchkb said:

*pretty long and quite insightful post*

I enjoyed reading this.

 

I didn't go into the rage-quit mode myself but did feel highly frustrated during many maps. Coming back to the Doom classics after some 15yrs+ and starting with Doom 2 and jumping right onto Plutonia afterwards may have not been the smartest move but hey, I did manage to finish the game on UV on my first ever run and that's an achievement I'm quite proud of. I'm definitely trying to improve my skills but I realize I may never reach the point I can pistol start all maps in Plutonia or in similar WADs. The truth is that I am simply not a skilled gamer, but not a mediocre one either, just somewhere around of above average. I may have become more or less good at other games but at more challenging or tactical shooters such as CS for instance I've never become a great or even good player and be satisfied with my level. Hell I've played 1.6 for over a decade due to being stuck with it and by looking at my current play style and skills there's barely any improvement from how they were 10yrs ago, even worse on some mods, whereas other people who have played it as much as I did are now probably almost experts or at the very least very good, like a friend who used to be slightly worse than me back in the day and now there's a night and day difference between us. I think this says a lot.

 

I've also never really got used to the '90s shooters either since I wasn't around at the time and only played Doom 2 when I was a kid, and never made it past the 5th or so map. Even DN3D which I finished around 2014 or so was difficult to me towards the end, but that may once again just be me jumping straight to the middle of the pool (no previous experience, and set on high difficulty).

 

But after playing Plutonia I've started looking for challenging stuff similar to it surprisingly. Finishing TNT afterwards which was really "Meh" to me in comparison to Plutonia might have also played a role but I do want to properly enjoy at least some of the "legendary" wads or similar ones which are held in high regard, and some of them seem to be at least on the same level of difficulty and re-experiencing the same frustration at the beginning yet again will do no good. My biggest problem was probably playing Plutonia without knowing what to expect and not knowing the levels at all, after I started seeing a pattern in their design and enemy placement it became easier and more predictable, thus manageable.

Edited by Agent6

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Doom has two skill ceilings: one whose reaching makes Plutonia-difficulty WADs trivial and very difficult WADs "playable" (probably by save scumming only), and one whose reaching makes said very difficult WADs manageable. The latter requires a degree of talent from the player, such as quick thinking, nerves of steel and fast reactions (but not aiming, unlike almost every post-Doom FPS), but the former does not. Reaching it is purely a matter of amassing the necessary know-how: how to efficiently move both defensively and offensively, how to exploit behaviors of each enemy against them and some general engine quirks, how to handle specific monster compositions in specific map geometries and the optimal use of your arsenal in doing so, in addition to learning routes of tricky maps you're about to tackle. Unless you really suck at first person shooters or are seriously mentally impaired (neither apply in your case), all you need to make Plutonia your bitch is accumulate the necessary game experience. Depending how quickly and efficiently you learn, how motivated you are and how much free time you can spend on Doom, you may take as little as a few months to get to that level. But if you grow to enjoy Dooming for the sake of Dooming, even a few years spent on learning may be worth it.

 

For the record, I'm nowhere near close to reaching the second (true) skill ceiling and probably never will, but who knows.

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2 hours ago, tchkb said:

Doom has two skill ceilings: one whose reaching makes Plutonia-difficulty WADs trivial and very difficult WADs "playable" (probably by save scumming only), and one whose reaching makes said very difficult WADs manageable. 

When breaking it down this way, being able to one-shot 'very difficult' maps is the second level out of three, I'd say. Also for that I'd put a big emphasis on general problem solving (things like understanding strategy of tough encounters) and on practice, etc., rather than things like talent and fast reactions. The true ceiling, imo, would involve beating said maps in a speedrun context for competitive times quite proficiently.  

 

The gap between these three isn't really that enormous, particularly when compared to games that allow for a higher skill ceiling (stuff like CS:GO, perhaps), and you can certainly reach #2 for sure . . . and maybe even #3, who knows. :P 

 

Edited by rdwpa

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Plutonia is the most consistent and "professional" out of the IWADs and PWADs of the 90's. Other sets tend to be all over the place regarding visual and gameplay quality, but Plutonia is good from start to finish. It's what I use for comparison when reviewing 90's stuff, with Plutonia being a 5/5 and everything else I've played so far, much lower.

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Plutonia is without a doubt the one Doom IWAD that has a huge impact on me. First off, it clearly was a wad made purposely for the veterans who wanted a challenge. Both Dario and Milo were somewhat restricted and had to make concessions in order for their Evilution maps to be accepted. However, here in Plutonia, you can tell that they just went all out, no-holds-barred, showcasing what kind of combat scenarios they can take on. Plutonia is to Doom what The Lost Levels are to Super Mario Bros, Oh No! More Lemmings to Lemmings, and EROTT to Rise of the Triad.

 

Anyone new to Doom better stay away from Plutonia until they are more experienced and have mastered Doom, Doom 2, The Master Levels, and TNT in Ultra Violence, or the farthest they would go is just Map01, because there's no difficulty curve in Plutonia, unlike the other IWADs. It starts ramming you at the first level and it never lets up. Be prepared to face commonplace chaingunners, including those that will keep being revived by hidden unkillable arch-viles every time you kill them, packs of revenants, pretty much every single heavyweight monster that was rare in the original games, you'll be facing them frequently in a lot of the levels, and there's usually more than one per map. There's also nasty ambushes that can kill you unawares, and every single fight was well-planned and orchestrated. The fact that most of the levels, save for a few large ones, are compact and the layout of each of them adds on to the difficulty of the wad. Nevertheless, this kind of challenge is pretty fun and addicting. The theme is also consistent as while in the other Doom games, each level you enter feels different in setting, Plutonia uses the jungle, brown stone, natural theme and sticks with it for most of the wad that you hardly felt as if you're in a different locale or realm. This makes Plutonia very arcade-like in that sense, both in theme and gameplay.

 

Most of the levels are great, but not all of them. Hunted for example, is the worst map in my opinion. Annoying maze full of arch-viles with doors that open randomly by randomly placed linedefs is not my cup of tea. Bad enough is that the keys are situated opposite of the switches you need the keys for to open the bars. I give Dario props for coming up with a unique concept, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. To give Hunted the benefit of a doubt, though, I can see it like a mandatory bonus stage, in terms of Plutonia being like an arcade game.

 

Out of the two brothers, my favourite has to be Milo, because I'm a huge fan of Tom Hall's architecture (round rooms, corridors, etc.), and Milo uses the same kind of geometry. Dario is good too, undoubtedly following John Romero's design sensibilities while simultaneously done in a way that makes it his own style, but I always liked Milo's levels more. Speaking of which, Plutonia is known for riffing off maps from the original games, and there's so many to name.

 

Caged - inspired by The Abandoned Mines

Caughtyard - Dead Simple remix

Speed - Wooden theme of Thy Flesh Consumed

The Twilight - another Abandoned Mines style map

Neurosphere - The Inmost Dens

Nme - Start copies Deimos Anomaly

Slayer - Smaller version of Circle of Death

Impossible Mission - Doom Episode 1

Tombstone - Reminds me of Deimos Lab a bit

The Final Frontier - The Living End, duh

Anti-Christ - The Living end again

The Sewers - Gate to Limbo

Odyssey of Noise - An amalgamation of Downtown and Industrial Zone

Go 2 It - Entryway with the concept of Warrens mixed together

Milo Casali - Tom Hall-isms all the way

Dario Casali - Romero-style with a fresh twist

 

So that's Plutonia. A sadistic bastard, but a damn good one. The difficulty is also something that sheds light on Hell Revealed, Alien Vendetta, Scythe, and the like.

Edited by T-Rex
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Don't we get a thread on this subject every 2 weeks?

 

My thoughts haven't changed. It was made by trolls, it has no cohesive theme, and it's annoying to play.

Edited by Impie

Posted (edited)

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1 hour ago, Impie said:

It was made by trolls, it has no cohesive theme, and it's annoying to play.


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Plutonia is hard and vicious. It punishes you for mistakes and most maps are about revenants, chaingunners and archviles. Visuals a bit better than Doom 2 I can say. 

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2 hours ago, cyan0s1s said:


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D'oh! I did it again, sharing my thoughts when asked, and not agreeing with popular opinion. When will I ever learn?

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Classic Doom is simplistic by itself, but this IWAD does this up to eleven by being very arcadey, focusing purely on gameplay. While I consider Plutonia as the most satisfying IWAD upon beating it, it has some trial-and-error sections which are unimaginably frustrating when played w/o saves (like the last part of MAP09:Abattoire).

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On 1/2/2018 at 5:58 PM, Michael92 said:

Classic Doom is simplistic by itself, but this IWAD does this up to eleven by being very arcadey, focusing purely on gameplay. While I consider Plutonia as the most satisfying IWAD upon beating it, it has some trial-and-error sections which are unimaginably frustrating when played w/o saves (like the last part of MAP09:Abattoire).

Making a blind playthrough like I did sure is no joke either.

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One plus for Plutonia is it had demo players that didn't seem completely brain-dead, which was rarer than you'd think. The third one actually showed a good amount of skill and died suddenly after being blindsided by a Cyberdemon, a mistake anyone could have made.

 

 

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