Project Uber - Darsycho
Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 62.14 MB -
Reviewed by: magicsofa
Preface: This is an outdated WAD. The author just put up a newer verson on the mod thread, which includes a second player class. I realized this after doing the review, and I'm extremely lazy so you'll have to find out about the new class for yourself! Get it from http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=45173
"Once again, hell is up to no good. They've decided to make a supercomputer thing producing all sorts of new demons, it is up to you as Captain Akimbo to put a stop to this!"
When I read a WAD description such as this, I automatically get a strange taste in my mouth as if I'm a child claiming not to like a food before even trying it. It speaks of collecting "score," which is ironically a creation from hell that does NOT belong in Doom. The crowds of purists are gathering with pitchforks, chanting "E-1, E-1, E-1!" Torches will be set to all the multi-floored buildings, and nothing but the most pristine Doom maps will be born out of the ashes.
Somehow, despite the world coming to an end, I managed to load up the WAD. Once I hit the main menu, I forgot about all my skepticism and gloom. I guess I'm just a sucker for a dope main menu with a legit beat, the kind that says "get ready to launch, girl." I picked Intermediate difficulty, which is unusual because normally I think I'm tough and I pick the second hardest difficulty. Later on I almost considered switching to Easy, but the shame and guilt prevented me.
You start off with akimbo pistols, because obviously, you're Captain Akimbo, and oh yes, all of the weapons are such. When using the pistols, you can use alternate fire to shoot out a wonky projectile at the expense of health. I didn't use it ever. The pistols, on the other hand, have infinite ammo, and beserk makes them faster (and stronger I think?), and they also seem to do extra damage when you're in melee range. As such, you can use the pistols for a large part of the game. And you might be, because I found it incredibly easy to waste all of my ammo. For me double weapons apparently means quadruple trigger happy.
The first thing you will do is collect some "bombs" and then immediately waste one of them because you have no idea what they do. Well, they turn you into some sort of lord of the shotguns for a short time, during which you are invulnerable and fire maddening amounts of SSG blasts as well as bouncing shotguns that explode! Once I wasted the three given at the start, I never had more than 1 in stock. You get more by getting points or by finding pickups, and you'll wish you saved those first three. Anyway, it's ridiculous but fun.
I quite enjoyed the akimbo weapons, especially the plasma gun/rail gun combo. I did wish that there was a grenade launcher of some kind, but I haven't played the new class so I deserve to suffer. At first the guns seem overpowered but you quickly realize that the relentless tide of custom monsters is never going to let up. There are many variants on every Doom monster, plus a bunch of other monsters just thrown in. I guess I'm not as much of a purist as I thought because I was totally down with the wacky hordes of giant mancubuses and mini cacos. There's a little bit of light jumping and puzzling, but most of your time will be spent in bullet hell. For me this meant saving constantly, so maybe you should just play on Easy, alright pipsqueak?
In terms of visuals, there are a lot of great locations, and most of it looks pretty awesome. However, when the style changed from sleek futuristic to hellish and psychedelic, it lost some cohesion. Some of the later areas do look amazing but it kinda felt like Captain Akimbo had caused a time rift where classic Doom 2 mapping was infesting what should be a future-goth fortress. It certainly didn't ruin the action, which is excessive.
Speaking of excessive action, the last level is a real slog. Start in an arena, fight 4 or 5 battles, exit the arena to find... a much bigger arena encircling the first. Kill all the uber-wraiths and other riff-raff, a portal opens. Step in to find... a new level? Yup, you are now in a totally separate place that's basically its own level filled to the brim with revenants and archies. This is where I turned on the hax. I found it tedious even with God mode - finally I found the exit, which brings you to a -completely- different place, and finally, the end boss! You defeat it and... enter yet another area! Is this the end? No, it isn't! This map felt like an entire second episode was crammed into a single level. The room with the archies and revs was uninspired and overcrowded, which is unfortunate because the part right after that is stunning as well as playable. You saved those three bombs from the beginning, right?
Overall, this mod delivers what it promises. It's a zany adventure through Darsycho's twisted mind, which apparently has time to come up with silly replacements for all the in-game messages. And if you can't handle seeing a score counter on the screen, well then you might as well throw that source port in the garbage!
Aeon Deathmatch - Argentum, Combinebobnt, Decay, Dranzer, Dynamo, Grymmoire, HeavenWraith, IvanDobrovski, Jdagenet, Ra
Doom 2 - Deathmatch - Zandronum - 84.57 MB -
Reviewed by: magicsofa
Ah yes, deathmatch. A time to set aside the troubles of the world and get together with your "friends," who may or may not be simulated, to throw silly taunts around while blowing each other away. I actually sometimes wish that real people were more like the bots, who say hilarious things such as "Meet your Doom." All you get online is "GG" or perhaps, if you are lucky, "LOL"
Anyway, here we have the appropriate number of maps, 33, in which to blast thy foes. Almost all of them look really good, with a few looking exceptionally sexy. One map did employ generous amounts of vomit green and vomit brown, which didn't tickle me in an appropriate way, but I just accepted it because let's face it, we're all here for a little taste of hell. Such as a Minecraft map where little creeper decorations are scattered all OVER the place, just silently probing your mind. Or a Chex Quest map that really blows your nose. It's all here folks. It flows like Greenwar and stings like GothicDM. It includes a track from the Unreal Tournament music, which makes me insanely happy. It's even got the BFG, which is part of a balanced breakfast. What more could you want for your kids?
Starbase Gehenna - Abe87
Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 2.28 MB -
Reviewed by: magicsofa
This nine level episode comes from user Abe87, who from now on I'll refer to as Honest Abe because their misc. author info reads "Nothing special."
Overall I found this WAD to be quite enjoyable. I actually went back into the text file after finishing it, thinking there might be a backstory, because the atmosphere of the levels was quite nice (most of the time), and a lot of the locations actually felt like they had some meaning other than just a room to hold some demons. This is especially true in the first few levels, where the gameplay is pretty slow, with small enemies roaming large, sprawling hallways.
I might have liked a -bit- more action early on - the maps felt bigger than E1 maps, but with fewer enemies. I didn't mind however because they were fun to explore. The architecture and texturing were not totally consistent (a few sparse or ugly areas) but were creative and varied, and I enjoyed the effort towards a tech-base that's being tainted by the evil seeping from the cracks. The design was usually non-linear and relied very little on copy-pasta. One commenter complained of looking at the automap too much, but I would disagree since no two areas looked quite the same. It's just that you aren't rail-shootered along and may have to backtrack once in a while. Too bad Doomguy runs so slow! Another commenter said you will take two hours to complete the WAD because the distances are so long, and they were right.
The second half of Starbase Gehenna increases the action as well as the health items significantly. As you will see in the screenshots, at first I was running around with 5% health - and I would complete whole levels like that. Later on, the balance was much better. It still wasn't very tough on UV though, so all you nutcases with pent up feelings to blow out of a virtual shotgun barrel will need -fast or -respawn or some other masochistic nonsense to appease your dark desires. Personally I don't see a pressing need to make Doom into an E-sport, and neither does Honest Abe apparently.
Atmosphere in the second half got a little wacky. Some places lost the vibe of having a reason to exist, which I don't think is always needed, but I'm not sure if that was Honest Abe's intention. Also there were a few bumps along the way, such as areas that were a little bit too dark, revenants with their heads cut off or stuck monsters, a couple silly traps, a random sector of deep water, elevators that are too fancy for their own good, and blood that hurts you (lol). But, none of these were rage-quit worthy. I will say that there's one particular slow door at the end that could potentially be rage inducing. I saw it coming, but I gotta be honest, Honest Abe, that was a pretty poor choice. Just say NO to slow doors.
Well there you have it: if you're like me and think it's cute when a mapper includes a room with little compartments that you open up to reveal dead bodies or nothing at all, you will enjoy this set. E1 obsessives will find the first few levels arousing but then begin to question whether they have been living a lie when they start pummeling arachnotrons with the double-barrel... and liking it!
Altitude - Thomas "tourniquet" Seifert
Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 500.87 KB
Reviewed by: Scotty
Altitude is a single giant map that, impressively, is compatible with vanilla Doom 2 limits. The environment is reminiscent Doom 2's city maps but with a more modern approach to the gameplay and with Tourniquet's signature mapping style stamped all over the map.
It is easy to draw comparison with Tourniquet's Cacoward-winning Miasma as the two maps have a similar base – giant, intricate, non linear adventures with masses of optional areas and secrets to uncover. Like Miasma, the map can be completed with only around a third of it explored. There are multiple ways to progress and approach certain areas, which creates massive amounts of replay value.
Combat is fantastic – one minute things can be fairly sedate, the next minute the floor falls away beneath your feet and a giant fight suddenly explodes into life. I found resources to be incredibly well paced – enough to keep you on your toes and thinking about your ammo usage but not so restrictive as to choke the life out of the combat. The difficulty level is not as high as Miasma, and I believe that most players these days can cope with this on UV generally, although there are still some tricky fights.
For whatever reason this missed out in the 2017 Cacowards, but it is absolutely must-play material in my view.
Poison Hub - John Connolly
Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 35.51 KB -
Reviewed by: Walter confetti
Poison Hub is a medium sized classic E1 style map with little changes (like FLAT20 as a teleport pad, similar to alpha-style Doom, and an outdoor section with ASHWALL) made by John Connolly.
As I wrote above, the style of this map is pretty classic and follows the E1 theme pretty lousy. The layout is a puzzle-ish hub with a central and three doors that need to be unlocked via switching or keys; detailing is basic but well done. Gameplay is nice and there's some good combat sections. Overall a nice classic map to play. Check it out!
Chainworm Kommando - Chainworm666
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 4.61 MB -
Reviewed by: Spie812
Chainworm Kommando is a set of 10 (+1 credits map) maps for ZDoom and ZDoom-derived ports.
The levels are for the most part reasonably abstract, but set in realistic locations, sort of in a TNT Evilution kind of way, if that comparison makes sense. Generally speaking, the WAD starts out pretty poorly but improves as you progress, both in design and in gameplay, culminating in an awesome finale. Most of the WAD is also on the easier side, but not necessarily in a bad way.
One recurring theme is complicated sector architecture. There is a lot of cool furniture, machinery, computers, etc. all created with numerous tiny sectors. Lots of it is pointless detail (why make a sector terminal with three switches on it if you can just use a switch texture?) but it looks cool and gives the WAD some personality.
All maps played on UV with pistol starts.
MAP01: really straightforward techbase, to the point of being bland. However, you get introduced to a few of the aforementioned cool sector things.
MAP02: Another techbase, this time with a different theme. However, it's still pretty bad and suffers from some weird design choices. You know the Icon of Sin? There's a room with those head textures on a wall with an air vent leading into the brain. What?
MAP03: Takes place in a train yard. The gameplay benefits from the open space and is easily better than the first two levels. You collect the keys and board a train to exit the level.
MAP04: You get off the train (did I mention this WAD has continuity?) into a forest, which is amusingly but somewhat effectively made from a wall texture with trees on it. You then go about the forest exploring several wooden buildings along the way.
MAP05: You arrive at a brick mansion, which is being subverted by hell (or something like that). I do not like this map. The themes here (brown brick and marble) clash horribly and there is cramped combat accentuated by a scarcity of ammo.
MAP06: This one's has a graveyard/crypt theme. The marble textures here complement the theme rather than clashing with it like in MAP05. There is still some ammo scarcity (not quite to MAP05's extent) so don't be afraid to skip a fight or two.
MAP07: Continuing through the catacombs, but with fiercer opposition. The traps here are more creative and a bit more vicious than previous maps. The red key area is really cool, but pretty pointless.
MAP08: You teleport into a swamp of sorts, where sunbeams shine through the trees. It's really striking looking, actually. The level features nothing new in the gameplay sector, but nothing bad either.
MAP09: This map is set in a snowy village straight out of some 90s fantasy RPG. The architecture is simple, but looks fantastic. Unfortunately, ammo starvation is back in style and there's lots of mid-tier enemies.
MAP10: And you are sent straight to Hell for easily the most difficult and awesome map of the set. The use of lighting and textures makes the level look awesome. The level even includes a weird trippy sequence visiting previous maps of the set and even maps from other games, all completely taken over by Hell. It's a wild, crazy ride, and without any doubt is the highlight of the set.
Overall, after a pretty rough beginning, this is a decent mapset with good-looking and well thought-out levels.
Underground Presence - youraverageamir
Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 203.91 KB -
Reviewed by: obake
I played through all six maps of Underground Presence pistol start.
Map01: A cavern-base. Can be plowed through with minimal effort once you know the route, which is not a bad thing for an opening map. The rooms are incredibly basic, with novice mistakes immediately apparent (non-lower unpegged door tracks, etc.) The central area of the map, with nukage oozing down a set of stairs in a sort of canyon, is not a bad setup. I also found the secret behind the nukage fall nifty.
Map02: Another cavernous map, though more segmented. Includes spiraling staircases of rock and dirt, a lava room with imps behind cages, and even a library area. A mish-mash, but inoffensive.
Map03: This is where things get annoying. The map begins with an odd setup, where you must let a pair of Cacodemons die in order to open one of two doors. Either door lead to frustration, as much of the map is thin hallways that get filled with bullet-sponge enemies like Pinkies and Spectres, or powerhouses like Knights and Barons. You better conserve health, because the map is confusing and likes to lead you into nukage pits, even if they are not necessary to progress. The only part I liked was releasing a friendly Cacodemon from its cell, and letting it fight other enemies.
Map04: The task here is to avoid a Cyberdemon on a central platform until you can activate a crusher. Though the architecture is still very minimal, the map works. The non-Cyber related combat, which consists of random assortments of enemies, is also fun to plow through. Bonus for providing the first Super Shotgun in the wad.
Map05: The most random yet. This map is a hodgepodge of ideas, few of which are successful. Enemies appear at random, sometimes in incredibly confined areas. Not as frustrating as Map 03, but not much fun, either. Contains a (possible) homage to Dead Simple.
Map06: Another boss map. This time it is battling a Cyber atop a platform, while Boss Cubes get in the way. The first time I tried it, it was intolerable, as in the middle of the arena are two inescapable lava pits, making movement in an already tricky situation all the more limited. I failed over and over.
I took a break. Next time I loaded the map, I simply stayed a modest distance away, letting the Cubes spawn monsters behind me. This time I beat the Cyber with minimal effort, having only to strafe slightly to avoid his rockets (which would hit the spawned monsters behind and spark infighting.) Not a bad concept, but execution is (again) very minimal. The only secret in the map is a tiny room with a few rockets, which is unnecessary as rocket boxes are ample in the final area.
Overall, this wad is not good. There are nuggets of potential, but much of it is bogged down by basic design, with sometimes annoying gameplay. While it is probably better played continuous, even then, the lack of health and very rudimentary design would still get in the way.
I hope this review is not too harsh. The author has good ideas, they just need to take more time utilizing them properly, and tweaking gameplay in their maps.
Infested Water - Worm318
Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 396.25 KB -
Reviewed by: Myst.Haruko
This short map is intended for ZDoom compatible ports, and I played it on medium and hard skill settings. Gameplay related things first as usual. Both skills can spawn a hell knight and a baron of hell in the start, but with good infighting and taking the quick shortcut, everything becomes easier. Also, in the start, the player can get the chainsaw, so with some risk, fighting with more dangerous monsters is possible.
On both sides of the locked doors there are spider demons, so quick reaction is required before they melt the player. Traveling further from the starting point, combat becomes easier by a bit. I liked one trap after pressing one switch – it lowers the floor and leaves a nukage pool with some platforms.
I don't know if this more a design flaw or gameplay flaw, but it's easy to miss a switch which reveals teleporters and leads into another part the of map. It doesn't count as secret and it can lead to frustration if the player tries to do a UV-max run for the first time. The other part of the map contains a traditional switch trap and the super shotgun.
The large and secret parts of map are mostly base themed, and the smaller part I would say is more spiritual/hell themed (judging by the colour red and some moving 3D floor usage and open space). Ahead is a small arena with an interesting fight and a megasphere in one of the small islands. Be extremely careful not to fall into the void...
Now about visual side of this map. The player can expect some crampiness in corridors, a small throwback to the Doom II map 02 starting area (heavily modified, so nobody could reject it). As I mentioned before, the author used 3D floors, slopes and other ZDoom mapping related things. Besides those things, some areas could use more details and light.
As the author stated, it was his experiment with some ideas, so, I recommend trying this map, a not so detailed and fun map to kill boredom.
Edited by Bloodshedder