ReeKrank - Reagan Hawkins
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 395251 bytes -
Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
This is a set of 11 maps from '98, which are similar in style to the original Doom 2 maps. They have that same randomness to them, although most of them are pretty small and cramped compared to Doom 2's more open maps. The difficulty is also similar to the original maps; I played on UV and thought the set was a bit on the easy side most of the time, but there are a few tough areas. Most of the maps can be pretty confusing at first, especially when teleporters and switches that open doors in other sections of the level are involved, but they flowed better once I knew where to go.
The set does have some newbie mistakes, though. Most annoyingly, there are inescapable pits all over the place, in nearly every map. At least one of them doesn't even deplete your health; you either need to load a save or restart the map to escape. Another odd thing, given the competency shown elsewhere, is that almost none of the door tracks are lower unpegged. Many of the locked doors in the later maps are completely unmarked, too. There are plenty of minor texture alignment issues, but nothing that really jumped out at me as being particularly bad. None of these things are enough to make the set unenjoyable, but it would've definitely been better without them.
If you're looking for some classic style maps, give this a try. The set fits in pretty good alongside the stock Doom 2 maps, and I had fun with it (when I wasn't completely lost, that is).
Claws of the Enraged Beast - James "Phobus" Cresswell
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 2226561 bytes -
Reviewed by: 40oz
Not bad. This wad replaces MAP01 and requires ZDoom due to music being in a non-midi format, slopes, colored lighting, linedef specials, and jumping and crouching.
What we have here is a tech base with lots of COMPBLUE and COMPWALL styled textures with bits of SHAWN2 and tan bricks in between. The skill levels are replaced with "Tough" and "Slaughter".
I enjoyed it a lot on the tough skill level. I tried Slaughter later on only to be greeted with no weapons in the starting room, and about three times as many monsters. Then I went back to Tough skill.
The map is not very linear, which is a mapping trait I do admire. It has lots of sectors for detailing, too. My only gripe about the map design is that it seemed as though there were too many varying color themes jammed in one map. Aside from that, I liked it.
Gameplay was pretty good too, but kinda difficult. Ammo was a little tight in the beginning. It got more generous later on. There is a good bit of tough monsters; lots of Mancs, some Pain Elementals, Hell Barons, Hell Knights, Revenants, with zombies and imps in-between. I thought the music was a little cheesy, though. Jumping/crouching is only required if you want to find the secrets. Overall, I liked it. Well done, Phobus.
Sarge Skin - Captain Toenail
Skulltag - n/a - 504822 bytes
Reviewed by: Joshy
Basically, this is a skin of a marine sprite with Sarge's head planted on top. Sarge's face isn't obvious at first sight but with a closer look, you can just see the outline of his face and cigar. There are also new death and taunt sounds implemented. Recommended for die-hard Sarge fans.
Infernal Doomers Deathmatch - [idt]RevenantX, [idt]nrM, [idt]Bloodiness, [idt]3VisT
Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 1118168 bytes -
Reviewed by: 40oz
This is a Boom compatible 16-map Deathmatch wad made by 4 mappers of the Russian Doom community. I tend to avoid the trouble of navigating Russian Doom webpages, but it still excites me to know what's going on there. This is no exception.
All 16 maps follow a strict Plutonia/Gothic brown brick theme + wood and rusted metal. The maps are heavily detailed and pretty small, which is good and bad. Good because I never had any trouble finding my opponents, and bad because all the borders make movement pretty bumpy and cramped. There's lots of crates and doorways to poke in and out of to avoid getting shot, which is good for tactics purposes but bad for speed. Also, there is a BFG in almost every map, and they are relatively easy to reach.
This wad is very consistent. All four mappers have similar mapping talent and all use relatively the same amount of detail and texture schemes, which makes it very consistent. I really liked this wad. It's definitely worth your time.
Demons of Problematique 2 - Dennis "Exl" Meuwissen
GZDoom - Solo Play - 9710189 bytes -
Reviewed by: Dragonsbrethren
I've never played the first Demons of Problematique, so I can't say how this compares to that, but this is an excellent wad. Graphically, it's beautiful. The maps are detailed without being cluttered, and have some very nice architecture made using slopes and 3D floors. The texturing is a bit of a surprise; there are only a small handful of textures used for each map, but they're used very well. Dynamic lighting is used sparingly, and really adds atmosphere to the areas where it is present. The first map is a demonic castle which uses red bricks and green marble: it sounds like an odd combination, but the two really compliment each other. The second and third maps both use heavy use of gray texture and sprite rips from Heretic and Hexen, and the final map returns to the red and green theme.
Adding to the atmosphere the graphics provide is the soundtrack. This wad uses ambient music in most places, and faster-paced tracks you'd expect to hear in Doom for the boss fights. When that music picks up, you know something big is about to go down. Ambient sound is used for gurgling when you're standing next to a lava lake, another great touch. New sounds have been added for the doors and elevators; they now make sounds you'd expect old wooden doors and elevators to make. The sounds are a nice change, and something that is often ignored regardless of a map's setting.
I've established that this wad has great atmosphere, but the gameplay is still strong. The maps are all pretty linear, and mostly consist of hitting a switch to open the next area. If you're more a fan of exploring labyrinthine maps, you probably won't like this wad as much as I did. Monsters are fought in large groups in each area; these encounters usually aren't too tough, and plenty of cover is provided. If you need to reenter an area to proceed, expect new monsters to spawn in. There are scrolls between each area that will automatically save your game for you, so you should never need to replay too much of a map if you die. There are two boss fights; the first one is a test run of the second. I don't want to spoil these, but I thought they were pretty clever. Be sure to have freelook on when you fight them, if you normally play with it off, because it's very hard to target them without it. You'll also need it on for a puzzle at the end of the third map.
In terms of difficulty, I thought this was spot on. Three normal skill levels are provided, and Nightmare can be selected by entering the hard mode teleporter from the back. I've played through on the easy and medium difficulties so far, and found the gameplay on both to be very fun. Any large monster encounters give plenty of opportunities for infighting, and there is usually enough ammo lying around to mop up any remaining opposition. One thing that bothered me was the final boss, which I thought was too hard on both difficulties, and spoiled the otherwise well-done balance.
Definitely give this one a try; it's one of the best map sets I've played in a while. If the linear gameplay isn't your thing, it's worth downloading for the great architecture, texture, and ambiance usage alone.
Subversion - Bob Back
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 75422 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
This is a medium sized wad styled from '94. It's not horrible, but it's not great either. It shows some attempts at varying the architecture but still contains many of the gimmicks of a 1994 wad. Oh, and did I mention its DARK AS FUCK in some areas? For me this dumbs it down slightly more. Investigate if the screenies interest you, but don't kill yourself with this one.
Fiskmaps I Descend - Elric "Darkhaven" Sullivan
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 678984 bytes -
Reviewed by: Super Jamie
Fiskmaps is an ongoing project by Fisk to take some auto-generated Oblige maps and apply human creativity to them. According to the forum thread there are five maps in this episode, Descend being the first.
As a MAP01, it serves its purpose quite well. It's no walk in the park, though it's not the hardest map either and provides the player with good armament for future levels. Expect less than 5 minutes playtime from this one.
The map looks great! Some new washed-out textures (I believe from greenwar2?) and a slightly lightened palette with a blue item-pickup color give this an attractive and modern appearance whilst still maintaining a good Doom atmosphere.
Some design aspects will be familiar to those who play Oblige levels (the stairs in particular) and some are obviously Fisk's own clever creations. However this doesn't feel like a computer-generated level, so mission accomplished on the author's part.
My only criticism would be that a few areas are quite dark; one can miss both the good-looking detail and important play aspects like enemies or even one particular door.
Overall, a good short intro map to an episode. Keep an eye out for the rest!
Demonator - Dilan
doom.exe - Solo Play - 325072 bytes -
Reviewed by: Joshy
This is a one episode replacement for Doom and it is very bad. To give you an idea of how bad it is, let's start by reading the author's description of Demonator: "This is a remake of Episode 1, but from scratch. Enjoy!"
This is no remake of Knee Deep in the Dead, and it was certainly not done from scratch; they are copy-pasted original maps that looks like as it was indeed scratched by a feral cat fed with steroids and violence-invoking drugs whose ball of yarn was taken by a person who hates cats. What the author practically has done is copy paste all 9 original maps, made irrational design changes such as inappropriate texturing, weird sector actions, floor/ceiling changes, extra obviously badly designed rooms and HOMs. With all the extra barons, cacodemons and cyberdemons, naturally the gameplay is harder, but it is no enjoyment, just thoughtless tediousness. Extra powerups spammed across the maps to put the icing on the cake riddled with worms. Yes it is from 1994, be that as it may, but that is no excuse for this atrocity of an episode.
Bottom line: Go and play the original episode again, or better original PWADs from 1994 rather than this WAD. There are also many other challenging WADs to play that lack tediousness and irrational designs. Avoid.
The Plasticine Cacodemon - Maes
Limit Removing - n/a - 154941 bytes
Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
[Ed: No screenshots because MediaFire said "file not found".]
As chronicled a while back in the Doomworld forums, Maes has made a Cacodemon completely out of plasticine. Included in this WAD is said Cacodemon and a small demo level.
The Cacodemon itself is simply a plasticine version of its pixelated counterpart. The detail is actually pretty impressive, with the various appendages and ridges in the back clearly visible. The Caco might look a little goofy when viewed by itself, but it can become very creepy looking when used in a WAD. The only part I didn't like is the somewhat wacky color reduction, but Maes has promised to fix that. Other than that, this alternative Caco makes a fun little addition to an existing map.
Hexen: Beyond Heretic DEMO - Raven Software & id Software
n/a - n/a - 5652763 bytes
Reviewed by: Phil1984
I wonder if we lived in some bizzaro parallel universe where Hexen was released before Doom, would we be visiting www.hexenworld.com instead with only a section on /idgames with a few hundred custom maps to remind us that a game called Doom ever existed? Probably not, as even though Hexen was technically more advanced, its slower puzzle based gameplay coupled with weapons that were certainly not as satisfying to use as say the shotgun and BFG meant that it lost much of Doom's charm. Even in a universe where Hexen was released first I'm pretty sure Doom would still have become the dominant FPS of that era.
With that in mind, Hexen is certainly not a bad game and is worth a play through if you have not done so already. While its obviously based on the Doom engine there are more than enough changes to keep things fresh and interesting even if overall it's a poorer game than its predecessor. This particular file is a four level demo that was released several weeks before the commercial version was released. It was uploaded only for historical purposes as the demo was re-released with a few bugs fixed and I recommend that if you are after the Hexen demo to give the game a try, you download the newer version.
Oniria 2 - Aluqah
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1667820 bytes -
Reviewed by: caco_killer
Like the first wad, Oniria 2 is about waking up from a nightmare. It is not scary at all. You have to explore a strange dream world, killing demons along the way as you try and wake up.
The game play is fairly challenging, with well-designed encounters and a fair amount of health and ammo. There are four new monsters, the aptly named Spider Man (picture a human head attached to spider legs), a recolored Baron of Hell that can throw two fireballs at once, a recolored Hell Knight with a wide fireball attack (that can kill you instantly if you are too close to it), and the boss (that I will not describe since I do not think I should spoil it). Imps, Cacodemons, and Revenants have been recolored, but they do not behave any differently than before.
Unlike basically every wad I have played, Orinia 2 does not start you off with the pistol. It starts you with the shotgun (which looks just like the one in Duke Nukem 3D, minus the nuke symbol). I found it weird to use slot 2 for this weapon, as shotguns are typically in slot 3. The other weapons you get to use here are in their normal slots. The chain gun, rocket launcher, and plasma rifle have new graphics as well.
The level design is pretty good. As I mentioned earlier, the encounters are well-designed. I played this on Ultra Violence, and I felt the enemy count was just right. I never felt completely overwhelmed or bored.
There is one part of the level that I found a bit frustrating, though. At one point you have to hit these switches at each end of a room to open the door. However, Revenants will appear when you do this. The platform is quite narrow, with a fence along the edge and some thin pillars, so it is very difficult to avoid their attacks. There is also Spider Men who come in from the door that opens up, and they sneaked up on me on several attempts. I eventually figured out how to use the pillars for cover to take down the Revenants, and then I walked over to the doorway to take out the Spider Men.
Graphically, the level is a mixed bag. I think it does a good job of looking like a dream world, but I do not like the use of Doom textures with solid red, black, white, blue, and green. The colors kind of clash to me.
Overall, Oniria 2 is solid wad that is worth checking out.
RUINS - Joe Anderson
ZDoom Compatible - SP/DM - 261809 bytes -
Reviewed by: Kirby
We meet again, Mr. Anderson.
After reading the text file and looking back on his previous work, I've decided to take this wad under a more "educational" light. Joe seems to be trying to improve his mapping skills, and as such has moved over to using some ZDoom features in his latests wad, The Ruins.
You're getting better Joe, but there's still plenty of work to be had. I'll point out first that you are starting to vary up your areas a bit more, including more variance in sector heights and a small increase in detailing. This is good, and shows that you're starting to get the idea of what details look good in a map.
Unfortunately, most of your areas are still bland for the most part. Slopes are a good idea, but when you send them sky high and don't scale the textures, you get complete eyesores. Your texture variance starting to improve, but you need to stop clashing them together by going directly from one to another. Other areas still do suffer from only having one texture/flat plastered everywhere, so keep an eye on large sectors that might do this. In terms of your ZDoom effects, your deep water areas all would benefit from colored sectors. Simply jumping into water to find a brighter sector underneath does not look all too satisfying.
Lastly, you have the right idea with the light sources, but try using something less cartoony than what you have right now. Most of the default Doom decorations would work fine, but if you insist on using your own, try and make it seem more "Doomy" if anything.
It's still not something I would recommend playing yet, but keep up the progress. You'll churn out something more playable if you take in the criticism.
A Great Day in Hell - TingoDoomer
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 1954 bytes
Reviewed by: Mr. Freeze
[Ed: No screenshots because MediaFire failed again.]
This WAD is a massive, bizarrely textured hallway with a bunch of Megaspheres, a BFG, and a few Cybies. As you can tell from the screenshot, the quality is nonexistent. You fight the Cybies, you run over to a exit door texture and you "win". I put "win" in quotations because beating this WAD has no reward, except for realizing you just wasted 3 minutes of your life.
Deus Vult Zero: The Shadowrunner Edition - Huykuto No Pham
Limit Removing - SP/Co-op - 3898594 bytes -
Reviewed by: Csonicgo
The Doom community has rare occurrences where a newbie's first project ends up being ranked with veteran-created WADs. Deus Vult was one of those WADs, and due to its massive size, it broke many source ports in the process. However this year I have been shown a prototype of Deus Vult that happened to be saved during its development that gives an interesting look as to what ideas were tried, and what could have been. When asked to look at it and then to review it, I said, "I'd love to review it, I love massive wads that bludgeon me with a medieval torture device!" (Note to self: Shut your damn mouth.)
Being that this is a prototype, it's akin to seeing that Doom alpha map of E1M6 in which it transformed from a circular shape to an easier branched layout. The DV prototype seems to focus on the familiar blue "core" rooms and the other large rooms that made it in the final game, such as the cathedral, but the paths are very, very different. In fact, other than a few select rooms, the prototype could very well stand in its own right as another DV installment, an HR lover's paradise.
That being said, there's some obvious differences, and honestly, from playing the final version and then this, it's a good thing this wasn't the final version. Why? OH I'LL TELL YOU WHY. IT'S FRIGGING IMPOSSIBLE.
I am NOT joking. This map will make you throw Doom down for good if you let it. You'll never want to see another imp for the rest of your days. In fact, I can safely say that Doom Marine knew that imps were annoying, and exploited the hell out of them and any other projectile-flinging monster by throwing them in cages and traps. Lots of traps. Teleporter traps. Oh-shit-they-just-keep-coming traps. Oh-god-save-me traps. WHAT-THE-FUCK-RESURRECTED-EVERY-DAMN-MONSTER-IN-THIS-ROOM-I-CLEARED traps. Fuck-this-stupid-map traps. You know those? Yeah.
I refrain from doing a review of each and every change because the review would turn into a walkthrough. What I can say is that this is Deus Vult in its development stages, and, scarily enough, this almost became the final version. Praise Jesus it wasn't.
The major changes seem to be the absence of the circular slime room at the beginning and in its place a weird clusterfuck of tunnels, cheap traps, huge raperooms, triggered secrets and item hunts. Every "new" room in this version screams "un-playtested", "ridiculous" and "rape." Mostly rape.
The recipe this WAD follows can be summed up in my experience with the first lava room. Follow along with me if you will. First, you prepare by flipping switches in hallways to trigger traps that I can only describe as breaking an artery, but instead of blood, Hell Knights pour out. Next, mix in Lost Souls that are used in the smallest areas conceivable, in the most subtle of areas, where you least expect it, in trap doors activated by triggers throughout the map. Beat the mixture with platforms that take 30 seconds or more to lower. Pour mixture into a room with structures which lower to expose 15+ high level monsters. Throw on a good helping of Barons in every corner possible, garnish with teleporters placed in the most annoying of places, and top it with a dollop of switches placed in the least obvious space in the room imaginable. Bake in the oven for your own rape cake!
And if you want seconds... there's the obvious booby traps. For example, in one of the prototype rooms, there's a center area where a Megasphere sits alone on a pedestal. As if it was a shining light. But just by looking at the way that room is designed, you damn well know it's a set up. You'll sit there for a second, save your game, and wonder how the hell you can bypass it. But you must grab the powerup. You have to or you can't progress. It's a pressuring decision in that there's only one choice, but instead of a positive outcome, you just get a cocktease and a swift kick in the balls. Consider such places Russian roulette with all chambers loaded.
This level surpasses rape, necrophilia, dismemberment, masochism, or any sort of truly disgusting fetish anyone could possibly think of. It possibly ascends into whole new levels of wrong. In fact, this requires a new word for wrong. I propose it to be called, "Deus Vult".
This WAD is Deus Vult.
There's no way to play this. In fact, there's no way to make a UVMAX for this. Not even a UV NORMAL, if that exists. If Adam Hegyi had nightmares, this would probably be one of them. In fact, I'm so convinced that this clusterfuck of a WAD is impossible, I am holding a bet: You tyson this and beat it, I will fly myself (on your dime) to your house to suck your dick and dub you the King of England - because else you are either Belial in god mode, or you're a goddamned liar.
Co-op is possible I assume, but you would run out of ammo immediately. Actually, you juuust might have enough ammo, but since items are scattered all over the place in every corner, nook and cranny that exists, trying to find them is like a hellish Easter egg hunt. And instead of candy, it's the Holocaust - because 50% of the items that are "hidden" are booby-trapped. It's just one Zyklon B canister after another. On a side note, I didn't know Hell knew how to make IEDs. Perhaps the Doomguy should carry Silly String.
I cannot stress enough that you take a sick leave or have a paramedic with defibrillator and smelling salts at the ready when playing this. This really is the worst version of DV to exist.
But in all seriousness you're probably looking for a real review of this. It's basically the same thing as the original DV, but the map itself looks a little.... OK, its a LOT different. As you can see from the automap image here- hey wait a minute...
IT'S A MODIFIED 1SQUARES.WAD. Son. Of. A. Bitch.
Someone give me Morphine.
And for God's sake, don't play this.
Carsur - (Sniper) 101
doom2.exe - Solo Play - 1198180 bytes -
Reviewed by: ArmouredBlood
Two OK maps. The layouts are cramped and short but progressed all right. Architecture was simple but fit OK, although there were a lot of cases of doors needing lower unpeggeds and some general alignment stuff. The Doom 64 sounds felt really out of place, especially since the stock Doom music was still in. The meat of this wad is the gameplay.
MAP01 was 30 monsters long, quite literally, so there isn't much more to say regarding gameplay other than decent. The 2 medkits in the first room take the sting out of whatever hits you take in the map.
MAP02 is brutally simple - low health and room to dodge with plenty of enemies. This was a bit of a problem as there were quite a few hitscanners. I didn't die, but it came close, especially at the point overlooking the blue key door where the 2 cacos float up and plenty of hitscanners were to the right. The chainsaw segment is flawed; the demons aren't far back enough to stay deaf when you grab the stimpack before the chainsaw, and the fight becomes much more difficult with infinitely tall actors. It was much less brutal in ZDoom/Skulltag, but still punishing.
The end result is a few minutes of fun, some stuff to point out that should be fixed, and a lot of METAL2.
P.S. If you're reading this Sniper, I'd suggest posting your maps in WADs & Mods first so people can suggest stuff to fix, as it wouldn't take much to make these maps good.
The /newstuff Chronicles #356