Zalewa

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About Zalewa

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    Some good stuff here. The level consists of an elaborate cave system with geometry that can be described as an entangled web of beads. There's also a swastika look-alike in north-eastern corner of the map. The layout doesn't belong to the non-confusing ones, but it's nevertheless manageable. When reaching some points, you will be provided a convenient way of arriving at the next point-of-interest, Skyrim style. Action is constant, with some moderate switch hunting. Nothing too bad. Difficulty is also moderate. Visuals are brown and gray then some more brown and gray plus some extra colors other than brown and gray here and there, with sufficient amount of detail to not suffocate you with all that brown and gray.
    + Technically correct. + Good proportions. + Good item placement - especially with weapons being actually provided. + Good visuals. / Small size - Layout consists of rectangular rooms & corridors and is very unsophisticated. Focus your improvement on more elaborate layouts and you'll be good to go.
    Do we have a Cacoward candidate here? Do we have a Cacoward winner for 2017? We shall soon find out. This WAD is amazing. The abundance of 3D floors enhances the architecture and gameplay. The fights are set up to be difficult, but fair. The ammo can be tight, but you will manage. The levels vary from sillylistic, yet elaborate Doom cities, caves, canyons, bases, stations, mines, hell, and whatever else you'd like. Not one map is like the other. Despite the fact that one mapper made this, you never feel bored, you never feel like you're seeing something that you've already seen. Levels are high in detail, polish, and just plain thought. All of this done in 10 months. All of this works in Zandronum coop (though I think there are some areas where players can get irrevocably locked out from & stuck). One gripe - music tracks repeat, so more tracks would be nice. But then again, such repetition is rarely done in Doom WADs and having some common, repeating music themes is actually a quite original approach. Bravo. I won't soon forget this WAD.
    So, this is a "possessed mansion mainly" WAD, and as far as speed mapping WADs go, this one is all that you would expect from it. The levels are short, designed well in regards to gameplay and layout and in overall good for quick fun. Don't expect much more than that.
    I have trouble rating this WAD. On one hand it's well detailed, the gameplay involves constant action but with minimal ammunition, there are some difficult moments but they never surprise you and they allow fair space to take cover and the map layout is manageable. However, the map is really big. The layout is 3 dimensional with 3D floors everywhere, which forces you to navigate the map in 3 dimensions and you can't rely on automap 100%. There's also lots of architecture copy-pasta and because of this, the looks do get boring after a while. The map also limits itself to rectangles (long corridors or wide rooms) with little to no obstacles and no intricate constructs to provide interesting fighting environment. The bads level out the goods and the result can only be summarized as average.
    It might not be the best open-layout map, but thankfully it's also not too confusing. I managed to complete it without getting lost even once (in coop, tho), maybe I was lucky or maybe not. This silly music is not annoying, it even brings a small smile. Gameplay is relaxing, visuals are decent. Edit: I also meant to give 3* with 3.5 in comment, but somehow gave 4*. Have it :)
    There are many things in this WAD to like. I like the fact that it was made by a single author and yet all maps feel different from each other. Of course, themes repeat, but these are not just reiterations of the same concepts with different layouts or, even what would be even worse, no concept with random layout. Maps feel distinctive and visually appealing. The shapes are rectangular in most levels, but there's additional detail or additional ledges or hanging rooms that hide the bluntness of this shape. I like the fact that ZDoomisms are subtle and the usual Doom gameplay is not affected by them. You'll get some 3D floors and some DECORATE enemies, but no cameras, no cutscenes, no obvious scripting. Some enemies could've been balanced better (I think many monsters from Realm667 could use some design touch-ups), but I think in their current state they are fine too. I like that the WAD maintains constant quality. There is some subtle improvmenet in latter maps, but there's nothing here that would stand out as being better or worse than the average. The maps I liked in particular were MAP19 - the rockhole, MAP22 - the cyberdemon danger and all the maps after it except maybe MAP30. MAP30 could be better if the amount of high-threat, high-HP enemies was reduced. The latter maps also get slaughtery, but it's always manageable without sweat. It's a relaxing variant of slaughter. I like the visuals - good textures are used, there's sufficient but not overabundant detail and the layouts ensure movement in many directions. You won't be bored. However, I'm not exactly keen on using wall textures on floors. I, however, don't like technical derpiculties that involve missing textures or teleporter lines that have no "repeat action" flag. There's also one spot on MAP25 (I think) where you can fall between rock pillars and never get out. I moderately liked the silly music choices. "Another Brick in The Wall", lol. For a single person effort - this WAD is damn good and it was made in a period of time that is relatively short.
    For maps made within a 2 (in practice 3) hour limit - call me impressed. Call me really impressed. A major step up of quality from 03.
    I think I like the unique feel of this level. While the textures consist mostly of brown bricks with some green thrown into the mix, the city itself is constructed in an odd way that makes you feel like you're inside a great aqueduct. The map is expansive, it will take about 20 - 30 minutes to beat and the ammo is a bit scarce (though should be sufficient) so mind your shots. Other than that, the progression pacing is very smooth and an average player should be able to beat this level without sweat.
    These are pretty swell, so I'd consider this speedmapping session an all-around success.
    Out of the 8 maps, MAP01, MAP07 and MAP08 are actually playable so I suppose on could say that this speedmapping session was 37.5% successful, but I'll say 30%.
    Interesting aesthetics - you're in the "belly of the beast", an interior of a huge organism. Even though the textures are flesh and liquid, the prevalent color is white. The level designs are partially unoriginal, with 2nd level being a variation of 'O' of destruction and 3rd level being a boss fight arena with multiple arch-viles and no cover (seriously, I still fail to understand how surviving this is not a random outcome). While the aesthetics are surely... intriguing, I don't think these levels are on par with the better maps out there. This is definitely a good map pack, still.
    So what you get is this: - 2 Tyson/Pacifist maps where you will be running in circles finding switches or ways out while avoiding heavy fire. - 2 maps that are actually playable but will throw bullshit at you. - 5 maps that are done in overused style that I've seen countless of times. - In-your-face Arch-Vile that will fuck you up when you walk on a ledge, or the same situations with enemies gangbanging you frontally and from the rear. In all cases you are forced to drop off the ledge and then find your way back up. - Clunky layouts that will force you to run around wonder how to get back to the place you saw earlier. For a WAD with 5 maps, all of this was really annoying. Any pluses? Visuals... although see bullet no. 3.
    A town under a starry night. This map is done very well in nearly all aspects, with good atmosphere and eerie architecture. Music adds to this mood, although it gets weary after a while. Layout doesn't let you get confused, even though the main area of the map consists of several buildings. Fights are set up in interesting ways, although not very difficult. All in all, there's something about this map that just spells "well done".
    In accordance to its name, this WAD oscillates between excellent gameplay and killing your ass with army of whatever the hell will squash you up against the wall + arch-viles + infinitely tall cacodemons raining at you from High Heavens if you play with infinitely tall actors. To be precise, maps 07 and 09 do that. Other maps are nice. Architecture shows plenty of effort and imagination.