Temple of the Lizard Men 3 - Alando1 (Alan)
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 101518927 bytes -
Reviewed by: kmxexii
This is the third installment of the Temple of the Lizard Men series, wherein you play a marine investigating mysterious disappearances on a remote island and then kill a boatload of lizard people. If you liked the previous iterations, go ahead and play this; you'll like it too. If not, I doubt Temple of the Lizard Men 3 will rock your world, being that it's even more of the same. It's got roughly thirty-two levels, all of them fairly short, meant to be played in series as a story, assisted by cutscenes and scattered PDAs. I think the tale is more developed than the first two iterations, even if the cutscenes are glorified infodumps. You get a choice of four characters, two of them women, the only difference being things like speed and durability à la ROTT. You can read all about it in the manual, a .PDF located in the .ZIP file.
To save the human race, you'll fight through a variety of environments, from mountain wilderness to caverns to vaguely Mesoamerican ruins. There's also a shadow realm crammed in there somewhere. The maps are pretty short and, given the story, meant to be played in series, but I think they're balanced for pistol start. You'll just miss out on using the secret weapon to any level of efficacy. The fights aren't very dynamic, but it plays well as a dungeon crawler, and the weapons all have their own niches you'll figure out. About the only real turnoffs I had were pointless puzzle play (press all four gargoyle heads, not just the right one) and passionless voice acting. I chuckled at a dying marine, regarding his imminent demise with the most banal of tones.
Again - if you liked the first two TOTLMs, you'll enjoy this one. It's got more of the same and a little bit extra.
Hellbound - Zoltán Sófalvi (Z86)
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 17469632 bytes -
Reviewed by: mouldy
I'm always a sucker for wads that attempt to immerse you a story with recognisable locations and map continuity, and in addition this wad provides both a visual treat and solid gameplay that ranges from fun to challenging to open warfare. The design is ambitious to the point of jaw-dropping in places – and slower computers running ZDoom may feel the strain on a couple of maps, though prBoom should have no problems.
Your eponymous journey to hell takes you through a wide variety of earthly locations, from war-torn city streets and overrun subway stations to military bases nestled in mountainous canyons, each location joined to the next giving it the feel of a continuous adventure, and with an attention to detail that makes this a pretty convincing world despite the age of Doom's graphics. I won't delve into reviews of individual maps; I found the quality and vision throughout the wad to be consistent enough for it to be taken as a whole, due in no small part to it being the work of one mapper. This in itself is somewhat impressive given the size of the project, and though it could be said some of the maps suffer a bit from copy and paste, the inventiveness and variety in the design is such that I hardly noticed. Besides which, these are not short maps by any means, and the challenge will keep you busy for some time.
The layouts are unpredictable, intricate and make fantastic use of lighting to create depth and atmosphere. While the scope and complexity of some of the maps may find you feeling a little lost at times, the surroundings are never dull, and though the level of detail might be a bit much for Doom purists, I found it only ever served to enrich the environment without being needlessly obstructive or confusing.
Gorgeous though the visuals are, and some of the city maps are the best I have ever seen, it's the fighting that really got me hooked on this wad. From map 2 you are given the super shotgun, and you will need it. Some of the skirmishes border on overwhelming even on the earlier maps, but never in a frustrating way. The enemy count does rise to the mid hundreds in later maps, but saves the blatant slaughter for map 29 where an army of over 1000 awaits. This map is also where some ports will struggle even on powerful computers, due to the expansive map design more than the enemy count. The author has adjusted this map to help it run smoother, but has included the original version in the zip for those who want the full experience.
Not just a great wad, one of the best in my opinion.
Charge Sequence - NerdKoopa
Doom 2 - CTF Support - CTF - 107780 bytes -
Reviewed by: nub_hat
This is a small symmetrical CTF map designed for 8-12 players. It can work nicely with smaller teams as well. The focus is on offense with a lot of different paths to each base.
The general layout of the map has the flag rooms connected by two tunnels on each side of the map, forming a circle around a circular room in the middle of the map, which connects both tunnels as well as the flag rooms. The tunnels are the faster route allowing 5-second captures, but the middle room is a point of interest as well, as it contains the only green armor on the map. There is a lot of interconnectivity here, allowing unpredictable flag runs.
Each team has six different spawn points, one to each side of the flag, one in the lower area of each tunnel, and one in the upper area of each tunnel. There is only one SSG spawn point for each team, so any defenders should be worried about getting fragged. If it happens, they will need to make the best of the spawn they get, which could mean having to resist heavy pressure/chase the flag carrier with a shotgun or a chaingun.
Every gun apart from the BFG is featured in this map. There are two SSGs: one sitting next to a Plasma Rifle located at the very back of each base behind the flag, the other located in an alcove in the lower area of one of the tunnels. There are a few stimpacks scattered around the place, as well as the green armor in the middle of the map.
It is unlikely to see much regular play as it is only a 1-map CTF wad, but try it out if you can get some people to play with. You are guaranteed some fast-paced games.
ConC.E.R.Ned - Matt "cannonball" Powell
Ultimate Doom - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 3713708 bytes -
Reviewed by: mouldy
This is three episodes of Doom 1 action, set in the CERN laboratories where particle experiments have unwittingly unleashed hell from another dimension. I don't often play Doom 1 wads as I miss the variety of Doom 2's extra monsters, but having enjoyed Cannonball's maps in the past I knew this would be worth playing, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. With all the stress of dodging revenant missiles and hiding from archviles, I find it's always worth going back to the original Doom once in a while to rediscover just how damn fun it can be.
Following the traditional Doom episode themes, we start with a series of techbases, fairly simple to begin with but building up in complexity. There are some really nice non-linear and interconnected maps in this first episode; really fun to explore and find all the secrets, and I have to say the secrets in this wad as a whole are very well implemented and a joy to discover. The challenge is a step up from original Doom, with plenty of clever traps and lovely mindless slaughter. In fact this episode has thrown everything Doom has at you before the eighth map, and feels like it could be a stand-alone adventure if it wanted. The design does a great job of selling the locations and leading you through the story without needing to get too bogged down in detail.
Episode 2 sees hell starting to encroach on the human world, and the architecture seems to reflect this with more abstract designs creeping in. The maps are a mixture of linear, free-roaming and hub style layouts with some of the later ones becoming quite sprawling and labyrinthine. The challenge is getting tougher as well, as the meatier enemies become more prevalent. I was playing consecutively so never had to juggle my ammo, but I suspect there is an extra challenge awaiting for pistol starters with the number of Barons wandering around.
In the final episode we delve into hell, and the difficulty steps up a further notch. The explorative nature of earlier episodes makes way for more linear and challenge-based gameplay here, though map 5 is the exception with a fantastically chaotic hell-base maze. The final maps reach epic proportions, and feature some real bastard battles. What the Doom 1 monsters may lack in tactical subtlety is made up for with some ingenious and dastardly set-ups, and of course the weight of numbers always helps (though never feels gratuitously slaughterish).
In conclusion, this is a fine collection of interesting and violent maps and is well worth a download. It looks great, plays great and kicks your arse. I'd definitely recommend having a go.
Mine filled with methane - Jacek Nowak
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 108658 bytes -
Reviewed by: ReX
This is a single-map replacement for Doom 2 that plays in the Map01 slot. It requires ZDoom, and includes no new resources, although the use of Bye Bye American Pie from Map23 as the music replacement is a welcome change from the standard Running From Evil. The map is large, and is primarily set in several rocky caverns with pathways that thread their way across lava chasms.
The map is designed to be explored in more than one direction, making this a non-linear map almost from the start. In addition, you will be returning to some areas already visited, and the yellow-key area is accessible from doors in different parts of the map. This further augments the sense of exploration, and adds to the replayability value. It also means that, coupled with the hugeness of the map, this can result in some disorientation.
ZDoom features are used sparingly. There are a few sloped sections, mostly in the rocks, but also some suitably arched supports. There is only one main script to speak of, requiring the player to find three switches that raise the water level in an area that leads to the blue key. (Two other scripts allow a lift to lower to different heights depending on which switch is used.) A MAPINFO lump prevents jumping or crouching, and changes the music used. Most of the map is quite plain-looking, and could have benefited from more detailing, which a limit-removing port such as ZDoom would allow. However, the paucity of ZDoom features does not detract from the main focus of this map - to convey a sense of vast hellishness.
The map successfully creates an atmosphere of oppression, laced with danger. You will often find yourself on narrow, curving walkways with a solid cliff of rock on one side and a steep drop onto sizzling lava on the other side. Naturally, the opposition waiting around that corner is of the species that fly, meaning that you will mostly be back-pedaling as fast as your stubby little legs will carry you, while you over-work your trigger finger. Or reload your saved map as you plunge to your doom (sic) into the lava below. Which I was doing a lot. (Thankfully, the author has strategically placed teleporters around the lava, and you do have a way out of the lava pits, albeit with diminished health.)
The bestiary runs the gamut of that found in Doom 2. Resistance gets stiff fairly early in the map, and gets increasingly more brutal as you progress. Encouraging enemy in-fighting is in your best interests, not so much because of any lack of ammo, but because if you can get one "heavy" distracted by another it will permit you a bit of breathing and maneuvering room. Particularly near the start, armed with just a shotgun, and with an assortment of imps, cacos, a revenant, and a mancubus hurling insult and fiery abuse from far-flung corners of the massive cavern, you're likely to be a sitting duck. Or a dead duck. Take your pick. That's not to say that you won't face the uglies in close quarters - the "interior", base-like areas offer plenty of opportunities for charging in, guns ablaze. But the "outdoor" cavern areas will take patience, as you duck and snipe.
Some of the traps are quite challenging, and may surprise even the most jaded of Doomers. Overall, however, the map relies on flinging large numbers of enemies at you, sometimes giving you very little room to maneuver. At HMP skill level I found this map to be sufficiently difficult to be entertaining without being overly frustrating. The one part of the map I did NOT like was the switch sequence to duck into the exit room. There is barely enough time to reach the second switch, activate it, and then reach the exit door, and my efforts to exit were frustrated repeatedly because of the hair-trigger timing. I understand that the author did not want to provide an easy escape, but being a ZDoom map, preventing early escape could have been better handled through scripting.
There is no shortage of ammo, health, and armor. You are given heavier weapons at strategic points in the map, and I felt that the tactical balance between the monsters and me (an average player) was generally spot-on. There is a BFG on an island in one of the lava caverns, and it is marked as a secret area, but you've practically decimated all of the ravening hordes well before you reach it. Another secret I found pretty pointless was the alcove (in the lava) with the light amplification goggles and the invulnerability. By the time you find your way back to a teleporter to get you out of the lava, the invulnerability has long-since worn off, and you encounter no resistance on your way to the teleporter to boot.
All-in-all this is a map that will provide a fair degree of entertainment to a player that presses on beyond the initial areas.
Rock It! v2.5 Final - Mr. Chris
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 362266 bytes
Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
Rock It! v2.5 Is one of those rare additions to the archive's music directory. It is a music-only wad that replaces the music for all of Doom and Doom 2's maps (barring Doom 2's secret maps) with heavy rock and electronic MIDI tracks. Something that certainly varies more than taste in Doom maps is taste in music, so it's difficult for me to say whether you'll enjoy the tracks in this wad or not. Personally I like it, and I think most of the beats would fit pretty well with Doom's more fast-paced and action packed maps (though maybe not so much the maps that go for a more quiet tone).
The compiler notes that these songs are "original compositions found on the internet", so the only thing I could really recommend to Mr. Chris would be to include a list of sources and/or credits for any future music packs he may put out.
Brutal Mix Up - Mr. Chris
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - N/A - 396810 bytes
Reviewed by: lupinx-Kassman
Similar to the compiler's previous release Rock It! v2.5, Brutal Mix Up is a wad that replaces all of Doom and Doom 2's music with new MIDI tracks. Some of the tracks are from the Rock It! v2.5 compilation, but many of these are from well-known megawads like Memento Mori 2 this time around. While I like the music choices, all I can really say is that I strongly recommend including a list of sources that credit the authors of the music for compilations like these.
Orbity - DooMWaR
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Deathmatch - 86934 bytes -
Reviewed by: Netherstorm
Here is oribty.wad by DooMWaR. It is a simple, one deathmatch map for Doom II, like really simple.
The first section of this map is what seems to be two tiny little docks with two boats; it is somewhat poorly made and nothing special to be honest. The shotgun and SSG pickup sprites seemed to be changed around which is kind of pointless, because when you pick it up it's just the same lame old shotgun and SSG, so that kind of crushed my hopes of it being some awesome-ass shotgun variant. When you get out of that section you can either enter into the acid area which just leads to a BFG that has teleport linedefs around it forcing you to jump over them if you're ever hoping to get it. The lava area just consists of big platforms to jump on leading to a small room with a lowering platform in the middle which teleports you to the acid area. And then finally the last little area is just the exit.
Aaaaaaaaaand that's it, nothing too special about the wad in total, but now let's talk about detail and architecture. It's nothing special to be honest, in fact, it's "simple". It looks like a DM map you'd see from the mid/late 90's. Everything is just kind of bland, and a lot more could have been put into the sections of the map. There also seems to be a HOM effect going on with that lowering, teleporting platform in that room led from the lava area.
Verdict: It's not really that fun of a DM map. I tried playing with DM bots and it's just... boring. Very bland and "simple" in gameplay, detail and architecture.
shrek vs doomguy 2: the squeakel - chesse20
Doom 2 - ZDoom - Solo Play - 4710219 bytes
Reviewed by: Csonicgo
I've sat in my chair with the review page open for about twenty minutes, thinking of what to type in here. I'm still wondering what text will suffice. I can't even put nouns and verbs together at this point. All I hear in my head is a cacophony of noises, mostly of a kid eating his desktop mic while playing around with stock Audacity plugins. If I can put this wad into a historical context: A middle school kid bought Doom on a Steam sale, Googled for something to use besides DOSBox or Doom95, and came across ZDoom, Slade, Doom Builder, and the gamers.org FTP.
But that's not enough for chesse20. He wanted to show everyone that he can copypaste like the best of 'em. Enter ridiculous custom monsters with mangled sprites, DB2 default textures and light levels, and "Look mommy, I can draw!". This is ZBabby's ZFirst ZMap™ 2.0.
All I want to know is why someone gave this kid a computer. Surely his parents must have noticed the hours he spent making random noises in a microphone while making some of the worst 1994-style map designs ever conceived. The fact that this took three days to make is a testament to how bad this is. I cannot map worth a damn, and I would have been able to do this in thirty minutes.
There are three custom monsters: A bee that won't shut the hell up with a chipmunked voice, a terrible "shrek" monster that spams fireballs, and a green-colored lost soul that shows horrible mspaint faces when attacking, being hit, or dying. These abominations are featured in two boxy maps, neither of which are worth writing about.
Do not even bother. Download this if you hate yourself.
AEODLite - lihanchi
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 51860545 bytes
Reviewed by: Inkie
As the title suggests, this wad replaces all the items, guns, and enemies with random variants from various sources.
As the title also suggests, this is a sort of "lite" variant of this style of mod. Each of the original monster types now be 4-5 different monsters of about the same style of enemy. Additionally, almost each gun slot can hold about 4 different weapons.
Also, there is a built in gift system. Some enemies drop gift points on defeat. Gift points can be spent to generate minor items, such as health and armor bonuses, stimpacks, or sometimes ammo.
The zip file also includes some neat goodies, including a manual detailing the new guns and enemies, and two optional wads. One wad includes classes to play as, while the other automatically ensures that all enemies are of the hardest variant in this collection.
While the concept has been done many times, this one seems to have a lot of effort and quality put into it, and the lite size keeps the randomization somewhat sane. Worth at least a try.
The Deep Blue Ocean Base - Jim Flannigan
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 18881231 bytes -
Reviewed by: FuzzballFox
Thought I would do a random review tonight because why not! Found this map unclaimed and gave it a go.
What a waste of a few minutes... First off, I checked the text file and there seems to be a story—go read it for yourself—it speaks of ladies, molestation and fecal matter (spelt that way).
On to the actual wad: it's a small single map for Doom II, with some simple source port features like some slopes. There isn't much to it, just a small trip around a very brown looking base with a hint of water—couple of keys, but red is all you need to exit.
Cramped with some enemies but... straight off the bat you hear not only a Cyberdemon but a Mastermind too—which will mow you down unless you're quick.
Quick run to the exit and hold it—
...there is a reason for the wad being about 21 MB big, and that is a small speech at the end of the map... right before you can press the exit switch, a rather bad quality speech is played by who I assume is the map author.
I was shot to death before it could finish. End of playthrough!
Advice? Don't even bother.
Corrupted temple - Damson
Doom 2 - Vanilla - Solo Play - 117717 bytes -
Reviewed by: ReX
This is a medium-sized, non-linear, single-map replacement for Doom 2 that plays in the Map25 slot. The theme is primarily medieval, with the occasional hellish decorations thrown in. In keeping with its slot later in the game, the opposition is stiff, and will often keep you dancing around as you evade multiple attacks. It is fully vanilla Doom-compatible (tested with Chocolate Doom and GZDoom), and some vanilla Doom tricks have been put to good use.
The map is very non-linear, which you will discover as you criss-cross it. At the beginning, the path for progression is obvious, but you will rapidly find that new paths open up the further you explore, and it may take some time to get your bearings. The sense of confusion is occasionally compounded by switches that don't immediately indicate the action that has occurred. Towards the latter part of the game you will find a series of switches and teleporters whose functions and destinations will take some time to learn. On the positive side, the map will give you a sense of satisfaction from reaching areas that you may not have thought were reachable (or, indeed, required to reach).
Being vanilla Doom-compatible, the appearance of the map is sometimes quite plain. This is particularly true in the larger, open areas. Smaller areas are better detailed, lighting is satisfactory, and the texturing is competent for the most part. There are a few instances of texture misalignment and texture clashing, but these are not glaring and don't adversely affect the enjoyment of the map. Height variations are well-used, and often serve useful game-play functions.
The fighting begins in earnest almost right from the start. You will be pitted against an assortment of human and non-human enemies, quickly graduating from the low- and mid-level baddies to the real heavies. You pick up adequate ordnance to thin out the ranks of the hell-slime, although you'll be mid-game before you pick up the much-appreciated super shotgun. Thankfully, there is room to maneuver, and retreat if necessary. There are also some opportunities to incite fighting among the monsters. Health and ammo are adequate, but armor is not easy to come by. Different skill levels are not implemented, so this map is not recommended for players new to Doom.
The map has nine secrets; some of them are easy to find, others not so. Likewise, the items found in them vary from the useless to high-value. Be warned, however, that the secret area near the central start area has a door that does not open from the inside, effectively locking you in. It's also possible to get stuck in the area with the red key on the pillar. You can enter the red key area before lowering the pillar via a remote switch, but you need the pillar lowered before you can exit that area. There are also a couple of non-intuitive options that can be frustrating. The path to the hidden teleporter that leads to the red key is almost fully blocked by trees, and many players will assume the path leads nowhere. Also, when you teleport to the "cage" near the exit, you may not realize that you need to press the cage bars in order to escape the cage.
Seasoned players will find some exciting moments in this map, but most players will spend some time scratching their heads as they try to figure out where to go next.
Watery Escape - Ruben F. Duarte aka BennyD
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 74858 bytes
Reviewed by: Inkie
A single map from a new author for Doom 2.
Aesthetically, the map is a little strange, with an assortment of hell and techbase textures. While individual rooms look nice, they don't fit well with each other. The choice of lighting is also unorthodox, with a heavy contrast. A few textures are misaligned here or there. The whole look of an underwater base is kinda neat though, reminds me of those underwater tunnels in aquariums.
In terms of gameplay, it is rather easy and linear. A couple tough enemies with a few minions scattered about. You are given plenty of resources to deal with them. Playable, but there is little challenge.
Overall, a good start for a new mapper. Only a few problems, and none of them too game breaking. Plenty of room to improve and develop a style.
Eyedea - AlexMax
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Deathmatch - 59748 bytes -
Reviewed by: nub_hat
This is a very small map loosely based off dm6 from Quake. There are different item placements depending on the difficulty you choose (easy=NS, medium=FFA, hard=OS); I will be reviewing the map with the OS item placement found on UV/Nightmare and with OS settings in mind, e.g. no jumping, no item respawn, etc. This is not a remake nor does it aim to be similar to any of the known standard duel maps--it is its own thing and you can enjoy a brand new map with new ideas.
On one side of the map you have a BFG, which is very easy to get. There's a catch, though: you will likely get shot before getting to use it, unless you catch your opponent out of position. On the other side of the map are the two SSGs, one inside and one outside below the armors. While you are in control, you will want to defend and deny all these weapons at the same time, which can be a difficult task. Make sure to listen closely for the lift sound triggered by your opponent getting the BFG.
Don't think that the BFG and SSG are the only weapons available though. It is very possible to use the Shotgun and Chaingun if your aim is up to it, and/or you feel your opponent is feeling a bit too comfortable running around in the open. The Rocket Launcher (found near the BFG in a less-exposed spot) can see some use as well, especially in the cramped indoor area.
On the SSG side of the map there are some pillars leading to a teleport with five green armors stacked on top of each other. If you combine one of these armors with getting the 10 stimpacks (5 at each side of the map) available at the start of the game, you will have a noticeable advantage with what is effectively 400% health. Note that these pillars will lower when shot at; if your opponent is in the area, all they have to do is shoot at the pillar to make you miss the jump and run into a wall instead.
I recommend this for people interested in 1v1. I feel this map offers a different experience from the popular maps currently, so if you're tired of the same old maps, this could be right up your alley. Try it out with a friend or anyone you usually play with and see what you think. In my opinion, a very good map, and one of the best in recent years.
Cavern - TheNooBringeR
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 56241 bytes -
Reviewed by: ReX
This is a single-player map that plays on Map01 of Doom 2, and requires ZDoom or its derivatives. In the words of the author: ".... this one is set in a small cavern which also leads to what appears to be a part of an UAC Base." You won't find a "cavern" in any real sense of the word, but you'll see a UAC base, set in a fairly small map. The fights are mostly lacking real danger, but the map does have its moments.
This is a somewhat non-linear map, with a couple of side areas to explore and some back-tracking. There are two keys in this map, but because of the brevity of the map you'll be able to reach the appropriate key door mere seconds after you pick up the keys (enemies notwithstanding). Additionally, because the map is so small, there is virtually no likelihood of getting lost. However, beware of the blue key door, which is a single-use door on each side. This means that you could be stuck outside or inside, and not be able to make progress.
ZDoom features are used very sparingly, and primarily in the use of scripts. Furthermore, the only script that cannot easily be replicated by vanilla Doom specials is the one using Thing_Hate. There is a MAPINFO lump that provides a name for the map and changes the music from Map01's stock Running From Evil to Doom. Finally, because of the use of waterfall textures, there is an ANIMDEFS lump.
The map is primarily done in a base theme, and maintains its consistency. The texture choices are fine, but there are frequent signs of poor texture alignment. In the secret area with the megasphere (which, by the way, was utterly unnecessary at that stage of the game), is a nukage fall that seems to magically appear from the stone floor above it. Some of the base areas look reasonably nice, but for the most part the map is very bare-looking. In particular, the area with the boss battle is pretty much a large rectangle with some smaller, symmetric rectangles thrown in. Given that this is a map for ZDoom, the author could have done many things to make the map look more spiffy. For example, I don't believe I saw even a single sloped sector. Furthermore, the entire gameplay arena is largely set at the same height and lighting levels, making the architecture and appearance somewhat dull.
The fights at the beginning of the map are sparse, but gradually ramp up. You'll be given suitable firepower to quell the ravening hordes, and a reasonable amount of health, ammo, and armor. The boss fight towards the end may cause you to run a bit low on ammo, and this may be exacerbated by the fact that you'll meet at least one heavy between that fight and the exit. My advice is to conserve ammo from the start, so that you don't run out before the end. The traps are somewhat predictable, but fun nonetheless. However, I felt that the boss battle was devoid of excitement and drama.
This map has a couple of noteworthy traps, but otherwise it seems like an effort from a mapper that is still learning the ropes of Doom modding.