Well it's been a slow-starting week, apart from catching the tail-end of the weapons influx from our old friend Daniel. 25 maps (18 of those coming in at the end), none of which are particularly special but there's still fun to be had as well as laughs to be had. Anyway, I'm off on holiday now, so I'll leave you to play with this week's offerings (the last three of which are reviewed by Grazza, as they came in after I went):
- Armas 17 by Daniel
397kb - ZDoom/Legacy - n/a -
The first of four weapons mods, this one has many from familiar sources (other games and wads), comes with a double fist and pistol, but no other improvements to the behaviour. On the whole, nothing to get excited about. (apart from the graphics)
- Armas 18 by Daniel
1460kb - ZDoom/Legacy - n/a -
This one also has familiar sprites (including some from the mod above) but this time there's many improvements, specially designed to satisfy those with a lust for power. (go to map 08 and use the bfg in the cyber room...)
- Armas 19 by Daniel
533kb - ZDoom/Legacy - n/a -
Onto the next, and this one focuses on firing rate. Most weapons fire faster and there's also a fist replacement and a cool saw blade thrower. Fun to be had again, as the last weapon is powerful...
- Armas 29 by Daniel
1770kb - ZDoom/Legacy - n/a -
And this last one is a mixture of power and firing rate, as we have a minigun and the fastest rocket launcher ever, but also the usual double super shotgun and nasty bfg. Enjoy.
- The Vixen by Daniel
908kb - ZDoom/Legacy - n/a -
This mod replaces the archvile with the Vixen from Redneck Rampage, also familiar to those who played Neo Doom. Nowhere near as threatening as the archvile, but is stronger and does have multiple attacks.
- WinDoom by Bruce Lewis and Dean Wiley
235kb - itself - n/a -
It's what seems to be an antique source port, designed purely to make Doom run under Windows. There doesn't seem to be any changes to the engine apart from Windows compatibility. Probably of interest only to source port collectors (if such a thing exists).
- The Supply Base 2 by MasterOfDeath
173kb - ZDoom - SP -
OMG a map! Two maps, to be precise. A small but nice-looking techbase seemingly located in the middle of the sea. The detail is good, particularly with the lighting, and there's a great view from outdoors too (atmosphere-wise anyway). Gameplay is tougher than you think, as you'll be battling big (but narrow) monsters with small weapons and you won't be able to waste a single shot. There isn't much health around, so you'll need the secret if you get hit too much. The second map is a small gothic encounter with the big two and a few barons. Short, but good while it lasts.
- O's of Destruction by Bjarne Christiansen
13kb - ZDoom - DM -
Four outdoor circular rooms with no detail, each covering a different deathmatch style - namely open spaces, open spaces with some obstacles, open spaces with many obstacles and open spaces with pits. There's a ton of starts, but no things of any kind (including scenery) so it probably won't be that good. And it's in ZDoom format for some reason, too (even though the text says no port is needed).
- Twisted Tower of Death by Patrick Gross (Captain Napalm)
136kb - source port - SP -
A small, linear but nice-looking brick map with the TFC sky. Detail is nice, with plenty of metal patterns and pillars together with some lighting effects. There's also some fake slopes on some windows and a rare feat of engineering - a triple 3D bridge (although the top floor is fenced so you can't drop off it). Gameplay is fast, furious and not without difficulty, despite the mainly basic population. This is due to you having basic weapons only, and most battles being fought in close quarters (in fact this might annoy some of you, particularly when big traps go off in them). Like the above SP wad, short, but good while it lasts.
- Keys of Destiny by Ben Tybursky
104kb - doom2.exe - SP -
A map 29 replacement, quite rare in itself. The map is a mish-mash of themes (not a good sign), the detail is usually quite basic, the layout is quite cramped and the gameplay is worse than the recent cava.wad (at least there you had plenty of room to evade the monsters you can't kill without ammo). In short, not one to remember.
- Darknation's Wacky Adventures in Impse by Mike Watson (Cyb), mostly
1030kb - ZDoom - SP -
Heh. A two-map wad that, you guessed it, is based around imps. Lots of imps, but of different types - fast, slow, hard, powerful, colours, it's all here thanks to the new ZDoom monster stuff. The first map is a darkened techbase, the second a similarly darkened stony arena-based thingy. There's plenty of humour (mostly from captions that pop up every now and then), giving it a surreal feel. The maps themselves focus on features rather than detail, so it will look bare as most of the detail comes from the features (some of which are quite neat). Gameplay is actually quite tough, as health/ammo are limited and some of the new imps are pretty tough to beat in some battles. Overall, a light-hearted dark-looking wad that should summon a laugh or two.
- Villa de Rais by Jay Reichard (Silent Zorah)
9720kb - ZDoom - SP -
This 15-map wad is quite unusual - in the fact that it has the biggest spread of quality I've seen in a wad. The maps start out small and basic (almost n00bish in some ways) but grow in size and quality, and towards the end they are big and nicely detailed. Nevertheless, the early maps have some atmosphere, helped along by some nice use of coloured fog and other ZDoom stuff. The later maps can be a slog though, but they do look nicer (and the wrecked school map is pretty cool). Gameplay wise it's pretty simple - blast everything with whatever ammo you like, as there's more than plenty of it everywhere. Watch the health though, as in some maps it's a bit tight. But despite the quality at the start you'll find yourself having fun with it, especially if you choose the mod soundtrack. If you're struggling to find something worth playing this week, this could be it.
- Lop2 by Alex Pielage
63kb - Doom2.exe - SP - 1 map -
I enjoyed this map - not so much for its visuals as for its non-stop battles. The action takes place in and around a large arena, which is kept constantly supplied with new enemies as you accomplish various tasks (i.e. picking up keys). You are well tooled-up for the battle, and ammo is plentiful (without being excessive), but health is the main issue. At first I thought the battle was going to be an easy matter of provoking infighting, but the composition of monsters seemed quite well worked-out to make the player have to fight. Then I thought it was going to be a straightforward BFG slaughter-fest, but the ammo also proved quite well balanced - you need to use your shots wisely. In the end my health hit zero just near the exit, and my death slide took me just far enough to do the trick. So I was happy. Anyway, a fun map with lots of surprising (but fair) ambushes. (Review by Grazza.)
- A better wad i pulled out of my ass by Michael Martin (Deathbringer)
1,296kb - EDGE + Doom2 - SP - 1 map -
The motivation behind this map does not make it sound too promising - apparently, Deathbringer had said about Doom Rampage Edition that he could "pull a better wad out of (his) ass". And here we have the result. I didn't play DRE, so I'll just judge Deathbringer's creation on its own merits. Firstly, you play as a baron of hell (like in DRE), fighting mostly against marines. The baron effects and the enemies are all convincingly done, but these battles are rather one-sided - the marines pose little threat, while the baron's basic weapon has infinite ammo and is highly effective. The sound effects create an immersive atmosphere, and overall I feel this could well be expanded into a good episode, if the baron's weapons are better balanced against those of its enemies. Note: It didn't work for me with EDGE 1.27, but 1.28 was OK. (Review by Grazza.)
- dinlightdemo by Dan Stefan Oprean a.k.a. Unknown[NF] or AlphaGOD
511kb - Zdoom + Doom2 - SP - 1 map -
Although the text-file doesn't say so, this is a Zdoom wad. It is called a "demo", but it isn't clear how close to completion it is. Certainly there are a couple of missing flats, and the starting area is somewhat repetitive architecturally, and has rather bland gameplay. There are many impressive features though: the crab-like structure is an intriguing piece of eye candy, while later on we see ROTT-style aerial walkways and a rising door with spikes (using slopes) on its underside. Near the end of the map we face two armies of stealth monsters, which will no doubt delight everyone. Overall, it's a promising map, but the gameplay needs at least tweaking before a final release if it is to be truly noteworthy. (Review by Grazza.)