• CacoCaddy
    Speedrunner 4shockblast has achieved a feat once thought impossible by most in the speed running community: a pacifist run of E2M8. This specific run has eluded players since pacifist runs were thought up almost 20 years ago. Watch it here, and more details can be found here.
    Eris Falling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Cheers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.
    Eris Falling

    ZDaemon Thursday Night Survival #288 - Disjunction
    Date: 16 February, 2017
    Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 EST

    Zandronum Friday Night Fragfest #362 - Cybercrime 3 & UptightDM Instagib
    Date: 17 February, 2017
    Euro session: 18:00 GMT / 13:00 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 GMT

    Odamex Friday Night Nitro #202 - IDDM18 Deathmatch
    Date: 17 February, 2017
    Time: 19:30 EST / 00:30 GMT

    ZDaemon Sessions #494 - Lethal Awakening - Heretically Deathmatch
    Date: 18 February, 2017
    Euro session: 19:30 GMT / 14:30 EST
    US session: 20:00 EST / 01:00 EST
    For more multiplayer-related discussions and events, head on over to the multiplayer forum. Happy fragging!
    Voros

    By Voros, in News,

    It is time yet again for Freedoom to bump its version number, now measuring a hefty 0.11. Freedoom has been fully tested to be limit-removing, with almost all maps vanilla compatible. Things you'll see:
    Over 200 new textures by jmickle
    A new C1M1 by YukiHerz, and it uses the new textures
    Chapter 3's music now replaced with Blueworrior's excellent music
    Various music replacements in Phase 2 and FreeDM; thanks to KevinHEZ, Blueworrior, bytebeats, Viscra Maelstrom and Blastfrog AKA Sodaholic
    A new intermission picture by Blastfrog
    Speaking of Blastfrog, there's a new pistol too
    New logo for the game and website, thanks to Jewellds
    New Plutonia patches too, by Jewellds once again
    Freedoomguy now dies with dignity, with some fresh death screams from SeventhSentinel
    Did I forget to mention, there are new maps too? Big thanks to Jayextee
    And BIG applause to Catoptromancy, Amarande and Xindage AKA Protox for cleaning up Freedoom's maps
    Best of all, they're all limit-removing, so load up a port like Crispy Doom and play!
    There are even more changes, so grab a fresh copy today!