Hyena's had to miss his turn so you've got me again, a week sooner than you'd expected. Coming up: great handfuls of fresh wads, from deathmatch to atmospheric to fast-paced to downright silly. 26 maps in total, starting from the very second you start clicking:
- Pretty Deathmatch by Daniel Crowley (SpinSpyder)
(wad) - (txt) - 32kb - doom2.exe - DM -
We start this week with a somewhat bizarre deathmatch map, which is set in a series of interconnecting AV map 31-style blue rooms, some of which are different in height, and have connecting stairways. All weapons are present, along with a barrel or two for extra chaos. It is pretty cramped, so expect plenty of suicides as well as homicides.
- ZED's big one by Mr. Z
(wad) - (txt) - 430kb - doom2.exe - SP -
Silly wads seem to be in fashion at the moment, and although this isn't one, in some areas of the maps you could be mistaken for thinking it was. A 4-map wad with square rooms and mazes, huge bare open areas, random texturing, low detail, far too much ammo and more powerups than most wads would sensibly include. There are some ok graphics (notably the status bar) and a couple of half-decent puzzles (including a good rising floor puzzle in map 3). To be fair, the author is new to mapping and probably built these maps purely for self-enjoyment without any intention of releasing it, but release it he did, and I don't expect too many people to be taken by this one.
- Red Alert by Chrono
(wad) - (txt) - 230kb - ZDoom - SP -
A Doom 1 style map, but for Doom 2. You get a scripted intro, and then it's into the power station. There is some nice slope-enhanced architecture here, and these represent the different parts of the station well. The storyline present in the intro continues as you go along, with updates every so often. Music comes from Doom 1 and changes when you enter each area, which is a nice touch. There are tons of monsters here, all of them from Doom 1, resulting in the map being a bit easy except the final area. The other downer is that everything is basically grey (if you don't like that sort of thing). Overall, a good map that is recommended. Fans of Doom 1 tech maps will enjoy it, as will those who like ZDoom maps but those who want to battle hordes of Doom 2 monsters will want to look somewhere else.
- Southern Cross by The Solution and Bryant Robinson
(wad) - (txt) - 2110kb - ZDoom - SP -
A Phobos-style 9-map wad for Doom 2. It's made by the creator of Dark 7, so it's no surprise that this wad is several months old - 13 in fact. Onto the wad itself, and it is extremely atmospheric - the combination of environment, light level, new sounds and new music makes for a pretty dark, eerie mood throughout. The maps themselves are fairly detailed in most areas and the texturing is faithful to E1 - in fact he's used the entire texture set from Doom 1 instead of Doom 2. Doom 2 flats are used in some areas, but it's appearance is pure E1. The gameplay is a mixture of classic E1 (lots of small monsters) with some bigger ones (from Doom 1 and 2) thrown in, and every so often you'll get a tough battle with a load of 'em. However, the amount of needless ammo increases throughout, and there's usually enough health to go round, meaning that on the whole this wad is fairly easy. This will please the lesser-skilled players, but the experts may want to speed up the monsters. Unless you really hate Phobos maps, download this now and enjoy, as it's an experience not to be missed! Wad of the week.
- Narcosis by Espi
(wad) - (txt) - 810kb - ZDoom - DM -
A deathmatch map with lots of detail, and also a re-release (apparently the graphics are what's new). A Doom 2 map set in some kind of stone courtyard with some degree of symmetry. Weapons are spread out, but there's no lifts (only stairs) so expect a reasonable pace as you hunt your opponent through the various buildings and the courtyard in the middle. Slopes, trees and the pretty good new graphics add nicely to the architecture and atmosphere, but 800kb is quite big for a DM map, which could put some people off it. Now, if someone released a Hell Revealed version...
- Blind Alley S: Spirit World - Headquarters by Gene Bird
(wad) - (txt) - 130kb - doom2.exe - SP -
Here we go again, another slice of action from the self-styled Grandpa of Doom. The first area is somewhat different to the normal Blind Alley style, given that it has a discernable theme (a city-like area) and a bit more detail to boot. But don't worry - once you leave the first area, you're back in traditional Blind Alley territory - rooms and passages with no real theme, and plenty of monsters. The detail is improved over the previous maps, ammo is plentiful as always, but this map is not as difficult as the others (except for one or two areas). It's still a good fun map, though.
- Bloodworks by Bob Larkin
(wad) - (txt) - 750kb - non GL port - SP -
A small map for Doom 2. Replacing map 03, this is set in some sort of blood making factory, and the doom2.exe ambient sound (running water here) reflects that. The areas are all brown/grey, dark, well detailed and full of fake 3D effects, some of which are impressive. Gameplay-wise it's cramped, ammo and health are finely balanced and lost souls (normally not too troublesome) can be quite dangerous here. Those who don't like fairly close-quarters battles will probably want to stay clear (as will those who hate Quake-style brown/grey texturing) but most of you will want to play this. (note: don't play this with an OpenGL port as it's supposed to screw up the graphics - use Boom/prBoom, Legacy or ZDoom)
- Epyo DM by Epyo
(wad) - (txt) - 400kb - ZDoom - DM -
A set of 7 maps for Doom 2. They're not very detailed, but these are DM maps. Each map is based around one or more ZDoom features including bridges, slopes, waggling floors, gun turrets (auto and manual), conveyor belts and ice. This should make for some fun, if unconventional, battles (especially on map07 - familiar yet unfamiliar). The maps are small so expect plenty of deaths, some of which will be amusing. However, the feature that would give the biggest twist in a deathmatch is not used - water. Imagine what an underwater deathmatch would've been like, even without the air pockets. Still, I believe this is the first DM mapset to use ZDoom features in this way, so gather round your LAN (or whatever you use) and have fun.
- Burger by Safely A. Nonymous
(wad) - (txt) - 160kb - ZDoom - SP (Shitty Prank)
I think I'm gonna let you decide whether or not this deserves a review - it's certainly not getting a screenshot.