Mobius - DartPower
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 97492887 bytes -
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
So here we are, a wad which has defeated countless potential reviewers who lack the life experience and determination of this Tanith warrior. Weirdness doesn't put me off. I think I've got what it takes to handle Mobius.
The author of Mobius, whose previous achievements include "some random crap and old very crappy mod" (his words, not mine), describes himself as a "Goodly Game Mapper"; I found his comment that this is attributed to his "brain and hands" oddly touching, if you'll pardon the possible pun, but I've got to admit I was concerned when I read "??? (Sorry my bad english, i don't what this :/)" - some people just have to add one sentence too many.
I'm using a 50mb Virgin Broadband connection. I don't know if you're aware of the state of broadband in Britain today but I'll sum it up in three words: it's fething embarrassing. We're only just getting onto 3G as well. Yes I know the fething Yanks are starting with 4G. For some reason, my area (which is dominated by hundreds of square miles of Yorkshire countryside) has some of the best connection speeds available in the UK.
It took me nearly 10 minutes to download this wad.
I was reminded of back in the late 90s when I was feverishly waiting for Alien Vendetta, Requiem et al. to download on my 56kbps connection. Congratulations, author of Mobius.wad, you've succeeded in transporting me back nearly 15 years. When you open the zip file you get a very large .pk7 wad and a fething massive .pk3. This had better be excellent.
But it isn't. It's a fething abomination.
The text file states this was tested in ZDoom. So I tried to load it in ZDoom and got an error. OK, I'll just download a whole new bloody source port and spend ages configuring it and no doubt cursing its difference from the familiar ZDoom. I've only used Skulltag once before, years ago, and in my ignorance I associate it with deathmatches that are very different from the Doom feel. Skulltag also took ages to download; today's a bad day for downloading in the Yorkshire Dales. So I get Skulltag working despite an absence of instructions and I STILL can't get fething Mobius running. Finally I updated to the newest stable ZDoom and everything was running OK, despite a litany of "missing textures".
This wad is split into 4 episodes:
HELL ON EARTH
This is simply the Doom 2 maps with added content. You get new music, including some tracks from Ultimate Doom. Interestingly the zombies and weapons are random each time you play the maps. They're always in the same place, they're just different; you might get a shotgun zombie in one game, the next time you play the map (if you restart or get killed) it might be a sniper zombie and so forth. There would be constant, endless reply value if a) we hadn't all played these maps ten million times over a period of nearly 20 years and b) the new content was any good.
You get a chance to check most of the weapons out. And my, are there a lot of weapons. So many, in fact, that the choice itself reveals some of the limitations of Doom and/or some of its modders. Is there any real need for half a dozen new pistols that behave just like the old one? Also, some weapons require reloading (often immediately upon selection, which is frustrating), while others don't. This just jars and breaks the flow. If ALL weapons either reloaded or didn't need to, it would be OK.
Some of the new weapons are amateurish, and are positioned too far to the left, so you can see where the graphics simply end – the magnum is pretty bad for this when you're blasting away as the weapon's barrel simply "clips" out of the frame for a moment.
Generally though the new zombies look good – except for the giant Nazis.
Many Doom veterans will be familiar with these. You're in a very crude looking forest at sunset or midnight depending on the map. Your objective is not clear, so I'll spell it out here: find the exit, fast. There is a ghoul in the woods and it's a screaming horror that will rip you to shreds immediately. This tested my Tanith reflexes but ultimately the Ghoul maps are little more than a distraction.
This is when things get fething bizarre. The first map is called Fucky Train. I'm willing to bet the majority of gamers will find this map impossible. You're on a fast-moving train surrounded by random monsters who, depending on the random deployment, can shred you instantly. While many of the new zombies and monsters do look good, particularly some of the new Cacodemons, they possess a variety of annoying abilities such as the ability to vomit trees which pin you in place for an irritating amount of time. Yes, you read that right, their attacks create trees. By the way, you die if you fall off the train. If you're using God mode then the train rapidly leaves you behind. I hope you're good at straferunning.
As you progress through the map things get ridiculous. There are tall baddies, short baddies, creatures every colour of the rainbow. I liked the Blue Hell Knights – don't ask way. There are baddies which spit missiles (and trees), they use railguns, and most of them make a really irritating bird screech when they are injured. The worst enemies are robots that move like they're auditioning for fething Dancing on Ice and simply don't fit in with anything else about Doom.
Then the waves of Ghouls close in. If you aren't IDDQDing it by now, you soon will be. I've got to admit the music for this map is incredibly catchy and the sheer inventiveness of this wad as a whole often breathtaking, particularly the random monsters/weapons, even though the experience of Mobius overall is like sitting on the toilet and trying to pass a pineapple while reading a bus timetable.
Map 2 is called Club Doom. It seems to crash whenever I die, which is often. I don't know how to cheat to change maps on this wad so I just clipped through to check the rest out. It's hard to believe anyone would put so much obvious effort into this crapheap of a wad, but I might as well do the author some justice by checking this crap out. It's like reaching into the bog and rooting through someone's poo. (That's the scatological references for this review in case you were wondering when they were going to happen.)
Maps 3 and 5 are direct rip-offs of the originals. Are people even allowed to upload these? Map 4 is called Strange Place and takes place in a stone circle at the dead of night. After map 6, which is a direct rip of The Pit, I stopped playing this episode... I'm too sane to understand it, and I plan to stay that way.
The music, again, was consistently very good throughout this episode and if I knew how to skip maps I'd like to listen to them some more. Frankly the maps themselves are unplayable. I get the increasing feeling that there is something wrong with the wad author. I'm sorry to have to say that I genuinely believe it's true.
Here for the final episode (thank feth!) we have a strange and very disturbing series of remakes from Ultimate Doom and Doom 2. Again, I didn't think this was allowed, but since people think that every wad ever made belongs in the archives, behold the fruits of what you have sown.
Special mention goes to the Hockey map which is utter, unbelievable crud. I honestly do feel that the author is on a different plane of reality to the rest of us and I get the impression this is supposed to be some kind of genuine masterwork. Maybe it would be – in hell. Mobius showcases some of what is right with Doom today – the effort, the originality – and is also a poster child for insane, ridiculous cramming of bad and unworkable ideas that should never have left the author's mind.
So in conclusion, what do I make of Mobius.wad? We've got four completely different episodes each showcasing the author's strangeness and ability to "borrow" material from other sources. Its weirdness is epic, its ability to defeat potential reviewers mythic, and its amazing insight into the mind of a mapper who could have been a real genius is almost worth the difficulty I had getting the bloody thing working.
Note that I said ALMOST. I would heartily recommend that Doomers stay away from this mental infestation lest its madness spread to them. On the other hand, its sheer craziness, its whacked-out WEIRDNESS cannot be denied and should at least be experienced to see how bad things can get. It's like if someone gave you a book to read and it was your choice whether to read it or not; if you didn't read it, things wouldn't change, but you'd continue for the rest of your life in ignorance from some terrible knowledge. On the other hand if you decide to read the book, there could be some incredible mega-revelation which will poison your soul, but could affect destiny as you know it.
Or am I just getting flowery over a piece of shit that someone parped out for a laugh? Who will ever know?
Skulltag Soccer - The authors of ZFBall, Brandon Del Bel, and Nicholas "Tiger" Gautier
Skulltag - Team DM - 2163096 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
This is a fancy and interesting mapset for Skulltag (originally made for the beloved good old ZDaemon port) that turns you into a football star like Ronaldinho or Eto'o!
Whatever, you've got 5 different stadiums where you can "play" exciting matches with your friend over the Internet, set in the most fair weird places where people can buy a stadium: you run around kicking balls around classic stadiums, or a prison yard, an oil rig (actually, one the worst in gameplay sense) or even more a stadium erected in the middle of a creepy forest and at last, an indoor football yard (looks like a school gym...). All this could be awesome if Brandon del Bel and Nicholas Gautler made it work for the port that they want to remake their mod! Anyway, I tried to play this using the bots but the level crashes, and you know you start to love this kind of shit when it happens...
If you're a fan of football or not, well this one will like it at you for sure (if you like huge open places, bro), but just give to this wad a look....
In a sentence: Good maps, but the multiplayer stuff fails hard. Whatever, enjoyable.
Russian Arsenal REVISED - zer0 aka Jekyll Grim Payne
GZDoom - n/a - 25105914 bytes -
Reviewed by: Foodles
The REVISED edition of Russian Arsenal features 9 new weapons which are all based on their real life counterparts, but not being a gun nut I'd only heard of the AK-47 (which replaces the plasma rifle) before playing this. Some of the enemies (the human ones) have been modified and now sport these new weapons, and there is a new zombie foe which wields the OTS-33 Pernach, and I'm sure that we all know what that is. The description on the text file says that the guns don't look too hot and I would have to agree on that front; the new high res sprites look completely out of place within the Doom environment. The worst offenders are, no doubt, the dropped weapon sprites, so you should endeavor to pick these up as soon as possible to preserve the health of your eyes.
The performance of the weapons varies; some of the guns are very fun to use like the new shotgun (the so-called Saiga 12k) which is now semi-automatic and can be whipped out for pretty much any battle. However, it may be a little overpowered, and you could quite easily go through the game using only this weapon (assuming that you had enough shells). The replacement for the chaingun (the PP-19 Bizon SMG) is another crowd pleaser which has a faster rate of fire than the original (if not necessarily more powerful) and is very satisfying for mowing down hordes of lesser enemies, or reducing some of the larger ones to shreds in a single magazine.
Some weapons seem poorly thought out though, like the new SSG (the TOZ-34) which features a pointless single shot mode and is inferior to the regular shotgun in every way, having less shells before needing to reload, a slower rate of fire, and pretty much the same damage as the standard shotgun, leaving you to wonder why anyone would choose to use it. The new BFG, which is now a RPG-7, can only be used if you are 10 miles away from the enemies or else you'll blow yourself up which can be very annoying. While I can understand that this adds to the realism that this mod strives to achieve, it also detracts from the fun factor and limits the situations in which the weapon can be used; furthermore, compared to the BFG the RPG-7 doesn't have as much spread and is less effective at taking down large hordes of baddies.
There are now 2 pistols which both use the same ammo as the new chaingun, one of the pistols (the Makarov) is pretty much the same as the original Doom pistol, whilst the other (the aforementioned OTS-33 PERNACH) is fully automatic with a high rate of fire, but it's less accurate that the PP-19 Bizon (the chaingun) and deals less damage, so basically it's an obsolete weapon because it fills no specific purpose in the game. The RG-6 (rocket launcher) is certainly powerful and fun to use, but its long reload time can be fatal if you're not careful, which brings me on to my next point, that of reloading. Whilst this feature may be new and dynamic to any one who has spent their whole lives using the original weapons like myself, it soon becomes clear that these weapons would be a lot more fun to use without it. Unless you crave realism (but let's face it, people like that are probably off playing Counter Strike, not Doom) then reloading doesn't really add anything to the game and indeed, makes some weapons almost unusable like the RG-6.
Nevertheless, my favourite weapon in the set isn't affected by reloading, because it's the knife. Going round and pressing alt-fire activates some sort of death-stab whereupon (if you have a beserk) all but the toughest enemies fall before you from one fatal strike, as you plunge the knife deep into their corrupt and blackened hearts which is very satisfying, if not entirely reckless and foolhardy, since this manouvre usually leaves you in close proximity with monsters which don't hesitate to blast your face off.
So to wrap up, the new sprites may stick out like a sore thumb and some of the weapons may be useless, but going through the Doom II levels using them provides a new experience and can be very entertaining. Also I would say that using these weapons makes the game easier, but not ridiculously so. Download if you want to have some fun, in a crude, unrefined kind of way.
Whitemare - Russian Doom Community (see below)
Limit Removing - Solo Play - 10469236 bytes -
Reviewed by: fullmetalvaran33
"Whitemare" is a 2011 19-level megaWAD created by members of the Russian Doom Community, and it features a continuous theme: winter. I haven't encountered many WADs with a winter theme, and the only other megaWAD I can remember that used the winter theme throughout was "Cold As Hell." This seems to work for and against it: for it in the sense that it's a rare them out there, but against it in the sense that not many are going to like 19 maps of winter. I personally, didn't mind it—the theme was fine. I just wish some maps were...better.
But that is what one can expect from a community compilation megaWAD: you'll have your one or two classics, handful of very good gems, and a handful of average/above average maps, and maybe one or two duds. "Whitemare" follows the formula to a T, and it does do a fairly good job at utilizing the winter theme, but, in the end, I did feel like most of the maps didn't push the theme to its limits. Then again, maybe there just aren't enough winter-y resources out there?
The sizes of the maps varies, as does the gameplay difficulty. It ranges from relatively easy to ball-bustingly hard. Map 1, "Ice Canyon," gets you off to a good start with some tight ammo placement in the beginning, and you encounter an ambush of Imps, Hell Knights, and Spectres in a small, rugged ice cave. It...doesn't get much better in terms of gameplay. Ammo placement improves but this map has a hard-on for Revenant gang bangs. Map 2, "North Base," starts out deceptively easier, but, it doesn't stay that way in the latter half, which (while pulling a watered down "Grove" with its snowy canyon filled wall to wall with dead trees), throws at you a killer ambush that includes an Arch-Vile surprise attack where the blue key is located.
Maps 3 and 4 are a couple of average maps, and it's not until map 5 that things kind of pick up. This map, which is essentially icy tunnels and caves connected together, uses the "Nutcracker" theme as the music. It starts out hilariously cute and light-hearted, then it changes into a hardcore, bad ass remix that better suits Doom. The map itself is nicely done, and the rugged terrain was fun...well, until the cave with three Arch-Viles. Then the visuals just kind of...didn't matter much. But the blood-filled stone wells with mutilated corpses hanging above did catch my attention. I guess the Arch-Viles were supposed to be in charge of...blood sacrifices. Or something.
Probably the easiest and least impressive map is map 7, "Ledges of Pain." Despite the title, it's really just a weak "Winter Wonderland" version of "Dead Simple" with three Mancubuses and three Arachnotrons. I played this on UV and that's what I got. It's sort of difficult, but it's nothing like the original "Dead Simple." If you're going to remake a classic map, at least match its difficulty level—or rise above it. Map 7 isn't a dud, but it's rather forgettable.
Maps 9 and 10 are extremely dinky little things with map 10 being relatively easy with its 14 monster count. But, either way, both are still kind of cramped, so that could pose a challenge for many. I suppose these ant fart maps were thrown in to kind of give you a break from the previous onslaughts.
From map 11 onward, we are graced with the best maps in the megaWAD, including the glorious map 15, "Arctic Heart." Dragon Hunter creates what is probably the largest and most open map in the whole project, and it's a sort of frozen tundra metropolis that incorporates the ice and snow rugged cliffs with gray stone structures. A large gray stone temple can be found, and its lack of a ceiling and the fact that the side walls have an ongoing geometric swath cut out from them creates a stronger sense of size and depth; it also keeps with the visual theme of vast open space. The music of this map is a masterpiece—it starts out with beautiful, enigmatic sounds that lead into a haunting, charismatic, almost dreamlike song that kind of makes me think of "James Bond." It's great, though, whatever it is, and it's appropriately coupled with the most attractive and adventurous map in the megaWAD.
The ending is a bit of a disappointment. Map 16, "Depraved Feast," is an Icon of Sin type battle, but it's held in a huge, circular arena of ice and gray stone instead of something hellish. At the center is a pyramid made of intestines decorated with skewered marines, speared skulls, evil eyes, Cacodemons, Pain Elementals, Lost Souls, and Mancubuses (and they appear to just....sit there without a care in the world). At the top is a blue and red pillar inside which is a Romero head. You know what you gotta do here....and I think it's quite a boring, cliché finale. I'm not a fan of Icon of Sin battles, as they seem like cheesy cop-out slaughter-fests. Doom II, Plutonia, and Evilution all ended with Icon of Sin battles, and I didn't even find it a great move back then (How is a giant tapestry spiting monsters out of its face supposed to be "scary" or "epic?")
Map 17, "The End" is really, really lame—it's just you in one cramped room standing before red, green, and blue-flame torches while the menu's music loops over and over (and it's a short track so it LOOPS OVER AND OVER AND OVER just to grate on your nerves). No exit, no monsters, no end credits...the final map is literally this. I think that it was an absolute waste of a map slot—at least make it a playable level! Make it an "end credits" map you can play through. Or, at least, give it more than one room! It just begs the question of, "WHY?!" over and over.
Map 31, the only secret map I got to (the secret exit to it is located in Map 15), baffled me with its lack of monsters, 1 secret, and 13 items. It served as a clever "thinking" map with some little puzzles to play through (and it was hilarious that there was lava within the ICE cavern...how is this even possible????). It's kind of cute, quaint, and slightly challenging, but it doesn't have much of a point. As a deathmatch map, it kind of fails, as it doesn't give you enough weapons, and, well, you end up at map 16 anyway once it's over. It couldn't be a deathmatch map anyway as the megaWAD isn't compatible with that form of gameplay. So, once again, I ask, "Why?"
Despite the weak finale and the handful of average/above average maps, "Whitemare" is a modestly entertaining play. I think that, in terms of community compilation projects, "ZPack," "Community Chest 3," and "NewDoom Community Project II" are much better in terms of quality and variety (then again they didn't have to stick to one theme, so maybe that's "Whitemare"'s problem). There's a lot of great new music featured in the megaWAD, and the epically glorious map 15 kind of makes up for any issues you might have with the rest of the project. Give a try and see what you think—you'll probably have some fun.
Favorite maps: 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, and 15
Least favorite maps: 7, 16, 17, 31
Mastrius DOOM Deathmatch Final - Joseph Dugas
Vanilla - Deathmatch - 13713 bytes -
Reviewed by: Liam
I'd like to expound on the variance in pacing, flow and tactics that emerges from different approaches to deathmatch map design, but Mastrius' particular take on DM offers precious little to work with. He would be served well to actually play some multiplayer Doom on any modern client/server port and take inventory of the things that make popular DM mapsets successful; mazelike layout, low brightness, hidden teleport destinations, and a total playing area of less than 1024x1024 won't even rank.
Mastrius' Heretic Deathmatch Final - Joseph Dugas
Heretic Support - Deathmatch - 12924 bytes -
Reviewed by: Liam
A carbon copy of Mastrius' DOOM Deathmatch for Heretic. The shotgun and chaingun become the crossbow and claw, and Heretic's windy sectors are used to minor effect. Still not good.
Mastrius' Heretic Deathmatch 2.0 - Joseph Dugas
Heretic Support - Deathmatch - 9595 bytes
Reviewed by: Liam
An update to Mastrius' Heretic Deathmatch that fixes shoddy sector construction and makes teleport destinations more obvious. Good job, I guess.
Petersen Station - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri
Vanilla - Solo Play - 59776 bytes -
Reviewed by: fullmetalvaran33
"Petersen Station" is actually a map that was rejected from the "Doom: The Way Id Did" project. It replaces classic Doom episode 2 map 9, and...it's really not that bad at all. I'm actually a little surprised it was rejected (then again, I haven't looked at the DTWID project, so I don't know what the competition is like). It's small, relatively easy, and a bit random when it comes to the visuals, but it's good classic-style fun.
You begin in one of the many cramped areas within the map: a gray cinder block room with some gray and green UAC boxes stacked to your left and a short, narrow hall ending with a red telepad. The telepad takes you to a small, square, but slightly more spacious brown-textured room that has a short, very narrow tunnel lined with green slime at the bottom. This takes you to another part of the gray cinder block temple, but, from here, the texture usage gets rather varied and creative.
Halfway through the waste tunnel connected to the gray cinder block room, you'll find a doorway to your left leading to an enclosed outdoor area. If there's a star of the show in this map, it's this area. I played this in GZDoom, so I don't know if that had an effect on what I saw, but the dark, shadowy, eerie lighting and brilliant use of carefully placed lighting made this area the most atmospheric. A flat tan-stone pathway lines between two slightly raised brown dirt areas. A brown structure of the base is to your left with a single doorway on the ledge that casts one of the only beams of light in this place. To your right is another part of the base, but the outer walls are covered with a brown/gray texture with blue tech-y lines decorating it in precise geometric patterns. I actually with the whole map was like this, but, I suppose it wouldn't be an episode 2 style map anymore.
While this outdoor area is quite impressive, there is a little technical have: a mutilated marine body hangs from what looks like absolutely nothing high above you. There are no other hanging corpses, so this one just looks like it was poorly placed. If the idea was to create a surreal environment, I think that more stuff like this should have been present, but the rest of the map maintains a steady, grounded visual style. So, I'm not sure if the mysteriously floating hanging corpse was an accident or not.
Inside the two structures out there, things are quite...unique. The structure to your left has several areas of different texturing: a light gray standard tech room, a dirt floor cave with white rock walls and dark gray cobblestone ceiling, a dark tan industrial room with vine-covered walls, and another dabbling of light gray tech that...well, you get the idea. I have to say that very few areas share a similar theme and style, and this may be a turn-off to some, but I enjoyed it. The varied visuals kept things interesting and kind of added a sense of strangeness to the map.
The music used is the episode 1 ending track, the one that follows the infamous "Bruiser Brothers" map. It's dark and ominous, and while I don't know if it fits the map completely, it's much better than the original music track of E2M9, and I just so happen to really enjoy this track anyway. If you're going to go for a classic style track, you have to pick one of the better ones—and this track is definitely one of the better ones.
Overall, this is a very fun classic-style map to play through, and it should be pretty easy for most. You'll still need to have strategies, but this map doesn't demand much out of you, even on UV.
Tarakannik 2 - Sasha
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 10765892 bytes -
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
Greetings, fellow smeg heads. I don't really want to talk about my experiences playing this wad but I'm on a reviewing roll and I'm really into Doom at the moment, as in completely obsessed, so what the feth.
Unto each generation a weirdo mapper is born. Tarakan 2 appears to be a sort of joke wad. Let it be known that I hate joke wads; if I wanted to waste my time I'd watch telly or pick my nose or something. I don't make personal criticisms of fellow Doomers but Sasha must have been smoking something while bashing these maps together.
What we have here are a series of extremely difficult levels populated by enemies that are tougher than normal. For example there are shotgunners who take three shotgun shells to kill, Imps who vomit endless streams of high-speed fireballs, Lost Souls who appear to multiply into three as they attack... basically there aren't really any "new" enemies that I saw as I charged through these annoyingly hard maps, just boosted versions of the originals.
Which leads to a major criticism: why have a type of Imp who blasts hundreds of Mancubus fireballs at you, then have standard Mancubuses on other maps? There are blue-armoured Chaingunners who fire water bombs that bounce around like they've got ADHD and ran out of Ritalin, yet these Chaingunners drop normal Chainguns when they die.
The design of most of the maps is extremely annoying and I'm sure many will find some of them unplayable. Map 2 features a very, very long climb up a mountain while multiplying Lost Souls try to knock you off. ZDoom is essential (for this mapset in general) and if you hate using mouselook, you're at a disadvantage on map 2.
Map 7 is totally unplayable - everything is so heavily fogged, I just couldn't be bothered with it.
There are HOMs, plenty of closed doors, you can't open locked doors even when cheating to get the keys, and some of the maps look awful in places. There are weird textures made from photographs of lions which I presume are supposed to be funny but simply add to the jarring sense that there is something wrong with these maps.
On the other hand some areas of some maps are crammed full of ZDoom features such as slopes. There are some very attractive maps included, which only adds to the tragedy.
The new weapons are ripped from Hexen and one of them fires missiles at a rate of about a thousand per minute. This weapon will kill you more often than your enemies given how close you are to the enemies or how cramped some of the maps can be. Oh yes, lots of enemies are invisible until they attack which adds to the feeling that you'd rather be reading a book about the current state of carpentry in the UK.
The good stuff? Well it's certainly a challenge, particularly on UV; you get a lot of maps for your money; the weird skies and generally offbeat map design could be considered a form of pointless art... but in general I found this wad to be a work of arse and I will be only too happy to see it disappear from my recycle bin.
The Nucleus - Varant Yessayan
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 104510 bytes -
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
Greetings, fellow fethers. It's a new edition of /newstuff and we so excited. That's right, we gonna have a ball to-day. Or are we? Will this be the start of a glorious reviewing career for me, or will I turn out to be the Rebecca Black of Doomworld?
We haven't got a Rebecca Black of a map here, although there are some elements that simply were not thought out and provoke criticism. Infected Base is a map 8 replacement. That's because the previous map was map 7, the next map is map 9 and map 10 comes afterwards. Right, I'm going to stop going on about that wretched song because Doomworld's review editors are getting the hook out.
This wad was originally created in the late 90s according to its author, who admits the idea for the map is "ugly" - not a good thing to say about your own maps if you want anyone to play them! At least the author states in the text file that he has listened to criticism and learned from mistakes, something I can appreciate, so let's give his work its time in the spotlight.
Some areas of this map are indeed hideous to behold; I've never liked the green-brick-covered-in-vines texture and it jars badly with the rest of the map. To the author's credit he has indeed put some work into prettifying parts of the map. While the result is somewhat inconsistent and some places are very old-school, there are plenty of attractive areas with attention paid to lighting. Not everyone likes maps that are crammed with detail so this map's aesthetics should suffice for most Doomers. I've got to say I found things a bit haphazard.
Old-school is something we all love to see, and contrary to what people may think I am not anti-classic, but when it's mashed up with the relatively "modern" look of Doom 2 it feels out of place. You need to work it in with subtlety, and that's given me inspiration for a project I'm working on. So that's another good thing to say about Infected Base.
Now back to the negatives. Ammo balance. This is a vital element of gameplay and it is something I admit I've overlooked in my own work in progress projects. At first I thought this was one of those annoying "bring your own ammo" jobs. I ran through the first map finding occasional ammo boxes in weird places, often guarded by strong baddies or hordes of Imps that you have to fight with a pistol. Of course, being blasted by a Mancubus, a Hell Baron, a Revenant and several Cacodemons is no fun if you can't even defend yourself, so I almost gave up in frustration.
But it turns out that right at the start, if you turn around and go through the door behind you, you will find a secret super shotty with TWO ammo boxes! Shazam, you can beat the map only by finding an essential secret! That's not very good level design, let's face it. If you explore the map you will find a few boxes of shells hidden around the corner behind the first Revenant's starting point. I wouldn't want to clear this map without the super shotty, however, as your progress would stammer to a halt once you get into the base itself and find Mancs and Revenants around every corner.
Playability wise, this map depends utterly on how many secrets you find. If you don't get the super shotty you will have a super-challenge and most players will find out how fast they can run (and panicked running is NEVER a good thing in Doom, something I've always loved about the game). So with a few tweaks this would be a fun map, but as it is it's good, just very frustrating.
Morpheus Arms - Varant Yessayan
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 79370 bytes -
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
My review of this map will be short and sweet, just like the wad itself. This is a nicely detailed Doom 2 style tech base which is in the process of being corrupted by Hell. There aren't any super-hard baddies here, the toughest being Barons, Mancubuses, Cacos, the ever-annoying Revenants and a couple of frustratingly-placed Pain Elementals.
The gameplay generally flows, but there were a couple of times I had to backtrack without any real idea where I was going. Jumping seems to be needed a couple of times, including once when I got stuck after falling off a wooden platform that was previously occupied by a Mancubus.
The lighting and detailing are nice. While this map is nothing special in gameplay terms, it's worth a look for a few intense minutes.
Infected Base - Cheeky Wilson
Skulltag - Solo Play - 1285306 bytes -
Reviewed by: Liam
Is it a poor jokewad, or a troll made modestly successful by the vitriol of /idgames commentators? Put on your critical thinking cap, have a look at the screenshot and decide for yourself.
Doom Guns Amplified - zer0 aka Jekyll Grim Payne
ZDoom Compatible - n/a - 738708 bytes
Reviewed by: yylow30
When I first see this, like many others, I went... NOT AGAIN!!! There are already a number of amplified weapons for Doom weapons hidden somewhere in the database, and now there is one more to add into the cluttering mess? But I downloaded this anyway and play through Doom 2 with it.
It's doubled. Hence the doubled speed. With berserk, I can easily kill a Mancubus without suffering any injuries.
I have to say, the chainsaw with dual blades looks awfully weird. However, with this on, I can practically run through a entire row of Former Humans without even a need to slow down, or getting slow down by them.
It's dual pistol. Period. If you've seen any other modifications with a dual pistol, it's it.
This shotgun is much faster now, so fast that I felt it is now comparable to the old Super-shotgun. In fact, I find myself using this more than the SSG which has always been my key weapon to the game.
4 barrels. Wow. But like the Chaingun, connecting 2 more barrels to the weapon only seem to make it look awfully weird. However, this weapon is now impressive in areas filled with weak monsters. Nothing beats killing up to 4 5 Imps and a Cacodemon in a single shot (BFG aside). However, I also find this consumes ammo so much faster, to a point where I actually find myself struggling with the shells. This is also the main reason I used the Shotgun more with this WAD on.
It looks smaller, but longer, and shoots faster, and more accurate.
Homing rockets, and the rockets travels faster now. And I also noticed the splash damage seemed to affect a greater area, this means I need to get familiar with it all over again. A seemingly harmless shot, can actually injure you with its splash.
If you played Tarakannik and you hated those big red speedy flying tomatoes (Cacodemons, just in case you don't yet me) that spews plasma at a rate so fast and wished that you could fire something similar back at them, then this weapon is the one! Only more powerful! Not only does it fire at that rate, it holds a super aggressive homing capabilities and it can actually shoot backwards. This pose a problem however, if you want to kill an enemy ahead of you, yet if there is one another enemy closer behind, the plasma will turn around to shoot the one behind you instead. One more point! Since the rate had increased so much, expect more ringing in your ears... Man! This weapon is so loud!
Maybe it is a personal opinion, but I find railguns totally useless. So a fireball that shoots railgun rays towards enemies holds nothing special for me.
Overall, at least the graphics are still acceptable, and I do not find them out of place. But it is neither impressive work, it just feels pretty much normal for me, nor is it a must-try. If you are bored with the normal weapons, and just simply feel like trying out something to kill time, or for the sake of having fun, go ahead with this WAD.
Zyq - XutaWoo
ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 64152 bytes -
Reviewed by: MajorRawne
Here we have that rare thing, a Boom-compatible map that isn't properly Boom-compatible and was not tested in Boom. Lucky that ZDoom always was and still is the shit (my apologies to Doom Legacy, my former source port of choice).
Even rarer, this is a map where the chaingun is your primary weapon – something I've always wanted to see. There are a small number of shotgun zombies and apparently a hidden super shotty, but the zombies are on an inaccessible ledge and I didn't want to spoil this map with the SSG. That would have eliminated any challenge this map had to offer.
Zyq (catchy name, eh?) is a short and intense map which rewards agility. There are many instances where it's better to run and just keep moving. This gave my heart a workout as I continually dodged Hell Knights at close quarters. The last portion of the map seemed unbeatable at first with a Cyberdemon you are not equipped to fight. It's good to see a map that builds tension and puts you in a position of fearful impotence (my, how does THAT sound).
You can finish this map in under five minutes quite easily... although when I say easily, I mean "If you are prepared to die". My evasion skills are somewhat lacking, so an experienced veteran could nail this on their first go.
The map is reasonably attractive although it's nothing special. The night sky texture is always pleasing and the replacement music is decent. This wad is worth a go, and reflects well on the author considering this was a speedmap.
Nukage base - Jacek Nowak
Vanilla - Solo Play - 26235 bytes -
Reviewed by: Liam
Nukage Base is a mostly competent though not outstanding map in the E1 visual style. Navigating around (or through) both the level's namesake nukage pit as well as a baron, cacodemon, and imp-induced bullet hell should properly be the most interesting part of the experience. Unfortunately, in a bit of self-defeating design, the player is provided casually easy access to several radiation suits. Most of the remaining challenge comes from forced crossfire situations and tows the line carefully between "plodding and arbitrary" and "tense and carefully crafted". Considering that it's a short playthrough not devoid of challenge, and that the layout is somewhat more adventurous than I would expect from a mapper of Jacek's experience, I can't recommend entirely against this one. Comes with HOM included at no extra charge.