• Bloodshedder
    Russian DOOM - Julian Nechaevsky
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - Chocolate Doom - 2.91 MB -
    Reviewed by: joe-ilya
    A well made text replacement for Russian speaking people who don't understand English, or just for people who understand the Russian language and the English language, yet are simply interested to see how this conversion turns out. It turns out quite nice; the biggest change besides turning English text into Russian text is the way the Russian grammar is implemented in the intermission screens; there are various versions of the "FINISHED" and "ENTERING" graphics for grammatical purposes.

    Most of the texts are replaced: the menus, the pickup messages, the HUD, the automap, the intermission screen, the ENDOOM graphic, and even the English text on the textures is replaced, such as the exit signs and the various computer screens for example. The one thing that isn't translated are the acronyms in the textures, like UAC for example.

    The text translations are implemented into all the id Software Doom IWADS; you can choose through the five Doom IWADs in the launcher's setup. (You can choose between Shareware Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, TNT and Plutonia.)

    The Russian text is professionally crafted, looking like something id Software would make if they were Russian instead of American in the first place. It's a bit humorous thinking about a parallel universe where id Software is a Russian company and all their games would be implemented with Russian text and Russian inspirations such as music.
      Doomworld Mega Project 2015 - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 17.61 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    I have no idea when I picked up Doomworld Mega Project 2015 to review. It's 2017 now, I know that much. It has taken me way too long, I've played about everything, and I still cannot say much more than the README already states. Because that's quite literally what we're looking at here. Quoth the README:

    The idea and goal of the project was to get maps from as many mappers as possible, one map per person, during the course of the year 2015. Anyone could participate, and there were no restrictions regarding the theme or the quality of the maps, other than "no abusive maps that use scripts to change people's settings or are 1 GB while unzipped, etc."

    Mapping and compiling this took two years. Something in development for that long should have more of a review than "It's a map equivalent of a bitchin' Trick-or-Treat haul". But there is nothing to chain these maps together whatsoever. Only one map per mapper, so there isn't any consistent styling of the sort.

    There have been many, many megawads like these in recent years; these "compilation" releases with nothing to tie them together. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, I've reviewed many of these before, but I still had something to say about those!

    Here's what's up: the map balance is totally destroyed on all these maps if you don't play from pistol start. None of these maps were designed with the spoils from the previous map in mind. However, the maps that are hard with the traditional play method are damned near impossible if played from pistol start. And so many maps in here abuse hitscanners with glee, at great distances, effectively creating huge zones of danger if you dare to walk in them. In Doom's original resolution, they might as well be considered invisible.

    Other sins include: A revenant fight with little cover to block homing shots, Barons acting as doors, distant chaingunner turrets above your line of sight, projectile monsters in cramped hallways, samey rooms that require you to bring up the automap (the first time I've used markers in ages), picking a 45 second-long midi for a 20 minute-long map, using a flat that tiles horrendously for the majority of the map, getting caught in a BLOCKMAP collision due to detail abuse, maps with either too-complicated design, or too little design. There are more ways to make a map non-linear than interconnecting rooms via hallways.

    Making your map seem "expansive" when it's literally hallway-room-hallway-room by using Boom sky features is an effective way to give the player the idea that he's actually in an open area, especially when one can see the other paths from the player's vantage point (and may be shot at from said hallways), but this setup is best used when teleporting in monsters to walkways next to the player, not just plop monsters in front of the player in a triangle shape, and have him die instantly by half a dozen shotgun guys blasting as soon as the door opens.

    The maps are set up by source port, surprisingly enough. There is a "Vanilla" set, a "Boom" set, and a "ZDoom" set, although it's best to play those in GZDoom now. Actually, I recommend playing all the Boom maps in a port that can handle slaughtermaps well, because there are a few in here!
      Sealed by Blood - Nick "Nostalgick" Burnham
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 39.14 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Sealed by Blood is a smallish level that looks like it's probably the author's first map. The architecture is blocky and weirdly angled, and the design is generally awkward and confusing. Random textures are used as doors, the sides of doorways aren't unpegged (so the walls scroll up and down), monsters are sometimes stuck on the sides of ledges, I faced at least one horde of Demons (right after the first main room with the central cave pillar) that were incapable of reaching me if I didn't enter the room they were in, and ammo balance is feast or famine. There are plenty of annoyingly narrow hallways and inconveniently placed decorations.

    Difficulty is extremely easy until the end, and that's mainly because of cheap enemy use -- the final battle is an ambush by a Pain Elemental, and Arch-Vile, and some other enemies in very tight quarters, and you can either suicide with the rocket launcher or fight them with the chaingun or shotgun, as no better weapons are available. There was an interesting secret that let me sneak into a later portion of the level that I wouldn't otherwise be able to reach yet and gave me a rad suit so that I could go after a Megasphere in some lava, but then I found myself in the awkward position of having to pistol a Mancubus to death to get back out the way I came. Overall, this isn't bad for a first effort, but I was relieved to be done with it and wouldn't recommend playing it.
      Return to Hadron Episode 2 - The Collider's new clothes - Matt "cannonball" Powell
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.04 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Ever since Cannonball hit his stride as a mapper, every Ultimate Doom episode he has touched has literally turned to gold. Although it's anyone's guess what will happen in a year as insane as 2017, Return to Hadron E2 is -- at least in a figurative sense -- pure gold as well.

    I played this episode right after No End in Sight, and I find it impossible not to compare the two, just because they are so completely opposite to each other in almost every conceivable way. Whereas NEIS tends to be slow-paced in the vein of classic Doom and full of puzzles, Hadron E2 is all action all the time -- pulse-pounding, gut-wrenching, exhausting action that's probably going to kill you if you're ever foolish enough to stop running, sort of like Jason Statham in Crank. Whereas NEIS is very restrained in its use of large monsters and makes you ration your rockets and cells for the times when you encounter them, Hadron E2 just about pretends the shotgun and chaingun never happened and is all about using rockets and plasma on meatier, harder-hitting enemies backed by hordes of their lesser brethren, even as early as E2M2. And whereas every level in NEIS is a brand new experiment, Hadron E2 pretty much sticks to its formula -- which isn't a bad thing, because its formula is pretty kickass. "Purity of form," I believe is what Alfonzo called it.

    All of the levels are pretty compact, except for E2M7, aka The Big Epic One, which is actually about four compact levels placed as quadrants of a larger square, with plenty of connectivity between them. Romero-like freedom of movement is the rule; usually every part of the level that isn't behind a key door is open to run around in as soon as you start, and usually the locked areas are just tiny little rooms where you grab the next key or hit a switch before being spit back out into the main complex. As a result, every level has the feel of a big multi-room arena where you're constantly fighting large numbers of enemies. Every once in awhile, you get a creative gameplay twist, like when you're sandwiched between two waves of Demons and have to run through a crusher field for a chainsaw at the very start of E2M1, or like how E2M4 starts off as a Tyson map and allows you to either play the whole thing with your Berserked fist or hunt for weapons while on the run. But generally speaking, those sorts of clever setups would only have slowed Cannonball down, which is why they are few and far between.

    The set culminates in an immense arena battle against hordes of Cacodemons, Barons, Cyberdemons, and the occasional Mastermind in E2M8. This map is so intense and brutal that I find it really hard to imagine where Cannonball could possibly go from here with E3, aside from making every map revolve around the BFG. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
      Industrial Facility - Aidan (Luigis) Geisler
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 284.76 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Industrial Facility is a short, basic techbase map, and it's one of the first maps the author has made. It shows some decent competence with basic architecture construction and features, but it's full of misalignments, strange-looking acute angles, and other glitches and visual oddities. The gameplay is very simple and not very interesting, but the only actual bug I found was the door to the room with the red key, which I had to clip through because it can only open once from each side. There's also a section of the outdoor slime area that you can only get out of by jumping, but it would be pretty easy to put in some steps or something to make passability easier for non-jumping players.

    The music is goofy and vaguely annoying, but the level mostly feels like a serious attempt at design until the final two rooms, where you get about a zillion cell packs, a BFG, and an invulnerability sphere, and then have to fight a bunch of SS Nazis and a Cyberdemon. It sort of feels like the author just stopped caring. Not recommended.
      Outland Industries - Professor Bucket
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 62 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    Outland Industries, Professor Bucket's first WAD.

    I have to say, this is a cute and enjoyable little level, and that's without the first-WAD-extra-points.

    But first, I have to criticise Professor for doing something that shouldn't be done. Let's take a look at OUTLAND.TXT. Advanced engine needed : None ... Tested With : ZDoom 2.8.1
    Yeah, I know what you're thinking. This WAD apparently doesn't use any port features, but the red-key door will break in ports that don't support ZDoom's handling of 0-tag linedef specials. Basically, ZDoom will work, PrBoom+ works too (if you enable an option in the menu), and also some other ports.

    But OK, let's focus on the more important stuff.

    I played this WAD in ZDoom 2.8.1 on HMP skill level. No jumping or mouselook required here, and jumping can actually lead to skipping a fair part of the level, so don't do it.

    The WAD is a base set in a cave or mountain or canyon or something rocky. If I got a penny every time someone made a level with that concept, I'd now have far more important things to do rather than review newbie maps. But unfortunately, I don't get a penny. Fortunately though, the rocky base theme is executed decently here. You start in a dark underground area, then enter the base, go outside on a couple of occasions, then you have a quite cool final arena fight. The difficulty is fitting to keep an average player on his toes without causing ragequits, which is wonderful. There are no Arch-Viles and Cyberdemons, for a change. No Chaingunner or Revenant abuse either. The monster count on HMP is 189 (with Lost Souls), but it feels like far, far less ("whaaaa, I've killed half of the map already?"). I'm not sure if I should criticise or compliment that one.

    The detailing is also quite good, the usual computer stuff, it's all done neatly.

    (I have a small secret tip for Prof Bucket: making linedefs on inset details impassible, so that I can't climb on those computers and switches. Shh, don't tell anyone.)

    However, the texturing is mostly STARTAN2 on walls. That's not really recommended, especially as it's DB2's default texture. There are some not too widespread texture choices too, but they don't stick out too much. Alignment, on the other hand... well it exists, and I can respect that.

    The layout is quite clever. At some point you will see that you're standing right above the door that you entered the base through; that felt amazing when I fell down and saw where I was. The final arena looks quite badass.

    Professor has stashed a solid six secrets into this small map, which is definitely something to compliment. (I found only one, though)

    Well, that's really everything that can be said about Professor Bucket's mapping debut. It's a nice, small, fun map that you can give a play or two if you feel like doing some relaxing demon killing. Keep it up!
      Happy Birthday JC! - franckFRAG
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 33.21 KB -
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    Three REALLY short tiny maps made by franckFrag for the speedrunner specialist JC, and all of these maps are only doable if you know some tricky speedrunning strategies; otherwise you will not know what to do from the very start... like me exiting map01 of this wad.

    But luckily all of these maps are really short, and if you get the trick you can finish them pretty easily, and it's more of a little romp for speedrunners than your usual Doom wad.

    Perfect for Doom speedrunner masters and lovers; for other people it could be easily skippable using another map from the archives.
      Mercury Rain - Jimmy
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 912.24 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Mercury Rain is a nice medium-sized ZDoom level that uses a fair number of port features and has some cool textures and decorations to help flesh out the setting. The biggest feature is the rain system -- not the 2D rain texture sheets found in TVR! or Armadosia, but a full-fledged weather system that comes down everywhere there isn't a ceiling and partially obscures visibility over longer distances. I know this isn't the first wad I've seen it in, but it looks nice and adds to the atmosphere. The progression is based around color-coded sets of forcefields controlled by a single switch, which you use the keys to unlock. There's also a fun custom hazard, a sort of skull tree that releases clouds of poison gas when you destroy it -- they present very little danger to the player, but like nukage barrels, they're fun to murder enemies with.

    The map is pretty chill for the most part, except for the Revenant opener and the red key area near the end, which has some light horde combat. Overall it's nothing super fancy or unique, but it's fun and pretty quick, and the custom content helps it to feel a little more different from a typical base level.
      Tungsten - Jimmy
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 252.52 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Tungsten is a short level that Jimmy made for a Battle of the Bits contest, and the idea was to create a map that used no orthogonal lines at all. The latter sounds neat, though I can't say I really noticed it while playing the level; most mappers try to keep 90-degree angles to a minimum anyway, and there are still a lot of straight lines, which I think is mainly what makes it feel normal. Still, it's a nice little base map with custom textures and music by Jimmy. The layout is compact, but the structure transforms as you grab the keys and platforms descend into lava, which makes it progressively more difficult to get around and fight the enemies without taking damage. I think that's a pretty cool gameplay hook, and the level feels like it's worth playing just for that. Otherwise, it's a fairly basic map that could easily be map 05 or so in a Jenesis-like megawad -- and who doesn't want more of those?
      The Floor Is Lava! - Jimmy
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 125.42 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    I'm sure we all played this game as kids: jump around from one piece of furniture to the next, because the floor is lava. Jimmy's "The Floor is Lava!" translates that concept into ZDoom, with scripts that kill you instantly if you ever hit the floor, forcing you to navigate using furniture, crates, doormats, lamps, trees, and even explosive barrels. It's a short map and there are only a handful of enemies, but the furniture placement makes it extremely hard; you have to be an ace at jumping, and Doom has never been very good for platforming. I had to save after almost every jump and died repeatedly on every attempt to get to the next safe point, mainly because many objects are small and I kept sliding off of them. The concept is neat, but I wish the map had been a bit more casual -- no house I lived in as a kid was anywhere near this difficult. I came to a total standstill after getting the blue key and hitting a key switch that doesn't appear to do anything except execute a cutscene; the way back outside was blocked off, and I couldn't get to any other areas with a normal jump. Maybe you'll do better than I did, though.
      The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.

    Brown and Red - Benjogami
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 411.68 KB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Brown and Red on the Ultra-Violence difficulty is a bite-sized slaughter puzzle map. For those unacquainted with the term, fights in slaughter puzzles are characterized by high monster density and high lethality, and are consistently survivable only with specific strategies. I don't mean general approaches like "target the archvile first" or "circle-strafe"; I mean arcane plans and movement patterns that you aren't going to brute force unless you have familiarity with the genre or a lot of time to spare. Short of applying those strategies -- the discovery and execution of which is the primary appeal of this sort of map, if you are wondering -- us mortals will get wrecked on UV and might even complain about how RNG-based the map is.

    So unless you are familiar with the genre or just want to die a lot, do NOT play this on UV, and do NOT feel bad about dropping to a lower difficulty setting.

    Hurt Me Plenty more closely approximates a typical modern UV experience, where Brown and Red should provide ten or so minutes of entertainment for everyone. It's too short of a map to warrant a standalone playthrough, at least when playing with saves, so throw it on a list of small single releases to play together in a single Dooming session, leave yourself a reminder to play on HMP, and have fun.

    Templum Dormiens Dei - Stormwalker
    Heretic - Single Player - ZDoom - 12.73 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    You've probably figured out by now that I'm one of the Six Fans of Heretic, and a new release for one of the Raven IWADs is always a treat, especially if it's really well done. Stormwalker has made some pretty cool Heretic wads in the past (Dark Deity's Bastion and Call of the Apostate), but Templum Dormiens Deity is probably their best work so far.

    First off, the level looks really nice, and it gets a ton of mileage out of what I'm pretty sure is nothing but stock textures. There's a great contrast between large outdoor areas and atmospheric, slightly claustrophobic indoor sections. The lighting is excellent and sets the mood of a dungeon crawl whenever you leave the brighter outdoor areas behind. The music is also well chosen and adds a lot to the atmosphere (and it's by Kevin Schilder, so it fits Heretic like a glove -- must be from one of Raven's later 3D games).

    The map feels very exploratory, and slow-paced in a good way. I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about Heretic in terms of how to speed up or vary the pacing, but TDD proves that the feeling of slowing carving your way through an imposing enemy bastion, hunting for loot and watching for enemies in every shadow, is very much what Heretic is set up to excel at. To make things even more interesting, there are three new monsters (the Medusa from Hexen 2, a stationary turret gem, and the flying wizards that were used in Strange Aeons), all of which have low health like typical Heretic monsters but have attacks that are more difficult to dodge. There's also a final boss that throws a variety of attacks at you, including some that reduce player stats such as speed. Stormwalker has even found interesting ways to use the regenerating explosive pods, both as a legitimate part of combat and to set up deadly gantlets (in combination with crushers) between you and some useful gear or an important switch.

    Templum Dormiens Dei is a large level that takes a solid half hour to play, and it's worth every second. I've played it, and Stormwalker has obviously played it, so that's at least four fans still unaccounted for. You know who you are -- don't miss it!

    UnAligned: 21 Days, 27 Maps, Zero Texture Alignment - Ryath/scwiba
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 595.41 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    New day, new 27-level megaWAD to review! :]

    This time, it's UnAligned, coming straight from Ryathaen, whose other release in 2016, Absolutely Killed, found its place among the WADs which got one of the 2016 Cacowards. I haven't played it yet, but now I kinda want to.

    Small note: I'll refer to UnAligned as UA from now on. Spelling "align" rapes my dumbass brain worse than the puzzles in the WAD itself.

    The story behind UA is somewhat intriguing. Somewhere in November 2016, Ryathaen set out on a brave mission of making a 3-episode megawad in 3 weeks, because he was apparently fed up with himself spending way too much time on little details. 27 levels/21 days = 1.29 levels per day. I wish I could make 1.29 maps per month. Kudos to Ryath for the speed. Every few days Ryath would pop up in the UA thread on Doomworld with a fresh batch of screenshots, making the nostalgic Doomers out there drool. Eventually (on 16.12.2016), the mapset was published and the people enjoyed its simplicity and interesting gameplay, despite all the time (and engine) constraints.

    But damn, you know all that, right? Most of the people reading this probably remember November, it was 4 months ago! Oh dear, 4 months! I feel old now. You want to read what do I have to say about the levels themselves, right?

    Another note: I played through UA with Crispy Doom 3.5 on HMP skill level, mostly continuous play, but no saves.

    Back to the mapset. It's similar to the splendid megaWAD I've reviewed in the 525-th Chronicles, Doom: Damnation (that's why I chose to review it, duh). Both are vanilla 3-episode megaWADs, both were made by a single author, both are retro like... well, a guy playing Doom in 2017, heh. However, they do have a crucial difference. Damnation took years. UA took weeks. While the first one makes you adore it because there was so much time effort put into each map, the other one strikes you with the complete opposite. And yet, both of them kinda grow on the player.

    All UA's maps are extremely distinct from each other, both in visuals, gameplay and gimmicks. You might've sensed that, just like Absolutely Killed, gimmicks are the body, heart and soul of this megaWAD. Gimmicks gimmicks gimmicks. I love gimmicks. Everyone does, right?? How can you not like when a map forces you to activate that spaghetti-like thing you (hopefully) have in your head? How can you not like a map devouring your life when it simply hypnotises you into using all brainpower you have left for your last vain attempt to figure how to get there?

    I'm pretty sure that UA has at least one gimmick in at least one of its maps that you haven't seen anywhere else before and that you will like and maybe end up overusing in all of your maps until 2030 or so. E3M1 is entirely empty when it comes to enemies, but it does have many, many ingenious puzzles that will put both your brain and your brawn to the test. E1M4 forces you to find switches scattered across the level. E2M2 wants to tell us that firepower isn't everything, there's something in the legs too... Thankfully, however, there are some more straightforward, more Doom-ish levels interspersed throughout the megaWAD as well.

    As a mapset, UA has some other traits that are no less well done than the gimmicks.

    One thing the author uses quite often are shootable switches, not just in E1M4, but in the rest of the WAD too, which is something I just have to compliment, as I'm a fan of those myself. :]

    Another thing that is really cool about this megaWAD is the fact that only one or two maps (out of 25 I have played) are really difficult, on HMP at least. Being a die-hard anti-slaughter-mapper, I feel pleased to play through a mapset that doesn't take every possible chance to blast you into smithereens. All the maps are, of course, underdetailed as hell (as the author himself states), but, I don't know about you, I noticed that just when I finished playing and started writing. The locations represent something, that's good enough, especially for a conceptual speedmap WAD like this.

    As I've said, (almost) all of the puzzles and gimmicks you encounter in the maps are hard enough to make you think, but not hard enough to make you scream in agony and start physically participating in a rather unequal fight against your computer, as if the poor thing had done anything wrong to you, or just get tired/bored of thinking.

    Each map has several rather well-hidden and inventive secrets; however, some of them aren't always accessible. You can get to E1M1's outdoor areas only before you press the second switch, and E1M7 seems to have a lift that lowers only once. There might be more, of course. In spite of that, finding the secrets is rather fun and something you'll appreciate if you like exploration.

    Furthermore, height variation is in the core of many of these levels. Makes many areas look a lot more detailed and beautiful than they really are. Not to mention the tantalising sight of a door or switch you can't access... yet...

    There's one more feature of UA that simply amazed me when I realized it: I don't have any real complaints about this one as a whole, I really don't. Almost all the drawbacks here can be attributed to both the goal and deadlines, so they aren't really drawbacks, right?

    I'll get to that almost a bit later.

    Now, I'm gonna devote a significant chunk of text to describing each of the levels.

    You're free to skip straight to the conclusion, there are no important points raised here. :]

    E1: Drafty Stations -- the style here is classic techbases in the first half, but the last 2-3 levels are quite different, with more hellish influence and red rocks/lava. My highlights here are E1M4 (duh) and E1M7.

    M1: Infight Central -- Looks very much like the first two levels of Knee-Deep in the Dead. The gimmick here is that you aren't given much ammo. However, you are given the chainsaw and barrels. In the end, you have to use your "diplomacy" skills to persuade a squad of Imps to rip and tear a big-mouth floating thingy.
    M2: 100 Linedefs Minus 1 -- for the less tech-savvy folks reading this, 99 linedefs is really not much. This level looks OK, but the geometry is a bit messy and uses triangles instead of rectangles (because triangles expend one linedef less). There's a lot of height variation and interconnectivity here, so the level keeps your attention for a good 3-4 minutes. A cute little level.
    M3: Toxin Refinerer -- a single average-sized area, centered around some sort of nukage fountain or something, which descends into the nukage eventually. One thing that I didn't even notice until I saw a guy bring it up in the DW thread is that the nukage turns into water when the "fountain" descends. Jesus would be proud. Anyway, nothing too remarkable about this one TBH, but nothing too bad either.
    M9: Nov 13, 2016 (that's the level's name) -- didn't find it. And even if I did... oh you know.
    M4: Always Be Shooting -- this level can take a while. As I've said, it's one of my favourite levels here, due to the main concept being shootable switches. It's a fairly classic-looking techbase, with a raised ledge, a red key on it, and 5 red stairs next to it. You have to find 5 switches scattered across the level and a good spot to shoot them from. Some of them take quite a bit of snooping around to find, so keep your eyes open. Also has one of those aggravating "mazes" with raising and lowering platforms.
    M5: Sgt. SLADDER -- a small, very green level with nothing but those aggravating mazes. This is two big rooms with dozens of platforms moving around, revealing powerups and monsters. I like the colour scheme here.
    M6: 128 in 1024 -- a 1024x1024 level? Quite cramped and messy-looking, as you could probably expect. There's some numbers on the floor. Apparently, the "128" in the level's name stands for how many individual stairs it has and the number shows how many of them you have already climbed. Weird! It's a small, short, but fun level, try it.
    M7: There and Back Again -- a cool level, one of my favourite ones. You start in a small techbase area, and the exit is situated not too far from you; however, it requires all three keys to be opened. To find the three keys, you must take one of the provided radsuits and step through the teleporter... it leads to a big underground hellish cave, with lava below you just waiting for your radsuit to expire and fry you. Though, the demons have left a few radsuits lying around, too. They don't even need them, why would they do it? That's not your problem, blast 'em.
    M8: Sympathy for the Devil (AKA Devil's Advocate) -- damn. The previous levels were so good. Unfortunately, that can't be said about Devil's Advocate. This level is just horrible. This is the "almost" I've referred to earlier in the review. I wanted to die. I wanted to IDDQD. Someone should be put behind bars for this. Being a Devil's Advocate just sucks. I will refrain from devoting any further words to this atrocity of a level. No sympathy for this one. I'm so sorry, but I just can't.

    E2: The Less-Loved Moon -- "E2 is the best in any Ultimate Doom megaWAD", Aristotle, 331 BC. Can't say he was wrong. I found E2M6 and E2M2 to be the most appealing in this episode.

    M1: Energize! -- looks very much like the original Deimos Anomaly. The teleporters are used quite inventively, it took me a while to figure it out, though. You can find some energizing secrets if you take the time to look and listen around, with a BFG as the main prize!
    M2: They're Watching -- an extraordinary level. The level is split into halves, each housing a key necessary to exit the level. One of them is some fighting in a warehouse (this is E2M2, remember?), where you're trapped against teleporting waves of monsters, and also some secret-hunting if you're in the mood for it. The other one is more interesting. In a big maze with a nukage floor, you have to (again) take note of where are radsuits, all that while trying to evade many, many Barons of Hell that are gradually thrown against you. Of course, you don't have nearly enough ammo to fight them off the classical way. It is more fun than it sounds, trust me. If you really want that 100% kills, once you unlock the exit, some crushers around the level are activated and you might succeed in luring the bruisers into their deaths.
    M3: 100 Linedefs Plus 1 -- a single very tall area with a lift in the center and many small rooms around it at different heights. As you progress, the lift allows you to go higher and higher. A small but very fun level.
    M4: Not a Crate Maze (the old name was "Ickmaze") -- a tight fortress done with nothing but the ICKWALL series of textures. The fortress has several "storeys" that you will explore in order to find the yellow key. It is full of those kinda-3D effects with lifts (a-la Doom 2 MAP15), which makes navigation even more challenging. Not a single crate here.
    M5: Cryostasis Station -- this level was originally intended for the E1M7 slot, I think. Warning: the water (or whatever that blue liquid is supposed to represent) is damaging, you have been warned. This level uses one of the numerous vanilla hacks as its main gimmick, namely, the transparent walls. How does it look: you see lots of monsters just staring at you, you go away, press a switch, go back, and suddenly all those monsters feel amazingly eager to die heroically. You'll even fight a Cyberdemon this way. The level is fairly dark, but easy to navigate. Also a good level.
    M9: Doomer-Friendly WAD-Shifter -- see E1M9
    M6: Deimos City -- this level is awesome. It's a city level, like Doom 2's second episode... but a bit different. You'll see many tall buildings around, with hellspawn on tops of some of them. All the buildings are very diverse in their exterior and interior (in case of the ones you can enter): there is a huge marble tower, a warehouse, a garden of some sort... You'll be under constant fire from all sides in the beginning, so be careful, space marine. One of the tall structures, textured with COMPOHSO (the brown stuff with blue lines and squares), is in fact a lift. Did anyone say Sky May Be? Anyway, once you defeat the Baron on it (which might be tricky), you get to see the Deimos mountains... tile vertically. That was disturbing to see. After that you hop down into another building, press a switch and proceed to M7.
    M7: Heck Tech -- this level is situated in a red cave of some sort. The exit is almost right at the start, but it's blocked by a tall pillar which you must bring to your knees, so to say. You will also encounter a small green area with some leaking nukage. Ryathaen challenges the player with a rather intriguing setup: you are teleported to a small star-shape, more specifically, in a small "cage" in the center, and two Barons of Hell spot an excellent chance to dissolve you into molecules. Their last chance.
    M8: Rocket League -- a boss level. You might not figure out what to do right away. Ryathaen seems to have understood that, so one of the included demos shows you how to blast Mr. Cyberdemon's ass. BTW, this level relies on infinitely tall barrels.

    E3: Infernal Eternal -- Ryathaen truly goes creatively nuts in this one, as the good (or bad) thing about Hell is that it can be anything. Some maps here are full of monsters instead of puzzles. I liked the arena-like E3M3 and E3M6 the best.

    M1: Gatehouse -- a VERY interesting puzzle level. There are no monsters guarding the Gatehouse, but it doesn't really make the level any easier. To lower the gate, you must find all three keys through completing puzzles. I can hear your "OH NO"; don't worry, I was the same. However, to my surprise, Ryath did account for the fact that the people playing this are most likely ordinary humans, so... he provided two different puzzles for each key! The blue key has the easiest puzzles. One of them is a not particularly complicated crusher navigation setup, the other one is a bit convoluted teleporter navigation, which will warp you to the surrounding lava if you make a wrong move. You can go back up, though... IF you can, that is. The red key is more like the real deal. One of them is a "maze", somewhat like TNT: Evilution MAP30. There's something that seems like a hint... but, frankly, I have no idea how does this one work. The other one is more about speed. You have three pads scattered across a small area, and you need to trigger all of them AND manage to grab the key, because the pads trigger doors and lifts, so they close after a few seconds. You need to block the lifts with... yourself I guess, that will give you extra time. The yellow key was hard. The first puzzle is building a staircase from individual wooden platforms which are manipulated through a series of switches. It takes some time to figure out what does each switch do and what platforms it affects, but after that it's fairly straightforward. The other one is some devilish voodoo doll "pushing" setup, which will most likely result in that "Zombie player" phenomenon. I'm sure puzzle fans will love this level, and maybe some normal people as well.
    M2: 100 Linedefs Times 1 -- a small level that is a single area that gradually opens up to you. The combat here relies on barrels and infighting, as I doubt the Gatehouse gave you anything to fight with. Be careful, though...
    M3: Shrine of the Cacodemon -- a visually beautiful level. It's nothing more than a single (quite small) arena with you, lots of rockets and 36 Cacodemons. Pure, unspoiled f-u-n.
    M4: Blindfire -- a level that is focused on complete darkness. Your only guides will be the torches and candles, with occasional silhouettes of monsters popping up to fire at you... and end their life journey right there. HERE COMES THE NIGHT TRAIN! There is a sequence here where you follow a path made of candles and if you step away from the path, your health percentage will be subjected to an unexpected decrease caused by a damaging floor. I've seen that somewhere... :]
    M5: Infernal Eternal -- starts out very peacefully. However, soon you are to realise that this is everything except peaceful. The whole level is a huge arena that releases more and more bloodthirsty monsters at you, including many Barons and a Cyberdemon. Some of the monsters take quite a while to reach their teleports; once I had beaten everyone, I had to wait for another 2-3 minutes for that last dumbass zombieman to teleport in. Come on. :/
    M6: The Stand -- wow. If this ain't what folks call a "slaughtermap", then I don't know what is. A gargantuan 191 monsters in an even more gargantuan arena. You start at a mountain, with another mountain in your sight and many, many monsters slowly approaching in their (hopefully) futile attempts to rip and tear you apart. My advice is to pick up all the weaponry at the bottom of your mountain ASAP, because you will unable to do that when they come close to you. However, Ryath gives you a chance to chicken out... it's a trap actually folks, don't believe him.
    M9: ??? -- I actually found this one. The only thing I can say is that it's one of those things that can't be described.
    M7: Unaligned and Unapologetic -- I expected far more from the last non-boss level. It's just typical canyon-fortress level, with some strange texture usage, a small return of the lava+radsuits mechanic seen in E1M7 and E2M2... and that's pretty much it. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong about this level... but there's nothing right either.
    M8: Pinkies and the Brain -- uhh. As I didn't die since M2 in my playthrough and I was slowly accumulating ammo, I had enough firepower to just disintegrate the Spider Mastermind with my guns, brute-forcing Ryathaen's vile and refined puzzles. What do you think of that?

    One small correction: apparently E1M2, E2M3 and E3M2 each have one linedef more than their name suggests. Ryathaen, you lied to us!

    Yay we're done!

    So overall: is UA weird? Yep.
    Is UA unconventional? A bit too much.
    Is UA under-detailed? Definitely.

    UnAligned isn't the best megaWAD out there. But it has a soul. Ain't that just wonderful?

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.
    Speedrunner 4shockblast has achieved a feat once thought impossible by most in the speed running community: a pacifist run of E2M8. This specific run has eluded players since pacifist runs were thought up almost 20 years ago. Watch it here, and more details can be found here.
    Eris Falling

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #291 - Legacy of Heroes
    Date: 9 March, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Friday Night Fragfest #365 - Metroid Velocity CTF & Urite DM
    Date: 10 March, 2017
    Euro session: 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 GMT

    ZDaemon Sessions #497 - OBLIGE'd!
    Date: 11 March, 2017
    Euro session: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST
    US session: 01:00 GMT / 20:00 EST
    For more events and multiplayer discussions, head on over to the multiplayer forum. Happy fragging!

    Eyedea_ - AlexMax
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Boom Compatible - 69.43 KB -
    Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
    This is a short duel arena (but it's also suitable for 4 players, like how I played it with bots playing on Zandronum) made by master of deathmatch AlexMax, author of many UniDoom series maps and ZDaemon CTF series.

    Layout is well connected with a little system of hallways, and the main arena is above below series of floors connected via stairs and lifts. The level flows very well and the gameplay is fast paced and fun to play, thanks to a very good weapon placement... expect for the "secret" BFG, which is on a middle section of the main arena; it could be better if it was on another pillar (as it could look to be), and activating a fast lift to get it, but it may break the flow of map.

    But except for this, it is a perfect and fun map to play. It reminded me of great classic maps like greenwar (that I think it was somehow inspired by). Download it and frag some dude on some server on ZDaemon or another port of your choice!

    Innocence X2 - Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 33.98 MB -
    Reviewed by: rodster
    Hello everyone! :)

    Two things about me that you should know while reading this: I never played PSX Doom, therefore I will focus on the Doom64 aspects. About my Doom64 experience: I loved it and I played it multiple times (I also lost the passwords several times which was a pain, maybe you can relate). OK, let's go on with the actual review.

    "Innocence X2" consists of 10 maps. Its made by Donnel "Jazzmaster9" Enriquez. The author recommends the GZDoom source port for this wad, which I used in my playthrough. "Innocence X2" is the successor to "Innocence X". Both wads were made by the same author. The music for the maps is taken from the Doom64 and PSX Doom soundtrack with the allowance of Aubrey Hodges. They really give you that special Doom64 or PSX Doom feel!

    The first seven maps make up the main game, while Map08 and Map09 are secret levels. They are quite difficult to find. Both secret exits are located within the main game. Map10 is a bonus level; I used the idclev cheat code to enter it.

    While the predecessor "Innocence X" used iconic map parts of Doom64 (e.g. the crusher in Map02 or the starting area of Map01), "Innocence X2" takes a rather freed approach. Yet the author still manages to keep the special Doom64 feeling alive.

    Map07, the boss map, is quite unique. It might be a bit cheesy but it does its job pretty good, and it will give you a decent fight with a nice build up.

    The author included several more new monsters in this sequel, which improve the gaming experience.

    Overall, a nice work by Jazzmaster9. The Ultra-Violence difficulty should give you quite a challenge. The maps are well balanced. Although at some points it might get quite difficult; for example, I struggled a lot with Map08. Also, watch out for those rocket throwing walls, they can be quite nasty. There is also a nasty trap with Nightmare Imps in Map06 which I didn't like a lot. If you want to have a chill session, then I would recommend a lower difficulty.

    About the boss fight: I actually liked the custom sounds and the build up to the fight and the boss himself, but I also think that the boss could have had a little more HP and another more destructive attack.

    In my opinion, if you liked Doom64 (or PSX Doom), then you might also like this wad. This wad is not meant to be a total conversion, but rather meant to bring a Doom64 feeling to Doom 2, and it does its job pretty well as far as I can tell. The author also gives you the option to disable the recoil; you just have to load the c_weapons.wad file as well with the "Innocence X2" wad.

    Also, be sure to check out Map10, it's quite a fun map actually.

    And whoever made those Nazi skins (I'm not sure if they are also made by Jazzmaster9, I saw at least one of the Nazi Soldiers and the Machine Pistol in other mods as well) did a nice job!


    DEMISE: The Collision - Nathan Pagliaro
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 839.54 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    In a recent review, Benjogami described the Ultimate Doom megawad Demise as a huge dose of "schlock": "A nice chill B-movie wad where you can zone out and cruise through some ugly nostalgia and have a laugh or two." Demise replaced E1 through E3, and Demise: The Collision is the E4 follow-up. This episode was made immediately after its predecessor in just two months, and it isn't much of an improvement.

    In E4M1 alone, there are a fair number of texture misalignments and other visual glitches, you get charged by a bunch of Spectres that can't even reach you because the stairs are too thin, you have to backtrack across the entire level after you pick up the red key because the layout doesn't take the progression into account, and the sides of doorways and lifts don't use unpegging, so the walls scroll up and down when you use them. The rest of the levels aren't much better; they all have similar errors that could have been found and fixed with beta testing, and most of them suffer from just-a-bunch-of-rectangular-hallways syndrome. Practically every key in every map requires you to walk all the way back to the other end of the level to use it. Two maps (E4M2 and E4M9) have game-breaking bugs that require you to use the no-clip cheat to continue. E4M5 and E4M6 are Deathmatch levels and are skipped in single-player; the first one looks like a pretty standard classic DM map, but the second one doesn't even load because it lacks a player 1 start.

    One thing Pagliaro is pretty decent at is lighting -- it's simple but clean, mostly high-contrast spotlighting that cuts through dark areas. There are a few rooms that look pretty nice, generally in cases where the author uses more non-orthogonal angles -- see screenshot 2, for instance. The best map is E4M4, which has a pretty cool mixed Hell/water theme and a few somewhat interesting ideas.

    The whole Demise saga is a perfect example of why it's important for beginner mappers to post beta levels on the forums and get feedback as they go. Pagliaro has clearly learned some things through self-teaching and has improved very gradually since E1, but basically he's created an entire 36-level megawad where every level is filled with the same beginner mistakes. Demise: The Collision is in the awkward position of no longer being so bad it's good, but also not being fun or interesting to play, and as a result, I can't really find any reason to recommend it.

    Revolution! MIDI Pack - Jimmy & various
    Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 471.03 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    It's no secret that Jimmy is an awesome guy, and this MIDI pack continues his quest to provide all-original soundtracks for megawads from the early era when collaboration was more difficult and MIDI composers were few and far between. And it's about time something like this happened. Of all the wads created in the community's first decade, TVR! is probably my favorite, with its casual bite-sized levels and goofy faux-realistic sector objects/everyday locations -- I believe the kids refer to that detailing style as "Doomcute" these days, but whatever you call it, Thomas van der Velden practically invented the concept.

    This pack contains original songs for every level of the megawad (plus the title, intermission, and story screens) by a wide range of composers, from veterans like Alfonzo, yakfak, and Viscra Maelstrom who have firmly established themselves in recent years, to new but promising composers like Akse and Icytux. Jimmy himself also contributed several tracks and seems to have done some final polishing on a few of the weaker ones. All of the tracks feel solid and are enjoyable to listen to, and each one is a pretty good fit for the level it's assigned to. I didn't feel like there were many tracks that especially stood out as masterpieces in that way that makes you want to stop in front of the exit door and keep listening for a couple more minutes, but there weren't any weak links either.

    In general, it feels like the team has made an effort to produce a more classic sound, but I think the soundtrack inevitably suffers somewhat from development cycle dissonance. Many tracks feel like the musical sensibilities are a bit more modern (in some cases, a lot more modern) than the levels themselves. However, it doesn't really take away from playing the levels, and it's certainly better than no soundtrack at all. So unless you've already put together a customized soundtrack specifically for this megawad (which I have, but I doubt many people have gone to the trouble), you can't go wrong with this compilation. This pack will also make an excellent resource for people looking for music, and the zip even includes all MIDIs in unpacked form (plus several more that ultimately weren't used for the megawad) to make your life even easier.

    This add-on offers more than just MIDIs, too. During its development, it attracted the interest of van der Velden himself, who decided to create a new level to go with the soundtrack's release. This level plays in the map 33 slot and feels like it's very much in the spirit of TVR! -- it's very simple and quick to play, but fun and adventurous, with some nods to the original megawad. The soundtrack wad also adds in custom story texts, which were missing from the original release. All in all, a great supplement to a great classic megawad.

    TV1998 MIDI Pack - Jimmy & various
    Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 130.17 KB
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    As part of the TVR! MIDI project, Jimmy also compiled this soundtrack for TV1998, an earlier 22-level megawad by van der Velden that feels a bit like a rough draft for TVR!. This soundtrack uses songs from the TVR! MIDI pack, so there's no additional original content, but the tracks have been selected and arranged so that they fit the maps in TV1998. If you're planning to play the megawad, make sure to pick up this add-on.

    WooD - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 128.5 KB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Wood is a cute little E4M1 replacement that feels straight out of the late '90s period of sparse, but purposeful, design. It's not going to blow you away, far from it, but it might evoke a little nostalgia. I find the simple aesthetic gorgeous -- the e4 sky complements it very well -- and only wish there was more to play! Combat is quite insubstantial, mostly plinky action against low-tier monsters, so most of the modest challenge is tied to the light puzzly aspect of the progression. Give it a spin if you're looking for something simple and relaxing.

    Dark Invaders (w/original music) - Paul Dechene
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 20.33 MB -
    Reviewed by: VeeTHis
    When I first started this WAD, it looked very promising. You can tell that there was a lot of detail and attention put into the house. In my opinion, it's one of the most detailed places of this map.

    So, when you get out of the spawn room of that house, you're immediately met with a ton of Imps. Downstairs is also pretty detailed, too. If you go to the kitchen, it turns into a "blood kitchen"? I really don't know how to describe it.

    When you go outside the house using one of two ways, it traps you there. One of the ways brings you to a swarm of Cacodemons, Imps, and Pinkies. The other exit is more easy to handle. It just has a few Imps and two Pinkies. When you kill all of them, you can press a switch to get a red skullcard.

    In one of the rooms of the house, you can get a chainsaw, which makes this level much more easier in some parts. In the other exit, once you kill all the monsters--well, I'll leave that part for you guys to explore.

    The custom music that this WAD comes with is also a really nice addition. Even though I prefer the original Doom 2 music for this level because I think it fits it better, it still sounds very nice, but, in my opinion, not that fitting.

    This level has a really nice design to it, and it's a long one! While it does take a while to complete, it still is very fun. I wish there were more healthpacks because I found myself dying many times because of how low my health was. The ammo was pretty fairly spread out.

    This map does challenge you a little bit as well, because most of the time it's throwing high power monsters at you like Cacodemons, Barons of Hell, Pain Elemental, Revenants, and more. This map does suffer from monster-spamming, though.

    I found myself using the chainsaw to mow down mainly Imps, Pinkies, and Lost Souls. The main reason for my deaths were because of the Lost Souls. Near the half-way point of the map, you have to kill a Pain Elemental, and I died so many times because of that.

    This level has very nice aesthetics to it, and the secrets, in my opinion, are a little easy to find. For one secret you have--wait... I don't want to spoil a secret! Never mind.

    This level does require some strategic steps to not get ambushed by the monsters; at the points where the monster-spamming is at its max, it's pretty easy to get hit by an enemy projectile. The ammo is pretty fairly placed, and I didn't find myself running out of ammo often.

    If you're going to play this, then you're not going to use the pistol. I can tell that this map focuses on you using the shotgun, because that's what most of the ammo you find will be: shotgun ammo.

    There is one part though that if you fall in, you have to get killed by the Mancubus in the hole because I haven't seen any way out of it. I highly advise to save pretty often, because you probably will die a lot because of the sheer madness that occurs!

    I really liked this. I don't think this would be the best map for beginners, as it does take some skill. And I highly recommend playing this with auto-run on (if you're playing it on a source port that has auto-run).

    Overall, what an awesome map! I'm looking forward to your next map, Paul Dechene.

    Uplink - Zoltan Schmidt "Katamori"
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 10.86 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Uplink is a set of three maps that take place almost entirely in a CC4-skinned cyberspace. This type of setting has been done before (most recently, to my knowledge, in the last few levels of Mutiny), but Katamori's execution is pretty unique. Blue and silver are the primary colors, and the author has focused on complex architectural structures and simple (non-annoying) maze-like environments that call to mind the shapes of circuitry. The maps all do a great job of conveying the setting, and there are some pretty neat digital concepts integrated into the architecture -- my favorite is the huge scrolling bands of floating crates in map 02 that represent the flow of data. Laid-back electronic tracks set the tone for each level (map 03's track is especially good), and I felt like they really helped me get immersed.

    In keeping with the unreality of the setting, things change rapidly in these levels, whether it's a key suddenly teleporting away or a bunch of walls lowering, and you have to think on your feet. Combat is trap-oriented, but it's generally pretty moderate; it never feels trollish or difficult to get out of, it just forces you to react quickly. The mapset ends with a very cool final battle against a bunch of Pain Elementals -- because you don't have plasma weapons and they teleport into the arena rapidly, your only choice is to take them on with the rocket launcher, making for some seriously nerve-wracking combat with an emphasis on maneuvering quickly for a good shot. All in all, these smallish maps are well worth the time to play, and I really enjoyed them.

    Run For It! - Cherepoc
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 4.1 MB -
    Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
    Run For It a fun joke wad designed for ZDoom-based ports. The basic concept is that every item and projectile can sprout legs, and then they run around the map. Monster projectiles target the player, the players projectiles target the nearest monster, while all of the items and decorations seemingly run around at random. The objects only stop running if they are shot, or if they hit their target. This mod makes the maps fun and somewhat challenging as you are forced to chase down those pesky weapons and health items. My personal favorite decoration is when the hanging legs sprout legs to run around with.

    Winter In The City - Omegalore
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.97 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Winter in the City is your typical Christmas wad with cute holiday-themed graphical replacements for everything. The monsters all look like toys, Santas, reindeer, etc., the hellish dead trees are decked out with ornaments and lights, and the weapons and nukage barrels are all lovingly gift-wrapped. It's definitely fun, and the author has put a lot of effort into maintaining the theme and has gone well beyond just tossing Santa hats on everything and calling it a day. The chaingunner, Revenant, and Arch-Vile are the only monsters that don't have sprite replacements, which is kind of weird. There are also a few little bugs here and there -- for instance, the Lost Soul has the wrong death animation -- but with a wad like this, it almost feels like the bugs are supposed to be there.

    If you played this level without the graphics, it would probably be pretty forgettable -- it's mostly square buildings with streets between them, and an abundance of long, pointless, empty alleyways. However, I felt like the cheesy charm of the Christmas theme was enough to keep me going. If you love all those weird classic graphics-only TCs like Simpsons Doom, or if you can't get enough of Christmas wads, you'll probably enjoy it.

    The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.
    UAC Dragon Sector is a partial conversion for Risen3D created by The Barefootstallion. It is a singular base with a cohesive theme that runs throughout. Each of the nine maps was crafted from the ground up with loving attention to detail. The name of the game is atmosphere; it's all about recapturing the same sense of dread you had when you first played Doom II. You can find more info and the download link
    Eris Falling

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #290 - Good Morning Phobos (Part I)
    Date: 2 March, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Friday Night Fragfest #364 - DBAB TDM & FXDMS3/TSLD2004a LMS
    Date: 3 March, 2017
    Euro session: 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 15:00 GMT

    ZDaemon Sessions #496 - Legendary-35a CTF
    Date: 4 March, 2017
    Euro session: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 GMT
    For more multiplayer related news and discussions, head on over to the multiplayer forum. Happy fragging!
    Version 2.4 of DOOM Retro is now available to download. As always this release sees a significant amount of changes, this time including some extensive rendering optimizations and a new "vanilla mode". Visit doomretro.com for the link and some very comprehensive release notes.
    Eris Falling

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #289 - Moonblood
    Date: 23 February, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Odamex Friday Night Nitro #203 - BucketDM Deathmatch
    Date: 24 February, 2017
    Time: 19:30 EST / 00:30 GMT

    ZDaemon Sessions #495 - LA Dark Fantasy FFA2Survival (Part I)
    Date: 25 February, 2017
    Euro session: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 GMT
    Friday Night Fragfest has not yet been posted this week, so keep an eye on the multiplayer forum for further updates. Happy fragging!

    The Joy of Mapping #2 - Jimmy & Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.71 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Note: I lost my other review in an SD card wipe, because I'm an idiot. So if I missed anything, well, oops.

    The Joy of Mapping #2 is more Joymap goodness by Jimmy and Company. While I loved the previous installment, this one is a lot better in the quality department. There aren't many stinkers in here, but there are a few slaughtery-maps, including one that took me a while to beat because I was playing on a sub-par setup and couldn't turn around in time.

    Texture themes are (mostly) all great and lighting seems to be more competent this time around. I didn't have many complaints other than the blandness of one map that reeked of the Doom Builder 2 default theme. I've yet to see that theme look good in any map yet.

    Yet another solid effort, and I wish these mapping machines the best in the next installment, which I will likely enjoy playing if this one is any indication. Pick this one up!

    Ave Exitium - Obsidian
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 254.61 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    What to even make of this map? If you open up the automap, you'll see the words "Jesus Wept," which I think roughly sums up my sentiments on the matter.

    I think this has to be the most difficult map I've ever played with under 200 monsters, or the most difficult map in which monster count was not a major factor in the difficulty. The first time I quit in frustration was after just a few attempts, because I couldn't get past the first few rooms. Then about 10 minutes later I tried again. And quit again... and so on. Ave Exitium is that kind of map. It's very much a puzzle that leaves you feeling like there must be some way to beat it, and makes you keep coming back even after you've relinquished your review claim in disgust and abandoned the wad for like three weeks straight.

    So what's so bad about it? First and foremost, there's hardly any ammo. There's no chaingun, so the bullets you pick up aren't good for much, you don't get rockets until the last couple of fights, and although you get both shotguns early, there are only a few boxes of shells. If you are using your SSG against anything other than Arch-Viles, Pain Elementals, or monsters that are actively blocking your escape route, you're doing it wrong. If you follow this advice religiously, you should have enough ammo to make it through the first third of the level, at which point you get the Berserk pack and it becomes a balls-hard Tyson map. The chainsaw appears earlier, but it seems to require some kind of straferun trick to get, and I couldn't reach it. Throughout all of this, you're trying to get around tough enemies like Revenants and AVs in fairly small spaces, it's dark, and you have to puzzle out the progression as you go while under fire from enemies you can't kill. The layout can be pretty confusing, as there are passages that sneakily transport you to the other side of the level, and most of the rooms look pretty similar. There are many switches to find and hit, and some of them open up in small nooks in areas where you've already been with no warning; I'm thankful for ZDoom's automap rendering with color-coded lock-and-key lines, because I don't think I'd have ever found the locked switches without them. Also, there is only one difficulty setting. Also, the walls are actually Mancubuses and shoot fireballs at you. Even the secrets don't give you more ammo, though one of them does give you the privilege of Tysoning six Revenants at once with no cover for a Megaarmor.

    At one point after hunting down most of the switches, I ended up finally finding the rocket launcher and the level's final ammo cache (hallelujah!), only to realize that I was stuck in a puzzle room with no obvious way out. After riding blood floors up and down for 15 minutes, I ragequit again... and then half an hour later, I restarted for the nth time and tried again. It turns out that to solve the puzzle, you have to blindly guess that the FIREBLU walls have barrels and Keens behind them that you can only destroy with rockets. Once you get out, you're almost free -- all you have to do is take on a couple of Cyberdemons and a small horde of other enemies blocking the exit lift. You can get the Cybers to help you kill everything else, but if you have enough ammo to kill the Cybers, I don't know where you got it from. It's kind of interesting that there's yet another layer of challenge there; sure, you can run past them and beat the level, but can you be even stingier with your ammo and kill them next time?

    Don't get me wrong, this level is pretty cool. The blood-filled fortress setting is nice, and although the detailing is on the simpler side, the lighting does wonders for the map's atmosphere. The little spinning skull cube things are also neat -- Obsidian is always good at creating new content that expands the Doom universe in believable ways, even if it's something as simple as a single decoration. And although the design can be kind of dickish at times, the whole level is a very carefully crafted puzzle that requires some serious thought and effort. I would only recommend Ave Exitium to masochists, but if you genuinely love a challenge -- and I mean seriously love it, not like you're just saying that because you don't mind dying sometimes -- you may really enjoy it.

    Jupiter Carnage 3! - Bzzrak Ktazzz
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 546.18 KB -
    Reviewed by: Voros
    Yet another bzzrak map. Fortunately, this one's decent. Pretty good in fact.

    First of all, there are two maps here. One is supposed to be a small starter map, apparently to let the player know this isn't the main map. The actual map itself is larger in size. Second of all, don't let those screenshots fool you! There's more to the map than you think!

    In terms of detail, such as texturing, it's all right. Pretty good in fact. He didn't go for the hyper realistic details found in many new school maps, nor the classic '90s way of detailing either. It's both tied together neatly. Or at least, as neat as possible.

    The thing placement could've been better, could've been worse. There's no denying that. Sometimes, it feels too easy, such as shooting down imps single file in a nice corridor, to extremely challenging via fighting barons and cacodemons in pitch black darkness in a claustrophobic tunnel. But there's good progression, so I have no real complaints on this matter.

    The map design could use some work though. I admire the architecture used here, showing off bzzrak's potential, but it can be cruel. For example, being forced to run around in a cramped hallway with hitscanners waiting to penetrate you with their guns. Even worse: being forced to navigate a room with damaging floors, and no radiation suit. Not a big fan. Another thing worth mentioning is how the map seems to slowly change itself from techbase to Hell, similar to how Doom's first three episodes follow a trend of techbase to perverted techbase to Hell. This is a plus, because it's something I did not expect, seeing as how the map starts so techy.

    The graphics. Well, first of all, I thought the sky fit very nicely with the map, for being visually pleasing to look at. But what I really enjoyed the most was the title screen. Just like how hentai intrigues me, this did too. The font and its colour along with the Doomguy himself taking a selfie AKA Selfie Doom, was a nice treat. Too bad though. I liked the older one with simple black background and that silly quotation. Not sure why really, but my brain enjoyed it a lot. Then there's the ENDOOM, which claims that this WAD surpasses Half-Life. Had a good laugh reading that. Well, if anything, bzzrak has a sense of humour and clearly makes these maps because he enjoys doing so. That's my kind mapper.

    Overall, not too shabby, can be drag sometimes, can be a bitch, but worth playing through.

    No End in Sight - Emil "NaturalTvventy" Brundage, Xaser Acheron, Chris Lutz
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 6.03 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    The landscape of Ultimate Doom modding is pretty well dominated by individual episode replacements, and a serious 27- or 36-level megawad is virtually unheard of this side of Doom the Way id Did. But if you think less is more when it comes to Doom 1, you clearly haven't played No End in Sight.

    This project, a collaboration between NaturalTvventy, Xaser, and Lutz, began as yet another offshoot of Doom the Way id Did. But despite its origins, NEIS is not an id clone, nor does it try to be. It maintains a classic feel throughout, but the team of three mappers focused much more on creative use of the vanilla Doom engine than on sticking religiously to id's design tenets, with a couple of major exceptions: first, virtually every level has a non-linear layout with an emphasis on freedom of movement; and second, the use of Barons and boss enemies is pretty limited up until E4, which puts the focus on fighting smaller enemies with lighter weaponry. To some extent, individual mapping styles take a back seat to these main principles (as well as the limitations imposed by the vanilla engine), but you can still pretty easily guess who made what. Xaser's maps tend to feature the smoothly curving structures and shifting geometry that are the hallmarks of his style. Lutz only contributed three maps, but all are excellent; his two vanilla maps are probably the most classic in the set (in the sense of "the Way id Did"), while his limit-removing map is one of the most complex and detailed. NaturalTvventy, who created around two-thirds of the total maps, is a bit more of an odd duck, and it feels like his mapping style evolved over the course of the megawad. His E1 maps are simplistic and often intentionally rough around the edges, probably intended to mimic the early modding community as much as the id team. His maps in later episodes, however, feel like they could have been created by a completely different person. From E2 onward, Brundage provides clean, attractive visuals, but it's his creative gameplay that really stands out. Every single one of these maps feels completely different from the others, and most of them revolve around some totally unique gameplay idea, whether it's a puzzle, a layout principle, or a combat style.

    Almost every level in E1 is by NaturalTvventy, and as I already mentioned, the episode is intentionally retro. If you liked the idea of Erkattanne but hated the execution and decided to set out to do it right, you might end up with something like Brundage's early E1 levels. That said, the maps gradually increase in polish as the episode progresses, and there are also some really strong hints of Romero homage. The best of these levels is E1M9, which is mostly one long, often frantic battle set in a nukage zone around several large silos that occasionally open up to send more enemies after you. Xaser's lone offering, E1M7, is also relatively simple, but the beautifully interconnected indoor-outdoor layout and occasional horde combat help it stand out.

    E2 is my favorite episode, not just because I always love the E2 setting, but because of the huge amount of creativity and attention to detail and atmosphere that the mappers have put into it. E2M1 seems like a simple id homage, but when you return to the same area in E2M9, it becomes a whole new ballgame, a glorious nightmare of illusions and sudden descending floors. E2M2 has few crates but is still scary enough to make a great successor to "Containment Area"; it's full of sharp swaths of light cutting through darkness and things that go bump in the night. E2M4 is an eerie crawl through a huge and highly realistic floating spaceship, and it almost feels like playing System Shock. E2M5 is the crate mazey storage facility, with the added twist that most of the level is dark and non-functioning; when you find the master power switch, the whole map suddenly transforms, with lights coming on and machinery whirring to life all over the place (and remember, this is a vanilla map we're talking about). I could write a whole review just about all the cool stuff that's going on in E2M7, a huge three-key hunt in which every time you return to the hub area with a new key through an already-used entrance, the walls drop to expand the room and reveal new paths and new monster ambushes (I still haven't figured out how they did that in vanilla).

    E3 is classic Hell in many ways, but again, the team has managed to accomplish a lot with what normally feels like a pretty limited theme and make each level feel unique. E3M1 is a pure puzzle level, with no required combat and some pretty good subtle environmental cues (but for those who hate puzzles, it's worth noting that the majority of them are for secrets, not the exit). E3M3 is a compact but super-intricate Xaser layout with lots of spatial challenges in addition to some close-quarters combat. E3M9 is a lava-filled level that's heavily inspired by "Mt. Erebus." It's also worth noting that E3M9 is a normal level, not a secret one, and instead, both E3M5 and E3M6 act as secret levels. E3M5 is an interesting mishmash of many themes, including some mysterious tech; make sure to check the automap when you've seen everything, as there's a great nod to the "map as art" idea first seen in "Slough of Despair." E3M6, the super secret level, is as close as Ultimate Doom can get to a full-on slaughter map; it takes you back to "Phobos Anomaly" before throwing you into a monster-filled nexus with tons of challenging side areas. E3M7 is incredibly epic, probably the largest and most complex map in the set, and by far the most memorable green marble fortress level I've ever played -- you can easily spend well over an hour exploring the whole thing.

    For E4, the team lifted the vanilla limitations, allowing them to create bigger, more detailed levels. They also threw out any self-imposed sense of kindness toward the player, and the resulting levels are often extremely difficult. Even E4M1 is the most harrowing level so far, forcing you to scrounge for every meager offering of ammo and puzzle out the progression while constantly coming up against Barons and Cacodemons. E4M2 is one of those alternate dimension levels where you travel between eerily similar base and Hell areas and your actions in one dimension affect the progression in the other. E4M4 is utter chaos, with mobs of enemies cramming onto every catwalk of a fortress surrounded by lava and seemingly teleporting at random as they cross invisible lines. E4M5 (Lutz's map) is slower-paced and puzzley (though there's still some very tough combat), with a fantastic sense of exploration and lots of atmosphere. E4M6 is a hardcore marathon with limited ammo and many boss enemies, and the whole thing plays out like one huge combat puzzle. E4M7 is an appropriate penultimate gantlet that pits you against everything from large mixed mobs to Spectre hordes to twin Cyberdemons to your own instincts about whether or not you can fly. E4M8 manages to create something remarkably like an Icon of Sin battle through slow delivery of teleporting monsters and then caps off the megawad with a cinematic closing scene.

    In addition to the regular content, most of these levels have tons of secrets, many of which are interesting to explore and add a whole new layer of depth to the levels. You don't need to find any of them to beat the maps, but they add a lot of cool optional content, and you'll definitely want to look for them if you like to max kills. In some of the larger levels, such as E3M7 and E4M6, layered secrets account for about a quarter of the level's total space and monster count. One thing that bothered me is that it seems like many secrets are only accessible once, and it's possible to accidentally close them off forever with a simple mistake. This may have something to do with vanilla restrictions and the experimental nature of the secrets, but it can be frustrating. If you're trying to do a max run, you'll want to be very careful of this issue in E3M7 in particular.

    The whole megawad uses the stock soundtrack and mostly stock textures, but the team has also added in some edited textures and the alpha stuff released by id to help vary the settings and add to the '90s atmosphere of many levels. The wad is also set up so that if you run it in ZDoom, it automatically switches to a lower resolution, which is a nice idea that more classic-style wads should probably make use of, since they benefit much more from the feeling of nostalgia from the low resolution than they do from being forced into a high-res mode in which they don't look good. Speaking of ZDoom-based ports, if you're using one, make sure not to miss the two bonus levels, E1M0 and E4M0.

    With so many different concepts and playstyles represented in this megawad, you're bound to find a few levels that you hate, and many of the more puzzley elements (including the combat puzzles) will frustrate many players. Even if you love most of the levels, as I did, there are so many levels to play, and so many of them are huge and difficult, that you're likely to be pretty fatigued by the end of E4. I think this is more a product of Doom 1's limited resources than an issue with the mapping, and I firmly believe that the team made the most of everything they attempted to do. I'd advise you to take this mapset slowly and savor it, rather than trying to push all the way through it as quickly as possible. NEIS has an immense amount to offer, and it really feels like a love letter to the game, the community, and everything that is possible in the aging Doom engine with a little moxie and some elbow grease. NaturalTvventy's wild experimentation is the star of the show, but Xaser's and Lutz's maps are excellent in their own right and help to round out the set and provide more variety and change of pace. No End in Sight may well be the pinnacle of what is possible in Ultimate Doom mapping, and it's certainly the pinnacle of what has been achieved so far. If you have any respect for UDoom and believe it's more than just a rough draft for Doom 2, NEIS is a must-play.

    Miscellaneous Mayhem - Dutch Devil aka Dutch Doomer
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 903.21 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    It's always awesome to see a great mapper return to the community with a new release after being inactive for awhile, and I'm sure I speak for many when I say that Dutch Devil has been missed. This set of three maps was assembled out of scraps for a couple of projects that were never completed, and repolished for their final release -- so I'm not sure if that actually means DD is back to mapping or if he just wanted to clear some clutter from his hard drive, but either way, they are quite welcome.

    Map 01 is a snowy base with an open layout. It's a very casual map, with nothing more dangerous than a few chaingunners and only one difficult battle against a large teleporting mob. The layout is nice, though the progression is a bit confusing -- the main control room switch opens up a small, easy-to-miss door halfway across the level, and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. The map looks really pretty though; I'm always a sucker for snowbases.

    Map 02 is probably the best map in the set, a larger, warmer base map with a dark flooded section and some large outdoor areas reminiscent of DD's epic map from the first PCorf Community Project. The layout is excellent, both non-linear and easy to understand. Again, it's a pretty simple map, with a couple of Hell Knights as the toughest opposition, but larger enemy groups make it more on-your-toes than the first map.

    Map 03 feels more like a scrap map than the others, but it's still fun due to the more intense action. It throws some tougher monsters at you and has some cool (though brief) spelunking.

    These maps aren't as good as many of Dutch Devil's classics (except maybe map 02), but they're still well worth the time to play.

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