AgentSpork returns for another /newstuff in what may or may not be a spectacular week for new (or possibly old) Doom WADs. What this week holds for us is a mixture of some good, some bad, and some absolutely spectacular maps. With that, let us begin.
Horror in the Caribbean Sea - Aluqah
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 103 KB -
In our first map, we find ourselves thrown onto an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea (or something like that), which basically means a lot of outdoor action. The level is not the most spectacular thing I've ever seen, but it certainly doesn't look TOO bad. Gameplay can be a bit slow in some of the more open areas, but overall it's a decent map to play. Some new music would have been nice, though.
Death in C sharp - Vasek "Damned" Havranek
ZDoom - Solo Play - -
Continuing on, our next destination is a small tech map by Vasek Havranek. The map has a fairly good level of detail, with a little bit of overdose on the copy/paste in some places (although I'm not really one to complain). Moderate difficulty as well as decent monster and item placement make it a pretty entertaining map as well. The music included with the map almost gave me a headache, however.
DM BRIDGE - Paul Corfiatis
ZDoom - Deathmatch - 19 KB -
Now, I am quite fond of Paul Corfiatis' Single Player maps. However, I can't say I've ever played a deathmatch map by him until now. DM Bridge is a relatively small deathmatch level with two bridges hanging obove the main area of the level. The map looks quite good, although I'm not too fond of the texture used on the floating bridges (STEPTOP is just an ugly texture to begin with). The gameplay side of things, however, is questionable. The weapon placement seems a bit random, and I didn't really need to use the bridges at all during testing.
Deleted Scene (Hexen Edition) - Russell Pearson
Hexen Support - Solo Play - 211 KB -
Russell Pearson strikes yet again with the release of Deleted Scene for Hexen. I'm no fan of Hexen by far, but I found this map to be well worth my time. The map looks astonishing, as all of his maps do, making use of Hexen's textures as well as some from Doom as well. You'd be surprised at how well it works, if you just use the right textures. Unlike Hexen itself, I actually found this map to be very fun. Overall a very good map, and runner up for WAD of the week.
Fortress - Jonathan Tourtellot
doom.exe - Solo Play - 116 KB -
Moving right along, we venture from the awesome to the not so awesome. Fortress is a map by Jonathan Tourtellot for Doom 2. Right from the start I knew I was going to be in for a ride, as it would seem that you get all of your munitions for the entire level right at the beginning. That right there pretty much kills everything, as there's no longer any progression in terms of ammunition and weaponry. The map in general looks very mediocre, and the gameplay isn't too hot either, considering the aforementioned issue with the weapons.
Holy Hell - JK
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 2651 KB -
The "Most Suitable Name for a WAD" award goes to Holy Hell for actually triggering me to say those two very words not even 15 seconds into the level. Right from the start things are crazy. You find yourself teleported into a large arena-like area, and there's a couple of chaingunners standing there. You shoot the chaingunners, only the find that a million and a half (note: rough estimate) zombies pop up out of nowhere and rape you right on the spot. If you somehow manage to survive that, there's a switch in the center of the arena which lowers two tall walls on either side of the arena. Behind one of the walls is a rather large group of spectres, with the other side being packed with hundreds upon hundreds of friendly revenants. I didn't make it past that, but uh.. Holy hell.
The Last Fortress of Hell - Aluqah
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 91 KB -
Another map from Aluqah, this one is a fortress-type map. The map looks pretty good, although it could use a bit more texture variation, as it uses marble brick throughout most of the map. The gameplay side of things was good as well, nothing really to complain about here.
Mad Lab - DomRem
doom.exe - Solo Play - 86 KB -
Madlab is a semi-large tech map inspired by Doom's second episode. It may not be oozing detail all over the place, but that is not to say it doesn't look good. It does a pretty good job of fitting in with the other maps in Episode 2. The map also has some good gameplay to boot. It's not too difficult, but does have some rather challenging bits here and there.
Marine Pack - Various
ZDoom Compatible - n/a - 2432 KB
It's.. a set of DECORATE marines for ZDoom. Can't really think of much else to say about this.
Horror in the North Sea - Aluqah
ZDoom - Solo Play - 175 KB -
Here we have yet another map from Aluqah, this one being a large islandish level. The detail in this level shows definite improvement over the last two maps of his I've reviewed. It makes light use of ZDoom's features, with there being some slopes and colored lighting here and there, although quite frankly the colored lighting just makes things look worse. Other than that, I really can't think of anything to complain about; it's overall a good map.
Null Space Junior - Russell Pearson
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 401 KB -
If you've played the 1024 project headed by Lutrov71, you may have seen this map before. Null Space Junior is a map built within a 1024x1024 area. It makes use of some heavily modified Heretic/HeXen textures, and it does it in an absolutely stunning way. The untrained eye could be fooled into believing that this map makes use of slopes as in ZDoom, while in fact it it doesn't at all. So, the map is obviously beautiful, but how does the gameplay stand up? While it can be pretty damn difficult, I'd say it plays just as wonderfully as it looks.
Sarin - Hobbs
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 68 KB -
Sarin is a moderately sized marble map, and Hobbs' first release. Detail-wise it looks pretty good; good texture usage, good architecture, just good overall. The map has some tough spots, and Hobbs obviously likes his traps (sounds like someone I know), but it was a fun map through and through.
Sky Temple - Wills Hines
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 41 KB -
Sky temple is a map floating in the middle of a void, much like the previously reviewed Null Space Junior. It has a moderate level of detail, and definitely looks good, although it could have used a better sky texture, as it obviously doesn't tile in the outside areas with the void. Gameplay is challenging, with good monster and item placement overall.
Surreily's first upload - Surreily
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 115 KB -
Although this may be Surreily's first upload, it's obvious he has quite a bit of mapping experience. The map has quite a bit of detail, and makes good use of Nick Baker's various texture packs, although the map is a bit symmetrical in places. The map is short, and not very difficult, but overall it's a fairly decent map.
The escape from planet Telex - Aluqah
ZDoom - Solo Play - 93 KB -
Yet another level from Aluqah, who apparently decided to upload his entire timeline of levels this week. This map is a wide open city map crawling to the brim with zombies. The action is fast paced, with the catch being that the only ammo you get is from the enemies that drop weapons. My only complaint with this map is that it uses a few SS Nazis here and there (a big no-no in my book).
- lacrimosa's INFERNO - Aluqah
ZDoom - Solo Play - 535 KB -
Aluqah is on a roll here. This particular map of his is a large city map, with lots of tall buildings and whatnot. It has a moderate level of detail, although the rooftop areas tend to be a bit more detailed than the stuff around it. I can't really say I'm very fond of city maps, though, and the gameplay was mediocre.
Phobia - The Age - Kristus
Legacy - Solo Play - 35132 KB -
Well, I've decided to save the absolute best for last. Phobia - The Age is the successor to the original Phobia by Kristus, a WAD for Doom Legacy. Now, I may not be all too fond with Legacy these days, but this is absolutely amazing. This new incarnation of Phobia has 8 levels total, each of which has amazing visuals and great gameplay. In addition, there's a totally new soundtrack, written by Marc A. Pullen (aka Fanatic), a person whose music I am quite fond of.
The gameplay of this wad is split into three types, which you can choose upon starting the game: Chaos, War, and Myst. Chaos is typical to normal doom wads, with fast pased action and plentiful amounts of ammo. War also has fast paced action, but does things a bit differently. Your ammo reserve is much more limited, so you have to be much more careful about your actions, and it makes the player feel like one puny little being against the entire legion of hell. Myst is also interesting in that while, for the most part, there aren't any monsters, it still finds ways to keep things interesting. It's also good if you want to explore the levels without enemies getting in the way.
Phobia - The Age is easily one of the best wads I've played in the last couple of years. Even if you absolutely despise Legacy, I'd download it (don't even try to run it in GZDOOM) just to play this WAD. It doesn't get much better than this.