Impure Offering - Cynical
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 334783 bytes -
Reviewed by: Never_Again
Tested with Prboom-plus -complevel 9 (Boom v2.02 compat) on HNTR.
Impure Offering is a smallish-medium map in gothic style. Kind of a cross between a castle and a temple around a complex of walkways and pillars in a pond under a nighttime sky. Its somber atmosphere is enhanced by textures from Community Chest 4 (you need to load cc4-tex.wad from the CC4 package).
Some fine architecture here, a lot of height variation and a circular design that creates a sense of nonlinearity (whereas the map is basically quite linear, although you most likely will be too busy to notice). Too bad that the drab color scheme - the whole level is almost entirely composed of brown, grey and black - doesn't do the rest of the design justice. And it is uniformly dark throughout, so dark you are practically forced to use a light-amp cheat just to find your way around. One of those maps designed in an GL renderer on an LCD monitor for the people with the same setup, I suppose. Those running in software on a CRT will find it a strain on their eyes.
However, design and looks are of secondary consideration with this WAD. Its primary purpose is to provide extreme challenge to even the best players. Fortunately, skill levels are supported and implemented pretty well. At first I thought that HNTR's description in the WAD's TXT as "more of a traditional run-n-gun UV experience" was a serious understatement. Then I tried HMP for a few minutes and found myself agreeing with the author. The head count is more than doubled on HMP, with almost 3X the Revenants. I was annoyed by the swarm of Lost Souls invading the level towards the end; well, that's nothing next to the 40+ Pain Elementals you will find on HMP.
Whatever skill level you pick, non-stop action almost from the start is guaranteed. This is certainly not a level to casually stroll through, even on skill 1. HNTR is what I would recommend for most players. The fights are pretty good; there's a lot of crossfire early on, but some cover is usually available too and there's plenty of elbow room where it's not. A Cyber puts in an early appearance but no worries: by that time you'll have a rocket launcher and tons of ammo. You'll find the numerous floating monsters a much bigger concern, especially since most of the level takes place outdoors.
There's a new monster - a kind of flying Baron that alternates between hurling Mancubus fireballs and launching Revenant missiles at you. You'll face a few of these towards the end of the level. I thought they were designed quite well and didn't stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of the crowd the way new monsters often do.
A couple of simple switch puzzles and platforming sequences complement the action. There are no secrets to add an explorative aspect to the gameplay, though; not even little non-secret nooks hidden just out of sight. It's all on the surface, all about action. Overall, it's a decent, competently executed action WAD that inexplicably languished for six months in the /newstuff queue. You can blame the poor lighting and people's e-peen for that, I guess.
TekBase - Rhys
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 749518 bytes -
Reviewed by: scifista42
This mapset contains ten maps (MAP14-23), two secret maps (MAP31-32) and one test map that probably shouldn't have been there (MAP28). Despite being GZDoom compatible, the maps are just vanilla-esque maps in vanilla format. The reason is that Rhys designed his maps with OpenGL behaviour in mind, disregarding texture clipping problems in software renderer. Tweaking a sector height / lighting value here and there would fix the problem, but the author better decided to just claim the wad to be GZDoom compatible. There might be other ZDoomisms too, so better follow his advice if you want to play.
The title "TekBase" is misleading. Many of the maps don't follow the techbase theme at all. In reality, these are rather amateurish maps. Aesthetically, they're very reminiscent of the IWAD maps; they look mostly okay, sometimes nice, sometimes ugly, sometimes with broken texture alignment. Design-wise, they consist of blocky rooms along with wildly shaped areas; nothing impressive in there, but also nothing too terrible. The majority of rooms contain random details that slightly improve their overall blandness, be it a window, small staircase or a liquid flat. On the other hand, lighting sucks in the absolute majority of areas, as there's nearly not enough variation and contrast, and it makes the maps look ugly.
Gameplay is average, nothing more and nothing less. The author is probably not an experienced player, and he assumes that advancing through rooms and slaying monsters is satisfactory alone. He has no idea how to use monsters efficiently, to make them a possible threat. More often than not, I'm only facing a bunch of imps or demons, occasionally tougher monsters, all stacked in front of me and hopeless against my super shotgun. Combined with a map design that forces the player to stroll around, wait and backtrack more than needed, I have to confess that I felt bored while playing these maps. They lacked ideas or particularly impressive visuals or anything to catch my interest, just more rooms to forcibly go through and more monsters to tediously slay. In my view, there wasn't anything downright wrong with the gameplay, it was just... uninspired.
If all you're looking for is more random Doom environments where you thoughtlessly and slowly make your way through rooms with monsters, this wad will satisfy you. If you want more, then it probably won't.
Project Doomed - Mr. Chris
Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 91837 bytes
Reviewed by: TheUltimateDoomer666
Project Doomed is a MIDI replacement soundtrack for Doom and Doom 2, using modified versions of Jay Reichard's remixes. An extra WAD is also included which has alternate versions of a few of the tracks. The tracks in Project Doomed have new instruments and panning, plus a decreased tempo. The WAD's description states that it "works nicely for those large or long level sets."
The new versions of the music are okay. They usually stay reasonably close to the structure of the original songs; for example there is no Reggae remix of Into Sandy's City. The slowed speed felt kind of plodding to me at first, but I think it is indeed good for long-lasting maps and it can even create a more ominous atmosphere.
Tower of Lies - Ryath/scwiba
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 520041 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
Tower of Lies for the most part is a fairly slow-paced atmospheric wad that takes the player up a tower in Hell. The mood set during the first and second floor of the tower is quite spooky and works quite well; when the first monsters show up, Revenants, they scared the shit out of me. Sadly though the author can't quite keep the creepy atmosphere going throughout the rest of the map, as each new floor becomes less spooky atmosphere and more of concept arena fights. The big problem with the wad is that the author tries to keep each floor the exact same size, and since he made a skinny building, there really isn't much to work with other than to simply design simple arena battles. Once every so often there is fight fought on the steps that surround the building or an elevator, but this is an even more restricted area of play. There is an occasional fight in the rocky land that surrounds the building, but the battles here are relatively minor compared to the ones that take place in the interior.
So while I don't like the overall design of the map, the detailing is pretty well done; the map is seeping in spooky atmosphere at the start, and that has a lot to do with the good use of lighting and good design choices. The only other really negative aspect of the wad is its use of monster blocking lines: those revenants at the beginning sure scared me, but they didn't pose much of a threat and neither did a lot of other enemies throughout the map due to monster blocking lines. Still I'd say that this maps is worth checking out at least once if you've got about 15 minutes to spare.
My Soul Trapped in a WIN98 PC - Lukasxd
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 654185 bytes -
Reviewed by: cs99cjb
My soul will never be trapped in a Windows 98 PC because at that time I used an Acorn RISC PC. However, I know you didn't come here to read about my deviances or those of Lukasxd, who describes himself as a "lazy furfag" (I Googled it for you).
I expected this map to be silly (it was) and quick to review (it wasn't). The concept is inspired, but I found the puzzle-based gameplay frustrating and became completely stuck several times. There are intervals of moderately intense combat in cramped locations, but that wasn't the most challenging aspect. It was only writing this review and my desire to see the next weird location that led me to persevere.
The player starts on top of the classic Windows taskbar, which incorporates a lift in the form of a huge "Start" button. On one side is a glowing desktop with familiar icons floating in front of it ("Recycle Bin", etc.); on the other is an abstract pattern of curling blue fingers reaching into a black void. This juxtaposition of abstract architecture in primary colours with bitmaps from Windows and the early era of the web is maintained throughout much of the map, and it's worth seeing. Snake, skin and spine textures from Doom are also used, which contribute to a nice balance of squarish and more organic rooms. Some of the texturing is sloppy, but the overall impression is good.
The music does a good job of setting the ambiance too; it's just the kind of laid-back xylophone and clave-heavy tracker music I used to listen to back in the 90s when being able to play music on a computer at the same time as doing other stuff seemed like the most awesome thing ever.
The layout is sprawling and linear, comprising a series of disconnected rooms through which the player progresses by teleportation. The main problem with the gameplay is that there is no consistency about what a switch, door, lift or teleporter looks like, or which walls are impassible. Many doors only open when you shoot unrelated walls. (In such cases, examine the floor for clues.) One maze-like episode seems to go on forever but takes place in a room of only 512x512 units.
In summary, I can't recommend this map unless you have a lot of patience for puzzles and you want to experience its unique aesthetics for yourself.
Doom 3 sounds - TerryWADArchive
Doom/Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - N/A - 9199462 bytes
Reviewed by: Zalewa
A sound pack that replaces most sound samples in Doom with their counterparts from Doom 3. I toyed around with this in two first maps of Doom 2 and then summoned some monsters in MAP20 just to listen to their replacements. I can say that most samples fit the game just fine. I think that BFG9000 sound is slightly desynchronized with what's going on with the weapon's animation, and lost soul's sounds are a bit odd. There are also some samples that weren't replaced because they have no counterparts in Doom 3 (arachnotron, pain elemental, spider mastermind). I like how SSG and plasma rifle sound. Doom 3's plasma rifle is more gentle on the ears and I appreciate that.
From technical point of view this is a .pk3 file with a sndinfo.txt lump and a bunch of .wav files. That's pretty much it. The .wav files don't have proper names, unfortunately. They're numbered from 001 to 332, so it can be a bit difficult to figure out which file is what sound.
Aegis Computer Station - Gunsmith
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 121026 bytes -
Reviewed by: Memfis
This little map will take you back to 2005, when "Simplicity - Because Complexity Sucks" came out and spawned countless imitations, as everyone fell in love with its elegant style. Indeed, even the title "Aegis Computer Station" is most likely a direct nod to Map01 of Agent Spork's masterpiece.
So what can you expect? A short linear romp through a bunch of small rooms, definitely not as clean and polished as "Simplicity", with some lame "block monster" line usage and a cute switch that tells you to return to the start. It isn't great, but you might want to check it out for nostalgia. And if you aren't familiar with the events described in the first paragraph... eh, you can still take a look if you have three minutes to spare.
Not a Terry WAD - Nambona890
Doom 2 - ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 13413 bytes
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
With a name like Not a Terry WAD, I'm sure you already know what to expect about the quality of this wad. It's bad. Map 1 is a small hub-spoke map that is composed of four different box rooms, nothing interesting here. Map 2 is a three-floor building created with 3D floors. Map 3 is a maze full of zombiemen. Map 4 is a maze full of chaingunners. Map 5 is nothing, it says if you look at it in the automap. This wad is a waste of time, nothing to see here, move along.
Overrun - Revan114
Doom 2 - GZDoom - Solo Play - 5419840 bytes -
Reviewed by: LVMinerva
A medium sized map that is not very difficult. It takes place on a space station being overrun by demons. Sometimes, it's rather nice to look at, with good detailing. Other times it would be if you could see it. Most of Overrun's difficulty comes from not being able to see the enemies you're up against; the most threatening enemies are a few revenants (there is no difficulty setting support). The combat is rather unmemorable, and it doesn't really feel like it has a conclusion, as it just ends when you walk halfway through the last hallway.
All the weapons' sounds have been replaced. Some of them sound pretty good, but I'm not too fond of the SSG's new sound. There's a pretty nice music replacement too.
Overrun is not a bad level, but it's not one I recommend. I think the author has definite potential for future works.
Project Final Doomed - Mr. Chris
FinalDoom - Vanilla - N/A - 101869 bytes
Reviewed by: TheUltimateDoomer666
Project Final Doomed is a music replacement for Final Doom. It consists of two main WADs, one for Evilution and another for The Plutonia Experiment (a third WAD is also included which has an alternate version of Evilution's "Land of the Lost" track). This MIDI replacement contains modified versions of Jay Reichard's remixes, which used an awful lot of electric guitar sounds. Project Final Doomed changes these to be more similar to Doom's original music: Instruments are now more or less the same as in the originals, and the instrument panning has also been edited.
I suppose this replacement would be good for those who want somewhat fresh music while playing Final Doom. The panning of a few instruments in some of the tracks is a little too hard left/right in my opinion. Overall the new tracks are nice and sometimes stick pretty close to the originals, although there are also some that are more interesting and creative than others, such as the Demons on the Prey remix.
Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions: Session 14 - Obsidian Jimmy Unholypimpin Scifista42 TheMionicDonut SlashBane AD_79 Alfonzo Breezeep General Rainb
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 544203 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
This wad is a fair addition into the long line of Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions; there's good, there's bad, and there's just okay maps as well. Due to popular demand by reoccurring members of the ASMS, the themes this time around have nothing to do with visuals, but instead have to do with game play mechanics. The three themes chosen this month were the use of stair building, moving floors, and the use of lite amp goggles. The themes are pretty well distributed this month as opposed to several previous months where there are two themes that are clearly more popular than the other.
Things start off in a bad way in this wad with Fuzzballfox's map. His theme of choice is Lite-Amp Goggles. The map is composed of two different parts; the first part is a small tech base room where you berserk a few demons. Once you clear out that room the Lite-Amp goggles are revealed, but you cannot grab them as you will be teleported to the annoying section of the map. This half of the map is a maze with minimal lighting. You must simply walk around until you find the exit; at least there's no monsters here to make it even more annoying.
Scifista42 chose the themes stairs and goggles. I feel that the stair building succeed more here, while the goggles theme felt unnecessary and detracted from the map. One thing I particularly liked about the stair building was how it provided interesting methods of progression throughout the map in getting to the exit. The moving parts in general really helped to make would could have been an otherwise rather plain static map become somewhat interesting and interactive. The goggles on the other hand are needed to get through the map, as the light level is set too low to see normally. Since everything is seen in full bright it really shows how boring the map looks; it's rather blocky and lacks good detail. I feel that scifista should have skipped on using the goggles and instead set the lighting so that it provides for a more moody atmosphere.
Jimmy seems to be pretty hit and miss with his ASMS maps and he's either one of the best or one of the weaker entries; this time it's one of his weak maps. The map starts off fairly good in a typical E1 tech base where you fight your way through a few rooms and make your way across a tricky moving floor section with a door about to close on the other side of the floors. Then you go outside where the level seems to abruptly come to an end. I was getting into the map and about ready to explore outside when I was confronted with your typical Jimmy Exit Arch-Vile horde, which posed no threat at all as I ran to the exit.
Unholypinpin's map is OK; it takes place in a rocky outdoors area, the themes being goggles and moving floors. The goggles make for a nasty trick: I grabbed them before I needed them, so I had to fight off a few revenants in the pitch blackness. The moving floor isn't really needed here, as it doesn't seem to be used for any reason that adds to the map. Being such a wide open space, the monsters are too few and far between and didn't really provide for very interesting gameplay.
Breezeep has the first good map in the wad; it's a tiny thing with quite a few tight fights, but that's what makes it all the more intense. The theme here is stair building. You must make your way through the map until you build a set of stairs near the beginning so that you may reach the exit.
I think that AD_79 made the best map of the wad; the theme he chooses is stair building. The map is reminiscent of maps 17 and 26 of Doom 2 with its use of catwalks and metal textures throughout. The stair building effect is used well throughout the map to connect it all together and to also trap the player. The one thing that bugged me about this map was that it had just a few too many instances of walking into a room only to spring an instant trap and now I'm surrounded by monsters.
The next map, by Obsidian, was pretty bad. It was the first time I had to IDMUS to a different track, as this one was one of the worst I have ever heard. The map itself isn't much better, and even though there are not that many monsters, it's pretty freaking hard from a pistol start. There just seemed to be a lack of ammo unless you just kept most of the monsters alive until the end of the level, which just made getting to the exit a real slog. The moving floor effect in this map was also pretty annoying as it just slowed things down to a crawl, because more often than not a monster would come off the lift and be in your way before you could get onto it, and then you have to wait for it to go all the way up and then back down again.
SlashBane's map is another bad one; it starts off OK with some overly large rooms with just too few monsters in them, but as you get deeper into the map each new room has more and more monsters in it until things get pretty crazy. The exit was unmarked and I sort of stumbled onto it by accident.
The last good map in the wad is made by Alfonzo, and he chose the moving floor theme. The map is very well detailed with wood and metal textures and has an all around good layout. It's a real pain in the ass to get through. After grabbing the berserk pack and being hit by a load of monsters all at once, I never got about 30% health for the rest of the map. It's a good map that kept me at the edge of my seat as I tried not to die.
GRB and MionicDonut's maps had a difficulty level that was out of my range, so I'm wasn't able to properly judge them. Overall I'd say that this wad is worth checking out, as the good maps outweigh the bad maps.
Greatest sound .wad ever - mallo
Doom/Doom 2 - Vanilla - N/A - 4467162 bytes
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
This a silly sound replacement for Doom & Doom 2 done by mallo. Every sound is a voice replacement, so for example the shotgun sound is mallo saying "Boom chick chick" and the item pickup sound is him saying "doot doot". I got a few laughs out of this wad; the chaingun, door opening, and item pickup sounds were some of my favorites. This wad is most certainly worth checking out if you in the mood for a funny joke wad.
Tekloniton - Wraith
Doom 2 - Limit Removing - Solo Play - 578418 bytes -
Reviewed by: Jaxxoon R
Wraith's Tekniton is a medium-length single-level wad for limit-removing source ports, occupying the MAP13 slot. The map takes place in a large city plaza of sorts and requires you to run about flipping switches and circumnavigating the surrounding techbases. Usual fare for a Doom map.
Tekniton, however, is an interesting beast, and sort of a mixed bag if you will. The aesthetics can range from rather immersive to detailed to the point of being disorientating, with at least one specific corridor left jarringly bare. The actual level design consists of a confusing string of rooms, with many a door marked with a specific key's color.
However, these doors aren't opened with keys, oh no. Most of them are opened with random unmarked switches halfway across the map, with no immediate indication as to what they do and where they do it. The only hint you're given is the color of the texture on the door usually means that a switch in the section of the map unlocked when you get that key is likely to open it. A bit confusing, really.
Then there's the giant outdoor area at the center of the map, where the final slaughter section of the map takes place, but that's a discussion for a later time. For now it's home to a very interesting quirk of this map: if you simply walk out before making any progress in the map and climb onto the large building at the center, you'll encounter a revenant stuck in a small pit.
Normally you'll come out here only to be assaulted by him, but for now you're free to fall down there and die. Or, if you're playing with infinitely-tall actors, hit your face on the concept of the revenant and get punched to death.
The fights started out innocent enough, but quickly started to go overboard with the slaughter elements. One particularly unpleasant battle was one large room where pinky demons, followed by revenants, and then finally three or four archviles were teleported in. It was mostly tolerable when it was just revenants and demons, but once the archviles came in it all became a clusterfuck. The revenants and demons took turns driving me out from behind cover and then proceeded to shield the archviles from all of my attacks. All the while the archviles were undoing all my previous work, creating an endless cycle of killing and resurrecting. I'm almost not convinced this is beatable without cheats, as I wasn't patient enough to find out.
Another rather annoying moment was when I stepped into a teleporter only to be immediately blown away by a mancubus from behind as soon as I reach my destination. One that had up until that point been penned in.
Immediately after saving, I must add.
On to the final part of the map, and my least favorite: a slaughter section consisting of a huge outdoor plain, over a hundred monsters, and little cover. I lacked the BFG by this point and didn't want to spend half an hour mindlessly running around and shooting, so I /kill monsters'd and waited for the exit to open up.
In conclusion, if you've got the spacial awareness of a monkey, navigation skills of a salmon, and the patience of a saint, give it a go just to see those giant, unstable-looking spotlights in the park. If I lived in that city there's no way I'd let my kids play underneath those things. They could fall at at any moment!
The Fall of Hell - Nambona890
Doom 2 - Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 1557754 bytes -
Reviewed by: driftyloon
This is a WAD which consists of just one level. The level starts off with the player in a marble room. Just outside is a soulsphere, and with this you know that it's going to be a wad with a lot of monsters. However, you press tab button and it is revealed that there are only 22 monsters. This is what makes the wad kinda boring. After grabbing that soulsphere, the wall comes down and a central plateau is revealed with the bulk of the monsters on it. Sadly what you see is really all you get in this WAD. You are given a rocket launcher, a shotgun, and a super shotgun. Health is scattered around the little arena, but other than this, there are no other items or secrets. The final challenge is a fight with a cyberdemon, which is rather easy as you can just circle him. With this you have reached the end of the WAD. There is a short end text saying that you took down "the entire of hell". WHAT ON EARTH?! In Doom 1 and 2 you kill about a couple of thousand times, but no, in this you kill 22 monsters and bugger off home -_-.
In conclusion, I think that it was a decent wad but suffers from being boring. There has not been much thought put into this, and it was uninteresting with not much varied gameplay.
"FRADM1" - FranckFRAG
Doom 2 - ZDaemon/Zandronum - Deathmatch - 8096497 bytes -
Reviewed by: walter confalonieri
I'm back with my obnoxious English reviewing /newstuff for you guys, AH!
Today we have this gothic gold mini-episode (eight maps) for deathmatch by FranckFRAG, an author already known for his/her/its works on SP maps like Muskadet, Plutocracy, and some maps for 3 Heures d'agonie. Also, according to the text file, this is the first serious project from this author.
Layout is sometimes symmetric but has lots of cool detailing and eye-candy, and the new textures are just awesome. It gives you a ominous and "magical" feel to the various structures, mostly crafted around golden buildings with reference to the esoteric and occultism (I think), mostly with a satanic influence, except for a techbase on map06...
But unluckily, the gameplay (with bots) had its flaws (like in map02, where you fight inside a tower and it is really easy to fall down), and some maps for me were kind of boring to play, making me want to play Greenwar or dwango5 again. Other maps are just OK on layout and gameplay; early maps are pretty easy to spam frags with the BFG9000... acceptable.
Overall, a very cool mapset, but some changes in the layout department on a few maps would give a much better impression. Take a look.