Freudian Slipgate - Alter, Obsidian, Pinchy, General Rainbow Bacon, TheMisterCat, Marnetmar
Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 9.47 MB -
Reviewed by: Voros
Freudian Slipgate, 22 levels of "Bull#$@$" for Doom 2.
Title sounds interesting. The description: "You are playing Quake, you walk into the Slipgate only to find out it's Freudian, suddenly, you are in Doom.. #doomtwid realm, you have angered the #doomtwid gods and they throw you into the random maps for invading their privileges on internet." Not so much. I hope this wasn't a mistake.
"Are you agitated enough to survive the Bull#$@$ maps?". Of course not.
I must say, the maps are pretty good, but the whole WAD feels somewhat strange. That's what I get for reviewing a WAD with a description like that. Let's get to it.
The map detailing is very pleasing look at. It's realistic design makes the player believe that he/she is in an actual place. It's very immersive. There's even a "TV" with a GTA IV cover showing on the screen!
The geometry of the maps are pretty abstract really. And they all feel very spacious most of the time. The architecture usually resembles some kind of environment, like a library, a dead city, a dockyard and so on. These maps have a lot of backtracking involved and are very non-linear, so you'll probably get stuck in some areas. No biggie. Freudian Slipgate rocked with the urban levels, let me tell you that.
The demons. Are they well placed? Yep. Although maybe cruelly at first, but once you get the big guns, they won't be too much trouble later on. Hordes, groups, duos etc. But some are really just a pain in the ass, like two Arch-Viles teleporting into a room full of dead demon bodies! With a Cyberdemon in the package. I recommend you have a Plasma Rifle with you at all times. And the final level, with its boss. Heh, it wasn't even big, or intimidating to me. More like a miniature Chinese dragon. But beware, it is fucking powerful... and it's got a bunch of towers filled with Revenants to help it kick your ass. The Big Fucking Gun is recommended.
The item placements are enough. A Medkit here and there, some powerups too, no problem. But to me, I feel that there is a slight lack in ammo. I had to fight almost every demon with my fists at least once throughout the WAD.
The music is dull. While the maps are fast paced, the music is slow. Is it atmospheric? Yes it is, but it just doesn't go so well with these action-packed levels. It's not very fun to listen to while mass murdering demons.
The title picture is strange really, as you can see in screenshot X. The intermission screen is just as weird. From what I can tell, you're supposed to be looking at a cat's skeleton with X-ray vision? And a phrase is written: "Time spent with cats is never wasted". Yeah, I don't know what the authors are trying to achieve with that sentence, but I just came here to slay demons.
Now some first impressions on some of the beginning maps!
MAP01- I have nothing to say here. You've got to see it to believe.
MAP02- Looks like some kind of UAC outpost. Oh dear, so much space and it is filled with demons.
MAP03- Seems like a regular techbase from the '90s. It's a bit more claustrophobic than the previous map.
MAP04- I'm on a bench. There is some garden of dead trees and bushes going along the stone walls. A big, flat building can be seen. Seems like a UAC facility for cargo handling.
Freudian Slipgate isn't "Bull#$@$" at all. It's challenging, it's beautiful, it's fun. Be sure to have a go with this!
MildDM - Born to be Mild
Doom 2 - Deathmatch - ZDoom Compatible - 10 KB -
Reviewed by: Voros
MildDM is a Deathmatch map for Doom 2's MAP01.
The geometry is basically a square room with mostly square-shaped sectors. Thankfully, there's enough space here for you to move around.
The detailing is OK to me. STARTAN walls and a blood fountain, pretty strange combination. And it is not very mind blowing either.
The weapon placement is perfect. Since the map isn't huge, you don't really require a large amount of ammo or even med kits. Kill or be killed.
One thing I liked are the teleporters in the map. They decrease the chances of you getting cornered and increase the chances of survival. Adds a whole new twist to this simple arena.
Simply, it is "mild", and is pretty fun to play deathmatch with your friends. Feel free do so!
Toxic line - Vincenzo VTM
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 168.59 KB -
Reviewed by: gaspe
Toxic Line is single map for Doom 2 with the good old setting of a nukage treatment facility. The mood of the map was really well done with a focus on the exploration of the place. The gameplay was rather good overall, but the map was too flat many times. On the visuals, the map feels a bit neglected; it's enough to look good, but even a few more details here and there would have been a good thing. It has its up and downs, but it's a quite good map overall.
Confinement 256? - Xyzzy01
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 7.16 KB -
Reviewed by: gaspe
Confinement 256 is a single map that mocks Congestion 1024 and 64. And that it is; you are sitting in a 256x256 room with a few monsters in the playable area and a few outside of it. The thing could have worked if the wad had more maps and if the author came up with some ideas, but as a standalone level this is really worthless.
Phobos Mission Control - John Romero
Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 91.28 KB -
Reviewed by: Jaws In Space
With the Toxin Refinery in the rear-view, you make your way to Phobos Mission Control where the computers crunching the data from the Phobos Anomaly are located. You need to use them to gain access to the Phobos Lab, but remember hearing that the computers were tied into all areas of the installation and that you never knew when the environment around you would change. You need to keep your eyes alert to all movement - this place is not what it seems...
Very few game developers are as involved with their fan community as much as the people of id Software. Romero is always leading the way with giving out goodies and information about Doom and its development. In 2015 he released a treasure trove of old pre-release material, much to the excitement of the Doom community. There was always one thing from Romero that we truly wanted, but it was one thing that Romero was very reluctant to ever give us, a new map. The release of Tech Gone Bad in 2016 was a real shock to many people, and it made quite a few headline in major gaming articles; John Romero had finally sat down and made a brand new map after having not done so since the 1996 game Quake. It turns out that Romero still had it; the level was very positively received, and it showed that his mapping style had evolved since the release of Doom, yet he was still able to create a level that would go quite nicely with the other eight maps of E1. Along with the release of Tech Gone Bad, he announced that he would start development on a new FPS game, so again we were kinda surprised by the release of Phobos Mission Control just a few months later.
Phobos Mission Control plays in the E1M4 slot. The text file states that Romero made this level because E1M4 Command Control was a collaboration between Tom Hall and himself, and he wanted to give Doomers access to a pure Romero E1 for those who wanted that. Phobos Mission Control is a completely original map and doesn't take any inspiration from Command Control. Like Tech Gone Bad, Phobos Mission Control is a limit removing map, so you need to get yourself a source port to be able to play it, but the map only uses stock music and textures, so it still feels like it fits right in with the rest of E1.
The map starts you off in a fairly open area in the center of the map. You quickly grab the Chaingun, which causes some hitscanners to drop in on a lift. There are many moving parts to this map: lift sections of the map often drop down, which in turn opens up the map more and subjects the player to enemy fire from multiple angles at once. The use of monsters at varying heights is very well done, where monsters will never just be on the same level as you are; there's always something above and below you giving the player lots of trouble. The overall difficulty of this map isn't too tough; death by shotgun guy is the most likely scenario, or if you're not watching your step, you might fall into one of the many inescapable nukage pits that litter the map.
Romero uses a number system to help guide the player throughout the map. You will find the numbers 1 through 4 in two spots on the map; one of the numbers marks a switch, and the other number marks the door or lift that it activates. One of the best parts of this map is the computer maze. Unlike the computer maze that appeared in E1M2, this maze uses all sorts of lifts, windows, and platforms of varying heights to make for a much more engaging experience. One thing I really like about this computer section is that there is a raised platform that you must traverse. I fell off it and thought I would have to run back a ways to get back onto it, but it turns out that Romero placed raising stairs every so often, so I was quickly able to get back onto the the platform and back into the action. It's the little stuff in the map like those stairs which shows that Romero knows that it's really important to keep the action moving to keep the player engaged in the map.
Overall I didn't like this level as much as Tech Gone Bad, but I do think that this map is better than E1M4, so I'm happy that it was made. If this map is a sign of what Romero has in store for us in his upcoming game Project Blackroom, then I do think that we are in for quite a treat. I suspect that this will be the last Doom map that we will see from Romero for quite a long time and we may never see another new one again, but I'm glad that Tech Gone Bad and Phobos Mission Control exist. It shows how much Romero cares for Doom and all the fans that still play it today. Now all we need is for some of the other classic id team to make a few maps for us :)
Cute Demon Butt Collection - Zalewa
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 254 KB -
Reviewed by: gaspe
Quoting from the credits: "Aleks, who liked the posterior of the Cyberdemon which inspired me to make this WAD.", so we must say also thanks to him for making this possible. After we exit from the starting tunnel there's the b-side of an imp that gives us a warm welcome; on the left awaits us the first fight of the map with a bullshit horde of enemies. Everything has a quite strong 94' vibe, and if you are still there, good for you. That sets the mood for what you will find in all the rest of the map, which offers us erratic shapes and weird texturing in an appealing way topped with fun gameplay with many nasty surprises. Maybe the initial impression and the joking nature of the map will turn you off, but if you want to endure all of this, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Doom: Earrape Edition - TheSoldiersShadow
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - ZDoom - 481.54 KB
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Doom: Earrape Edition is a mod that converts all of the sound files in Doom 1 and 2 by amplifying the volume and making them more distorted. It seems like the author's goal was to just be kind of an asshole and make Doom unplayable; they mention "pranking" people in the text file. In fact, just reading the text file is enough to piss you off as you realize just how pointless and unpleasant D:EE is going to be.
The thing is, the mod isn't even very successful. The sounds are louder and more distorted, sure, but not to the point of being painful. Even the plasma rifle, which is half the reason I normally play with the SFX turned off, isn't that much worse than normal. I suppose it was fortunate for me that D:EE only affects the sounds and not the music, but either way, it isn't worth a download.
You also have to love how the author claims this is vanilla-compatible but it comes as a PK3.
Regardless of whether this wad even does what it tries to do, I think one of the reviewers (Ijon Tichy) on /idgames said it best: "I feel like somewhere along the line someone forgot what the word 'joke' means in 'jokewad.'"
Somewhere in Time - Zoltan Schmidt "Katamori"
Doom 2 - Single Player - Chocolate Doom - 964.05 KB -
Reviewed by: Not Jabba
Somewhere in Time is a set of 15 short-but-sweet mostly-vanilla maps. Katamori cites Scythe, TVR!, and Reverie as his main inspirations, and although the mapset lacks the silky smooth, can't-even-stop-moving-if-you-try flow of Erik Alm's levels, comparisons to van der Velden's and Krizik's work seem very appropriate. Many levels reminded me of the laid-back gameplay and almost cartoony faux-realism of TVR!, while others, with their increased intensity and slightly more understated detailing, felt a lot more like Reverie. There's only one level in the set that has over 100 monsters on UV, and the majority of them top out between 30 and 60. The soundtrack mostly comes from Iron Maiden, Metallica, and other metal bands, which I might find annoying if the levels were longer, but the galloppy, driving midis work well for the short, fast-paced levels.
In recent years, most of the community's star mappers have been known for making very difficult levels, and as a result, the whole idea of good level design tends to be associated with pushing players to the limits of their skills. To me, Somewhere in Time represents the other side of the coin. Most of these levels are pretty easy -- and certainly none of them get near the kind of ovary-busting difficulty you find in Sunlust or Ancient Aliens -- but I was continually struck by Katamori's attention to detail. At the end of map 03, you get thrown into a fight with a pair of Mancubuses, and even though it's not a very difficult fight at all, Katamori sets it up to feel like a boss fight, just because he can. The setup is sort of dramatic, they're the toughest enemies you've fought so far, and there are crates to hide behind everywhere, even though you probably don't need them. It's cheesy, but it's also really fun. The whole mapset is full of those sorts of details; it's like Katamori put the same kind of extra care into it that a designer would put into a whole new game where the players are supposed to be complete newbies and the level design has to help prod them into learning how to play and how to think about the game world.
The difficulty progression is a bit odd, with many of the easiest levels located toward the end of the set -- it looks like many of the later levels were made first but were placed at the end due to having a more hellish theme. The middle levels tend to be the most challenging, and there are definitely a few nerve-wracking situations. The end of map 06 takes place in a cool tech-void setting that combines a lot of open space with a lack of interconnectedness in the platforms to put pressure on you each time new enemies appear (especially when Arch-Viles show up). The Arachnotron section of map 07 has the spiders firing at you from distant platforms, forcing you to put some effort into killing each one of them while simultaneously avoiding the plasma fire from every other direction and a sizable horde of Lost Souls. The last level is an Icon of Sin battle, but rather than trying to destroy the brain, you have to figure out how to open up the exit before you get overwhelmed by the enemies filling up the level's small main courtyard.
Somewhere in Time really shows what it means for a mapset to be well made without being very difficult. It reminds me of why TVR! has been one of my favorite megawads for years, and I would highly recommend these levels to anyone who isn't afraid to not be hardcore every now and then.
Doom 3 Player Sounds - Mr. Chris
Doom/Doom 2 - N/A - ZDoom Compatible - 548.06 KB
Reviewed by: Voros
This mod replaces Doomguy's sounds with Doom 3's player sounds.
That's basically it. But it's not crappy. Feel free to check it out.
Rumble in the Office - Carlos Lastra
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 133.85 KB -
Reviewed by: Chezza
This single map is essentially a replacement for E1M1. I will immediately suggest this for anyone who has just finished work and just wants a nice brief session of Doom. There is nothing in this wad that can offend anyone, and it's even difficult to nitpick.
It is definitely inspired by the classic Dooms. The traps, secrets, lighting, monster placement, and difficulty match up quite well. The aesthetics and detail also gets a thumbs up from me. The size is what I will call medium; it doesn't overstay its welcome, nor does it end too suddenly.
I only played on Hurt Me Plenty and encountered a very manageable number of Zombiemen, several Cacodemons, and a few surprisingly-well-placed Barons. The map seems to be well thought out; I never felt cheated or overstocked with supplies. The quality as a whole is quite high, and despite being just one of many E1M1 replacements mostly filled of zombiemen, it was actually refreshing to play.
Kudos to the author.
Operation UAC - Chapter 1 - Chezza
Doom 2 - Single Player - Zandronum - 60.79 MB -
Reviewed by: gaspe
Operation UAC - Chapter 1 is a wad specifically designed to be played with Brutal Doom (v20b) and it can be played only on Zandronum, as the other ports may not have the correct behaviour with some triggers and scripts. This will eventually be a megawad, maybe? But for now we will review the first nine maps, as the others are allegedly in development. Contrary to many maps that get released with a wording of "made with Brutal Doom in mind" or "must play with Brutal Doom!!" which gives more the feeling of "I just auto-load everything with that mod", this wad seems to actually want to use the mod as a stable foundation to start.
Enough with the presentation, let's talk about the substance. Nine level which are all short, but they provide a nice sense of the journey we are going into. In addition, there are also some custom monsters used and two boss battles. The wad was played on what is the equivalent of UV and on classic mode. Overall it wasn't really difficult; cool moments of combat are there, but the ammo and health seemed rather absent many times, and it contributed to the challenge more than the monster usage or the battlefields themselves. A big problem with the maps is that unfortunately they don't go much beyond a room-corridor-room... stage, and thus combat rarely has interesting scenarios. The custom monsters were a nice thing and don't go out of their scope (the robots are inside the tech facilities, the sewer areas have their own "fauna"), but for a bit it felt like a "monster salad" where the author just wanted to slap many of them together for the sake of using them, and this is amplified by the low count of the maps. The bosses were all right, though the first one was more interesting to fight.
Since this is still concerning the monsters, I want to spend some words about the cutscenes. There will be few of them in all the maps, but don't worry, you don't have to read to some stupid plot for minutes, it's just few seconds where the monsters do something and stuff happens. Some were quite cute, but others felt out of place (the imp-throwing revenants) or like the baron on MAP02. It was a bit ridiculous how preparing to fight a baron with an SSG was hyped. Most of my reactions to these was just: why??!!
But how are the levels? Well they look quite nice and detailed, but they have some big problems. As said before, the maps won't go any more complex than room after room with corridors, which was a shame. At the start the levels seem quite promising; they manage to capture the atmosphere of the place you are going to visit; shame that in the end you get few elaborated rooms that, yes, they are well detailed, but they feel to be disconnected pieces. The other lacking thing was the lighting, and this one was really bad. The variations were almost absent, and everything looked pale and more bland than what it was. Also every room in the tech areas has tons of light sources, which can also be logical, and I don't know if the author wanted to create this kind of look of places lit like it's day-time, but the visual impression is very bad.
Overall there seems to be a lot of effort put into this, and there are quite some interesting ideas. I wouldn't call it exactly a mixed bag; most of the stuff seem promising or interesting at first, though how the things were developed was rather underwhelming. Brutal Doom fans should definitely check this out if they haven't yet; even if you don't touch gameplay mods, it's a nice chance to try something different. Worth a play for sure, but really far from being something outstanding.
The /newstuff Chronicles #506