As I begin adapting to a new way of life (employment), newstuff decides to go easy on me and drop a huge bunch of wads on my desk. A nice round 50 maps in all (not counting the rebranded ctf pack), plus some weapons mods and a bot pack. There's some well-designed and interesting stuff this week, along with some stuff that you won't understand at all. There's also quality and non-quality, some standout wads in 3 different types and a couple of author showcases too. All available right here:
- 000 EMERGANCY by Paul Corfiatis
87kb - doom2.exe - SP -
We start this week with a trio of tiny maps. They all look good, and it's good to see that someone else can make floor consoles properly :p (see screenie). The maps aren't very hard, unless you get caught out by some of the zombies. It's not bad for it's size, which is about 5-10 minutes of play.
- Barfight DM by Lizardcommando
67kb - doom2.exe - DM -
I actually reviewed this wad way back in newstuff 111 but now I can now play DM for real, so here it is again for a proper review. As the title suggests, it's set in a bar, complete with kitchen, bog and storage areas behind the bar, and a car park out the front. The architecture is appropriate to the theme but looks quite basic in places. Gameplay-wise, there's weapons, ammo, armour and health stashed in the various rooms and no powerups to be seen. It's a bit sparse with low numbers and the darkness outside doesn't help, but with a higher number of players it should do ok. And there is the novelty value of course.
- Decapitation 2 by Mephisto
1290kb - Skulltag - SP/DM -
Now this is interesting. A bunch of 9 small maps for Skulltag, but it also comes with a set of single player missions against the new bots. These comprise of duels, 3/4 way FFA's and a 2v1 team match. If you've got a reasonable amount of DM skill you'll make it to the last map, where you'll need to be an aiming god with a bit of luck to win. The maps themselves look good in the usual style, and vary from bases to temples. The maps are perhaps a bit small, but it's good anyway. It's the first of it's kind, and hopefully it won't be the last.
- CYBERCRIME v2.0 by Dark Linux
4720kb - ZDaemon - DM -
And this is also interesting. A bunch of 10 maps for ZDaemon, coming with a lot of unusual stuff. Designed to be ultra-futuristic, these maps take you through computers, cyberspace, futuristic mock-ups of modern places and some things that are almost reminiscent of early computer films. The texturing is highly unusual (compblue in many different colours) but fits the theme well, and many ZDoom effects add to it well, including coloured lighting, ambient sounds (sadly not functioning in ZDaemon atm) fog and some eye-catching skyboxes. All in all it makes for a great representation of a cybernetic future, and it really feels good too. Gameplay is based towards FFA, with plenty of ammo and health/armour too. The only potential downside is that it's prone to spamming, but you get that in FFA anyway. It's an awesome mapset that really stands out from the crowd, fast and fun, and surely good enough to win a place on the ZDaemon servers.
- Skulltag CTF by Various Artists
4380kb - Skulltag - DM -
This wad was reviewed as Ultimate CTF in newstuff 219, so I won't spend too long here. Intended to be Skulltag's official CTF pack (but originally built for ZDaemon as we know), this is 33 maps of the flag variety. A lot of the layouts are similar (which is a downer IMO) but there are some interesting ones too. If you played the original final version, then the differences you'll notice are the Skulltag weapons/items, map 23 has been replaced with another, and some maps have been retextured (and my name has gone missing from map 19's credits). If you've not played it before, then you need to.
- D00M-57RIK3 by [H4X]PwnH4x
227kb - source port - n/a -
A weapons mod that has a few replacement sprites and altered behaviour. The smaller weapons are a bit bad IMO, while the larger ones grow a fast firing rate and a cold (as ice) BFG. Not the best of them.
- Random Evil by DarkSoul
122kb - doom2.exe - SP -
A medium-sized dark metal base map (think Murderous Intent). It looks good but also dark, making it a bit tougher. The rarity of health makes it tougher too, and don't waste too much ammo. A good play.
- Hidden Lab by Andrew Arsaleno
15kb - doom2.exe - SP -
A small map that is basically a brick map with a small metal section in it. Detail isn't too great, and difficulty-wise it's not hard either. Short but not that sweet.
- The Inner Crypts by Lee Wallis (DoomAD)
304kb - doom2.exe - SP -
A dark, brown map that relies mostly on custom textures. They're well-chosen though, and create a nice atmosphere. It's pretty hard, as you have to fight big monsters with small weapons for most of the time, as well as watching your health and your back. Recommended.
- Labyrinth by Lee Wallis (DoomAD)
316kb - source port - SP -
Another dark brown map that uses custom textures, but unlike the previous map does not resemble it's title at all. It's shorter and easier, but still has it's tricky moments with ammo and health. It looks quite good, too. Recommended.
- Tech Lab by Lee Wallis (DoomAD)
228kb - doom2.exe - SP -
A tech map with a grassy surround outdoors. Detail isn't as good here, but some new textures make up for it. The layout is a bit flawed, and has some places you don't need to visit but it is fun to play, and has a couple of massed battles at the end. It's not bad, but not as good as the previous two.
- Void Space by Lee Wallis (DoomAD)
530kb - doom2.exe - SP -
The last of his maps sees us inside a spaceship linked by teleporters. Everything is decked out in regulation grey, but IMO the texturing makes it look more like a bathroom than a spaceship. And the views outside don't really convey a feeling of being in space either. The health balance is also off (there's virtually none) so watch out for that. Not his finest.
- WackyHQ Botpack 1 by Samuel Horwitz (wacky), Bouncy and Dron
35kb - Skulltag - DM -
This wad is basically a set of renamed bots for the new Skulltag. There's also one new skin used, and they each have a set of taunts themed on various things. It's probably for the author and friends only given that some of the stuff is based on them, but it might be funny to some others too.
- FROM OUT OF THE WAD BIN... 'Awaken' by B.P.R.D (Foofoo)
67kb - doom2.exe - SP -
...a joke wad in two parts: a weird shiny metal lab and a cathedral. You can't kill the monsters, and the only real aim is to reach the cathedral to gaze upon the massed congregation. Which I've put in a screenie anyway. :p
- FROM OUT OF THE WAD BIN... 'Bdw' by B.P.R.D (Foofoo)
210kb - doom.exe - SP -
...a bunch of 8 maps spread across the start of 3 episodes. They're all small, easy, 1994-looking and a couple of them aren't finished. One of the maps has a neat concept (a tall maze that is one big crusher) but is poorly executed unfortunately. It's a disjointed bunch that will appeal, if anyone, to the classic fans.
- FROM OUT OF THE WAD BIN... 'Bdw Hell' by B.P.R.D (Foofoo)
98kb - doom2.exe - SP -
...another disjointed bunch, this time of the DooM 2 kind. The first map is a weird metal base that morphs into hell at the end, which follows onto the second map, a short trip through hell with a chainsaw (and no exit). After that it's a mess - a repeat of map 01 with some parts collapsed and no exit, one room with a teleport trap and no exit, an E1M1 with no exit and a teleport trap that looks like one but isn't, and a two-room stone map that's not finished. Play the first two and ignore the rest, if you decide to play it. (it's not that good)
- FROM OUT OF THE WAD BIN... 'Impo' by B.P.R.D (Foofoo)
244kb - source port - n/a -
...a skin that turns you into an imp. 'Nuff said.
- Corrupt Dreams by Xaser
1180kb - source port - n/a -
A weapons mod, his last one in the old-fashioned dehacked way before new decorate weapons come along (when presumably we'll get a big flood of those instead :p). 11 weapons are here covering 9 slots, and include some from Heretic. The frame sequences are a little buggy though, and some of the graphics are offset wrong too. But that shouldn't stop the fun, particularly if you play it on the insane monster count wads.
- Simplicity - Take Two by Agent Spork
177kb - ZDoom - SP -
Like it says, a small simple map. It's a brick building in hell and has plenty of detail, most of which will have been copy/pasted of course if the map did take an hour to make. Still that doesn't matter, as it looks good, and also carries the altered palette used by RTC and UDM3. Gameplay is simple too but with a ZDoom twist and good battles despite the limited types of monster used. Worth playing.
- Simplicity - Take Three by Agent Spork
429kb - ZDoom - SP -
Another map, but not as small and simple. It's a base and looks extremely good - nice architecture, plenty of detail and good use of ZDoom features (including that nice palette again). There's some new textures based off the originals, a couple of those Hexen 2-style cutscenes, and of course many spawn traps in the ZDoom style. It's a bit tougher too, but not overly-so. In short a great map, and a perfect example of what a CC3 map should look like (if it ever gets going).
- Demon Eclipse: Episode 1 - Doorway to Abbadon by Eric Ou (Ezxariarch)
1680kb - ZDoom - SP -
We finish this week with a 6-map wad meant to be the first part of a megawad. It follows the usual base-to-hell progression, but it's a well-done set of maps. The detail is nice, there's some good touches along the way, and the new textures really help it achieve this. It plays well too, with many big monsters, some big battles and of course tricky moments too. There's too much ammo, and in the big battles too much health as well, but it doesn't spoil the fun too much. In short a decent set of maps, and hopefully the full project will rock just as much.