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About sanfrisco

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  1. sanfrisco

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Solar Struggle

    I hope it ain't too late to give my final thoughts on E4 and the WAD overall. While I managed to finish my playthrough on time, I always underestimate how long writing these reviews take me. E4 has probably the most divisive set of maps and I have a lot to say about most of them, so let's jump right in: E4M1: Docking Station [UV; pistol start; no saves; 5 deaths] Easily one of the best, most cohesive opening maps I've ever played. The idea is simple: Run past all enemies til you find a weapon, then fire away. But the execution couldn't be closer to perfection. The scramble for a proper weapon at the start was probably my favourite opening of the entire WAD. The new Venus background and floating structures connected through teleporters make for a stunning location. But the real deal is the gameplay, with just the right amount of non-linearity as well as perfectly placed enemies trying their best to hunt you down, blocking your path if you give them too much time. Once you grab the rocket launcher, your only weapon for the entire map, the action kicks up another notch. Having only a rocket launcher at hand is a neat power balance. While you're able to easily clear out big numbers of enemies with ease, once you're surrounded, there's nothing you can do. At multiple points throughout the level you're practically swarmed by monsters teleporting in. There's enough ammo to hold down the fire button, taking out large quantities of imps and pinkies within seconds. This is exactly what I'm looking for when playing Doom. Bravo! E4M2: Customs Office [UV; pistol start; no saves] What the hell did I just play? The music seems to think the same. I can't say I didn't enjoy my time though. While I does feel a tad amateurish and all over the place at times, the map is undeniably creative and unique. The start already had me laughing and the good mood stayed for the rest of the level. Certain sections and rooms were rather cramped and awkward to fight in, but since the majority of the level wasn't all too challenging, I mostly didn't mind it. The only bit I really didn't enjoy was the Spiderdemon fight. E4M9: Cult Headquarters [UV; pistol start; no saves; 3 deaths] Seems like I enjoy me some accessable slaughter. Though quite possibly the most simple map in the entire WAD, the map is mindless, action-packed fun. Especially the Cyberdemon fight got my blood pumping. The combat does a great job at looking terrifing at first glance, offering quite possibly the highest monster density of the WAD, but actually being very fair and managable if one does not panic. Playing aggressive and getting monsters to infight by circling the arena worked well for me. E4M3: Commercial District [UV; pistol start; no saves; ~20 deaths] Man, this map broke me on saveless attempts. The map is essentially one huge, interconnected arena, allowing for nearly infinite ways of tackling the map's tricky encounters. The routes I've seen in other playthroughts of the map for example vastly differd from my approach. But no matter what I tried, I couldn't find any reliable strategy for the first wave. All but one of my ~20 attempts ended there and I had to admit I did feel kind of frustrated after a while, because the Spiderdemons were too damn good at blocking off large portions of the map, leading to me being overwhelmed by the army of other enemies. The route I found gave me the best chance for survival was immediatly heading for the Cyberdemon after grabbing the soul sphere and plasma on the way. I don't exactly know how the Spiderdemons spawn in, but if they spawn right next to you while grabbing either, the run is pretty much over. But even if they don't, they remain by far the biggest threat, drastically limiting the space you have to work with, in order to stay out of their sight. Once things start to calm down the Spiderdemons should either be already dead or on fairly low health. The other two waves also keep the pressure high but aren't nearly as problematic. Looking back though, even if I struggled a lot, I found the combat to be fantastic and overcoming a challenge in this WAD has rarely felt this good. E4M4: Residential Areas [UV; pistol start; no saves; 2 deaths] While I would consider this to be probably the least memorable map in E4, I think it benefits a lot from its placement in the WAD. After struggling quite a lot with E4E3 and not yet knowing the horrors that would await me in the next map, looking back, M4 feels like the perfect breather map. Not overly difficult, yet with quite a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. The tight ammo at the start fortunately works in the map's favor, requiring you to prioritise which enemies you want to use your shells on (it's always the Shotgunners). Moments that positively stood out to me were, exploring the opening area, the huge number of shotgunners spawning in after grabing the rocket launcher and the final trap. Visually I have to admit the map doesn't do much for me. E4M5: Waste Recycling Facility [UV; pistol start; 1 save; ~10 deaths] The moment I saw the monster count I knew I was in trouble. Being by far the largest map in the set and the only I have yet to beat saveless, this could have easily been an exhausting, repetitive or a clash of ideas. The words 'magnum opus' have been mentioned quite a few timesm, deservingly so in my opionon. I would agree with calling this an outstanding adventure map and one of the WADs biggest highlights. The first playthrough can be overwhelming with multiple optional areas and fights being available from the very start, yet the difficulty somehow feels perfectly balanced. If you go for the plasma early on, you have a tough fight ahead of you early on, but an easier time in latter fights. It's more than impressive how one map can have an episode's amount of memorable fights and setpieces with such consistantly top notch quality. Yes, the level's enormous duration works in its favour, yet none of it feels like filler. There are too many highlights to list them all, but the fight for the plasma gun, the entire computer maze section and the final fight. Really the only section I'm not fond of, that I've also seen others mention, as well as being my only death on my proper attempt, is the crusher section. Whereas the rest of the level allows or even encourages a fast and aggressive playstyle, this section brings the pacing to a halt, requiring a tedious amount of precision. Luckily you are at least granted a free soul sphere and the final fight easily makes up it. This is one map I'm sure I'll return to, not only because I want to beat the final map saveless, but also because I can't wait to experience some of the combat encouters and section again. I'm fairly certian I'll love it just as much again. E4M6: Mass Propulsion [UV; pistol start; no saves; ~15 deaths] I really want to like this level, as I do think it easily qualifies as one of the WADs most creative maps and I do enjoy most of the ideas it presents. Playing it wasn't a fun experience though: My first impressions of the map weren't all too positive, with my first attempt lasting a good five seconds, ending with me catching a face rocket the moment I left the starting area. During the next few attempts I explored the map thoroughly in an attempt to find a way to progress. Turns out I wasn't aware of the Cyberdemon tag exclusive to E4M6 maps. That's on me I guess. Hunting down or rather being hunted down by the Cyberdemons was just as tense as it was tedious. While I love the sense of dread and horror this encounter entails, I hate the random teleportation and layout of the map. If you, like me, were too stupid too find the plasma secret, you need to start off by grabbing as much rocket ammo as you can find. Then grab one of the many invicibilties and head for the nukage outdoors area. Usually at least one of the Cybers is here. Once I managed to take one out, most of my time was spent trying to track down the other one, only for him to teleport away seconds later. I love how the whole map with its many monsters comes to live, after collecting the red key, but I really don't understand what's going on besides that. There were tons of switches I hit throughout and I couldn't figure out what most of them did. Muliple pain sectors don't look like pain sectors at all, and some require you to take forced damage, before granting you an environmental suit. Some of the enemies take ages to spawn in and since they're also effected by the teleporters used for the Cyberdemons, monsters can be in every corner of the map, making a full completionist attempt of this map sound like a nightmare. And then there was the odd choise of having multiple, entirely different routes to the end of the map: The brownish sewer section with crushers is super short and doable, with the only issue being the forced damage I mentioned eariler. The difficulty of the, what I assume to be main route, is very depended on how many enemies you decide to snipe prior to talking the teleporter. The labyrinth section within was no fun at all. I'm sure I missed a lot there. Maybe there was another route to the finish hidden there, and all the switches I pressed throughout probably unlocked even more paths to take. In conclusion: Very fun and creative ideas but the execution unfortunately wasn't my cup of tea at all. E4M7: The Tether [UV; pistol start; no saves; ~10 deaths] Having you finished TNT prior to playing this, I appreciate hearing one of my favourites from it again. The map's difficulty feels very balanced, as even though combat is tough, the map is rather short. Essentially this map boils down to two encounters you can tackle in any order, for which you're stocked up with every gun but little health. One is a Cyberdemon encounter, I died to more, than I'd like to admit. Secondly, there's a farily large wave of enemies, including a bunch of hitscanners who'll slowly fiddle away your health with medkits being rather sparse making it all the more tense and exciting. My only issue with the map is that, compared to the rest of E4 it feels rather generic. It plays very well, but that's all it has going for it. E4M8: Impact Site [UV; pistol start; no saves; 2 deaths] A very worthy final map and yet another brilliant take on the Spiderdemon boss fight. There are some similarties to E3M8: Once again the Spiderdemon is not the major attraction but rather acts as a clever way too limit your movement options and add pressure when there's no way to hide behind cover. To make things more interesting, this level adds the neat gimmick of shootable switches raising craters for additional cover. Visually the map is magnificent. I love the atmosphere at start, the wide volcanic landscape and the rising and lowering volcanos and lavafalls. Truely stunning. My only real gripe with level hasn't to do with the level itself but with its placement in the WAD. Out of all the closing maps I probably found it to be the easiest (aside from that one Baron trap early on) and shortest. Even though none of that had any negative impact on the epicness and grandness of the setpieces and atmosphere, as well as my enjoyment of the combat, it kind of left me expecting more. Episode 4 Maps Ranked: E4M1 (9.5/10) E4M5 (9/10) E4M8 (8/10) E4M3 (7.5/10) E4M9 (7/10) E4M7 (6.5/10) E4M2 (6.5/10) E4M4 (5/10) E4M6 (3/10) In conclusion Solar Struggle offered everything I was looking for. A varied, beginner friendly WAD making good use of the limited Doom 1 enemy roster. All maps offered an excellent mix of top notch combat with fair and clever challenges on saveless playthroughs and stunning visual themes and structres. Even the maps that didn't quite do it for me offered tons of ideas and sections I could appreciate on their own. I'd love to thank everyone involved in making this WAD, y'all did a fantastic job. I did a few minor adjustments to older grades I've given out, now leaving me with a final ranking of the maps I'm satisfied with:
  2. sanfrisco

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Solar Struggle

    E3M1: Lunar Gateway [UV; pistol start; no saves; 4 deaths] A terrific opener. Ammo is purposely very tight, which helps with keeping fights against lower-tier enemies tense and interesting . With heavier weaponry most encounters and traps would be a pushover and, with limited ammo sniping off far away enemies is no longer viable. If you ever run out though, there are a ton of secrets to get you back on track (with a neat visual gimmick to them). The big number of different environments and height differences make traversing the map a fantastic experience. E3M2: Tranquility Terminal [UV; pistol start; no saves] While a step down in complexity and difficulty from E3M1, this is a rock solid map in every aspect, but I especially love the interconnectivity. Almost every room seems to be in some way linked to the main hub. A tad more ammo for the bigger weapons near the end could have made clearing out the last few barons and cacos a little less tedious. E3M3: Deep Space Observatory [UV; pistol start; no saves] Similar to E2M7, this is a very open-ended map, stuffed to the brim with monsters attacking you from all sides. The first few minutes, spent trying to get a foothold, are awesome. In comparison to E2M7, this map is a lot more compact though and features three landmarks you can tackle in any order. After collecting all three keys there are a few neat final encounters. A very fun map all-around. E3M4: Fusion Plant [UV; pistol start; no saves; 5 deaths] I'm conflicted. There is so much to love here and I did indeed enjoy playing most of it, but the bits I didn't enjoy really soured my experience. For one, I found the progression unnecessarily cryptic. Having the switch next to two yellow doors not require a key had me stumped for a bit. That was nothing compared to how long I tried searching for the red key though, only to realise the red key door was merely meant as an exit. Then there is the cyberdemon room. I have no idea how this room was intended to be played. After dealing with the expected, yet threatening trap, going back up to the lift and sniping the cyberdemon from up there seemed like by far the easiest option. While tedious, the cyberdemon almost never fires back and the level grants you more than enough ammo to take him out. If you play saveless and decide to keep him alive though, you're in for a world of hurt. Due to a lamp blocking most of the first platform, getting across to the other side is annoyingly finicky. Then, pressured by the cyberdemon, you need to quickly decide where you wish to go. If you decide to go for the pool of lava, too bad. You have one of the level's toughest fights ahead with the cyber blocking most of your room to dodge. If you head for the blue door though, you have the option to crush the cyber. Before that though, there is one hell of a nasty trap ahead. Not having the plasma pre-selected will most likely get you killed. These (minor) gripes aside though, the visuals and gameplay were right up my alley, especially the blue key fight was a blast. E3M5: Helium Refinery [UV; pistol start; no saves] My major gripe with this map is that I unfortunately didn't find it all too memorable, being the one I struggled the most writing a review for this episode. What I played I remember really enjoying, especially the interconnected opening area. But besides the large fight outdoors, halfway through the map, I struggle to pinpoint specific sections I loved. Also, this level was one of the first few times I noticed the lack of doom 2 monsters, as the complexity of the combat scenarios never increased after the aforementioned fight. Maybe this one just needs another playthrough, as it has all the building blocks of a great map. E3M6: Deep Crust Borehole [UV; pistol start; no saves; 3 deaths] I wasn't sure what to expect from a name like this, though the result sure is fantastic. In terms of nailing the sense of adventure, this map is up there as one of the WAD's best alongside E2M6 and E3M1. Getting to the red key sure feels like a journey and I love how it all loops around in the end. Also, the level as a whole flows incredibly well. Combat-wise, the level is excellent, even if, aside from the borehole fight, there aren't too many encounters that stand out. E3M9: The Dark Side [UV; pistol start; no saves] This secret level delivers highly in terms of action but feels oddly formulaic to me: Grab a new weapon. Get trapped in til you beat a row of encounters. Repeat until you have all the major weapons. Then survive the big encounter and make your way back to the start. The arenas are usually big, simple-shaped rooms, which offer very little memorability. Also for how general but promising the title is, the theming and visuals of the level feel rather disappointing. Luckily though, the fights themselves are almost always great fun. E3M7: Freight Terminal [UV; pistol start; no saves; 2 deaths] Yet another level I have mixed feelings on. On a pistol start, the first room is the toughest the map will ever get. You mostly won't have enough ammo to get rid of all the enemies at the start, but rather have to maneuver around the cacos and find your way up. After that, the map slows down a lot. There are quite a few long corridors with no particularly interesting fights, as well as some tedious backtracking. Everything outdoors alongside the freights is top notch though. Even if I feel the BFG trivializes the last section of the map quite a bit, mowing down large monster counts is always a blast. E3M8: Space Elevator [UV; pistol start; no saves; 4 deaths] In comparison to the previous two episode finales, this one has 'no level' before the big fight. Instead this whole level takes place in one huge arena, which changes over time. The hitscan is easily the biggest threat and needs to be dealt with immediately, especially since most of the chainguns are somewhat hidden. Them fiddling away most of my health early on, when there were very few medkits around, were the cause of all four deaths. There is a neat puzzle element to the map: First figuring out, there are three buttons to press, in order to progress, and secondly, figuring out how to get the autoaim to pick up the spider mastermind. Solving this, while taking on a large group of enemies, is a great and clever way of making a usually dull boss fight be a worthy, memorable finale. Episode 3 Maps Ranked: E3M1 (8.5/10) E3M6 (8/10) E3M8 (8/10) E3M3 (8/10) E3M2 (7/10) E3M4 (6.5/10) E3M5 (6/10) E3M7 (5.5/10) E3M9 (4/10) While E3 was a slight step down from E2 for me, I was once again able to enjoy every single map. E2 overall had higher highs for me but E3 managed to be just as consistantly awesome. I can't wait to see what E4 has in store for us. E1-E3 maps ranked:
  3. sanfrisco

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Solar Struggle

    I'm a little behind schedule but I've been absolutely been what I've played so far. E2M1: Piazzi Spaceport [UV; pistol start; no saves] A fun but fairly simplistic opening map. Although far from terrible, especially compared to the previous opening map, the execution of the level theme feels less interesting and the combat not as memorable. I do like the added challenge of almost exclusively having to rely on the chaingun with ammo being somewhat tight. E2M2: Storage Complex [UV; pistol start; no saves] A big step up in complexity from E2M1, though still mostly on the easier side of things. The start is probably one of the level's trickiest sections, with a bunch of monsters attacking you at once and a route that isn't as easy to read, if you don't tackle it slowly and thoroughly. The level's overwhelming and complex nature is what I love most about it though. Yet, finding out where to go after getting the red key was the only time I felt somewhat stuck. With a bunch of very distinct areas, variety is at an all-time high. The homages to Containment Area are lovely and the execution of the theme couldn't be more spot on with too many memorable setpieces to mention, with the huge, dark conveyor belt room being my favourite, also being very fun combat-wise. E2M3: Stock Exchange [UV; pistol start; no saves; 4 deaths] Okay, now we're talking. With E1M8 this has easily been the most difficult level of the WAD up to this point. The map gets off to a brisk, action-packed start and that adrenaline rush stays all the way to the end of the map. While significantly more mean and difficult than everything we've seen so far (aside from E1M8's boss fight), especially the huge rocket launcher fight, most of the trickier encounters luckily take place in larger rooms, giving you enough room to dodge or a way to leave the room and hide in case things get too dicey. But not only the combat manages to impress, but also the maps progression. In terms of size, the map is fairly small, but I loved how the main room is used for multiple fights throughout, with its layout altering in interesting ways. E2M4: Air Filtration Plant [UV; pistol start; no saves; 3 deaths] Probably the roughest map yet with a difficulty curve that's all over the place. The majority of the level poses little to no threat and then there are two encounters which trap you in and wreck the unaware out of nowhere. That's not to say these encounters are poorly done, rather they just don't fit the level they're in, resulting in either those fights sticking out like a sore thumb, or making the rest of the map feel rather dull. In particular, the final encounter was very difficult to read and handle well, not only due to the room being very cramped, but also due to being way too dark. Exploration-wise the level was fun though and the main filtration setpiece had a ton of charm. E2M5: Abandoned Tunnels [UV; pistol start; no saves; 5 deaths] Even with the highest death-count of any episode 2 map so far, I would consider it as somewhat of a breather map, because of its shorter completion time, making deaths much less punishing. Given its length, this level has fewer chances to impress. Luckily not a single one of the fights felt like filler with tension high throughout. Most of the map is quite cramped, yet encounters never felt cheap. While replaying the map for the secret exit I noticed how terribly I approached the encounter I stuggle the most with. After adjusting my strategy, I had no trouble with the map at all. E2M9: Artifact Storage [UV; pistol start; no saves] Hmm, even days after having played the level, I still don't know what to think of it. I struggle to find much to fault the level for, but something just didn't click with me. The fights were generally fun but felt a little more simplistic and easier than in previous levels, often due to rooms being fairly large. Visually, I understand what the author was going for, but it all feels rather bare-bones. E2M6: Transport Nexus [UV; pistol start; no saves; 2 deaths] ...And now for my new favourite thus far. This was easily the most complete and ambitious package yet, and an all-around exceptional experience. Right from the get-go, the atmosphere is incredible. The lighting, fantastic midi and monsterless start can be genuinely scary. The rest of the map very much holds up with that first impression. Definitely worth mentioning in terms of atmosphere and creativity are the fight at the crossroads, the adorable train section (I wished were longer), the barons which tend to teleport in close to (the one at the blue key gate generally startled me) and of course that one room... Even if the routing isn't always immediately obvious, I loved how you had to work your way back to the main hub. The only thing that prevents this map from being a 10 for me was the slightly disappointing final fight in a huge arena, which becomes trivial if you managed to save some cells. The final room, on the other hand, looks magnificent. E2M7: Research Complex [UV; pistol start; no saves] Matching or living up to the last level's quality and memorability was always going to be tough. While not quite on par visually and atmosphere-wise, the combat and layout have rarely been this good, especially when considering their scale. The level reminds me quite a lot of E1M6 with its open-ended, exploration-heavy approach and crunch for weapons near the start of the level, while being surrounded by tons of enemies. While the exploration isn't as good as in E1M6 because of a lack of distinct rooms and visual landmarks, the combat stays a lot more interesting and tense throughout this level, with the swarms of enemies becoming progressively larger and harder to best. E2M8: Ceres Gateway [UV; pistol start; no saves; 3 deaths] A very action-packed final map which has its sole focus on engaging combat and, for the most part, it absolutely succeeds at it. The first half of the map is near perfection, with each fight being a little more difficult and tense than the latter. Every trap/encounter looks scary at first but feels surprisingly manageable and and actually made me feel good at Doom for once, besting (lite) slaughtery combat with little trouble. It all builds beautify to the fight before the blue key, the map's first really grand fight, which also led to my first death. If you don't panic though, it's surprisingly doable. After that, the next few encounters feel a lot easier, by either not locking you in or giving you plenty room to dodge, making me kind of wish there was more. This sure was not the case for the final fight though, which while epic, was the only I wasn't able to find a strategy for. The amount of enemies and dark lighting make dodging feel impossible. Holding down the plasma gun fire button and praying you don't get stuck while a rocket is being shot at you, unfortunately seemed like the best option for me. Besides this though, the level was a blast to play and I didn't mind replaying it at all and having to come up with strategies for fights I didn't handle well or died at. Episode 2 Maps Ranked: E2M6 (9.5/10) E2M8 (9/10) E2M7 (9/10) E2M2 (8.5/10) E2M3 (8/10) E2M5 (7.5/10) E2M1 (5/10) E2M9 (4.5/10) E2M4 (4/10) Full Ranking (as of now):
  4. sanfrisco

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Solar Struggle

    Being fairly new to custom WADs (and Doomworld) I'm currently on the lookout for somewhat easier WADs to get better and Solar Struggle did look like something that's right up my alley. E1M1: Detention Facility [UV; pistol start; no saves] Solar Struggle gets off to a great start. For how limited the enemy and weapon roster is, the combat was surprisingly engaging with neat traps, while not feeling out of place for a map one. The level theme's execution felt spot on, with the cell block you start out in feeling particularly memorable. E1M2: Admin Offices [UV; pistol start; no saves] Visually, probably my favourite map as of yet, with very impressive interior and doomcute decorations. The connection to the previous level also felt particularly neat. Combat-wise, I found it to be on par with E1M1, easy but action-packed with shotgunners which can catch you off guard. The yellow key fight is a neat, very fitting climax for the level, even if it is very easy. E1M3: Barracks [UV; pistol start; no saves] Overall, very enjoyable with a neat, easy-to-understand, well-constructed layout and decent enemy placement. My only gripe with the level is that, besides the lab/hospital area near the end, the level offers too little to distinguish itself from other maps I've played. Also, finding the secret exit took me much longer than it probably should have. E1M9: Excavation Site [UV; pistol start; no saves] Gameplay-wise this level was easily one of my favourites from E1. It certainly picks up the pace from the previous levels and has a bigger focus on providing separate combat arenas in rather small arenas, leading up to a big climax at the center of the excavation site, which can be handled fairly easily, yet still provides thrilling fun. Also, for the first time, we have other hazards being used to spice things up. The damaging floor section early-on cleverly narrows down your movement options and the crushers, if used well, can also be used to safely deal with a bunch of enemies. Visually, the level doesn't disappoint either once you reach the level's main attraction, but can feel a little bland outside of that. E1M4: Mineral Processing [UV; pistol start; no saves] Halfway through the map I was already sure, that this map would be hard to dethrone as my personal favourite for this mapset. As of now it does remain on top, as I do think it excels at everything it sets out to do. Most fights throughout, though usually rather simple and easy, are exciting. Highlights include the rush of finding the first few weapons at the start, the rocket launcher and final fight. Navigation and exploration are pure joy with just the right kind of complexity. At first I felt overwhelmed with how open-ended the map feels, but after exploring multiple secitons, everything sort of clicked and I never once actually felt lost. E1M5: Mining Complex [UV; pistol start; no saves] The music is bloody fantastic in this and had me jamming for the half-hour this map took me to beat. The gameplay deserves similar praise though, offering a neat mix of interesting locations and clever traps. Routing-wise this has been the most complex map so far, but without me ever being confused about where to go. The only thing I really wasn't too fond of was the secret cave and the way it was hidden. The cave has a clear lack of enemy variety and the long wait for the elevator is kind of obnoxious. E1M6: Visitor Center [UV; pistol start; no saves] This map gets off to a hot, exciting start as you struggle to find guns and ammo on a pistol start. In terms of navigation, you are completely on your own with the interconnectivity being among the best I've ever seen. Combat-wise, I found the level to be fun but never quite matching the highs during the start of the map. While you as the player get stronger, the encounters don't, which I assume mostly is to ensure all possible paths feel manageable in terms of difficulty. E1M7: Traffic Control [UV; pistol start; no saves; 1 death] While probably my least favourite map of E1, there is still a lot to like here. The airport security check is very cute and the ambush clever, even if it was where I encountered my first death. As a whole, what ultimately lets this map down for me is that, in a map which has its focus on combat, most encounters felt lackluster. The larger fights feel like they have their large enemy count just for the sake of it. You can approach all of the same the same way and the enemy placement seems to have little thought behind it. Also, the symmetry of the map causes the map and encounters to be quite repetitive. Still, I can't deny that high action and blowing up large groups of monsters will never not be fun. E1M8: Huygens Spaceport [UV; pistol start; no saves; ~10 deaths] This level boasts atmosphere and certainly feels like a climactic finale. If you, like me, didn't find the secret, ammo can be quite sparse during the first few rooms, which even enhances the tension. Having new enemies spawn in while retracing your steps to the red key door was neat, though they tend to spawn awfully close to you, which led to my first death (of which there were many more to come). I'd argue that besides the haunting atmosphere, the level's main attraction is its final battle. While I didn't dislike the fight, the sudden harsh difficulty spike caught me by surprise and it took me multiple attempts to get a working strategy for the fight. Circling the arena to get the enemies to infight and prioritising the lost souls was what worked best for me. Episode 1 Maps Ranked: E1M4 (9/10) E1M6 (8.5/10) E1M9 (8/10) E1M2 (7.5/10) E1M5 (7.5/10) E1M1 (7/10) E1M8 (6.5/10) E1M3 (6/10) E1M7 (5/10)