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File Reviews posted by Scotty

  1. Back to Basics


    Cleverly designed in a lot of subtle ways.


    Going into this episode off the back of playing lots of 'fast paced modern' wads can be quite jarring at first as E2M1 (incidentally the weakest map in the episode by some margin) quickly slams the brakes on through oppressive shotgunner usage and resource limitation. At this juncture you either continue to try and play at high speed and probably grow frustrated, or you slow things down a bit and take your time, accepting that the combat is not at the forefront of this set. It is at this slower pace where i started to appreciate the mapping a lot more as the environmental design and detail gets more time to breathe - drawing you in even further - and as a result i found this episode to be an incredibly engrossing experience overall.


    The classic Shores of Hell formula of tech meeting hell (a thematic clash that is easily misjudged) is embraced here and employed with exemplary restraint, which adds to the overall impact of the thematic change through the course of the episode - descending into the fleshy bowels of E2M7 comes with a heavy sense of place, something that is reinforced throughout the episode via sprawling maps that can create a feeling of being lost and insignificant in the scope of the environment. Espi's signature texturing style adds a lot of depth to architecture and environment.


    "Back to Basics" feels apt given that this wad is a standout example of simplicity executed brilliantly.

  2. Kamikaze Suicidal


    A nice sequel - and vast improvement - over PRCP's "Suicide Mission". Visually on point, expanding on texturing themes from the original Plutonia map with detailing that would feel very at home in Plutonia 2. Gameplay wise i found this to be quite reminiscent of parts of Alien Vendetta; a large sprawling techbase set amongst nukage pools, featuring relatively large monster count and density, broken up by a couple of encounters that throw more sizeable hordes at the player. Replay value is found through some optional areas and multiple paths through the map. A fine way to spend half an hour or so.

  3. Plutosis


    Solid set of old school Plutonia maps. Some cool ideas to be found here, although I think the maps could have benefited from slightly more generous health offerings.

  4. Emergent


    A set of compact, sub-100 monster maps that create challenge through a combination of devious enemy placement and instances of highly unforgiving architecture - in some respects, this is reminiscent of a highly compressed version of Sunder.

  5. The Ledge


    To me, this map felt like the spirit of Doom 2's 2nd episode with a particularly strong John Romero influence, packaged in a more modern way. Combat and progression is neat. Great stuff!

  6. Altitude


    Absolutely top notch. Fun to explore, great combat, and amazing to see how this incredibly intricate level unwraps itself as you progress. Vanilla compatibility just makes it even more impressive.

  7. RetributioN Trilogy


    Two giant maps and a smaller IOS map. The two big maps are the points of interest really, huge constructions loaded full of secret areas and places to explore, with generally fairly nicely paced combat - quiet, tense moments can suddenly explode into giant encounters. Difficulty and intensity ramps up pretty solidly as you progress through these maps, with some pretty hard hitting combat in pretty, perhaps unusually (and refreshingly) for such an exploration-driven wad. It felt as though finding secrets is borderline necessary to have adequate resources to take the fight to the hordes (without using infighting anyway), which is perhaps not to everyone's tastes - and some of the secrets take a good bit of effort to uncover.

  8. Grime


    A masterclass in entertaining encounters and engaging, challenging gameplay. Item and monster placement is borderline perfect.


    Less experienced players should take advantage of the well-implemented difficulty settings - don't miss out through being stubborn if UV is too difficult for you!

  9. Abcess


    Classic Doom style mapset that feels like a mix of E1 and TNT with some Plutonia elements present. Generally solid although gunners are abundant while health is not so much, necessitating quite conservative play in parts.

  10. Counterattack


    Somehow these maps manage to feel absolutely huge and nonlinear without drastically creating confusion for progression, and this creates a lot of replay value. Combat is varied and traps inventive. Astonishingly beautiful detailing.


    This is a masterpiece.

  11. Noctambulist


    A trio of increasingly tricky maps; bleak canyons link decrepit structures and create a wonderful atmosphere when allied to the music of choice here. Gameplay is mostly set pieces strung together really - fine by me, they are the most memorable part and were well executed, varied and required some thought rather than mere straferunning around the perimeter. The finale of the wad was my personal highlight.


    In parts i felt Archviles were a bit of a crutch and sometimes took away from encounters. That said, the wad is pretty manageable on UV and does not require god-tier ability to beat. Lower difficulties appear to knock the harshest edges off while retaining the spirit of the maps.


    Overall, recommended and worth an hour or two to check out.

  12. This mapset struck me as fairly innocuous at first but the gameplay is where this one really shines. Maps are compact and punchy with a lot of combat variety and entertainment to be had. There is a solid difficulty ramp and i found myself having more and more fun with each passing map. Top notch - recommended to anyone!

  13. Suspended in Dusk


    Wonderfully detailed, intricate and atmospheric maps, unfortunately marred by combat that is either very pedestrian (even by classic standards) or somewhat tedious and slow paced. Worth a look but limited replay value.

  14. Running Late


    Good fun and at only 5 maps is definitely worth an hour or two of your time to check out. Plasma marines may split opinion as always but they aren't too obnoxious here.