The Great Bicycle Mystery 2 - TheCupboard & Worst-vd-Plas
ZDaemon - Co-op - 7527152 bytes -
Reviewed by: magicsofa
Like any jokewad, the Great Bicycle Mystery 2 features zany and unpredictable (but fun!) gameplay, eclectic texturing and architecture that challenge the mind yet please the eye, interesting environments to explore, creative secrets, custom content, a riveting story, and to top it all off, it's geared specifically toward co-op!
Actually I lied about the story.
Now, in all seriousness, this is just an awesome megawad. Deathz0r gave the first installment wad of the week, for which I would certainly nominate this again. According to the text file this includes updated versions of the original 15 maps, and 17 new ones. During coop play, players will have to wait 30 seconds to respawn in a cute little holding area ("semi-survival").
I could almost complain about the monster and item placement, mostly because it seems totally random. Groups of monsters often include several monster types - however, despite this fact, the battles are super fun. Ammo and health are basically everywhere, but since this is really meant for you and some buddies to blast through on high difficulty, it's totally fine. The architecture and texturing are absolutely crazy, but look great. Although they all have some wacky spin, the maps feel like places instead of abstract geometry.
With all those excellent elements, I often forgot about the intended humor in this wad, but along the way the crazy constructions made me SMILE. Possibly the scariest moment during any Doom game...
Doom Classic iPhone source - id Software
n/a - n/a - 1291510 bytes
Reviewed by: Super Jamie
As the name suggests, this is the Doom Classic source code for the iPhone. It's the id Software-made port of PrBoom to that platform released under the GNU GPL due to John Carmack's excellent software philanthropy that allows source ports we all know and love and makes Doom popular even today.
Revenge: a classic DOOM experience - Richard Smith Long
GZDoom - Solo Play - 2244589 bytes -
Reviewed by: Traysandor
Revenge: A Classic Doom Experience is a weapons and monster mod for original Doom. It takes most of your favorite weapons from the game and adds a reloading factor to most of them. But just because you make a reloading weapons mod doesn't necessarily mean it's that good.
Pistol - This reloading variation of the pistol renders the weapon almost useless. The firing rate is slower than the standard Doom pistol, though it is slightly stronger. You fire 10 shots before needing to reload. Overall though, you shouldn't be running around in Hell very long armed with this weapon, because you'll wind up dead fast.
Shotgun - This shotgun variant overall is somewhat more trustworthy than the measly pistol. It fires roughly twice as fast as the standard shotgun, making clearing a small group of monsters out much easier. However, you'll need to reload after firing 8 shots, which could make or break you in a hectic showdown. Overall, it's some good, some bad, and MUCH better than the pistol.
Minigun - This chaingun replacement makes life a little easier. It needs a brief moment to warm up, then fires mass quantities of bullets in the general direction of where you're aiming. Though the bullets for this weapon are slightly weaker than the chaingun, if you need a weapon great for crowd control that can fire mass quantities of bullets in a short amount of time, this is your answer. It's hard to say which is better, the standard chaingun or this minigun.
Rocket Launcher/Grenade Pistol - Just when things were getting decent, this stinker drops on us. Essentially a rocket launcher that you have to reload after every single shot significantly reduces the damage output of this weapon, just when you need it most against a group of tough monsters.
Plasma Gun - It's basically the old plasma gun with a new sprite. Nothing much more to say about this one.
Railgun - A little something I stumbled across while messing around in E4, this fairly strong variation of the railgun was quite nice to play around with. Sure it takes 10 cells per shot, but with the fact that it's as strong as an SSG blast and can penetrate multiple targets, the cost is worth it if used right.
BFG 9001 - The sprite is ripped from Skulltag (BFG10k sprite, anyone?). The warm-up charge takes a little longer, but you get what you pay for in a powerful BFG blast that does more damage (sprays more of those invisible ray-things that do damage).
As for new monsters, the only thing I really noticed were the Rocket Trooper (Suicide soldier), and the Lord of Heresy replacing the standard Baron, neither of which were particularly new or impressive.
Overall, this is a largely unimpressive mod. The reloading bits may seem like a good idea at first, but the guns for the most part didn't make the grade. The "new" monsters aren't really anything impressive either. I recommend that you play... something else.
Base Ganymede E1 - Adam "Khorus" Woodmansey
doom.exe - Solo Play - 608159 bytes -
Reviewed by: Super Jamie
Base Ganymede is an 8-map Episode 1 replacement requiring the Ultimate Doom IWAD (just registered Doom is not enough). It's no secret I'm a fan of classic gameplay and often complain about the lack of good Doom 1 PWADs, so I was quite excited to play this when I saw it appear on /idgames.
The design of the maps is quite attractive; there are classic-styled large areas and featureless walls coupled with some more precise detailing such as borders around ledges and 4-high walkways. It's not a typical Vanilla look but it does work well. There's a new nighttime sky with a planet in it that fits in great. Thematically the levels start in techbases built into and around natural rock, polluted with the UAC's nukage. The marbles, woods and vines of hell start gradually creeping into the look about halfway through.
The maps have good layouts; they're easy to navigate around and areas are very recognisable both on-screen and on the automap. 8 maps means there's no secret level and indeed only 2 secrets in the whole mapset, which seemed very odd to me--look for them on E1M3 and E1M6. Most levels have multiple routes around a key point, which gives a pleasant non-linear feel to things without being confusing or switch-hunty. All maps have given provision for pistol starts, though playing this way I found myself short on ammo or confined to the pistol a little more often than I'd like. Health is generally pretty sparse, and it can often be long between armor pickups. Apart from a few places where monsters below stop you dropping down off a ledge (due to Doom's infinite thing height) Base Ganymede is quite solid in the mapping department.
Considering most PWADs are made for Doom 2, making good battles with the fewer monsters and weapons available in Doom 1 can be challenging. This is something sets like Back 2 Basics or Needs More Detail do well, with the player not even realising they are playing with a limited resource set. I'm sorry to say this is where Base Ganymede fell down for me. There are definitely some intense firefights which are a fun challenge, but for the most part the early battles just seemed concerned with whittling down health with too many Zombies and Imps, while many later battles resorted to cheap traps requiring prior knowledge of to escape death. The finale at E1M8 seemed very anti-climatic, placing you in a fairly small, almost coverless arena with a trapped Spider Mastermind. The idea being you run like mad between teleporters to eventually telefrag the Spider and hit the exit switch.
Then again, maybe this is just beyond my individual skill level. Other Doomers I've spoken to have enjoyed the levels and there are already several 5/5 votes on /idgames. I definitely recommend you play this one and find out for yourself.
Processing Bunker - Paul Corfiatis (pcorf)
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 354422 bytes -
Reviewed by: [WH]-Wilou84
A map by Paul Corfiatis, the co-author of the megawad Whispers of Satan. When WOS was released in 2009, it was well received and praised by the community, although many people complained about a few maps being too symmetrical and filled with copy-pasted parts. WOS's map 06 in particular was representative of that symmetry problem, and Paul wanted to redo it from scratch. Processing Bunker was then made as a map 06 replacement, yet Paul changed his mind and released this as a stand-alone map.
So what do we have here? Basically, Processing Bunker is a dark UAC base filled with hellspawn. It's quite hard; hitscanners are out in force, and items can be quite scarce if you don't find the much needed secret areas. Here the Berserk pack will be of good use if you want to spare ammo.
Progression is pretty linear (although you have a choice to take near the end), but it's interesting and there's a good sense of exploration. You'll end up visiting some areas multiple times, yet each time a new path will be revealed (see the area shown in screenshot 1 for instance). The layout is very well designed; good job from Paul here.
Theme is good, and stock Doom II textures are used well. Light gradients help a lot to enhance the creepy atmosphere.
Gameplay-wise, as said before, this map is hard. Traps are often predictable, but you'll have to be very careful if you want to survive, as there's not many health packs and ammo. The ending fight can be tricky if you can't manage to find the secret Plasma Gun.
This map would have been a perfect replacement for map 06 in Whispers of Satan, yet maybe difficulty should have been tuned down a bit in that case. I wish Mr. Corfiatis would keep making levels of this quality in the future.
Command Control 2 - Gary Hader
doom.exe - Solo Play - 33215 bytes
Reviewed by: hardcore_gamer
This either a troll map or a really shitty attempt at a joke WAD. The text file claims this is a remake of the Command control map from the Ultimate Doom, but this is basically just a re-textured (and a very poorly re-textured at that) version of the actual original map with more monsters. The key cards have also been relocated and the player for some reason doesn't spawn on the same place as he did on the original map. The ammo and health balance is also completely messed up; there are loads of health packs all over the place, but not anywhere near enough ammo. Monsters appear to have been thrown into the map mostly randomly. You have already played the original map so you already know what this map looks like, so why bother playing a new shitty and a unbalanced version of it?
Ignore this garbage, it's not worth your time, or anybody's time for that matter. I look forward to playing the other WADs that have been submitted, but I must delete this junk from my hard drive first.
Fortress of Mystery 2 - Gary Hader
doom.exe - Solo Play - 7553 bytes
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
A cheap copy of episode 2's secret level. Gameplay is almost exactly the same, plus the first door has a really ugly texture bug. Overall this looks like something that could have been from 1994 and doesn't deserve any shots. Skip this one.
Warrens 2 - Gary Hader
doom.exe - Solo Play - 19983 bytes
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
This level is a copy-pasted E3M9 with some texture and monster changes. It looks ugly and offers nothing new, plus you can't even finish it because you start in a different place and the author forgot to unlock a door that should be unlocked. I didn't bother to even take a screenshot as it doesn't deserve one. Avoid this map.
Cheogsh 2 - Shadowman, Guest
GZDoom - Solo Play - 26715920 bytes -
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
A 7-map hub for GZDoom, sequel to the first Cheogsh from 2007. Like the first one, this wad makes good use of new monsters and textures, plus the music suits the maps well. This time, all the ideas of the first Cheogsh are expanded upon. You'll notice plenty of elements in this wad that clearly remind you of its predecessor, yet each element/area has been expanded upon, turned into a decently sized level in its own right.
However, I didn't think the gameplay was quite so hot. It was okay, but there was a lot of tedious switch hunting, many frustrating moments, and even times where it took me a while to find out what to do next, that helped detract from the wad's fun factor. Also the final boss was almost unfairly hard and the ending is an anticlimax, amounting to nothing more than a lot of backtracking. Additionally you may have some framerate issues; Map02 (the almost all outside one) ran choppy on my machine. That being said I was still able to enjoy this wad a good amount of the time, and if you liked Cheogsh, this is definitely worth a look, at the very least, and it is clear a lot of effort went into it; overall, definitely an adventure worth giving a shot. Just prepare to be stuck and frustrated at some points during the adventure.
No-vixen Neodoom - Cutmanmike
n/a - Solo Play - 17350 bytes
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
A patch that, when loaded with the Neodoom megawad, removes the Vixen monsters (and replaces them with Cycloid Emporers). If you hated the Vixens, it might be worth giving Neodoom a try with this patch.
No Chance - Death-Destiny
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 448747 bytes -
Reviewed by: [WH]-Wilou84
Sometimes a title says it all.
Inspired by Erik Alm's eaxt.wad, this Boom-compatible map is probably one of the hardest levels ever made for Doom II. To quote a famous Japanese series, "you're already dead".
If you've played other maps by Death-Destiny, you probably know this guy had a knack for ultra-hard maps with genuine traps and monster placement. Here, the concept is pushed to the extreme. Lots of heavyweight monsters, many teleporting Arch-Viles, projectiles coming from everywhere...
At first, "No Chance" may look like a joke. But after a few tries, you'll realize there are actually some possible ways to go further in this map, and that it's not impossible to finish. This level is non-linear; you have to get three groups of keys in any order you want before having a chance to pass the dreadful ending pit. Gameplay-wise, you'll have to collect a few weapons and manage to set up some sort of safe(r) zone before you can progress. There are lots of traps--proceed with extreme caution. While you're given enough ammo to get the job done, health is really scarce. Mistakes aren't allowed here if you want to survive.
As always with Death-Destiny's work, traps and settings are really clever and effective. Rather than groups of monsters thrown together randomly, here everything's about strategically-placed enemies and choreographed fights. This kind of gameplay is art, yet you'll have to be a seasoned player to appreciate it. Other skill levels are implemented, if you want a more casual playthrough. Yet even on the easier skill settings, "No Chance" remains harder than most wads.
The level is also very appealing visually. Being set in a red hellish cave filled with lava, it's nicely decorated and the theme perfectly suits the ultra-hard gameplay.
"No Chance" is the hardest map Death-Destiny made. If you love slaughter maps and seemingly impossible tasks, go for it, you won't be disappointed. A full UV-Max demo for this level has yet to be seen.
(This map was made in 2008, yet it has never been uploaded to the archive until recently)
Disturbia - Death-Destiny
Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 894697 bytes -
Reviewed by: [WH]-Wilou84
Disturbia is a concept slaughtermap by Death-Destiny, set in an earthly theme vaguely reminiscent of "The Mucus Flow", B.R.P.D.'s map in Community Chest 2.
Architecture is grand-scale all the way through, with high buildings and canyons connecting a few invaded UAC outposts. There's also this DV-inspired giant mouth which leads to a hellish pit, nicely done. Attention has been put on detail and texture alignment, and in the end you have a very beautiful and epic map. Noticed a few texture misalignments, nothing too bad though.
Gameplay-wise, this map was based upon the fact that the Chaingun is often neglected in slaughtermaps, since it's lacking power against bigger foes. In Disturbia, you won't find any Shotgun, Super Shotgun, and Shotgunner. To compensate for this loss, you'll be granted a new weapon : the Super Chaingun, a black Chaingun with a faster rate of fire and doubled ammo capacity. Bullet power hasn't been upgraded, so you'll still need lots of ammo to kill those heavyweight monsters. Fear not, though, as there's usually enough ammo in the starting area and in the various locked caches you'll find.
The Super Chaingun's sound is weak, yet maybe it's better that way cause you'll have to hear it a lot during your playthrough.
The map is very hard; even this new weapon won't save you from lots of deaths. Default skill level here is Hurt Me Plenty, not Ultra-Violence. The ending part in particular is really cruel and unforgiving, with many Arch-Viles and Cyberdemons.
You'll often have to go back and restock your weapons in the starting area. There's also a network of teleporters connecting this area to various secret places in the level, provided you can find them, so that you won't spend hours backtracking.
Disturbia is often considered to be Death-Destiny's most impressive work, as it's a long and epic map, with hard, exciting and varied gameplay. This map is highly recommended if you can cope with the extreme challenge it provides!
(Disturbia was made in 2008, yet it has never been uploaded to the archive until recently)
The City of The Damned Apocalypse - Daniel "Tormentor667" Gimmer
GZDoom - Solo Play - 25669012 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jekyll Grim Payne
...It begins on a gloomy, foggy shore, under frighteningly big moon. A piece of paper is lying on the ground -- a letter, full of fear, telling you about the danger that lies ahead. The one who wrote it is now probably lying somewhere on the bottom of the sea, under the black waters. The letter begs you not to go further, but, of course, you do. Going through misty forest, armed with nothing but a pitchfork, you fight demonic creatures and finally reach the city. The City of the Damned. And at that moment you don't know, that the worst hasn't even started...
Basically, it's Blood. Mixed with a little of Resident Evil, a piece of Silent Hill, and a sense of those FPS-horrors like Undying and Call of Ctulhu. Still, most of the features are from Blood; in contrast to the first TCOTD, TCOTD:A is not just a Doom wad with Blood textures, it's actually a total conversion, where you will find new enemies, new weapons and a rather unique "sandbox" gameplay. Of course, there are a lot of locked doors and blocked passages, which require finding keys and solving puzzles, but you can move in the city and even around it (and the territory around it is quite large itself) rather freely. It's your choice whether you want to look around the houses, visit the cemetery, go deeper in the city, or walk around the mansion and the church located outside the city walls.
You discover the mystery step by step. At the same moment, you are not obliged to follow the plot: even if you skip all the letters and messages (shown not as boring hudmessages, but as beautifully drawn hi-res pictures of letters, book pages, etc.), you will still eventually find all the necessary items and beat the level. There are at least two parts of the city which you can skip completely, if you're not interested. But you probably will be...
It's not easy, by the way. You will remember old Resident Evils more than once: Normal as the easiest difficulty level, modest amount of ammo, and rather rough enemies. Besides, being in the "sandbox" you can easily choose a "wrong" way (ending with some door for which you don't yet have the key) and suddenly bump in a bunch of demons you are not prepared for. You'll have to investigate the territory and develop a route. (Even though, trust me, it's much easier than original TCOTD:A 1.0)
But let's leave these borings details aside. The level is great: it looks great, it feels great, it plays great, and it's also great in size. Besides, it has a well-presented plot and "sandbox". Just go and play it already.
And remember: when you hear a siren, run to the Moon Shelter as fast as your legs can carry you...
Legacy Of Suffering - v1.01 - Logan MTM
GZDoom - Solo Play - 92081211 bytes -
Reviewed by: Traysandor
Legacy of Suffering is a 9-level episode, depicting what Doom may have been like if it were to be given a Doom 3-like atmosphere. Along with GZDoom, Legacy of Suffering can also be run in the latest version of Skulltag with the included patch.
In these 9 levels you will find some very good detailing (even though the vast majority of the levels is fairly dark, you'll probably want to use a lighting cheat to look at the work done here), as well as usage of 3D floors and bridges to add to the ambiance and the flow of the levels. The story in this wad is overall fairly minimal, but it serves the purpose of adding a little something extra to the wad. The main story is 8 maps long in a techbase style with a definite sense of progression, complete with a tough final boss battle. There's also an extra hell-themed level at the end after the credits.
On to the wad itself, most of the levels are relatively short and for the most part not too hard to navigate through. However, the absence of an automap may make things annoying for players who are not so good at remembering where key things are in the levels. The difficulty is somewhat prohibitive on UV; it felt like a HR-style slaughterfest at times when I was battling through wave after wave of reinforcements. If you're not a fan of killing lots of monsters while somehow surviving, you should definitely consider knocking the skill level down a notch or two.
I found the ammo balance tilted a bit towards the player for the most part--I was never in any real danger of ever running out of ammo at any point. Your player also regenerates health, at the rate of 1% per second, which helps some on the higher difficulties. Also of note is that your player also slows down a bit when he is seriously injured (less than 20% health), making him easier to pick off if he is weak.
Two new weapons make their debut in this wad, along with some new sprites for other weapons. The first one you'll see is the Cannon Shotgun. While it looks like a quad shotgun, this weapon is a little different than quad shotguns you might have used in the past. You have the option of firing a single shotgun shell from the weapon, or you can fire all four shells at once (alt-fire only if 4 shells are in the chamber). It's also the only weapon that has to be manually reloaded with the alt-fire button. This weapon is also very powerful (perhaps a bit too much so), as it can kill a hell knight in one shot at close range.
Also new to the weapons cache is a minigun-rocket launcher combination weapon, which you'll have to steal from the dead corpse of a certain boss. This gun renders the standard chaingun obsolete when you get it, as you can fire rounds at a very fast rate -- or rockets with the alt-fire. As for the new sprites, the chainsaw sprite looks like the one you see in Doom 3. The shotgun and SSG are more or less the same, and the plasma gun has a neat new sprite I kinda liked too.
At the time of this review's writing, the wad has already won a Cacoward, and it's easy to see why if you play through this wad. And while there are a few things you could nitpick this wad about (too difficult, too dark, the hellish mark thing gets old fast, just to name a few), overall this is a top-notch quality wad that is highly recommended. I liked most of what I saw here, and most of the Dooming community did too.
Baker's Dozen - Alexander "Eternal" S. (aka Deadall)
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 4979895 bytes -
Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
As the title suggests, this wad contains thirteen maps. The maps really have no constant theme as they are essentially taken from different projects, but as is usual for this author, the standard overall is pretty high. My favorite maps were 01, 02, 03, 09, 12, and 13, but all the maps are worth a look, and many are a good challenge. On a final note, the text file claims Map13 was made in just 4 hours, and if that isn't a lie, that's an incredible feat (play it and you'll see why). My only real complaint with this wad is that some of the sprite edits really add nothing new, but it didn't really hurt the experience. Also the elements (such as the status bar and some monsters/sounds) taken from Eternal Doom aren't really necessary. Overall I'd recommend you download and play this stuff if you haven't already.
The /newstuff Chronicles #359