• Bloodshedder
    A.W - AndyNicka
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 171.46 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    Why look at this.

    A newbie's first mapset.

    Betcha it sucks, heh.

    ...damn.

    A.W. is a 6-map set released in January '17 by the anonymous AndyNicka, intended for vanilla. So far this has been his only release, which is kind of a shame, as it, rather unexpectedly, mostly kicks a$$.

    Generally it looks and feels like it came straight out of a time machine from '96 or so. But in the best, best possible way. If AW hit /idgames straight away instead of lying in the time machine for two decades, I'm sure that today it would be one of those "hidden gem" WADs that every one of us came across while experimenting with the "Random file" button. Do modern kids even remember what that thing was?? Ah, memories.

    Um, I got carried away a bit.

    I played A.W. with Crispy Doom 4.0, HMP difficulty, continuous, no saves. Time-wise it will consume an hour, maybe two if you're even more oblivious than me.

    The levels are mostly a mix of wood, stone and marble themes, which looks very 90s. But just like in every decent and not-so-decent 90s WAD, you'll occasionally encounter an environment that sticks out, like hell or craaaates. It all looks quite comfy and warm, even if crude. The detail is not really as plentiful as it could've been; actually it's quite scarce, but it fits the spirit of the set, so it's cool. You won't notice it anyway, if you're at least a little like myself.

    The author makes a lot of use of mid-textures, particularly the grate ones. Moreover, most of the time those grates separate the player from groups of monsters and may visually obscure them as well. Not just ugly, but also annoying.

    Andy seems to be fine with the technical side of things. The levels worked properly in Crispy Doom, which deserves respect.

    (Some switches do need to be pressed a few times in order to fully work though, unless you're using a particular PrBoom+ or ZDoom compatibility option.) Also a few minor cosmetic glitches can be found throughout the set, but that's not really that important, is it?

    Now, about the gameplay. (I played on HMP skill level, for the record.)

    The combat with monsters is quite easy. The author (thankfully!) doesn't overload his maps with annoying and stupid traps that, in this day and age, seem to be the very essence of mapping.

    However, it's the maps' design that enhances the monsters' threat level and also works as a danger on its own.

    Other than the so-classic-that-it's-repulsive "Spectres in the dark" cliché (which is present on several maps, mostly on MAP03), there are also things like monsters on lifts, or teleports, or even just big height differences that make the monster invisible for you, but not vice versa. Surprisingly, it never felt too cheap to me.

    Along with all that, Andy makes a LOT of use of teleports. It's quite confusing to be honest, but, taking the overall small size of the levels into account, the confusion doesn't last too long.

    Oh, by the way, the effect of most switches is NOT immediately visible, as all the badassiest mappers advise you to do. But you'll figure it out relatively quickly (unless you're really dumb keklolXD).

    MAP01 -- generic wood+marble combination. The combat is very relaxed. Looks very pleasant, nothing too annoying. Can be completed in two minutes.
    MAP02 -- SKIP THIS PIECE OF (insert favourite word) IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY. Just don't. Trust me.
    MAP03 -- a wooden base, where you get treated to a tiny, but cute outdoor area. However, the bulk of the level relies on darkness as the main challenge, and you'll spend a good part of the time wandering around a maze which is also, coincidentally, quite dark. Oh, and it's got Spectres. Be sure to use the automap and your weapons (to light up the path), find the light-amp goggles, and then you should be fine. A quite strange level.
    MAP04 -- a long, confusing level. Looks like a blend of MAP01 and 03, but is also a biiiiit threatening. Furthermore, there's a lot of rooms here that look very, very similar, like, you are in a room or corridor or something, and there are monsters shooting at you from behind some grates. Not a bad level, but kind of meh.
    MAP05 -- a small level that mostly focuses on a teleport puzzle (bleh) and a bit of crate platforming (bleh). I'd say this is a decent, but forgettable level.
    MAP06 -- an amazing finish to AW. A skilful combination of several themes. The first part is some sort of industrial-ish place, with bricks and wood planks and all that. Also there's an... underground computer lab, I guess? Then you get outside, into a small and quite cute chunk of outdoorsiness. Around this part you get the red key, and I'll tell you this, beware, you might die a lot there. That is followed by a big, enormous, grandiose, beautiful green/gray marble area. From here you'll reach some sort of yuck indoor fetid rocky tunnels or something, the blue key is here somewhere. Somehow (I don't remember the exact process) you obtain the yellow key as well and proceed to... THE BIG NASTY MEAN BOSS FIGHT OH MY GOD I'M SO SCARED SOMEBODY CALL MOMMY PLEASE!!!

    Just kidding. Even I didn't find the Cyberdemon and a handful of other punks too hard.

    One more spoiler is that there's an Invulnerability sphere behind the Cyberdemon, which you are free2grab.

    There's a bit more of fighting after that, but you should be fine. And That's All Folks, AW has exhausted its supply of... itself, I guess? I really don't think out my smart phrases as much as I should.

    Overall, A.W. is a great 90s-styled mapset; I'm sure any nostalgic oldschooler would shed at least a lonely manly tear playing this delight of a WAD. And the rest of us can still have a bit of fun here.

    ...what does A.W. mean anyway?

    NAM Ally Green Beret Items ACS Enter Script - Huey Greenhorn
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 5.43 MB -
    Reviewed by: Walter confetti
    This is a little patch for ZDoom that gives you a team of four helpful bots, and they will help you while playing. When they die, they give you a nice weapon (a chaingun most of the time) with some ammo, and a new health kit that works like the Duke Nukem 3D medikit item. The guys are pretty helpful, but the only bug I found is that their weaponry is a little overpowered (maybe on hard/slaughter maps), and they don't fall down ledges. This last one is the worst problem for me, since seeing how this thing works I've put one bot in action at the start of map01; it worked pretty efficiently, but when I jumped down the ledge I expected the bot to follow, but it remained in its place, what a good soldier. I had to use another one to have another support through the map.

    Overall, a nice and helpful mod, you can always check it out.

    Planisphere - Perro Seco
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 726.4 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Planisphere is one of those overlooked gems. The level dates back to around 2011 (or at least that's when I first played it), but it never got an /idgames upload until this year, and it was probably vastly overshadowed at the time of its initial release by the emergence of mappers like skillsaw and valkiriforce. This map also has practically nothing to do with Planisphere 2, which some long-time forumgoers may remember as that map that recreates all of New York City and lags like crazy. Planisphere 1 is just a nice medium-sized classic city map in a more conventional Doom 2 style.

    The map is pretty open and laid-back, and it's mostly fun for the sense of exploration and all of the creative ideas that are packed into it. It's well detailed in the style of TVR! or Kama Sutra, with sector objects and signs of damage all over the place -- flipped cars, street lights, trains where you walk through every car and kill zombies, and all that other good stuff. Personally, I can never get too much of it.

    According to the story, you've been traveling by train, and then suddenly the apocalypse happens. The train grinds to a halt next to a missile launch facility, and it's up to you to keep the demons from using the missiles against humankind. The first half is just hunting around the city, but the second half is where it gets really interesting. You enter the demons' portal and end up in a far-future post-apocalyptic version of the world that includes a canyon full of demons, a creepy and seemingly empty techbase, and a vast toxic sea where nukage pours down from the sky. After all of this, you return to the city, clear the guards out from around the missiles, and find your way to the exit. You also have the option of hunting down an army of SS Nazis that are hiding out in a fairly large secret area in the city -- which I think works pretty well and doesn't feel out of place, since it's a secret and they're not just thrown in as regular enemies. All in all, the map has tons of interesting ideas and great storytelling, and it always feels like it's giving you something worth seeing.

    Planisphere was a very good level for its time, and I think it has aged pretty well; it has a distinct classic feel, but it remains very fun to play.

    JNNHangar - joshthenesnerd
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 119.63 KB -
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    The readme of this wad contains probably the most passionate credits section ever written. I could almost feel it clouding my judgment while playing. Then again, why not? We should be nice to newcomers after all. That's right: JNNHangar is yet another first time effort uploaded to the archives, and I have to say it is one of the better ones in the "genre". Sure, it doesn't have a coherent theme, the monster placement is rather basic, and the texture alignment could use more work. But there is a lot of variety, constant action, and some pretty cool surprises to keep you entertained. It's just a nice and chill map you can play without worrying about your health too much. Not convinced yet? Just open the readme...

    MDK Skies Pack - Bzzrak Ktazzz
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 514.98 KB -
    Reviewed by: Walter confetti
    This is a little graphic wad made by bzzrak with a little demo wad including six new (huge) skies from the game MDK, and they all look pretty good. If you're looking for a good sky for your own levels, take a chance at this!

    Deathtrap - sKydran
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 59.46 KB -
    Reviewed by: Walter confetti
    This is a level for Doom 2 made by sKydran (how to pronounce your nickname? Sky dran? S. Kydran?) and works with ZDoom and derivative ports (I played this on Zandronum).

    According to the text file, the map replaces MAP01 (to be more precise, only one new level without any hint of the map slot) so imagine my surprise when I didn't find it in any of the classic slots the first time i played this wad and neither in other alternative slot. Tried MAP33, MAP34, MAP35, even MAP00. Nothing. At first I started to think this level was broke, so I checked it out with SLADE3 and... check the first screenshot, but it is a pretty weird choice for a map slot and it will surprise you like me, maybe.

    Anyway, the level itself is pretty nice, with some cool detailing here and there and a solid theme of a techbase beginning map for some megawad or map pack of sorts, and the gameplay follows the starter map concept, with an easy/medium difficulty and some simple puzzles after the red key door section for spicing up play. Beat the level and you beat the game. Yeah, is one of those kinds of maps.

    I expected something harder for a map called "Deathtrap", but it was pleasant to play, overall. Take a chance at playing this map, I'm expecting maybe a mapset with more stuff from this author in the future!

    Arena Boss Fights - Aiden (Maisth)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 43.8 KB -
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    Before you ask: yes, I picked this wad simply because it had the words "boss fights" in the title. I love boss fights: there's something magical about pitting your wits and skill against an entity specifically designed to test your mettle. I love the atmosphere that comes with boss fights, I love the gimmicks they can sometimes indulge in - you get the picture. I could waffle about bosses all day, but that's not what I'm here for.

    So, what does arena_bf.wad have to offer in the way of bosses? To be honest, not a whole lot: the wad consists of one level with three encounters modeled after the boss battles from the original Doom. And how do they measure up? Welllll... let me count the ways:

    - The baron fight is a (somewhat toothless) tango on some walkways above lava. Seeing as the wad gives you the SSG off the bat to take care of the Barons (yeah, this wad is for Doom II for some reason) they become somewhat trivial to take down in short order and the experience suffers as a result. I love the SSG as much as the next Doom marine, but I have to admit that the shotgun/chaingun combo against the Barons in the original hit the balance of difficulty in taking the bruisers down. Well, unless you found the rocket launcher, but I digress.

    - The Cyberdemon fight consists of ol' Cyb on a raised platform and a plasma rifle that you can use to effortlessly shave off most of his health. Considering the threat of the original tussle was the Cyberdemon's mobility, this does effectively handicap one of its greatest assets.

    - Finally, the SM fight has you hiding behind pillars in the corners of the arena and popping your head around to fire off rockets. It isn't terribly exciting, all told. :/

    On the plus side, there's just enough ammo to get the job done and the wad doesn't drag its heels too much. The author states that this was something made on the fly to unwind, and at the end of the day it's basically inoffensive: I don't really recommend it, but I don't hate it either. That's all I have to say on it, honestly.

    Fnord.

    Impact - greendingbat
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 23.22 KB -
    Reviewed by: Obsidian
    First of all, I feel like I should mention that I initially thought the username of the guy who made this wad was greedingbat. I have no idea why, it makes no sense.

    Ahem. Impact is a single-level wad for Doom II that (according to the textfile at least) was made with the express intention of feeling like an intro map. A noble aspiration to be sure, and to the map's credit it does have that feel somewhat: it does its best to invoke that MAP01 feel with the texturing scheme and length. I actually caught myself thinking of D2TWID's MAP01 at one point, so there's definitely something here that works. I wouldn't say it completely succeeds in its venture though: the map itself feels a bit too linear for my blood, and the short map length is rather in-advisably used to introduce the Shotgunner, Demon and chaingun in fairly short order. Bearing in mind that these elements aren't introduced in Doom II until MAP02 and MAP03, having all of them introduced so quickly makes the map feel shorter than it is and actively does it a disservice. This ain't Pistol Panic darling, you're well within your right to take it slow.

    Gripes aside though, impact.wad is pretty decent and accomplishes what it set out to do for the most part: perhaps you could make the case that it'd be better utilized in a mapset of similar maps, but it's still a decent (if short) romp. By the looks of things this is the mapper's first map too, so I'd say this is a decently promising start, and it'll be nice to see where they go from here. Would I recommend you download it? If you're looking for something simple and short to unwind, then go for it. Just make sure you aren't allergic to D_RUNNIN.

    Sinful Outpost - Paul Corfiatis (Pcorf)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 284.24 KB -
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    Sinful Outpost is a standalone map made by our friend, Paul Corfiatis, involving some hellish architecture combined with a nice sky and more traps... of course. Without further ado, let's go!

    It's a nice start for sure (first image) with some imps and zombies shooting you from afar, but you can easily dispatch them with some well-placed bullets. When you advance, you see the soulsphere, the BFG (secret areas), and some nice green armor that will save you. Surprisingly, the blood pool doesn't hurt, which is great.

    The keys are always followed by some traps, and this map is no exception. When picking up the blue skull, cacos will appear along with some minor resistance. Fortunately, some secrets are easy to spot (like the soulsphere and the berserk with some medkits in the next area). There's an SSG and more enemies to kill before the next main area.

    I like that the map lets you see the next areas, showing the interconnection and allowing some planning by the player (second image). And be sure of it, because once you pick up the yellow skull, a big group of monsters will spawn including a pain elemental.

    The next areas are like the calm before the storm (third image) because the fights serve as a sort of climax before reaching the red key area and then going to the red door after that. The encounters are well-paced for those areas, including an acid pool and more traps. Very important thing here... don't forget to discover more secrets, which come in handy.

    The last area is where the map gets even more entertaining to play (fourth image), where you see some revenants and monsters that work as turrets in each side and the exit right in front of you. The architecture in that area is effective for trying to keeping you at bay. I was surprised when that archie spawned suddenly before reaching the exit... that bastard. You know the bad part of this? I picked up both the BFG and the megasphere after I killed all of the monsters... sigh...

    Overall, it's a great and solid map that it's fairly difficult and enjoyable. I ended up getting 100% for everything because the secrets are not hard to find. Great job Paul.

    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.
    Bloodshedder
    Quantum Strike - Spectre01 (rileymartin)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.97 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Oh dear.

    I had written a scathing review of this, but the author was nice enough to message me personally and ask me to give him my honest opinion on the map. So instead of editing the review, I scrapped it entirely and started over. So, here goes.

    Quantum Strike is a set of three slaughtermaps with something most slaughtermaps don't have: sane difficulty settings. However, because I was dumb and played on UV, I kept getting my ass kicked. After many, many tries to get out of the first set of rooms in MAP01, I was about ready to give up, but then I read the text file (hurrrr), and discovered that UV was supposed to be intentionally terrible. Well, that explains everything.

    So, gameplay is exactly what people expect from a slaughtermap - a relentless barrage of hate and death. But there is something in each encounter that I haven't seen in many slaughtermaps - ways to avoid attacks. Let me demonstrate what I mean.

    MAP01 starts in a hallway with an arch-vile behind you. At the start. AT THE START. Naturally, you want to run, but you're trapped behind a door that blazes open to reveal - you guessed it - hitscanners. To the left of you is a pole made of blue skull key door textures. Guess who's going pole dancing?

    What ensues is a lot of failed attempts to beat each "wave" of enemies, using either the environment to dodge, or your weapons to stun. Every few feet you walk, you just might get owned.

    Arena-style fights are here, are way overdone, and quite honestly stress me out. My biggest issue with the Arena fights in these maps is that a lot of them use teleporting monsters, so you never, ever, ever know what to expect. Think of a minefield, but the mines move. Not to mention a section where cacodemons pour out of an area for what seems like hours.

    If you like slaughtermaps you'll enjoy this I guess, but there is something that ruins this map for me and it's not the game play, it's... well, let's take a look!


    Ow, my eyes. It's a shame that this screenshot is a static image, because in reality, everything - EVERY texture is scrolling. It's garish, it's irritating, nauseating, and the ultimate in Gothic99/KDIZD-esque overkill. Boy, I never thought I'd say that in 2017. The other way I can describe the level of detail is a Victorian-era dollhouse, where the house is so detailed that looks like someone figured out how to shrink a real house.

    This doesn't just affect the visuals; it affects movement. Every little detail sticking out from the walls into the player's space makes using projectile weapons that much more dangerous.

    But hey, at least the mapper didn't booby-trap stimpacks like DV0!

    A new monster, the afrit, has been added that replaces the Commander Keen - which has wayyy too much health. The attack is also the most evil thing I've ever encountered, combining mancubus and revenant attacks. WTF AVOID.

    Here are my recommendations for the mapper:
    * Remove as much of the crazy detail as possible. Good lord, there's no reason for computer textures to scroll.
    * Implement better lighting in the fullbright areas. Why so many lamp decorations?
    * Take into the account the few moments of immobility after teleporting. There are many many times that I died simply because I couldn't move.

    This is a -complevel 9 wad, but infinite height is expected to be disabled, and freelook enabled. This could explain a lot of my frustration, because I play with mostly vanilla settings, and never thought to check that stuff.

    And yet... I couldn't stop playing the thing! This map sucks, 5/5.

    If you think you can take the sensory overload, give it a shot!
      Tutorial: 9-Level Spiral (3D Stairs) - JagDogger2525
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 32.28 KB
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    This is an interesting tutorial level demonstrating a spiral staircase. There are a few monsters thrown in as a demonstration of what to expect with 3D floors, and a switch at the top.

    Do NOT expect software mode to work, unless you are using the experimental sofware poly renderer.

    What I found interesting about this map is how odd it feels to climb the stairs. 3D floor use like this is very rare, and I think an elevator would have done just as good of a job.

    But for some kinds of map themes, I think this would work. It just doesn't work in a tech setting for me. Would work great with a Gothic setup.
      Tutorial: 3D Floor & Planes - JagDogger2525
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 4.66 KB
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    This is a tutorial level for a simple 3D floor and a slope. You can walk under and on top of the floor (naturally). No gameplay here, just a small room with a floating platform.

    It's nothing you haven't seen before.
      Counterattack - Brett "Mechadon" Harrell
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 8.03 MB -
    Reviewed by: Ryath
    Mechadon's style is unmistakable: beautifully-crafted architecture, all the way from the tiny details of a light fixture up to the vaulted archways of a nightmarish cathedral that could house every single denizen of Hell. His skill is unmatched at stringing the sections of a map together in fascinating, overlapping, interwoven paths; and his maps reshape themselves as you play, opening new passages and doors and staircases in a way I've rarely seen. But unlike a lot of other mappers who create these epic, hour-long slogs, Mechadon knows precisely how to signpost and place landmarks so that it's a rare thing to get lost in his maps, at least for more than a minute or so.

    Counterattack is perfect Mechadon, and takes you on a wonderful journey through a UAC base on Earth to a Hellish gate at the edge of the universe over the course of five massive maps. (Not including two secret maps, a tiny end map you won't see in Eternity or ZDoom, and a placeholder at Map30.)

    Map01: The first map messes with your expectations by giving you the rocket launcher right away, and a huge portion of the first map consists of blowing battalions of former humans to bits with rockets and ubiquitous explosive barrels. The pistol zombies are a much bigger threat than you might expect, just from their sheer numbers. Oddly, this is the map I got turned around in the most, though I think part of that was just getting comfortable with how progression and layouts work in Mechadon maps.

    Map02: Mechadon set out to create maps that could be completed any number of different ways, and it's quite clear from here on out. In this one, for instance, you need the red skull key to get to the exit -- but you can retrieve the red skull using either the yellow keycard OR both the red and blue keycards. And if you have all three, you get grab a BFG to use in the last few arena battles. This might be my favorite map in the WAD, though it probably has the worst midi. It's hard to find music suitable for really long maps, and this one is just too repetitive.

    Map03: The other contender for best map in the bunch. I love the melding of Hell's green marble with green base textures like STARG1 and CEMENT9. Hyper-detailed CEMENT-based architecture is one of my fetishes, and this map satisfies. Things are getting significantly more subverted by Hell's influence, though gameplay-wise Map03 feels a lot like 02 -- just slightly more confusing, which is why it's not quite definitively the best map in Counterattack.

    Map04: Fire and brimstone Hell meets Doom II's city aesthetic. Map04 is one of the most beautiful maps I've ever played. You're deliberately under-supplied for the opening, which forces you count your bullets and bust out the chainsaw any time you can risk it. This time you're not just key-hunting; you're hunting for ammo and weapons too. Scavenging is great (stressful) fun, but it does make it easy to get in over your head. I had at least one death because I ran into a lock-you-in-the-room style trap against a swarm of demons and revenants with only the chainsaw and shotgun. Not too discouraging, though, since these maps are such open-ended playgrounds, and starting them over just feels like a chance to attack them from another angle.

    Map05: An entire map of arena battles. Stunning visuals, but I didn't appreciate the gameplay as much as in previous maps. The final boss monster is kind of underwhelming because it poses so little threat; because of how much room there is to move around, this map is actually significantly easier than 04 -- and it's the only map I didn't die in.

    Counterattack isn't without its flaws. It's a minor nitpick, but Mechadon's use of shadows can be a bit aggressive. Almost everything casts an extreme shadow, even some little ceiling detail twenty feet up that barely protrudes at all. It also gets very predictable when EVERY switch releases enemies. And a couple maps start to drag on by the end, especially 04.

    The WAD is pure joy, though. Each map is its own self-contained adventure full of not just gorgeous vistas, but a new, charming little detail to find every time you play it. And each playthrough unfolds differently as you discover new and unexpected routes. Mechadon is quickly becoming one of my favorite mappers. By the way, is that a sequel hook I see in the ending text? I sure hope so.
      Fanta Factory - Hebridean Isle
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 1.56 MB -
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    One word: ORANGE. That's all for the review, bye...

    Just kidding. This is Fanta Factory, a tech-base orange-tinted map which is really short but fun.

    The map starts with really nice orange-tinted ambience and a few monsters (first image) and the added Quake MIDI track which fits nicely. Still easy enough with the encounters by killing zombies, imps and pinkies. Ahead of you is a switch that will change the tone of the map in a sudden way (second image).

    Music stops, change of tone, music starts. And as a surprise for the outside, more zombies are waiting with a hell knight behind. Next area is the orange arena with more Fanta to drink (third image)... probably, but first, the monsters. After that you clear the first line of hellspawn and enter an arena with several small pillars and some goodies. Inside the arena is a well-hidden secret which some people may figure out and there's a plasma gun. That will help against some monsters.

    The arena itself has three waves of monsters, one group with low-tier monsters such as zombies, imps and pinkys. The second wave is a mid-tier group with a couple of cacos and revenants. And the last wave is a pair of mancubuses. Oh, I forgot to say that every wave is summoned, some of those pillars will lower very slowly, and for the third wave you won't have any cover at all, which is a great touch and adds more challenge. You can still die in this map if you're not careful though.

    The detail of the map is quite good, but still I found some vertical misalignments, but that's not too serious. Two things though... that secret sound... haha, coming from OMD and its song, Secret, nice touch. And uh... that image that's revealed at the right when you press the secret switch... I don't know where's from.

    Overall, it's a nice map. It can fit really fine for a Map01 if it's compiled into a mapset or something. Good gameplay. Thing is, it's so short that the player will feel disappointed at the end. Maybe adding a couple of maps can be useful for more time spent in the map.

    And enjoy drinking Fanta while reading this review please!!!
      Quester's Fest - Fonze
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 303.21 KB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Fonze has been an advocate for the rocket launcher as Doom's best weapon for some time now, and his speedmaps over the past year-plus have been a series of love notes to it, exploring a variety of surprisingly uncommon gameplay concepts. Examples include the rocket launcher–pain elemental dynamic, as well as inverted target prioritization -- pinkies are often the biggest threats and archviles can be surprisingly harmless. These maps don't really attempt to be "normal"; it's all rocket-pumping action. In Quester's Fest, as in many of Fonze's speedmaps, the rocket launcher is the only weapon you will be given ammo for. Featuring around 200 monsters spread across two set pieces, it's a very short map. The gameplay will be challenging for most, although those used to 'hardcore' sets such as Sunlust will classify it as somewhat leisurely. Difficulty settings have been provided: HMP is much like UV with extra forgiveness in the second half, but the most important thing you should know is that HNTR is an absolutely mandatory play after you're done on either HMP or UV. I won't spoil the surprise. Just try it.
      Phrygia - Fonze
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 169.4 KB -
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    This map was really hard at the starting point... surrounded by spiders, revenants, hell knights, barons and pinkys. I tell you, that part took me ten tries to get right (first image). It's all about learning how to progress through the map, picking up the backpack and not getting damaged much by the damaging floor and the homing projectiles (second image). That specific part is also the key for killing the revenants near you first, then dispatching the big group of revenants, spiders and hell knights in the right is necessary. Oh and be careful for pinkys that are entering the area where you are, or one of the rockets will kill you.

    After dispatching most of it, killing spiders and pinkys are a must, by rockets or infighting, then get the soulsphere, and when the area is clear, megasphere time. It's worth mentioning that after clearing that area, the map gets easier... not without killing another group of revenants, cacos, and a couple of archies (third image)... and a sneaky pain elemental that comes out of nowhere. Detail in the map was fine, simple but clean. And surprisingly, I liked the music... even if the track sounds like it's from an Egyptian-themed track.

    Definitely a really hard but fun map; strategies must be used in order to clear it.
      Emergent - Benjogami
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 2.53 MB -
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    Emergent is a 4-map wad made by Benjogami and it's already teasing the player at the start with that "Don't Save" message in the save game options. Nice touch there, but you know where that's going. So, here's the detail of the maps.

    Map01 - There's a quiet start with a teleporter in front of you saying that this will be a nice start (first image) but... oh boy, this is deceptive, as you step into that teleporter and see the new big area (second image). You're already surrounded by hellspawn of the nastiest kind, and the cover can't be of much use here as long as you kill them ASAP. This map starts hard and ends hard and that will be a constant for the next maps, so be prepared at all times.

    I like that all maps are set in some void instead of being in some common place like Hell or Earth. That gives a clear indication that you're hopeless and alone while fighting whatever comes. The detail for this map is great, and it has some interesting ways of mixing themes... like, you have rocks, urban textures, and tech stuff mixed together.

    By the way, you need the archvile to get the soulsphere? While some players would have low health already? That's risky, unless that there's another way to get there. In any case, good and hard map.

    Map02 - Pinky start (third image)... time to punch those bastards with the berserk!!! What a way to start. You have two switches to lower some pillars and walk to the main part of the map. The map itself is interesting because you have the choice of which side of the map to go.

    You have two major areas in the map. The left area has the red key (fourth image) and the right area has the blue key. Also, in the sectors where the keys are, there's a switch nearby which activates some lifts to the exit (fifth image). Did I mention that there's also two long and narrow pillars that also have the two keys, and if you pick up one key, the other is unreachable? Cool stuff.

    The gameplay itself was also hard regardless of the amount of monsters. It's completely deceiving, and the player will understand that in a painful way. There's some ammo in those acid pools that you will receive some damage to get... talk about punishment. Also, ammo management is crucial here and in the next maps... fortunately in this map you have the berserk if you want to save some precious ammo. And always be careful of archviles.

    Overall, it's a nice and hard map that's like the calm before the storm for the next map.

    Map03 - OK, OK... starting point surrounded by imps, hell knights and revenants... OK. What a chaotic entrance (sixth image) which has some ammo scattered, armor and health to use it wisely because the problems for this map begin now.

    Red key area (seventh image)... OK, where do I begin?. This section caused me a lot of problems, mainly because there's no teleporters to give the player a choice of keeping the fight. Instead, you'll suffer a slow and painful death. This is annoying. To make things a bit worse, there's four cages which can spawn random monsters... if one of them is not a pain elemental then you'll have a hard time, and also you have to worry about a couple of archies.

    Fortunately, this is the only problem that I have with this mapset, because the next section is more forgiving than the red key area. The yellow key area (eighth image) is easier than the last one; at least you have a chance of surviving the fight if you stay in the lower areas. The fight is still chaotic of course, but it's manageable.

    Overall, I have mixed feelings with this map to be honest. It started good but... the red key area is the downside of this map. At least the yellow key area raises the fun a bit and that's appreciated. The player must be alert at all times in order to survive this nasty map.

    Map04 - Adorable start (ninth image) but this map is anything but adorable. The map is composed of three main areas that are divided to the left, center and right areas.

    The left area (tenth image) was the hardest part of the map because it has two mini-areas to deal with. By the way, there are four switches scattered in the map. Press one of them and more monsters will come out. In any case, you have to deal with more hellspawn while you press those switches. I noticed that cacos are more present than the other three maps, same for the revenants and hell knights and of course... archviles. And I'm also surprised that 1 or 2 pain elementals are there... I guess that the mapper was generous on this one. OH... that soulsphere is a must to pick up.

    Right area (eleventh image) was far easier than I thought. Lots of rockets and the place itself helps tremendously against the monsters because you can run from there and have a lot of cover. Those bastards don't have a chance this time, and of course, archies are the priority to take out first.

    Going to the center area (twelfth image), you'll find cacos that will surround you at any second, plus some archies at the already mentioned left area, and worst of all, a cyberdemon acts like a turret, but this is a perfect chance to provoke some infighting (and I had the help of a spider to kill him while the cyberdemon had eyes on me, which saved me some time and ammo). Also, you'll find some pillars that must be lowered in order to get to the exit.

    You have to be careful on the exit because there's still a few monsters that can spawn, and you must kill them before getting damaged, and it's not fun if you die right before the exit, you know.

    The detail and architecture of the map is good, especially the exit. Pretty simple layout but effective and does a good job by keeping you at bay. Overall, it was a fun map and yes, still having hard difficulty and the rocket launcher will be the preferred choice.

    This wad provides a real challenge that can be a good or bad thing depending on the player's skill. It's up to you to play this set but in my opinion, you should play it and give it a try.
      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.
    Bloodshedder
    Pizza Steve - Fernando Sanchez M.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 2.9 MB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Some slaughtermaps are at the zenith of cerebral play in Doom, forcing you to puzzle out specific strategies and execute them with precision in order to prevail. Some slaughtermaps give you powerful weapons and lots of megaspheres and offer you mindless no-strings-attached fun as you spam your way through hordes. There are plenty of good slaughtersets out there in either idiom.

    Pizza Steve is not one of them.

    Playing through this set -- with a willingness to IDCLEV or IDCLIP when faced with tedium, such as chaingunning door-with-health cyberdemons in maps with hardly any cell ammo -- I could feel the outlines of a fun monster spammy offering. I really could feel it. But for every enjoyable fight or two, you have to endure a spell of head-scratching tedium. Hallways lined with cyberdemons you don't have the ammo for. Mixed hordes that clog up at fast doors, forcing you to wait, rapidly opening and closing the door, until they infight themselves to death. Thresholds packed with revenants that exist solely to keep you from blitzing through the map, forcing you instead to pluck off every single cyber turret. Pizza Steve has a terrible habit of being quite stingy with the actual good weapons, especially in the earlier stages of maps. This often ruins what would have been decently fun spamfests in any other set. Instead, threshold camping and general slogginess become the order of the day.

    What I find fascinating about this set is that it clearly took some effort to make -- there are 32 maps, some of them quite expansive, none too pretty or highly detailed but most more sophisticated than monotextured Startan rooms. Yet as was mentioned during a discussion of the set, it feels like Pizza Steve was made "in a vacuum", devoid of any external feedback, devoid of anything even resembling thorough testing. It's as if the author hunkered down for a year and just made maps, without any thought of anyone but him playing them. More power to him, but the results are self-explanatory.

    If you are willing to hunt around with IDCLEV, you'll find some playable maps -- even a broken map design algorithm is right twice a year, or however the expression goes. The set also has merit as a sandbox for overpowered weapons mods and similar gameplay supplements. But overall, it's more bad than good, and unless poor design holds an intrinsic appeal for you, it's worth skipping in favor of basically any other set of slaughtermaps.
      UAC Doom - Part 2 - Laus
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 428.99 KB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Despite requiring ZDoom, Laus's second map looks and plays like something straight out of 1996. The indoor areas are a network of humbly sized rooms and cramped corridors, each made primarily of a single texture, with occasional wild theme shifts from one room to another. The gameplay mostly involves shooting stuff in front of you. Technical design is far from a strong point; texture misalignments are common, and in one area walls bleed into the sky when viewed from certain angles. So if you are looking for polish or modern gameplay, this is not for you. If you want a map unencumbered by modern tropes, reminiscent of a time before communal notions of what is considered "good design", or if you like shooting stuff with the single shotgun -- or if your name is Memfis -- this is for you.

    I played this map twice. Once right before bedtime (the gameplay accelerated the process), once the next day for the review. The one thing I wish I hadn't uncovered is the last secret: a room of dated memes displayed in large custom textures, a deliberate eyesore, unfunny, Terry-like in vibe. It's not malicious but it's pretty dumb. A shame, because otherwise the secrets would be a small selling point of the map. (And still are... if you are twelve.)

    Note: Jumping can break progression. The silly secret aside, this is a classic map that just happens to need ZDoom because ZDoom was what the author was familiar with.
      Saturnine Chapel (MNENMA 0) - dobu gabu maru
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.79 MB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    Dobu Gabu Maru is one of the most uncompromising mappers of our time. He's an artiste-slash-dominatrix -- think Ribbiks, or a much crueler Mouldy -- whose primary goal is to raise your death count astronomically high, but who is also kind enough to treat you to awe-inspiring sights as it soars. Saturnine Chapel is an aesthetic marvel. The opening shot depicts the chapel looming in the distance in a wild realm of twisted metal and torrential slimefall, and from here onwards, everywhere you look you'll be privy to painstakingly assembled lighting effects and Doom 2's stock textures used in creative, surprising ways. People often talk about "sense of place", but Dobu's maps go many steps further, bringing along their own sense of mythology. As the lore goes, the Saturnine Chapel itself was made out of books. Dobu himself explains that "the chapel wasn't built to be used, it was built because the vile books had willed it to be, completely independent of any observer, curator, or architect".

    Pretty as it is, Saturnine Chapel is a vicious mistress, a tough map even by Dobu's standards of cruelty. Movement space is at a serious premium, and resources are balanced precariously, leaving you next to no room for waste or substandard usage. Fights on "Hard" (the UV equivalent) openly embrace RNG -- in a few, bad luck with monster movement will result in a quick death with anything short of TAS-quality play. But in line with a growing trend (see Stardate 20x7, for example), "Hard" is not the intended difficulty. According to the text file, "Normal" (the HMP equivalent) is. I'd venture that roughly 99.5% of players would enjoy this most on either "Easy" (skill 2) or "Normal" (skill 3) and should actually listen to the text file. For most players on skill 4, savescumming will run into a wall. "Normal" is already substantially tougher than most contemporary maps on UV, enough to satisfy all but the most intense spells of bloodlust.
      The Red Line - Didy
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 4.07 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Finding mappers who take advantage of the Doom engine to make stunning abstract visuals, while not going overboard, is pretty much impossible. Then Didy came along and released Bauhaus. Thankfully, Didy is not a one hit wonder, and has released The Red Line: another set of maps that are just as much fun to look at as they are to play.

    Each map is focused around a particular weapon or gimmick of the Doom engine. Not as involved as Cyber Dreams, The Red Line focuses on mastery of each Doom weapon, provoking infighting, corralling monsters, and then using the environment to kill them. For example, MAP01 (called The Crusher for obvious reasons) requires the player to lure monsters into crushers - yes! It's not encouraged, it's required!

    Upon starting this map, I realized quickly how rusty I was with regards to the melee weapons. The Red Line demands the player to be proficient with all weapons, in all situations. Remember chaingun sniping, silent BFG tricks, and monster pain chances? If you don't, you're going to have a tough time here. As the maps progress, you are to use stronger weapons, and the difficulty keeps pace. I must admit I couldn't finish on UV. You must fight to get the weapon the map is named after - usually.

    But damn, these maps are gorgeous. It's as if Didy himself built these structures manually, brick by brick, panel by panel. I've missed seeing detail like this, and I hope it makes a comeback, without the Christmas and the light flares.

    If you are playing this on a port that uses vanilla code, or a hacked vanilla executable, I'm sorry to say that you will start to "stick" to some walls, and a few hallways straddle the blockmap lines so your shots will go right through some of the monsters. This is unfortunate, but due to that ever-so-weird artifact of having a lot of detail in a small space, one of the things that doomed some of Greenwar 2 to ZDoom 2.x-based ports only, I cannot recommend playing this in anything but a relatively recent (G)ZDoom.

    But please do play it, just don't expect weapon mods to play well with it.
      CoolMapForContext - Bonfac
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 169.04 KB -
    Reviewed by: MysteriousHaruko
    "CoolMapForContext" is the second wad by Bonfac, and this map was meant for the 2016 Vinesauce mapping contest. I played it in GZDoom on medium skill.

    Gameplay was simple most of the time. Monster count is minimal in both maps and they're not challenging, except in the last area of Map02 due to a cyberdemon and some barons of hell, but even this becomes easy with some clever infighting, an invulnerability sphere which you can pick up at any moment, and all the ammo at your disposal. In map01, a large portion of map is skippable. In map02, the first invulnerability sphere was worthless and forced, because the monsters weren't as threatening as they would be in larger groups.

    I disliked the idea of player blocking lines at the edges; I believe that players should fall free, even if the fall will telefrag them to shreds or have teleporters around. Instant walk only-once linedefs were annoying too, for example in map02. This "instant only-once action floor goes up walkable linedef action with blue key" can lock the progress for the player, forcing you to do the noclip cheat. Most of the demon teleports were made through the easiest kind of scripts. Also, the autosave function was very unnecessary and pointless. If I talk about important items like health, ammo, armor bonuses, he didn't place them much, and in some critical places I ran out of ammo and I couldn't heal myself after a fight.

    The visual side of this mapset. First of all, I liked the foggy outside areas; they give an interesting and mysterious vibe, but the fog effect in inside areas wasn't so good. I noticed lots of misalignments and some unchanged textures provided automatically by Doom Builder 2. Sky viewpoints were way too close to windows and to the player's viewpoint. I think putting a new sky (probably one that blends well with the fog outside) and the linedef action "Line_Horizon" with the same fog effect would be more efficient. Sky viewpoints are mostly visible with the first invulnerability sphere effect at the outside area in map02. The main wad layout is linear, nothing special.

    Music in both maps are default, in my opinion, wad would be more interesting with custom music. This wad is weaker than "MyFirstUpload", mainly because this mapset feels rushed and untested before this was submitted for that contest and to /idgames.
      Puzzle of Doom - CrazyDoomguy
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 71.33 KB -
    Reviewed by: rdwpa
    The titular puzzles in Puzzle of Doom aren't switch hunts, timed platforming bits, searches for the odd book out in the library, or anything most people would associate with puzzles in Doom. What they are is a set of combat vignettes, the common link being that conventional fighting -- shooting stuff, dodging, etc. -- won't even come close to working on its own. Blockades, such as rows of hell knights in corridors and cyberdemons planted in front of switches, are ubiquitous. You won't have the firepower to clear them on your own. This is where the puzzle part comes in. In every map, the challenge is essentially "How can you use the monsters and the map geometry to create 'events' that remove the blockades?" You're tasked to think outside the box and exploit monster behavior in unconventional ways.

    It's a cool concept, one I'm very amenable to, but ultimately I felt the set was a mixed bag -- a couple of clever and fun maps alongside a few tedious ones. A recurring pattern is that a solution is inventive but executing it involves lots of unfulfilling repetition, often leaving one to think, "Okay, I get it already". It's worth at least a brief look if the idea appeals to you, but a willingness to IDCLEV would help. Needless to say, if you're looking for conventional Doom gameplay, this set isn't for you. It's not much of a looker either. And be warned if you want to try these maps with saves: in every map it's possible for an early "wrong move" to render the level unwinnable. Mark your progress if you feel compelled to do so but be willing to reset entirely if you reach an impasse. These maps are quite short, after all.
      Maihama - Memfis
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 156.54 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Maihama is a smallish map with sort of an abstract nukage base theme. The map is laid out as a series of islands with a city built into them, and the nukage sea is very much a part of the gameplay, as you have to manage radsuits and dive down into it on occasion to look for a switch or key. The whole thing is wide open and nonlinear in the tradition of Sandy Petersen's "Downtown."

    The map starts out with a fairly tough hot start, as you're immediately surrounded by various zombie hitscanners with nothing but a pistol. This sets the tone for the whole map: the goal is to find the weapons first and fight the enemies second, and there are plenty of Doom's deadlier foes around to distract you and trip you up. Ammo is tight, not in the sense that there's not enough of it, but rather because you have to keep moving and hunting around to get what you need to continue fighting, and there's only enough of it to kill all enemies once you've succeeded in finding all the weapons. Since it's a resource management map, it's most challenging toward the beginning, and gradually gets easier as you gain a foothold and build up your arsenal.

    Like many Memfis maps, Maihama doesn't take itself too seriously and is quick to play. It's a good choice for anyone looking for combat puzzles with a relatively low enemy count.
      Refrigerator Magnets Volume 1 - theJF
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.53 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Anyone growing up in the US remembers any neighbor's refrigerator with tons of novelty souvenir magnets, mentioning places you didn't get to go to (but hey, at least you got a t-shirt).

    What does that have to do with Doom maps? theJF decided to use fridge magnets as inspiration for maps. Proof that we can find inspiration anywhere, right?

    Wellllll, actually, there's not much inspiration from the magnets; only the names of the maps share any relation. But that doesn't mean the maps aren't fun. Every map is "small", with handfuls of monsters, yet the positioning of said monsters always brings a small scare (the suckers are hiding everywhere). Be prepared to be spooked quite a bit. theJF's use of verticality means a lot of monsters can see you only if you're quite a ways into an area, and the clever use of blocking lines keep those surprises from being triggered too soon. That's a trick I hadn't seen since B.P.R.D. made his Community Chest map back in the day.

    My only complaint is that the texturing isn't consistent. Large, tall areas with little detail to break up the monotony is still forgivable though considering I'm too busy being paranoid of a cacodemon sneaking up from behind and biting my face.

    Lighting could also be improved a bit...

    I'm looking forward to more from this mapper. With some work, maps like these could steal the show in a megawad somewhere.
      Water Spirit - Manbou(burabojunior)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 7.06 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Manbou/burabojunior made a splash (no pun intended) last year as the most prolific contributor to the Cacoward-winning Japanese Community Project. Anyone who's been looking forward to seeing more of what this subset of the community has to offer will certainly be pleased with Water Spirit, which offers plenty more of Manbou's creative and playful approach to level design.

    The three levels of Water Spirit are set around a blue-themed stone temple megastructure with lots of pretty falling water, blue laser barriers, and those great dragon stained glass panels from Quake that are in the CC4 texture pack, many of which hang magically suspended in midair. In fact, the whole mapset has a distinct CC4 flavor to it, which isn't surprising given that it was the texture pack used for JPCP, but the setting still feels fresh, unique, and visually stunning.

    Water Spirit isn't just about huge structures with lots of detail, though -- because, let's face it, we've all seen plenty of those by now. One of the things that's really cool about this wad is the unseen presence of the spirit alluded to in the title, which never actually shows itself but still somehow feels like a real character that's part of the narrative. In map 01, there are long trails of health bonuses that guide you along to various weapons and powerups, but also have a tendency to draw you headlong into dangerous situations. Manbou's trademark floating spirals of thin blue glowy bars also seem to be connected with the spirit, often rising up out of nowhere as though granting some kind of blessing to the player (not that they actually do anything for you, but the effect is cool as hell). There's even one spot where you step into the middle of them and are propelled straight up into the air to grab the key you need. The water spirit is clearly benevolent, but maybe also mischievous, which adds a fun element.

    Maps 02 and 03 have high monster counts and tend to be slaughtery, but you have a ton of space to move around in, which really helps the battles to feel like manageable challenges. The big fights can sometimes feel a little bit repetitive -- Manbou seems to like using hordes of small monsters coming through several teleporters at once (which I think are fun for the most part, since you have powerful weaponry to shred them with), and both map 02 and map 03 end with the sudden release of a large number of Arch-Viles into the large open spaces of the temple. But since there are only three maps, and they play pretty quickly despite the high monster counts, I feel like it's OK that there are some combat motifs. My favorite battle is the seemingly endless flood of Imps and Demons released out of a gateway at the climax of map 02, as they seem easy at first but quickly threaten to overrun the entire temple if you don't control them effectively. It's almost like a tower defense game with the player as a solitary mobile tower. That map is also really fun to move around in, and the huge amount of height variation not only makes for some impressive views but also gives you some interesting ways to tackle the combat.

    Overall, Water Spirit is exactly what all of us new Manbou fans were looking for -- a natural continuation of some of the best ideas from the author's JPCP maps, but with a self-contained story and a format that allowed Manbou to explore a single theme in much greater detail. Highly recommended.
      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.
    Bloodshedder
    Doomworld Roulette: Session 2 - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 3.53 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Doomworld Roulette: Session 2 is a community project - stay with me - consisting of maps inspired by a theme generator. As a result, we get themes like "The Emerald Farmhouse", "A Christo-Judean Arcology giving way to A Sheepish Little Slice of Hell", and "Some Soups morphing into The Cloudship".

    Yes, there is a soup-themed map in this.

    Aesthetically, it's all over the place. Some are better than others, that is for sure. It took me way too long to play these eleven maps, but a lot of these maps were just that large and deserved exploration. They all play differently, and they deserve to be played with pistol start on each map, so don't expect those newfangled weapons mods with money systems to play well. The number of monsters on UV may be too many for some of the complex weapons mods, which tanks the frame rate to garbage. Try those mods at your own risk.

    Maps that stood out: Pinchy's MAP10 gets hectic quickly. I savescummed the hell out of it, but holy hell is it pretty. MAP11 is, quoth AnonimVio, "shit", but not so much that it's unplayable, it just has a clash of poor lighting vs. the sky chosen for that map. And it's cramped due to being too close to the source material!

    MAP06 is supposed to be London, if you believe the text file. It also gets the "worst map in this set" recognition for having no gameplay whatsoever. I was bored a minute into playing it. Are we all so afraid of making a map that has any sort of linearity? Joe-Ilya decided to try a "sandbox-like" approach, which means there are no clever monster setups and no sense of progression. Oh, and there's no lighting to speak of. Avoid.

    MAP04, MAP05, MAP07, and MAP08 are amazing. MAP02 is a little too mazey. MAP03 moonlights as a sadist. MAP01's music is "Fate in Haze" with some awful chords in it, which I had to turn off as soon as I heard it. It also has a lot of Green in it (the map, not the music, that would be weird).

    I hope there's another one of these coming out soon, with even crazier ideas!

    50 Monsters - Brayden "AD_79" Hart et al.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 6.39 MB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    50 Monsters is aptly named, as each of the 34 maps has 50 monsters, and I see this as a great thing because every level is detailed, compact, interesting, enjoyable, and never outstays its welcome. It's almost a Doom 2 replacement in terms of length of time each one takes. They each have just enough challenge and complexity to where they stay enjoyable.

    The levels manage to look unique from one another, although there are a few times where the same theme is reused from level to level. There is a good mixture of liquids, height variance, elevators, stairs, open arenas, and catwalks in each map. This pack doesn't seem to do hallways or narrow spaces; there's always enough room to fight and or dodge.

    They look good, they play good. There is enough ammunition, armor and health with both easy and difficult enemies scattered throughout each level. At the end it usually crescendos with a larger enemy such as an archvile, revenant, or mancubus depending on what you had already fought during the map.

    For anyone that dislikes backtracking, there is backtracking, but most levels morph, shift, and open up that it seems to make new areas out of old ones. Plus the maps are so compact that it never felt like a chore. The developer also knows when to spawn in a new enemy in an old area to let you know you're going in the right direction.

    At around a third of the way through the pack, the challenge ramps up as the game is done losing, so it throws four cyberdemons at you to end one level and has four archviles hunting you down in the next. I assume both challenges are designed for you to run away to the next door. The deeper into 50 Monsters I went the more traps there were. Some subtle and surprising such as the entire floor lowering, while others were obvious, such as oh look a lit key in that dark pit. Solid central areas raise to reveal what's hiding inside.

    The pack is well worth anyone's time to play and it flies by fast.

    Undeath '94 - Various
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 756.52 KB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    The Doom community likes to make derivative works, even though we won't catch most of them admitting it. Introducing Undeath '94, a set of maps based on 1994 DM maps with some interesting IWAD elements. It also has a story that puts the Doom comic on notice.

    The story consists of... uh...

    "When I was young and my horns were just coming in, the girls and I would go down to the Containment Area to play hide-and-seek. Sometimes the nice marines would join in. And there, between the boxes we'd lie in wait to ambush them. But more often, we got over-exited and careless and so they found and fisted us. It was a lot of fun!"

    Never mind.

    A lot of maps resemble the Episode/Map slot they replace, but the layouts have been taken from 1994 DM maps. From what little research I did, those IWAD-ish areas were "fit" into the layout, but not faithfully in terms of orientation - even if it feels like they are. I like this approach. But how does it play? For claiming to have "IWAD" difficulty, some levels are ridiculously hard in comparison due to the number of hitscanners and positions of the monsters at the start. (Note: I'm saying "in comparison"; these maps are easy for me.) Get ready to scope out and ration your radsuits accordingly.

    The main problem is that with that Deathmatch layouts come some really intimidating paths. It's not obvious where to start going! I found myself getting lost a few times, although most of that is due to my habit of backtracking and finding other areas before finishing the first area I visited. I missed a blue key on E1M3 due to this and ran around for a good twenty minutes before it hit me that I had skipped that area. There are also many ways to get to the same place, just as a good DM map should have. Good luck figuring out the fastest path, speedrunners!

    These maps felt like my first experience with Doom, before I could map IWAD level replicas in my sleep. As a child, I would always get lost in E1M7, and that I can get lost in these maps kind of... takes me back to that time.

    If you wonder why I'm not being as harsh on these as I could have been: Remember that these layouts are from 1994 - they're older than some of the kids who think they can map for this game. Speaking of Episode Two, E2M1 is boring, lacking lighting, and contains needless repetitive texture usage. Looking at the source layout map, it's not that much different!

    But at least it's structured!

    Oh, and E2M2 is an awful tech version of the Unholy Cathedral courtyard with newbie monster placement. Stick with the E1 maps.

    Devil Trauma - Martin Read
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 32.1 KB -
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    Basic short map by a first time author. I didn't notice any technical problems but there isn't much to praise either. The outdoor areas are way too bright to my taste and they are rather scarcely populated, so surviving is trivial. The texturing is logical but unappealing: I would recommend using more colors instead of making areas almost entirely green or red. There is a cute teleporter that works differently depending on how you approach it, which is probably the best part of the wad. Overall, for a "first serious attempt at producing a PWAD" it's definitely passable, now let's just hope that Martin doesn't stop here.

    MyFirstUpload - Bonfac
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 504.64 KB -
    Reviewed by: MysteriousHaruko
    "MyFirstUpload" is also the author's first wad, so when I saw it, I said to myself, "I must check how this plays". Long story short, I expected something bad or unplayable, but I was wrong. This mapset is intended for advanced source ports like Zandronum and GZDoom. I tested this with GZDoom on medium skill.

    Gameplay was quite weak. It lacks health and ammo. Some places had them, but others not. If the shotgun is presented in the first map (even as a secret), there should be shotgun shells somewhere. Even shotgunners are a good source ofammo, but the author decided to put in player blocking lines. Also, the backpack and super shotgun in the second map are also pointless, because they were placed at the end. Due to quite claustrophobic map design, it was hard to dodge monster attacks. Monster placement felt weird, especially the in early stages. For example, I saw a pinky demon trapped in barrels; it was fun to blast it, but that's it. One backtracking trap was unfair – I was snipped off by shotgun guys from the back while I tried to get away from hell knights; this could be improved if the player had more health and ammo. Now, more about the positive side – friendly marines were like a cherry on top; they took care of monsters while I grabbed some ammo and rested. Some other demon traps caught me off guard (but I quickly got away from them), but I don't think this is a bad thing.

    As for the visual side of the two "MyFirstUpload" maps. Both maps are based on some sort of moon, so I assumed the theme would be techbase. Both maps use some new textures, GZDoom effects like dynamic lights, 3D floors, and slopes. As I mentioned before, maps don't have much space and focus more on action than exploration. I spotted some misalignments, but they don't break anything. Texture choices are decent for the first map like this, but it doesn't have too many details. A starry skybox added charm to the outside areas.

    Music in both creations are the same Doom II track - "Message for the Archvile". Maybe I seem like a spoiled player, but I prefer to hear two different tracks.

    Some complaints about text file now. When I scrolled down and saw the line "May Not Run With: None" and later "Tested With: Gzdoom, Zdoom, Zadronum". This is quite misleading, and it's better to write that this wad won't run in vanilla/ Boom ports.

    To sum up, "MyFirstUpload" isn't bad for a first wad, of course there are more better wads, but this one gives us hope for the better wads from the same mapper.

    BaG - Za Warudo
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 331.4 KB -
    Reviewed by: MysteriousHaruko
    "BaG" is Za Warudo's first wad. I believe that this wad name refers to "Black and Green", because map01 says its name is "Black and Green with some brown". This wad is intended for GZDoom and I tested it on medium skill. Gameplay is straightfoward. The player just grabs a better gun, shoots demons and moves on to other sectors. Once I ran out of shotgun ammo and I had shoot a hell knight with the pistol. Besides that, I liked how the gameplay flows, and fighting with archvile near end was fun. The best part of the gameplay was a fake exit trap. It tests player's reaction and observation before he gets crushed to death. I see this trap as some sort of punishment for being way too fast for reaching the exit. In terms of ammo/health/armor distribution, there should be more of them. A few parts of the map require crouching.

    Visuals, as map01 stated, are full of green, black, and some brown. The author used lots of new textures and they all are well placed. Details are kept at a minimum. Most of the visible misalignments mark the escape route from the crusher. Dynamic lights in this map are pleasing; the author knew how to use them. Actually, there's no proper height variation; the map is mostly flat, besides some 3D floor and slope usage. The main layout isn't too confusing, so I didn't have any problems with navigation. Almost forgot to mention, the wad theme is old good techbase. I liked the author's musical taste in his first map – he bothered to change "Running from Evil" into the metal MIDI "Rainbow in the Dark" by Dio.

    In the end, a lot of work is still required, but I hope the author will fix all the issues and create something interesting in the future.

    DEHACKED Revenants - scifista42
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 6.67 KB -
    Reviewed by: Philnemba
    DEHACKED Revenants is a set of not so serious DeHackEd files that change Revenant behaviors in um... unusual ways.

    Revivant.deh makes Archviles resurrects ANY monster into a revenant, while Pain Elementals spit 'em out instead of Lost Souls. Oh and they're slightly more aggressive and like to leap towards you too.

    Skel_op.deh basically makes Revenants stupidly OP (hence the name of the file) by giving them double health, double aggressiveness, quadruple speed, instant melee attack, shooting five missiles in a row, and shorter pain animations.

    Op_reviv.deh is just the two previous DeHackEd files mixed together for double the pain and chaos.

    While I do find these DeHackEd files amusing, people who completely dislike them should steer clear of this, while everyone else should give them a try for fun and giggles.

    Math Test - Albatross
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 79.37 KB -
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    In this charming little wad the marine has to put down his weapons and solve a few mathematical problems instead. There is some humor in the level that you just have to experience by yourself. If you want to spend a few minutes in a slightly unusual way and you're at least a little bit interested in math, check it out.

    Ever Shrine - Alter
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.54 MB -
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    Ever Shrine is composed of three cave-hellish and a bit of Eldritch-themed maps that can keep you on alert, and that I'll talk about in more detail for each:

    Map01 - As you will notice, you don't have much space to maneuver at the starting point. Ruins left by some sunken ships has imps that will attack you. Fortunately, you have some barrels to do the work for you (after all, demons are dumb enough to shoot them). There are some areas that you can pick up weapons like the shotgun, SSG, and chaingun, which are necessary for clearing this map. There's one weird thing about this area and it's the water (first image). The deep water effect (or 3D sectors) used for this plus the damage that you can receive is strange, and that can be a bit annoying.

    The next major area is the land, and things will be a bit easier than the starting point if you're careful. I really like the combination of mixing the actual land with caves tinted by blue rocks and more water. And the lighting helps a lot too (second image). Another nice touch is in one of the areas which shows a ship in the distance if you step into one of the turrets (third image). Did I mentioned that behind the starting point, there is a nice looking tower? Well, surprise... an archie is waiting there along with a megasphere... tasty. I did that after clearing most of the map and having enough ammo and weapons. Also, that secret backpack really helps for getting more ammo.

    Overall, it is a nice map that gives you a good challenge and tells you that more of that type of the gameplay is coming. The only part that leaves me worried is the starting point, but that's not too serious if you're careful. OH... what about the music? Great music.

    Map02 - This is where the mapset gets interesting and raises the difficulty. Three paths to take in the starting point and one of them is blocked. I noticed that there's a clear increase of revenants, spiders, mancubuses and archies, which will be a predominant topic in the next map. Still in caves but lava is added, feeling that you're close to hell or something. I really liked the entrances to those "shrines" or whatever (fourth image), and it's clearly identified with a big letter. A, B and C are the names of those shrines where the main objective is to press a switch which can undo the blocks in the last part.

    Well, those shrines are obviously infested by hellspawn which changes the amount and difficulty of monsters in each shrine (one of them has a megasphere in it which will help you a lot). I forgot to say something important, and it's related to the custom textures... I dig the look of all of them. Some of the secrets in this map (fifth image) are... obvious but really unexpected. I mean, no one would expect a place that you can walk into casually where one sector is marked as a secret. Oh... and there's a water area near the "C" shrine that was fairly hard to deal with, but luckily there's a soulsphere that your choice to pick up or not.

    After clearing the shrines and pressing the switches comes the last part of the map with a nice vista of the exit (sixth image). This part was fairly hard too, but the BFG will do the job perfectly fine. After doing that, you reach the exit which is some kind of big portal (seventh image). The architecture for that is great, and what a way to enter the next level.

    This map is really fun to play combined to some big places packed with monsters. And surprisingly, no traps whatsoever like crushers. Nice detail to the map and another nice music track.

    Map03 - Continuing to the "same place" after crossing the portal and watching the amount of monsters in the map, you realize that this last map will be fun to play, and after running through the water current, you reach a huge and great looking city (eighth image). This map has some amazing visuals and I like it. But the main event here is the gameplay, so here we go.

    In order to clear the map and reach to that portal in the center of the map, you need two keys that are in two mayan-inspired pyramids but before reaching that, you need to dispatch the ambushes that this place has in store. This map is pretty generous with the ammo, and you can probably reach full ammo when you're in the final area. One suggestion is to lower the amount of ammo and put a few more monsters to make it balanced. Also, this map is pretty non-linear in terms of getting the keys... you can choose the left way or the right way; it gives you some freedom.

    To me, the hardest part of the map was in the right side, close to where the key is (ninth image). Fortunately, there's a lot of space to deal with the monsters. Some BFG tactics will help you, or run away from that area to form a bottleneck and kill them easily... any option is valid. And again, lots of ammo scattered around the area, plus some health.

    Last part (tenth image) is easy enough. Just let the cyberdemon kill the poor archies but have your BFG prepared in case that doesn't happen. Now that you're in that area, you can see why that area looks really good. The switch for that final lift is well hidden, so look well for that, and crossing that final portal ends the level. Great.

    Overall, this map was awesome. Just some balancing issues with ammo and such, but this map is still hard and you must stay alert at all times, especially the revenants and their homing projectiles, which can be a serious advantage for a big map like this one. Nice music too. Great detail for the map. Liked it.

    For a three-level mapset played for the first time, it's a great one, and I totally recommend trying this wad. You'll have some fun playing 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.
    Bloodshedder
    Doom Guy's House - Guy M. Babin
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 4.31 MB
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Oh, oh no.

    Some of you may remember my Jerry's Kids review. What I overlooked is that the map Guy M. Babin used for it was released before - and by "before", I mean "multiple times". How many times, you ask? I counted around seven instances of this map on /idgames, all with changes that didn't solve the main problem with this map: the layout sucks.

    What's different this time? The biggest change is that the obnoxious sound and sprite replacements are nowhere to be seen. The music is "okay" on its own, but it doesn't fit at all. The main attraction appears to be the use of 3D floors for layouts instead of splitting the floors using teleporters on stairs. GZDoom cannot figure out what the heck to do with this, and a lot of the drawbacks of using 3D floors are magnified here. Archviles in the basement can resurrect demons already slain on the top floor. This event was so common that I killed the same shotgun guy twenty times, just because I could. On top of that, decorations bleed through the ceiling at certain angles. Mirrors are used only for decoration, colored lighting shows up in a few sectors in the basement, and one area has some dark fog that disappears the moment the light goggles are picked up. Light goggles in this map makes no sense! Everything has the same light level in the first place!

    The final boss is a spiderdemon in a round room. Circle her and shoot rockets or plasma spam, or if that's too risky, just camp in the hallway.

    It took me less than ten minutes to finish this. The main difficulty seems to be from the archviles, and since this is a house map, there is more than enough cover for them to be totally useless and devoid of any challenge. I didn't take screenshots of gameplay, because as soon as I started to fight, said fights were over. The rendering was so buggy, what screenshots I did take looked laughably awful from the slime trails and terrible sprite clipping. I dunno if it's my copy of GZDoom, or if this map is completely broken, but I do know this...

    It's boring, ugly, and stale.

    Train Station: Episode 1 - JagDogger2525
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 253 KB -
    Reviewed by: Walter confetti
    Train Station: Episode 1 is, as the title suggest, a replacement for Ultimate Doom episode 1, made by JagDogger2525, a mapper with a bunch of other deathmatch maps already released that I don't remember playing.

    The story behind this map pack is that these levels were made for a forum that the author follows and dropped it since the forums that this guy follows are being frequented only by him and the forum host, so this thing has been forgotten forever by everyone... OR HAS IT?

    The author decided for some obscure reason to bring it back and... almost finish this episode, bringing us his first magnum opus.

    The levels are, obviously, set in a train station world of sorts including train stations, techbases, huge train tunnels (with the one in E1M3 filled with FIREBLU that makes a strange dimensional warp effect; imagine that while waiting for the train in the station / subway of your city?), Hell sections, abstract square caves, and canyons where you are running station to station to destroy the demon invasion once and for all from planet Train.

    If the idea of base sounds nice and kind of a novelty (if we forgive the many other train station maps made during the years since 1994), the execution was done pretty badly. The level layouts look like an amateurish map made with DEU or some other old editor; it is just bunch of square rooms and sectors for the stations and long and tedious hallways for the train tunnels. There's little to no detail (except nice lighting work in E1M1's station); the gameplay is kinda OK but doesn't really follow the episode flow perfectly, since on E1M2 you find yourself battling a horde of spectres with only your pistol. The rest of the battling is a sort of hard battle scenario, with tunnels filled with monsters and ammo, some pseudo-slaughter moments, some arena battles at the end of the episode (that is on E1M7; E1M8 is a sort of secret level here), and overall the feeling of playing something incomplete is highly visible here, so I don't get why the author decided to send this episode to the archives (it has a few good moments, mind you, like the mentioned E1M3 fireblu station and some other nice abstract moments in the middle of the episode and the overall hub feel of the episode layout). But for me it was a forgettable experience; take a look at this if you are a die-hard fan of old (or old-looking) mods from 1994 / 1996, even the most amateurish ones, but this episode could be easily skippable in favor of other levels in the archives.

    Plasmatology Vol. 1 - pintolinh0
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 26.03 KB -
    Reviewed by: Philnemba
    "Designed to be played on UV"

    When I first read these words on the text file, I would assume that this map was tested thoroughly... sadly, this isn't the case. The main issue is that the only weapon you get is a plasma rifle with extremely limited ammo to the point where you literally don't have enough ammo to kill all 90+ monsters in this poor looking 1994 visuals map.

    Best to avoid this and hope one day with a bit more practice, pintolinh0 can deliver a much better map for us.

    While I did play this on ZDoom, this map IS vanilla compatible, however DON'T open the secret room near the red key room, otherwise the whole map um... collapses itself in Chocolate Doom (prboom+ won't open this secret room for some reason).

    Map a Day - Topi Hattukangas
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 406.06 KB -
    Reviewed by: bzzrak
    Map a Day is a 24-map speedmap megaWAD by Topi Hattukangas. If you haven't heard of him, he has released some very enjoyable but somewhat under-appreciated maps and mapsets, such as T3ST. Basically, this guy knows how to map. His maps generally feel kinda "smart"; he tries to incorporate unique concepts and gimmicks, but while also keeping the core Doom gameplay, and most of the time succeeds in doing that.

    During October 2016, Topi attempted to make one map every day and end up with a full megaWAD. Well, that particular goal wasn't entirely achieved; he managed to make only 25 maps, one of which was "not working" and therefore dropped. Never mind, 24 is still a megaWAD, right? And boy, what a megaWAD.

    I played Map a Day using ZDoom 2.8.1, HMP skill, lots of resurrection. In total it took me 2 hours or so?

    One little thing. The mapset comes a PK3 file (which means that it requires a ZDoom-compatible port), but the maps definitely look vanilla. Not even Boom. The author uses some vanilla mapping techniques, such as self-referencing sectors. The only port feature that the author seems to utilize is MAPINFO, even though that probably would've worked in a WAD file as well...

    Ah, whatever. I don't wanna start another ports-vs-vanilla debate. Well, I do, but not here. Introducing you to the maps would probably be a better idea in this case. :]

    All of the maps have rather low monster counts (
    (yeah, I said that slaughter-free means fun. Fight me, come on, I dare you. :] )

    Though, that doesn't mean the maps are easy. No, sometimes they are quite hard, especially if you are one of those weird folks that doesn't cheat. Some of the spaces you'll find yourself in are quite tight, so you'll have considerably less room to dodge the enemies' attacks, like in map01. In other maps, some gimmick or puzzle will be what prevents you from reaching the magnificent exit switch.

    Another thing is that you'll be quite low on guns most of the time. The weaponry is very scarce. The pistol and chainsaw will be your only friends until MAP06. If you're one of those super-cool Doomers that feel entitled to having a SSG at all times, this is 707411y NOT 73h m@p537 4u. Otherwise, you'll find out that the limited capability of shooting is actually not that limiting; you won't even notice.

    Along with being not too crammed with monsters, the maps have another advantage: they are short. You could probably expect that from 1-day speedmaps. They usually take 1-3 minutes to complete... plus an indefinite amount of time spent on unsuccessful attempts to figure them out. You'll probably be able to finish the mapset in about 2-3 playing sessions.

    Moreover, the maps have some consistency to them, which is kinda nice for a speedmap set. For example, the exits are in the majority of cases represented by skull switches, like in the end of Doom 2's MAP11, which is cool. Also, usually the end of one map will be similar to the beginning of another. The last few maps even end in the same room. There doesn't seem to be any particular plot tying them together that would explain this, but we can probably guess what is the backstory here, shouldn't differ much from the usual. :]

    Visually, the maps are perfectly fine for the amount of time spent on them. Well, almost. The thing is that Topi seems to have a fetish for the colour BROWN. Some of those levels feature that colour almost exclusively. There's so much brown in here that it feels disgusting. Was all that brown really necessary??

    Other than that, the detailing is usually adequate and neat, not crossing into overd33teyl territory, but also (mostly) keeping away from mid-90s aesthetics. Sometimes you have DoomCute™ little sector objects such as ships, boats and furniture.

    Also, Topi sometimes breaks that one rule of John Romero's, the one that says that different flats should have different heights. That doesn't look too good.

    Map-by-map review for both folks who appreciate it. If you're not one of them, feel free to skip it!

    MAP01: Teleporter -- very simple little level. Right after you start the game, you find that you're surrounded by a group of Cacodemons, with more monsters that will come into play a bit later.
    MAP02: Running From Evil -- a brown fortress in a brown lake, with some brown walkways around. Some Revenants are watching you from above; be patient if you can't kill them right away. An average level.
    MAP03: Deja Vu? -- You start with the exit pretty much in your sight... but soon you find out that it's not that simple. Between you and the switch stand three sets of teleport gates. Sometimes they teleport you to an area that is a recreation of some IWAD map, such as Deimos Anomaly, Tricks and Traps, and even Plutonia's Well of Souls. You have to figure out which gate will not teleport you, letting you pass instead. The third set of gates takes you to a potentially very nasty fight. This is a very interesting level, I enjoyed it.
    MAP04: Claustrowhat? -- boring brown set of corridors with different height levels connected by lifts. The only room that's not a corridor (with the red key) looks very nice. Other than that, this is a forgettable level.
    MAP05: Soul Falls -- contains about 73 billion Pain Elementals and a comparable number of Lost Souls, while you have only a pistol, a chainsaw and a berserk. "Fun". Visually it's a very pretty little level, with even some colour variety.
    MAP06: In The Sewers -- best level so far. Barely any brown, with delightful green, gray and blue everywhere. Also, oh my god, the SHOTGUN!!! I found the final battle very fun.
    MAP07: Dark 2 See -- also a good level. The beginning requires you to react very quickly. Then it turns into a dark maze with Mancubuses everywhere around you. After you dispose of those, a huge outdoor area opens up, with around 150 trash monsters, an invulnerability and lots of rockets around. Insane fun.
    MAP08: The Trench -- mostly an outdoor level. Has some simple platforming with Chaingunners in guard towers shooting at you. The lighting really could've used some work. Other than that, this continues the chain of good levels.
    MAP09: Remember Citadel -- this level is focused around a small, decently built fortress. I'm really liking these last few levels, I hope it gets even better!!
    MAP10: Maze Of The Minotaur -- ugh. UGH. This level greets you with a simply atrocious maze. Goddammit, I should've known there was a maze in here somewhere. Even worse, you have to find both a key and its door. I recommend noclip. After you get through that, the level becomes just average, with two rather awkward rooms where you pick up the other two keys and a simple fight.
    MAP11: Weight Of The Matter -- in the very beginning you face a Cyberdemon, although he can easily be avoided. The rest of the level is some ordinary key-finding. Well, at least it's not brown!
    MAP12: Toxic Lake -- a cement base in a lake of nukage. Earns my respect for not being brown. Very similar to the previous level.
    MAP13: Deep Breath -- the very first impression of this level is not too good, but it improves soon. You will see some metal grates above water pools that also block you from the switch on the other side... but you can dive under them! Incredible concept.
    MAP14: At Last A Battle -- a great level. One huge nukage pool, with some walkways around and monsters hurling projectiles at you from every single direction. Enduring this battle feels like a true achievement. This, along with the fact that there's barely any brown, makes this level one of my favourites.
    MAP15: Are Barrels Fun? -- secret level that I couldn't find.
    MAP16: Out Of The Shadows -- Oh. Brown. Meh. The blue key area is very smartly designed.
    MAP17: Rock The Docs -- you are in a dock of some sort and you need to get to your boat. The first (indoor) half is easy, but the outdoor half can get tricky.
    MAP18: Peaceful Boatride -- you thought you could get some sleep while you sail to your next destination, without being threatened by demons? No such luck. This is a small level where monsters keep coming in waves and you just have to survive. If you jump and look at the sea, you might find that it looks a bit glitchy due to all the ambushes unleashed upon you from it. Hey Topi, people can jump now, you know? This level is quite hard.
    MAP19: Towers R Odd -- the rest of your voyage was not too problematic, and you successfully arrive at the dock. However, a squad of zombies were waiting for you there! There are some powerups on raised platforms here; you'll get the opportunity to lower them as you progress through the level. The ending fight can be a bit surprising.
    MAP20: Feel The Hot Of Hellfire? -- starts out as a cute, relaxed little techbase, but then it turns out that there's more to it than you might think! You get the first taste of Hell when you see a marble room, followed by a big cavern with IoS pads on the floor. Good level. Also I'm proud to announce that the levels become far less brown from now on!
    MAP21: Nether? Whatever... -- whoa, you're really in Hell now! From a surreal cavern you enter a marble structure. Has some nasty fights. A beautiful level. Also, you are introduced to the exit room that you will revisit in the next few levels.
    MAP22, apparently named "Rewind", was dropped due to "not working". After finishing 21 you go straight to 23.
    MAP23: Arch-Enemy -- you start in a tiny room, with some barrels around you; that room soon expands, twice, with a fight accompanying each expansion. Then you encounter a really tricky fight with some Revenants on a platform. You are in a very inconvenient position here, so shattering them into bones can be challenging. The doors in that room with the Revenants can be a bit annoying due to the way they were set up. Following that is a moderately hard fight against some Cacodemons and Pain Elementals; after that you grab the key and face your arch-enemy. The arch-enemy fight is kinda underwhelming, as it's a tiny ring-shaped room and hiding from his attack is trivial. Also there's some sort of sequence where you get an invulnerability to blow up a LOT of barrels, which was awkward, but cute.
    MAP24: Tower Of Babel -- again you start on your trusty vessel, with a huge ziggurat in front of you. You need to ascend to the top and grab the key from the tower's master and then go back down, where the key door is situated.
    MAP25: Dead Again -- Icon of Sin fight :]

    Whee, we're done!

    Overall, I liked Map a Day. It's a very neat set of speedmaps, with some brilliant concepts, but also not too gimmick-oriented. I recommend it if you want some "bite-sized" classic-style Doom maps to pass some time. Kudos to Topi for creating such a good mapset!

    Trigger-happy - pintolinh0
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 52.68 KB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    This is the author's second map, and it has all the tropes you know and hate from every other beginner map, including D_RUNNIN as the default music. It's basically just a series of rectangles where you kill the monsters, hit a switch, and move to the next rectangle. Most of those rectangles are full of hitscanners, including many SS Nazis. For the entire first half of the level, you get no weapon except a shotgun, and you're expected to kill Mancubuses, Arachnotrons, Pain Elementals, and a Baron with it, which is no fun for anyone. The second half of the level is more of the same; you at least get a rocket launcher, but nowhere near enough ammo to actually kill the Mastermind that's camping on the exit switch. Not worthwhile.

    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.
    Bloodshedder
    Miasma - Thomas "tourniquet" Seifert
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 2.42 MB -
    Reviewed by: Nine Inch Heels
    Miasma was uploaded to the archives on December 16th, 2016. I don't feel comfortable calling it a "map", because, more than anything, Miasma is a place so alien and malicious, within a few minutes it will make you realize you are unwelcome in its presence.

    In Greek mythology, a miasma is a contagious force with an independent life of its own. This wonderfully detailed and disturbingly abstract environment is dominated by the color green, yet it combines many different themes, which flow into one another seamlessly as the player peels back Miasma's many layers during exploration. This... place is huge. Oppressive open areas and treacherous tight quarters await the brave, keeping them alert at all times, and making them feel weak and fragile.

    Miasma is as much a piece of art and ingenuity as it is about gameplay variety. If there was something like "the everything map", Miasma more than deserves to be considered as such. Tourniquet managed to constantly mix up the gameplay in this non-linear microcosm: from exploration to close quarters combat to slaughter, all of which is delivered with many brilliantly executed and varied nuances. No encounter feels like the previous one, adding even more to the impression that this place is looking to get rid of you by any means necessary. That's not to say the map plays unfair. On the contrary, there is a reliable solution for everything here. However, if you want to see everything this green behemoth has on offer, I suggest saving your progress occasionally during your first, or maybe even second playthrough, in particular when playing on UV difficulty. Miasma can take well over 30 minutes to finish, even for quite experienced players, and dying 20 minutes into the map to then start it all over again may be unpleasant.

    Encounter design throughout the map is consistently at high quality. Nicely orchestrated small encounters with impeccable thing placement create about as much psychological pressure as the relatively large scale encounters which take place in the the deepest bowels of this festering abomination. The pacing is top notch every time; nothing ever feels boring, tedious, or uninteresting, let alone trivial.

    When it comes to resources, you will be kept on a relatively short leash. Matching the visual theme of the map, players are going be limited to green armor for significant periods of time. When you get hit, it will hurt. In spite of the relatively low Archvile/Cyberdemon count when compared to other maps with roughly 1000-1500 monsters, the opposition is potentially lethal, and mistakes will get punished severely. Tourniquet is reasonably generous with firepower. You will always be given a little bit more than you might need, but never so much as to allow for an overall wasteful or careless play-style. Many encounters, especially early on, but also a bit later down the line, are designed around SSG/RL use and quick thinking paired with a good tactical approach on the player's end. As a consequence of limited resources, the creatively hidden secrets in Miasma are not only meaningful, but they also feel very rewarding to discover. Some secrets require a good eye; others can be found by way of hearing "something" happen.

    Even after having played many Cacoward-winning megawads, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this astonishing masterpiece. It is one of the best Dooming experiences I have had.

    Infested Outpost - Cacodemon9000
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Limit Removing - 1.5 MB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    Infested Outpost is a sea of grey, cement, dark tunnels all wrapped into a near-maddening labyrinth. It starts out enjoyable enough, a fair amount of health, ammo and challenge. Enough ammo to have you switching weapons until you find the armory. Health is abundant in key locations that you'll return to again and again.

    The key here is again-and-again. Wow this is a tangled web of a complex. All three keys are used, naturally, but there are color coated switch doors as well. Green to green, yellow to yellow. I was lost and confused backtracking to the very beginning of the level to discover the room of switches that I had walked by without noticing. To unlock that bank of two switches, I had to stumble my way through a pitch black theater that was darker than any Duke Nukem theater.

    Getting lost in a dark room was only the tip of the iceberg, as there is a network of dark tunnels around big rooms. These tunnels are at 45 degree angles and there are lights at select moments, but it was more of a nuisance than a moment of dread. There are chaingunners, imps and barons to fight in these close quarters with little room to strafe. Another issue with these dark tunnels is that its tough to discern one tunnel from the next without your trusty map.

    Oh but it's tough to navigate even with a map, because these tunnels have ladders that work as silent teleporters to different sections of the map. So there was no clear cut way to find a route via the map when looking at the tunnels. This would be fine if you didn't have to back track through them so often. I got the blue key and it was next to a switch that required a yellow key, which meant I'd have to trek through the tunnels another time. What I failed to mention is the fact that blue key needs to be used on a blue key switch somewhere else in the tunnels.

    Outside these menacing tunnels are big storage rooms where a lot of the action happens. In each of these large warehouses is a slew of imps, barons, and chaingunners. As we all know the chaingunners can snipe you from across a room with no real sense of where it's coming from. To the level's credit there is always cover, just know where you're getting shot from.

    To make things both more detailed and frustrating, there were half doors. Doors that were stuck half open, so you could see beneath them, but they never open. So when looking at a map to see oh there's a red door I haven't gone in; the trick was these doors are jammed half open and can't be opened even if at times you could still get to the other side.

    Another detriment is just how grey it is. I could still tell one room from the next, and a lot of rooms had good detail and interesting concepts, but it's still a lot of grey on grey punctuated with blue fabrics in the occasional living quarters and boxes... lots of boxes. Speaking of boxes, this is a vanilla DOOM 2 WAD so there's no jump. The red key requires some intense accuracy running off a box and landing on another, but only after taking a long route up a bunch of crates and over two other gaps. After ten tries, I gave up, cheated and jumped. I should also specify that this WAD was meant to use the embedded DeHackEd file, so perhaps that would have given me some sort of run ability not native to the vanilla version.

    On the good side of the map, it feels like it could be a real outpost. There are barracks, a morgue, the movie theater and so on. There are a few moments it felt like the map design was inspired both by Duke as I mentioned before, but also a bit like Doom 3 with large trafficking tunnels that have walkways and stairs on both sides.

    If you're someone that likes intense puzzles, this is for you, but as I went further into the rabbit hole, it only ended in anguish.

    DAR's DOOM Marathon - Davester2296, uploaded by Mr. Chris
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - OGG Support - 212.54 MB
    Reviewed by: geo
    How do you review an entire recreation of both Doom and Doom 2's soundtracks? You play both games back to back... or you just listen to each level using cheats to skip map to map. Both soundtracks are great and it's tough to disagree with a pack that has two game soundtrack replacements in it.

    The first soundtrack is more metal with a nice balance of synthetic without deviating from the original songs too much. Who would have imagined a soundtrack covering metal songs would get covered by metal? The guitars are bigger and more pronounced, but other things are more subtle and menacing. There is also a good deal of variety to make each song different from what could have been a strict metal recreation. Half the songs are metal with walls of guitars, while the other half is more creative to stand out.

    To buffer the intense metal of the first album, there are synthetic symphonies, creepy, and dare I say other-worldly songs. Some things begin more sedate and harmonic before punching you in the face with guitars.

    There is definitely a contrast between the first and second game soundtracks as if different instruments were used. The drums and guitars both sound different and there is less use of synthetic sound. The second game sounds far more mellow and symphonic compared to the big metal of the first. The guitar riffs sound more subdued than skull crushing. Maybe that's just how it always was, less intense than the original game.

    If you need a fresh pack of the familiar chords and beats to blow holes in monsters, this is your pack.

    Doom Project Version 1.1 - Guy M. Babin
    Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - OGG Support - 161.78 MB
    Reviewed by: geo
    This is Doom Project Version 1.1, but what is it? Could it be remaking Doom 1? Could it be someone's first level? No... It's a techno and/or dance music pack that replaces the music of Knee Deep in the Dead inspired from Unreal Tournament 3. Would you have ever guessed that from the title? Nope.

    The bottom line of this or any music replacement soundtrack isn't how good or bad it is, but does it fit the game? In this case, that's a big no. Perhaps I've been brainwashed over two decades into thinking Doom is about metal, guitars, and ambience rather than synthetic beats. The only song that comes close to fitting in tone is E1M4, as it has a good, consistent beat from start to finish.

    In fact I think video game music has to hook you in within the first few chords for it to affect you, otherwise it turns into bland and run of the mill. The songs have nothing to grab my attention, and maybe that's the genre as a whole. Even if well done, this pack might as well have just been taxi cabs honking in traffic and I would have felt the same. Maybe the music just never energized me the same way the original soundtrack did in its humble midi form.

    It may have fit Doom better if it had been inspired by the game rather than Unreal Tournament 3. By that logic, there needs to be more Mega Man inspired music in Doom. Most people agree that Mega Man has some of the greatest video game music of all time, but "does it fit the blood soaked halls and zombie bellows of Doom?"

    Maybe if you're into the music's genre you'll appreciate it more than I did, but after 35 minutes of hearing it, I will never listen to it again.

    Shovelware Adventure! - Doomkid (Doomkid92 on steam)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 2.28 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Shovelware Adventure is a throwback to the early days of Doom, when you could get away with raking up a bunch of other people's random crap levels and throwing them onto a CD to sell commercially. It doesn't actually play like a shovelware map, fortunately. Instead, it's more about having a cheesy retro feel and a very simple but high-quality design. The detailing is pretty spartan and I don't think there are any custom textures, but there's plenty of fun new content to help keep it interesting, mostly in terms of monsters and decorations. Besides the recolors and reskins, some of the new monsters include a spectral Imp and a plasma-shooting zombie with Duke sunglasses. These sorts of monsters don't create new gameplay, but they do contribute to the overall sense of variety and light-hearted fun, so I think they serve this map well. Two monsters that I do think add something new to the game are a tougher Imp with a faster double fireball attack and a zombie that fires homing missiles. Both of them take more damage than you expect and are unlikely to flinch, but their seeming weakness makes it very tempting to get cocky and face them out in the open with the assumption that you can stun-lock them or kill them very quickly, exposing you to some pretty dangerous attacks. There's also a nice custom music track that fits well with the retro feel of the map.

    The level is very large and very open for exploration; it includes three keycards, but you don't even need all of them to win, and they're mostly used for opening up more optional areas where you can get better equipment. I never got tired of running around trying to find everything. Enemies are packed in pretty densely, but since most of them are weak, the map isn't too hard, as long as you can survive the occasional packs of hitscanners. I love this sort of gameplay, where there are tons of mostly low-tier monsters, so you're always mowing something down. The finale is a challenge, throwing you into the middle of an monster spawner battle and forcing you to clear a Spider Mastermind and a Cyberdemon out of the way before you can get into position to destroy the source (not too hard or annoying as far as IoS fights go, but it did catch me by surprise). Shovelware Adventure might be too quirky for some players, but I highly recommend it.

    Superfast Mapping: Domination Edition - Combinebobnt, Argentum, Dranzer, [IFOC]75, Razgriz/Strangle, Gustavo6046
    Doom 2 - Domination - Zandronum - 15.79 MB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    Domination is a team game mode that Zandronum features. The aim of the game is earning points by "owning" a sector for extended periods of time. A player "owns" a sector for their team by walking over a line that recognizes their team colour and then assigns the sector to the team. Very few map packs have been made for this mode.

    CombinebobNT led this project after authoring Superfast DM, CTF, and Duel. None of these wads get played and are of dubious quality, and you would think after two wads you would give it up, but Bobby doesn't take hints very well.

    This wad is an example of a horrendous philosophy of "Doom players play anything with enough people." I don't think quality control existed in this project. The floors are quite bumpy all over the place, particularly in high traffic areas, even more specifically many of the domination points themselves. It's not really a great idea. Some areas are too tight where they shouldn't be, and others are way too open where they could probably stand for some more cover. Many recurring problems in this set could be fixed with testing, but I feel like nobody cared because SPEED MAPS. Many of maps have a good flow, if you were running around in single player that is. The maps feature 3-D floors in general game play use instead of decoration, and fit in really well, adding a good vertical dimension to the maps, boosting general movement flow. There are only a few real dead-end feeling spots in maps or areas that require excessive run-around.

    I feel like these maps would play better in straightforward DM. In many instances spawns are so close to the domination points, you don't have much opportunity to defend it in any reasonably sized game. It's a constant barrage of death with a little bit of "walk over the sector lines" thrown in. Bob will read this and say to me "Decay that's the point" or "That's a good thing!" but approximately not one of these people enjoyed the maps, so perhaps that's saying something. Even for public play the disorganization reaches disastrous levels, particularly in maps that look the same everywhere. The point names are lazily thrown in with no creativity (hallmark of a speedpack?), leaving some people maybe wondering where exactly the top, middle, and bottom points are.

    The maps are mostly clean, coherent, and smooth on the walls, which usually translates into reasonable maps visually, but instead many maps suffer from being overly plain and boring. Some of the map themes come straight out of AeonDM (made by some of the same authors) but look like low-budget, D-grade movie versions of them. The wad, suitably for speedmaps, looks like a ZDaemon hand-me-down for Zandronum from the mid 2000s.

    I never see this wad randomly played, and there is good reason for that. The unfortunate bit is there isn't much I can compare it to for domination; I can only judge it on how it played out. The closeness of spawns to domination points, some unclear paths, BFG placements that really are unnecessary, and lack of smooth play really kills most of the maps in the pack. But I'm pretty sure domination doesn't have to be this bad. I chalk up the problems in this wad to poor leadership and no real care given to the maps or game mode, and as a result we get another subpar speedmap pack nobody will play more than once, but perhaps more tragically lost potential for a hardly-played game mode. The philosophy of "people play anything" needs to be ding-dong-ditched, because this isn't 1995 anymore; it's 2017 and people play next to nothing, so making subpar maps isn't an option.

    Mogor's Winter - Shadowman
    Doom 2 - Single Player - PrBoom+ - 6.05 MB -
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    If the name Mogor sounds weirdly familiar to you, you may be remembering it from Whitemare 1, where Mogor appears in one of the secret levels as a cartoonish boss monster that shoots streams of Cacodemon balls. Other than that, I have no idea what kind of backstory there is to this character. Apparently he isn't really dead though, because he's come back to steal New Year's, and you can only stop him by beating this 11-level mapset.

    The style of these maps is fairly typical of Shadowman and some of the other mappers who have participated in various Russian community projects. The levels mostly take place in snow-covered cities with gritty texturing, and there are realistic houses and shops with realistic boxiness and lots of pictures hanging up on the walls, faucets in the kitchens, and so on. The mapset sometimes gets kind of jokewadish (particularly in the music selections, some of which are really annoying), but it's not a jokewad. You get the sense that Shadowman just made these maps for the fun of it and wasn't trying too hard to impress anyone.

    If you can look past some of the flaws that show up early on and give a bad impression, Mogor's Winter is a pretty solid set of maps -- at least, if you enjoy these sorts of city maps where it's mostly about exploring every corner and fighting from room to room. The maps build up slowly with a strong sense of progression, and the SSG and plasma rifle (along with most of the powerful monsters) show up pretty late. The steady straightforwardness of the combat and the rambling, mazey nature of many of the levels reminded me of '90s dungeon crawlers and Doom wannabe FPS games, but fortunately I have a lot of nostalgia for stuff like that. My favorite level was map 04, which takes place in a big mansion with a hedge maze surrounding it; it has some interesting puzzly stuff and is the best example of that dungeon crawler style. Maps 06 and 09 also stand out in that they're more like conventional Doom maps, with larger combat spaces and more fluid layouts that emphasize gameplay. You also get to play the obligatory moving train level somewhere in there.

    You do get to fight Mogor again at the end, and this time he's basically a glorified Arch-Vile with sprites ripped from the final boss of Blood. Maybe he got a makeover after the last time you killed him. Like the rest of the story, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but whatever.

    With all the epic mapsets that get released these days, it's easy to forget that stuff like Mogor's Winter can still be fun in its way -- although for some people, it may not be. I got annoyed with the switch hunting at times and turned off the music in a few maps, but otherwise I got some decent enjoyment out of it. Recommended mainly for nostalgia Doomers and people who are looking for casual mapsets.

    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.
    Bloodshedder
    Morgenstern - Nicholas "Tiger" Gautier
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - GZDoom - 13.97 MB -
    Reviewed by: Fonze
    "Morgenstern: imagine if gothic99 was made in 2017" - infurnus - 2017
    "In principle he was right to use GZDoom to expand Doom DM's stale game play with GZDoom features (included weapon alteration) but also featured things Zan didn't (and doesn't) support at the time. Problem was he was so headstrong about it he forgot GZDoom has all of 0 D "This is what happens when you don't seem to understand the fundamentals of DM of either game you are trying to replicate (Doom and Quake).
    "A confused mapset that only looks good in OpenGL or GZDoom that requires a strong computer to run smoothly with 1 player, never mind DM audiences." - Decay - 2017

    "Morgenstern" is an "18"-map (17 if you discount the "eyecandy" aka "inordinate extra stuff to lag even more" version of MAP04, which is otherwise the same map. 14 if you discount the 3 "rejected" maps. 13 if you forget about the shoot.wad remake. And 9 if you ditch the tgrdm2 maps. 4 "small" maps, 4 "medium" maps, 1 "large" map for 9 total) DM/Domination PK3 built for GZDoom 2.2 and tested a bit with Zandronum 3.0. This stunningly gorgeous mapset features maps for matches of all sizes. Unfortunately, that also means that most maps will not fit into most events, unless your server has player numbers which fluctuate often. When you build a DM mapset, all maps should be for the same number of people, unless you expect people to only DM on one or two maps the whole time. Aside from a select few, these maps are all oversized even for their intended player-base. Some of the "medium" maps take a good 10-15 seconds to run from one side of the map to the other, though to be fair there are portal-teleports in most maps. The "large" map is just comically sized.

    Some of these maps are tgrdm2 maps, and the quality of the maps as a whole, even on the aesthetic side, is all over the place, with some maps looking a bit... vanilla. Maps should look at least somewhat uniform in terms of their detailing; some of these maps could have been vanilla-compatible, and not in a good way. Even many pretty spots were fairly simplistic architecturally, meaning that it is mostly the eyecandy-type stuff that these maps show off. That said, lag and performance issues should be deeply considered when making any map, but especially a DM map which involves a competitive nature and pits people against other, very fast-moving people. "Inordinate" is the perfect word for many maps in this wad. "Not within proper or reasonable limits."

    On the note of performance issues: void space (the space where no sector is in-between the back sides of 1-sided lines) is needed to cut off rendering many special effects, such as 3D floors. Some of these maps have areas that are multi-storied, with different layouts for the top and bottom. This means that there is no void space in these areas, and seemingly simple-looking areas will lag, which is terrible for DM. MAP01 of this PK3 has a series of tight hallways which curiously cause fps lag due to this.

    Shoot.wad doesn't need a redux.

    "The map layouts are bland." Those words were said to me by several Doomers that DM and whom I respect, and the more time I spent in these maps the more I found I agreed. Some maps seem to have potential; indeed the truly beautiful maps are fun to DM in even just for the fact that they look so damn good, but unless both you and your buddy have either machines more powerful than mine or the patience of saints, you will not have a long session. Oh, and multiply that for every additional player; most of these maps (especially the ones worth playing) are clearly meant for 8+ players.

    Despite using 3D floors in a way which actually directly affects gameplay (which is nice), the areas created are often not very interesting, such as tight, flat hallways with many corners that eat up time as you run around searching for the only other player. Most of these maps are generally room-corridor gameplay, and some have vast, oversized areas that favor the beefed-up chaingun.

    "Thing" placement, especially powerups, is just totally "WTF" in many places. Prime example: the "large" map has a megasphere just sitting there down a little hallway, offshot from a huge room in the corner of the overall map and in a fairly inconspicuous spot with fairly decent cover, aside from people who can see directly down the hallway. Soooo... camp that spot and never die? Sounds like a plan to me; the endless shells and other ammo nearby will keep you supplied. To be fair, in a domination match this megasphere would be far less useful, but controlling it would still allow even just one person to control a domination point from 3 or 4 people who have nothing but 100/0, or maybe 100/100 if they got a green armor. There are other big powerups in the level, but those would be next to other domination points and not useful for ones over here, due to the level's sheer size. This isn't the only "strangely placed" thing, either, just a really good example. To be fair though, I like that many of these maps were generous with SSG pickups, which is nice when the opponent just grabbed that randomly placed blue armor after fragging you.

    Something I think is really important to note with newschool-designed maps, and maybe some other DMers may disagree with me on this, but aside from general aiming NS matches are all about controlling the main powerups in order to run the map, with a bit less focus on controlling areas, as opposed to oldschool where items do not respawn and therefore control is all about sector denial and crowd control. A map which allows players to be vastly overcharged on a continuous basis is going to make matches more lop-sided, with momentum being an even bigger factor than in an OS match. NS maps are supposed to be designed with item respawn accounted for, meaning that you probably should not allow a player to get overcharged and kill the other player repeatedly while running around grabbing health in-between kills, always getting back up to 100/200 or higher. Item respawn isn't the problem; having more than 100% in health pickups (stimpacks, medikits), is. I'm not a particularly good DMer, (though I have been coined a "rocket spammer," heh) but I ran MAP01 of this PK3 on a couple of people simply from just controlling the blue armor and running around grabbing health kits and ammo; I rarely ran out when I wanted to. It got to the point that I had to stop grabbing the blue armor, health, and ammo just to have fun... Playing down for people because of an unbalanced map; that's pathetic, but again some of that comes down to the obtuse "thing" placement.

    Some weapons have been rebalanced and others replaced. There is no BFG in these maps, but there is a grenade launcher and a railgun. Some of these levels start you with a CG+SSG while others only start you with a chaingun; something kind of weird/inconsistent to note.

    Jump pads, particle effects, "thing"-based fog, 3D slopes, transparent/reflective surfaces (walls/floors), scaled textures, legit rain, 3D models, dynamic lights, smooth weapon animations, additional player sprites to show what weapon people are using, and more all are present in these maps. As I said, some of these maps are just truly beautiful works of art! I have to wonder if this mapset will be redeemed to a very small degree in the future when more people have machines that won't blink twice at these maps, though of course the layouts, powerups, and other things will never get any better. Still, a lot of effort and time was put into making these things "advanced" and pretty, which shows!

    Aesthetically, most of these maps are awesome, though perhaps a bit too much-so given that beauty in many of these maps leans on the back of FPS-taxing special effects. MAP01 has a nice example of both the pluses and minuses of one particular feature: scaled textures. On one hand, some of the SUPPORT3 trims looked just awesome being so finely pixelated, (which makes me wonder in awe the usefulness of such a feature) but on the other hand there were 'dirt-ish' flats that were also scaled for no real particular reason. Going on about pixels, the skies were mostly all animated, even the ones you can't really see without hovering around in spectator mode waiting for players; well, gotta have something to keep people entertained while they wait, I guess. While this was a cool effect, in particular on the skies where you could see the clouds stretch off into the horizon, slowly moving from their creation-point, past you, and onwards to the place where they cease to exist; those same skies often looked exceptionally terrible directly above the player, as the pixels were supersized monstrosities.

    So what, should you check out these maps? I think so, if nothing else just to see how nice they look. Good examples of what not to do in a DM map, though by the same token, unlike many DM maps which fail to get a foothold on regular players at first and forever fade away, awaiting luck in a future random compilation, these maps will continue to stand out just for their looks. So what did this mapset do right, after all this wrong? Tiger made a mapset which fulfilled a niche, previously under-decorated with only a select few other really beautiful mapsets that fully utilize GZDoom/Zandronum's vast features to create such a rich and unique aesthetic. However, good luck finding somebody else to play with. Some of you may not even be able to open these maps up and see them without buying a new machine. Many of you will find the frame rate on the "eyecandy" map to be nothing short of comical and some may even call the inordinateness of that map "trolling," (such as the huge number of "fog" "things") but on the off-chance you have two really sweet gaming PCs, or have a nice circle of Doom-friends all with good gaming PCs, you might be able to get some decent matches out of a couple of these maps. I would say cut them out and throw them in your custom compilation, but there would be a lot of crap to sift through and the layouts aren't really that great for particularly interesting matches, so even then it'll likely become just a one-off, but it'll be a good time while it lasts if you stick to the really pretty ones and enjoy the sights more than the frags. Give it a shot :)
      The Crystal Maze (GZDoom edition) - Stephen Clark (The Ultimate DooMer)
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 20.56 MB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    The Crystal Maze is based on a British game show, but since this is for Doom, it is a series of puzzles and challenges. From the start, you select from one of four locales and the order you'd like to tackle them. On the surface, each of these locales acts as a hub with eight challenges. Each challenge is timed and labeled skill, mystery, and so on.

    If the time runs out or you perish, you're thrown in that locale's dungeon where you're given a crystal to open the door so you can continue playing. I can tell the work and effort that went into this, as it pulls in different textures and sound effects to make the game feel special.

    These challenges feel like miniature levels on their own with enemies here and there with great use of lighting and other effects. Lava bubbles pop and spew out, doors open as they would in real life rather than up and down. There are humble ways of making platforms simulate boats that move across a small pond. There are ramps and water to dive into. The game feels truly 3D compared to 99% of anything else in Doom.

    Even if its a GZDoom level, it feels like its own game. Its an interesting concept and the author does a lot to make the Crystal Maze feel far different than any other Doom WAD out there. In practice it seems involved to get into. The game does a well enough job of explaining everything, but I think to truly feel the joy of this map you need to be a fan of the show.

    Some areas were a bit too dark to see, others were confusing as to what to do, but that's all part of the challenge. If you're up for something fresh, this is for you, but if you just want a map to kill things, then avoid it.
      TEMPLE OF SPIDER - Big Memka
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 846.83 KB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    Temple of the Spider is a big map with a lot of extremes and very little in between. It has both a cityscape and a rocky cavern. Its external area is well lit, while its internal areas are so dark that it's a detriment. It is both flat and high up with steep steps to get between the two heights.

    With a name like Temple of the Spider, I was expecting more... spiders. The external areas are guarded by typical imps, knights, cacos, soldiers and everything every other Doom map has in abundance. The interior had barons and mancubuses with a mere shotgun to dispatch them. There were boxes of rockets hinting at the possibility of a rocket launcher within.

    It's the height difference that made the map stand out. There are a lot of tall walls with enemies lurking complete with staircases to get up to them and paths to jump over from one wall to the next. I assume this was meant for GZDOOM considering there was a river without an exit except for jumping.

    On the downside, it was a chore trudging through the dark. I tried to stand in the light and snipe into the dark, but eventually I had to be drawn in. I was shooting blindly hoping to hear a groan in the dark or that I will find another hazmat suit to change the tint of the darkness so I can see. Sometimes I'd get lucky to see a shadow in front of a torch, while other times they were behind the candle... shooting at me and laughing. Perhaps I needed a different light map pack, but some areas like the caverns have no light source.

    There was a distinct lack of both armor and ammunition. Even conserving the ammo, there were issues. Perhaps if I could see the ammunition dropped from dead enemies it would have been helpful, then again... all it takes is me running over the ammo. Try as I might I humped all the walls looking for hidden secrets, and if there are any... they're just too hidden and I wasn't humping hard enough.

    To the map's credit there was attention to detail, roads were lined, edges had bits taken out. The cavernous sections felt enjoyably craggy to traverse. There was even a nice little blood spider in the ground toward the beginning of the temple.

    I still liked the map, and it's not very often you get to see a temple in a city that's next to a cavern. It just was a struggle to enjoy the map due to the extremes.
      Test Subject 43 - Paul Dechene
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 1.46 MB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    Test Subject 43 is a fantastic series of six levels. They are each humble, yet grand. They do so much with so little and lavish them in detail and extravagance. A simple tech base is turned into a real, believable building done on a big scale. Large hallways, massive rooms seeping with enemies, holes in the walls to snipe at them. The hallways are full of cover and bathed in enemies. It's all clean, pristine, and a great use of detail. It's so good, enjoyable, simple, dangerous and deadly.

    The amazing thing is the developer claims it's his first attempt at map making. Well the map maker is a natural... or a boldface liar. Whichever is good.

    The first and second level are both humble beginnings. You have a pistol and a shotgun for the first level as you take on former humans and sergeants. So there are plenty of hitscan enemies covering every corridor. To compensate, there is cover everywhere with notches in walls, boxes, catwalks, and so on.

    The level pack divvies out weapons bit by bit, and a super shotgun or a chaingun in the second level feel like a treasure among a hall of the undead. Even facing off against chaingunners in the first level will not earn you their weapons.

    By the end of the second level, the pack amps it up as all hell breaks loose... literally. Imps, demons, Mancubuses, barons, knights and cacos get seen for the first time as they pour through a portal. It's a great sight after trudging through hallways of former soldiers.

    With all the good out of the way, it's time to get to the issues: lack of health and armor. When health is found there is a lot of health around and usually in logical places, as this is a mod that mimics what a real complex could be. Perhaps I should have tried to find more secrets than jumping over things.

    It's an enjoyable experience, but with so many hitscan enemies in the early going, it forces every situation to be cat and mouse. To the pack's credit there are plenty of opportunities to flank your enemies, such as multiple doorways, or giant pillars to go around.

    The first two levels took me 30 minutes of killing 1,500 enemies, so this is an excessive set of maps for better or worse.

    Another credit I will give the pack is a lot of mundane areas are spiced up with detail. These areas are punctuated with a touch of 60s or 70s sci-fi vision with select rooms. They break up the monotony of seeing giant command centers focused on one doorway, dark walled tunnels with sparse lights from the walls. It's a beautiful sight that makes things feel almost cinematic beyond what could be considered typical for a Doom base.

    This pack with a deceptively simple name of Test Subject 43 is well worth anyone's time to play. Unless you have issues with hit scan enemies...
      final doom return of the evil god - ron
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 4.01 MB -
    Reviewed by: geo
    First impressions are a doozy, and this pack of 32 levels is a door slam in the face when you first begin. The exteriors are just so bland, uninspired and reminiscent of 1995, before there were amazing tools to create incredible masterpieces. Beyond the first impression, what's here in "Final Doom Return of the Evil God," is quite enjoyable and well balanced. There is plenty of health, plenty of ammo, plenty of big fights, enemies, wide open areas and cluster phobic hallways. It's a mixed bag of mostly good and some bad that still ultimately feels like 1995.

    Despite the first impression of some of the worst mapping ever, you can still tell that effort was put into the game. There is a title screen, custom GUI, custom map titles, a green key instead of a yellow (color blind people love red and green, right?), different sound effects, window textures, and text labels for areas like dormitory, room names, and so on. It helps wash out the bad taste and show there's hope for this series of levels for those who chose to delve deeper. Later on the developer flexes ingenuity, as there are good moments of enemies appearing in front of easy switches and conveyors pulling boxes.

    Another problem with that first impression is the fact that early on, the water depth didn't work for me, but perhaps it was just your typical hall of mirrors or maybe I wasn't using the right source port. The first level and others have sets of narrow corridors with no room to strafe, which many can have a problem with. There are hole textures in the walls that are easy to miss, so I was using a map early on to find what I needed to.

    It should be noted that in the early going, there is a homage to the Master Level "Black Tower." It manages to have a fresh challenge while feeling familiar. It's quite the labyrinth interior with glimmers of memorable rooms. The second level has you in a small open city hunting through building after building, which breaks up your average map quite well.

    As I touched on before, the exteriors are empty, vacant, and devoid of detail, and it's a detriment to the entire package. Having built up rock formations along the exterior walls would help; bridges with water beneath would also go a long way. Perhaps this set of levels was meant for vanilla Doom with extra frills like conveyor belts. The interiors are realistic and several are cramped. Some are so cramped that the revenants are taller than the rooms themselves.

    Certain maps here can be quite cryptic, and I feel lucky to know well enough to never back track unless there are new enemies. Such as the black tower, climbing to an exterior and knowing to recognize the faces of marble pillars were different than they should be. If I had somehow been stumped and back tracked down the tower, I could be lost forever. It might be best to trap the player in the cryptic area until they solve the puzzle. If you are meant to backtrack, the levels know to open doors and release enemies so you know that you're still progressing.

    In terms of challenge, it's much easier than other wads, and perhaps more enjoyable because of that. You'll get a dose of just about every enemy other than bosses on every map. Turning a corner can occasionally lead to an archvile ,as if finding a man using the john! Sorry sir. I didn't smell you there. The beauty of these archviles is they're more generic enemies due to the surroundings rather than threats that resurrect an army.

    It's worth anyone's time to give this level pack a try. You'll get to see both the worst and best any map can have to offer.
      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.
    Bloodshedder
    Shadowmaker - Nicholas "Tiger" Gautier
    Doom 2 - Invasion - Zandronum - 15.5 MB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    Tiger is known for making maps that push the limits of computers.

    Shadowmaker is an invasion map for Zandronum. It requires Skulltag_content for some weaponry.

    It apparently REQUIRES the use of OpenGL. I'm not convinced of that, but since there is glaring text telling me otherwise, OGL I go. I shouldn't have to screw around with my lighting/brightness settings to play a map. The outside is pitch black, how in the world are you supposed to see your enemies?

    Gameplay wise, it's a fairly typical invasion map. New areas open up after waves, and Tiger implemented a music changer after certain waves. The game play is not bad at all, in invasion principle. The waves get progressively harder, culminating in a "boss" fight at the end. It seemed fairly balanced to me, as someone who is not a PvE player, so maybe some others would find it a little easy. The tower at the top of the hill and using other corners to your advantage make the map not too difficult. Good spread out of weapons too, and use of Skulltag items.

    The map's obvious strong point is its looks. It is a beautiful map, if a little busy, but does well in creating an atmosphere outside and appropriate structuring on the inside of the castle, though it seems attention to lighting went a little by the wayside inside.

    The single-most, biggest problem with this map is that it requires, absolutely requires, a strong PC to run smoothly. The map looks really well-crafted, very pretty and I can tell a lot of effort was put in, but it is hard to appreciate the map you're playing when you are moving around at under 10 FPS trying to kill enemies and trying not to die yourself. Other problems include cliffs you can jump up and suddenly die in water, teleports that lead you to instant death pits (why in the world would you do that), and perhaps a little bit of over detail inside the main building lead to catch-ons and double-looks to make sure you got everything.

    Overall, if you have a strong PC, I recommend giving the map a play. If not, pass for now, otherwise you'll find yourself struggling to play.

    Mindphuq - HdRambo, Eko, Vegence
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - GZDoom - 215.53 KB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    "This wad is utter garbage."

    That's all that is really worth saying about this wad, but I need to expand on this for reasons of reviewer integrity.

    Mindphuq.wad is a Boom format...DM wad... for all the Boom DM players... right. It was made by HDrambo, someone literally straight from the fabled Dwango series, who coincidentally hosts a Dwango5 server to boot.

    Anyway, in the pictures for the wad you'll see some of the things I'm describing. A "simplistic" battle arena that also supports SP and Coop play, this wad is straight out of 1994 in terms of being unconventional, but also in terms of being straight up ugly to look at. Featured in this wonderful "DM" wad is a spawn in an inescapable cage full of megaspheres and a damaging floor, many death pits, items strewn everywhere, similar to the dragon balls spreading out after use, dark cave mazes filled with hanging corpses (lit up for your benefit in the pic), a pitch black room full of crushers, a dark damaging liquid area full of inescapable pits and exploding barrels, and a... boxing ring... way the heck off to the side far from EVERYTHING. Given it's evidently a meme wad, there is no point in discussing item placement/technicalities of the map.

    I have no idea how anybody is supposed to have any sort of DM in this map. Or any semblance of fun at all. Maybe a few laughs at the author's expense but that's about it. Mindphuq isn't really a mind fuck, it's just a stupid and terrible wad that should've been left behind in 1994. It isn't funny, it isn't trippy, and it isn't good.

    DMMPST: DooM MaP StaTistics - Frans P. de Vries
    N/A - N/A - N/A - 183.11 KB
    Reviewed by: Walter confetti
    This is a little Java program created by Frans P. de Vries for Unix / Windows machines that finds all the type of things in a map; let's say this is a modern version of WadSpy.

    A really cool little program, pretty useful too! Download it and take a chance!

    Twilight of the Gods - Ed C.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 459.7 KB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    This map, "Twilight of the Gods", was to be included in Doomworld Mega Project 2013, but an older version made it into the map pack instead. This is the "newer" edition of the map. And while this map is quite large in scale, it's also large in boring.

    I'm not trying to be a bitch here, I'm saying that this map is everything I cannot stand about a ZDoom map. The whole thing is made of slopes. ZDoom slope physics are from another planet, so it's not only a pain to get around, the slopes also trap monsters in the floor. That doesn't look good; why do people keep doing this? Why?

    I assume the goal of this map was to hit certain switches certain ways, but since there was nothing happening when I tried just that, multiple times, I conclude that the map is broken. It doesn't help that I can hit those same said switches multiple times in a row, screwing up the scripting so badly that ZDoom plummets to single-digit frame rates. I couldn't see past my nose in the darkness in GZDoom, and the HUD messages that appeared when I flipped switches sounded like the mapper was trying so hard to be edgy. If the mapper happens to read this, please do not make a slope-heavy map again. In software mode, it just makes your map even worse!

    The main attractions in this map were the grey revenant giants, which kill you instantly if one of their fireballs makes contact. Slap them with the BFG and move on. There were around 10-15 cyberdemons running around when I decided to give up on the map, because I was going in circles at that point, and the Mock 2 levels of demon projectiles were slowing the game down to an unplayable mess. I'm sure if I had a stronger computer, I could be arsed to continue, but there is zero fun here in the first place. it's just running around effortlessly flipping switches.

    If I wanted that, I could play Eternal Doom.

    A strong Pass on this one. I know the mapper can do much better than this.

    CCCP 20 - m0wgli
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 9.59 MB -
    Reviewed by: JudgeDeadd
    According to the text file, this map pits you against hordes of "homo sovieticus" created by the far-future Soviet Union. The Soviet theme is mostly evident in one or two pieces of monumental architecture, as well as run-down buildings, perhaps meant to evoke the squalid living conditions in USSR.

    Unfortunately some parts of the level don't play very well due to misguided attempts at realism. It may be cute to design a kitchen and a communal bedroom in Doom, but gameplay-wise there's not much fun about running from one flat tiny room to another, killing dinky hitscanners one by one.

    The difficulty curve isn't the best. Initially your biggest problem will be surviving the copious amounts of distant hitscanners with very little health to be found. This does add some genuine challenge. Once you clear out the initial areas, however, the level is more or less a breeze, with traps that have no teeth, cramped corridors where you're never exposed, and enough ammo to never worry about the next fight. The only more demanding battle is the final crossfire, but there's nothing stopping you from cheesing it by simply retreating into the building behind you.

    Worth mentioning is that the author insists on having damaging sectors surrounding several of the light sources, which I found both annoying and stupid (is the Doomguy really so clumsy that he can't stand next to a candle or lamp without burning himself?).

    If there's anything that the level has going for it, it's that the music is fairly addictive, and the visual design is interesting; among the more memorable bits (captured in my screenies) is the lighted stairwell near the blue key door, as well as a cozy-looking office near the end. Though it might have been better if the author had built up on the story hinted in the text file, and emphasized the Soviet theme with some more recognizably Communist architecture, propaganda posters, etc.

    The map uses ZDoom features, though the author didn't specify port compatibility in the text file; regular ZDoom 2.8.1 seems to work okay (although there are ugly HOMs in one place, so maybe it'd work better in GZDoom).

    Castle Argh! - El Tupi
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - GZDoom - 91.86 KB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    The First of El Tupi's DM maps.

    I went backwards, starting with his most recent, and they definitely got progressively better because Castle Argh is one of the absolute biggest travesties of a DM map I've ever seen. There really isn't much worth saying here, the screenshot speaks for itself. It's a lame maze (terrible for DM), with items strewn everywhere for absolutely no reason, and very little actual feasibility in DM game play. It is visually ugly to behold, and I can only say "thank God the author improved." This is an example of a "myfirstDMlevel" wad at its finest.

    Precious Snowflake - El Tupi
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - GZDoom - 53.64 KB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    El Tupi's 2nd DM map.

    Featuring more 3D floors and double-decker style play, this map is a little more progressive but not as good as map 3, for reasons of a boring symmetrical layout and the worst spawn gimmick I've seen in a while. Players spawn in a small alcove hallway, get a weapon, green armour, and ammo, and then fall down a small tube into the main arena. Kinda sucks if you die and don't get the extra goodies, and falling in a small tube away from the central megasphere really puts you at a huge disadvantage against a powered up player with a rocket launcher, SSG, and 200/200. Also, if played in LMS, a player can easily just stay in the spawntube to win. Alternatively, get a few frags up, respawn in the tube, and just wait the rest of the match out. There are also medikits strewn EVERYWHERE, way too much health, we are playing DEATHmatch, not LIFEmatch. The visage is plain and boring, not much to be said in the looks department. Not really worth a play once, but it's nice to see someone trying progressive layouts.

    No One Lives Forever! - El Tupi
    Doom 2 - Deathmatch - GZDoom - 39.68 KB -
    Reviewed by: Decay
    OK so El Tupi made a series of DM wads. In each one, what we have here is a break from conventional flat DM maps and an attempt at something different, focusing on verticality (freelook highly recommended/required), looks like item control with a central soulsphere, and jumping. GZDoom (or OpenGL in Zandronum) features include dynamic lights, and there are some 3d floors.

    3rd Map, "No one lives forever"

    A DM map for... GZDoom DM... right. Well, it works fine in Zandronum, where players actually are and DM might actually happen.

    In any DM map these days, it's bad practice to have spawns with no weapons immediately on them. Dominating pistol spawns is easy, and I think people may have too many flashbacks of thrashings on Dwango5 map07 or being spawn-fragged to oblivion in Toxic Refineries in various CTF compilations. If you only play this map with the intended 2-4 players it might actually be okay. The single SSG is placed in a central location.

    The major flaws in this map come from the item/thing placement though. There are way too many armours for example, and if you don't have a SSG and are trying to pick away at someone with a CG or SG only and they have a SSG + soulsphere + GA, you aren't going to have a good time.

    Visually, it's very plain and boring, which isn't great if you're unfamiliar with the map because you won't know exactly where you're going for a while. No landmarks really stick out, but then again the center area is a big ole open pit so finding opponents shouldn't be tough.

    Overall I feel like this a map that has potential to be a decent romp in one of Doomkid's various 1990s wads compilations. Cleaning up and changing some item placement (more rocket play for example, and more SSG game play) would probably help out quite a bit.

    Area 02 Temple Study & Excavations V0.8 - Boss Claw
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 255.93 KB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Area 02 is a very simple map. It looks "okay", even though lighting is rather bland, textures aren't aligned properly, and there isn't much texture variety. It's supposed to be played with Brutal Doom, but since I'm not playing that, I played it with Lithium instead. I think that's fair!

    Although the ammo is rather tight, there's not much to write home about here. There was supposedly a cacodemon theme, but I found the mancubus encounters to be more exciting.

    The map ends very abruptly, too. I hit a switch thinking it would lower something and only found it to be the exit. There was so much of the map that wasn't accessible - for some reason? I can't figure out why. Perhaps the mapper just gave up on that area and left it in. I don't know.

    If you have a few minutes, check it out. Don't expect much challenge, though.

    Controlled System - Memfis
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 67.93 KB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Memfis comes through with a small but fun E1-style map, with lots of nukage and not much difficulty. That's not a bad thing - it's rather fun to turn the brain off and just shoot the brains out of some demons.

    My only complaints here are the use of cacodemons. There's a hidden one somewhere that will bother you if you're after 100% kills. My next playthrough uncovered his cowardly tomato self, and his hiding place looks like a secret area, but it's just a trap.

    There is also a chainsaw that I never thought to use, which would probably have helped in the ammo department - ammo is very tight in this map! Just don't miss too many times.

    Also, you can skip a major fight by straferunning to a small ledge from the last key platform, which I don't think I was supposed to be able to do. So naturally, I took that route. Sorry!

    If you have played Doom all your life this won't be much of a challenge for you, but it's a fun few minutes.

    Kentucky Fried Wad - Memfis
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 54.35 KB -
    Reviewed by: joepallai
    This was my first time playing a map by Memphis, so I wasn't sure what to expect going into this. What I found was a well-made and clever map with expertly staged combat and a near ruthless parceling of health on Hurt Me Plenty. Ammo balance is tight initially but becomes plentiful by the second half of the level. The music selected is fun and works quite well (even after dying as many times as I did, it still worked). Atmosphere is excellent and the map has that 90's Doom feeling to it, especially with the new textures. The only serious gripe I have is the lift controls in the SE section of the map aren't particularly obvious, especially for the lift leading to the red door section; eventually I figured it out, but it seems odd to not have a separate switch nearby to allow entry into that area.

    So is it fun? Yeah it is. It's a map that has that in-your-face simplicity that mocks you with each failure, driving you on until you beat it. There's a lot that can be learned from this map, especially monster staging; and I'm now interested in what else Memphis has made. Highly recommended if you want a challenging vanilla map.

    DOOM CHRISTMAS - For Doom II & Final Doom - Various (see credits)
    Doom 2 - N/A - Vanilla - 3.55 MB -
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    It's the middle of May, and I'm back from my slumber (if you could call it that), so why not something to fool me into thinking the heat I feel is only because it's cold outside?

    This must be how Australia feels every Christmas.

    Anyway, this is a compilation of all the Christmas Doom PWADs that have existed since we were able to throw our own/someone else's assets in Doom, because nothing says Christmas like... wh... what is this?

    There are 32 Christmas midis, various sounds from Christmas TV specials, and sprites like a Cacodemon Christmas bauble, demons with Santa hats, imps with Santa hats, Santa himself (?!) and... Keen, who has been replaced by a Doomguy wearing boxer shorts. Weird.

    Textures have been modified to be more wintry or "Christmassy" whenever possible, although this is inconsistent in terms of color sometimes. Most Wolfen-bricks are decorated, but the swastika textures aren't, presumably because there is so much Fascism radiating from the Nazi Party symbol that the snow just melts right off.

    The Novelty wears thin really quickly, and it's good for a laugh or two in a Deathmatch I suppose, but it only works on "Offical" IWADs the best, so don't expect Christmas Brutal Doom or Santas vs Zombies. Besides, hearing "GO FUCK YOURSELF" while carols are playing probably gets you on Santa's naughty list.

    Also, go check out the WolfSS replacement. I dare you.

    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.
    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.
    Bloodshedder

    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.