Greetings, and welcome to another edition of the /newstuff Chronicles. I`m Agent Spork, and I`ll be your host this week. We have a mixed bag of both good and bad maps this week (as there always is?), with plenty of those wonderful 1994 wads we love so much, as well as some maps that were actually made sometime in the last ten years!
DMCOLORS - SHOTGUN and NUKAGE
doom.exe - n/a - 48 KB
Basically, this is a bunch of wads combined together that change the playpal lump so that there are a bunch of wacky colors. Remember EGADOOM and CGADOOM from a few weeks back? It`s kind of like that, only slightly less retarded. Nothing truly amazing, although some of the pallette modifications look kinda neat.. for a whole 5 seconds, max.
PILLAR.WAD - Nukage (Andy Pederson)
doom.exe - Deathmatch - 19 KB -
Pillar is a somewhat large, techy deathmatch map. It`s got lousy weapon placement, and is not very pretty to look at either. I`m sure it`d fit in just fine with some of the stuff in the Dwango series, though!
Dead on Arrival 12 - Paul Knapp
doom.exe - Solo Play - 16 KB -
DOA-12, or "Dead on Arrival 12" as it is called is yet another lovely 1994 wad. This one in particular is seriously a vision of beauty. I mean, come on! Who doesn`t love giant grey boxes with misaligned textures all over the place, and doors that blend in with the rest of the environment (they use the exact same textures)! I was unable to beat this map, because I got lost running around looking for a random door that looked exactly like everything else in the map.
EMPIRE SERIES - Tim Willits
doom.exe - Solo Play - 185 KB -
Empire is a series of maps by Tim Willits. You know, that bald guy that works for iD Software. Since it was made by Tim Willits, surely it is bound to be worth your time, right? Well, as far as the overall look of the maps go, they`re not very pretty. Also, the theme is completely random, and every room in these maps looks completely different from one another. A couple of the maps are mildly entertaining, but really, it`s nothing special.
Overrun - Matt `CajunCC` Martin
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 93 KB -
After wading through a few of the sub-par 1994 wads, I`ve come to Overrun, a map by CajunCC, which is a medium-sized map with an overall techy theme. It is moderately detailed and quite fun to play. My only gripe I have with this map is that it appears as though some rooms have been copied and pasted a few times, for whatever reason. The ammo is also a little bit tight in the end, and I was forced to flee from a battle with a revenant, as I was left with nothing but my bare knuckles to fight with. It`s definitely worth a try nonetheless.
Quake1 Base Deathmatch - The Solution
ZDoom - Deathmatch - 1368 KB -
This next map is a deathmatch map that relies heavily on Quake resources (taken from Fanatic`s QDoom TC for EDGE), so beware of brown. The map is quite detailed, making good use of Quake`s texture set (although I am by no means a fan of it). On the downside the map is quite large, and the layout can be quite awkward to maneuver about, as well as strange weapon placement. I`d recommend playing this map with four or more players.
Mines - The Solution
ZDoom - Deathmatch - 1091 KB -
Another map from `The Solution`, this one uses a lot of textures from Nick Baker`s nightmare1 texture set. The map is overly brown, with some icy areas here and there. It is quite a bit smaller than the other map, but also presents some other problems as well. While the map is a lot less confusing to manuver around, there are quite a few dead ends, which could lead some people to camp in certain areas and wait for other players to wander in. Other than that I`d say it`s a decent map.
Phantom of The Opera - Carlos Hoyos
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 57 KB -
Phantom of The Opera is a map that is meant to recreate locations similar to, well.. Phantom of The Opera (the novel). I can`t tell you exactly how accurate it is, but it`s not like it really matters that much anyways. The map looks pretty decent throughout, with some pretty nifty things along the way. It`s nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done. The gameplay, however, seems to have been thrown in at the very last minute. There is almost no ammo in the map whatsoever, so I found myself running around fisting hell knights and revenants, and running away from arch-viles. What`s more, there are also several SS Nazis running about the map. Nobody in their right mind uses those in a normal Doom map. What would have probably been a decent map for the time is brought down by mediocre gameplay.
Fury`s Ambush - Ioan Chera - Ebon
doom.exe - Solo Play - 9 KB -
This map is quite simple, really. Basically the entire map consists of you going in an almost straight line, shooting at a few monsters that get in your way, with a spider mastermind at the end for you to kill. That`s it. It`s like Doom E3M8 with more monsters to get in your way.
WTF? Deathmatch 2 - Various
Skulltag - Deathmatch - 1593 KB -
WTF? Deathmatch 2 is another one of those hilarious joke wads we have come to know and love (or hate). Hilarious as in, mildly amusing in some parts but moreso retarded and stupid. You`ll see such amazing things as a map with mirrors all over the place, a random map with random flashing colored lights all over the place, an ugly crate maze, a suspiciously overdetailed map (boy, I didn`t see that one coming), and even MOSKAU! Since it is a joke wad, it`s utomatically guaranteed to be ugly, stupid, and not fun to play. But, I suppose if you`re easily amused by such things, give it a try.
MOTRHOME.WAD - Im me
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 85 KB -
The first thing of notice when getting ready to play this map is the absolutely wonderful story in the text file, which is as follows: "You board a motorhome, and end up in traffic infested by demons. You have to leap from car to car and seize the truck in front." Now, if that`s not an amazing plot, I`m sure what is. Now, imagine something. Imagine taking that amazing car chase scene in Action Doom. Now make it a lot darker, a lot uglier, and put a crapload of pain elementals and lost souls in the map. This map is what you`d end up with.
Naval Battle - Jacek `Illdo` Dobrzyniecki
ZDoom - Solo Play - 31 KB
Naval Battle is a map set on, you guessed it, a battleship! The overall look of the map, while nowhere near ugly, is nothing special. Some parts look bland, some parts look decent; it`s a mixed bag. The map is pretty fun to play, with good ammo balance and difficulty. I`d give it a try.
Robocop Weapons - Carlos Guariglia
cDoom - n/a - 251 KB
Robocop weapons is.. a weapons mod. Now, I hate weapons mods, but I`ll try to be open-minded. The weapon art is overall not very good; the weapons look like plastic. Also, if I remember correctly, the only weapon robocop carries on him at any given time is a rather large pistol. Here we have a pistol that fires at rapid speed, a shotgun that doesn`t even seem to sync properly to the sounds at all, a chaingun, rocket launcher, and flame thrower that all look like the exact same weapon, only they shoot different projectiles, and a sniper rifle that shoots exploding bullets! If all weapons mods are like this, then I suppose I`m pretty glad I usually don`t bother downloading any of them.
92 Hoorrs - Jack Alcholsocks
doom.exe - Solo Play - 19 KB
It`s a Doom map made in 1992. Does that sound odd to you? It should. It`s quite obviously a joke wad mocking all of the 1994 wads that have been constantly uploaded to the archives as of late. Whoever the author is (I have a couple of guesses) obviously is not very good at making a map look like a common 1994 wad. In fact, this actually looks better than all of the ones I`ve reviewed so far this week. For one, it actually makes use of LIGHTING, rather than just making rooms fullbright, like most of these other wads tend not to do. For another, it actually uses an overly consistant theme, rather than changing themes every other room like most of the 1994 wads I`ve played do. Actually, this map would also be fun to play if it weren`t for the fact that there`s a ton of monsters that are just stuck in the walls. Shame on you!
CityLife - Phillip Wheeler
doom.exe - Solo Play - 98 KB -
Here we have a grey city map. At night. For Doom. Usually, most of the city maps are made for Doom 2. That`s probably because, and I`m guessing, Doom 2 has a ton of really ugly city maps in it. So I suppose that would be the game of choice for making ugly city maps? Actually though, I`d probably have to say that this map looks quite a bit better than most of the city maps in Doom 2. Maybe it`s because it doesn`t use a lot of those ugly new textures Doom 2 introduced? I`m not sure. On the negative side, it has what I think is one of the ugliest skies I`ve ever seen, although I suppose I can`t expect people to know how to make decent looking custom graphics at that time. I`m not really sure how good of a deathmatch this map would make, as I really didn`t have time to test it. There`s lots of plasma guns all over the place, as well as a ton of soul spheres, which I`d imagine would get pretty annoying after a while.
MajorCrap.WAD - Brendan `ace` Egan
doom.exe - Solo Play - 7 KB -
It`s a joke wad which was apparently made for some kind of "make the crappiest map humanly possible" competition going on at the ZDoom.org forums, or something. It`s really bad. Not the funny kind of bad, just the.. bad.. kind of bad. Only the best comes from the dedicated people at ZDoom.org! That`s really all I have to say about that.
KAMI2.WAD - J. OKAMURA
doom.exe - Solo Play - 72 KB -
This map is supposed to recreate a realistic environment in Doom. While of course it looks nowhere near realistic, I suppose it doesn`t look terrible, besides the outdoor areas looking very bland. I can`t say that it`s really very exciting to play, either. There are very few monsters spread across the map, most of which are imps and demons. I spent most of the map just running around with a chainsaw as well.
Extreme Evil Execution - Sami `MaxSpeeD` Mäki-Mantila
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 374 KB -
Sami `MaxSpeeD` Mäki-Mantila brings us a real treat this week! Extreme Evil Execution is a large, open base-ish map, with lots of good-looking detail. There are some outdoor and cave areas, as well as some indoor base areas, all of which looks very nice. The gameplay is very well executed and fun to play. It is of moderate difficulty, with good monster and item placement. There are also some great battles along the way. If you`re looking for one good map to play this week, look no further.
Syndicate - youkai444
ZDoom - Solo Play - 47 KB
Syndicate is youkai444`s first attempt at a map. For a first attempt, it`s really not bad at all. In fact, I can safely say that it looks better than half of the stuff I`ve played this week. It also looks about ten times better than my first attempt at a map. But, does the gameplay hold up? For the most part, yes. The ammo is a bit tight in some parts, but overall it`s pretty fun to play. A good first attempt at a map, and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Halo Gen - Dennis `Exl` Meuwissen
Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 288 KB -
Halo Gen is a 10-map deathmatch levelset, focusing on one-on-one play. The detail in these maps is simple, but looks good (just the way I like it), with good map layouts. It`s also a blast to play as well, with good weapon and ammo placement. The maps are just the way I like them. Hopefully you deathmatch nuts will stop playing Dwango 5 for at least five seconds to play this. It`s well worth it.
The following review was written by duncan:
Geo X - Agent Spork
ZDoom - Solo Play - 5068 KB -
Geo X is a very decent offering from Agent Spork, which takes the player through a set of three maps. Playing through the different maps, there is a distinct variation in themes and occasionally quality, but the transfer between levels is a smooth one. The author states in the text file that Geo X is an improved version of previous maps sp_deny and sp_geo. Having never had the experience of playing these maps, I cannot personally comment on the differences. However, as a mapset in itself, Geo X is of very high quality. Detail is apparent at most turns and there are some very good looking sections to treat the player`s eye. Gameplay increases in difficulty throughout the levels and goes from catching the player on their toes, to being very intense. There are a number of ambushes along the way; Agent Spork doesn`t let you get away with doing much. While occasionally irritating, these additional fights usually add to the enjoyment of the map. Gameplay can sometimes be linear, but this is rarely in a tedious way. Overall, the maps are very fun to play and the author`s result from obvious hard work is commendable.
For me, map 3 (Death Barracks) let the rest of the levels down. The map took a long time to end, something which the author mentioned in the textfile was a distinct problem in their earlier attempts. The ambushes by here had also become very predictable and drawn out. However, don`t get me wrong, it was another fantastic map, but personally I felt, in terms of gameplay anyway, that this didn`t match the quality of the predecessing maps. Also, due to the size of some rooms, places could sometimes look bare, but this was a minor judgement.
The maps are atmospheric, excellently flowing and enjoyable to play. There is a good choice of graphics and music to add to feel of the maps. My personal recommendation would be to get your hands on it and enjoy the good 45 minutes to an hour of solid Dooming that this mapset provides.