This is one of Memfis's earliest maps (2008 according to the text file) which shows in the unrefined design. The opener of a promised Episode 2 replacement, Voyage to Deimos, which never came to fruition, visual appeal tends to be highest when it's dark. Otherwise it usually looks bland. Geometry doesn't sway from the rectangular. Floors and ceilings of sectors seem left with whatever texture Doom Builder assigned them upon creation. Years later, Memfis would specialize in an appealing, clever mode of lower-detail design, but this is more of the "novice" sort.
As for gameplay, it's straightforward warm-up Doom 1 stuff: pistol to start, 'zerk early, shotgun later; lots of imps and pea-shooter zombiemen, occasional pinkies and lost souls, the rare caco.
That's nothing groundbreaking, but I won't comment on it, because once I found the berserk pack, I decided "now we're punching stuff" and did nothing else, ignoring the shotguns with which I started littering the place.
Health is scarce, so the cacos are a bit tricky, and shotgunners lurk the later shadows in good numbers, and without the benefit of range, I once had to platform and then box imps point blank. A partial invisibility secret helped with the shotgunners, but it also complicates dealing with the imps.
The map was uncommonly well suited to that and my punching ability. So 4/5.
Played it in UV. By 1997, this was starting to look pretty basic. It's not flat-out ugly, but still pretty well below the par of the iwads in terms of visuals.
The ammo balance was totally whack for the first 1/3rd of the map, possibly because I went into an optional area in the beginning down in the Nukage that seems to be nothing more than an ammo drain with no redeeming qualities. After leaving that area I just had to zip past all opposition because I had nothing but a chainsaw. Every time you need 6 shotgun shells, the map gives you 4, at least for the first segment.
To make it more annoying, I was getting showered with endless boxes of rockets, yet next to nothing in the way of shells and clips, and no launcher anywhere in sight. By the time you've travelled for a while, you finally come across a launcher, but of course it's accompanied by caged arch-viles.
Once you get the launcher, the map gets notably easier, because the author also finally grew a heart and decided to give you some shells and a token few ammo boxes as well. It's never an abundance, but at least it's enough. You'll also get loads of cells before finally getting a PR and shortly after a BFG.
The map has some ambushes, a few of which are still creative to this day, and some of which are stupid and so numerous that it makes you roll your eyes. Have fucking mercy, stop lowering walls that are right next to me for one god damn minute! Thankfully it's usually stuff that can be handled with relative ease, but I think the stupid "things lowering right next to you" shtick could have been toned down a notch or two.
Once you get all of the more powerful weapons, the map remains pretty easy. There's a grey, stoney, winding cave bit - make sure you walk through it in all directions or walls that you have to lower to win won't come down. Probably a design oversight but it's still lame. I wandered around for a while until I realized I had to take every possible lap in every direction to make sure all the walls were lowered.
The final remaining bit of challenge comes from two Cyberdemons in a big wooden/metal room that you have just enough ammo to take down. With a couple bullets and a shell or two to spare, you can finally leave.
I found 6 of the 9 secrets (nice). Most of them were pretty easy if you're even remotely observant or wall-hump prone. The custom sounds were more annoying than most 90's wads, mainly because they were too loud and too long.
This is very middle-of-the-road for it's era. If you're a die-hard fan of 90's bargain bin Doom maps, this will be right up your alley, because it's a notch above shovelware. If you're a player seeking turf that's been run through quality control testing - give this one a miss.
edit: It's a shame I can't give this 2.5 stars or a "neutral" rating or some such, that would be the most accurate.
Saw this got some reviews and decided to check it out 'cuz why not.
Not really a challenging, creative, or unique wad. It's just a 90s wad with pretty much most of what you'd expect from a 90s wad, but with some cool combat in a few areas.... although it's quite dull for the most part, so it's not really worth your time, since you've got better stuff to play. There's nothing interesting about it.
I'll give it this: at least it's not painful to look at, nor does it have some cryptic, weird progression, like most works from its time.
Edit: Doomkid's review is spot on, I agree with him on every aspect. This review of mine is so undetailed and naive because I wasn't very interested.
I'm torn between questioning the author sexual inclination and making a salacious comment about his female genitor. But I'm not doing either since I was raised as a good christian boy.
This WAD is what happens when that kid fiddle with the editor. He needs someone to test it and you're the chosen one: buckle up because it's quite a butthurt ride.
Let's get down to it: just as the author described it, a challenging map where you need to shoot (pew pew) your way out most situations. The thing however is that you jump from one situation to another ; you hardly have time to catch your breath. I think I saved a good 20 times.
The design is pretty bad except for the last area (see pic attached), for some reason it was pleasing to the eye. Was it because you spend 99.9999% of your time fighting in dark cramped rooms? Maybe. Overall the textures slapped on each area don't make sense at all, some weird mix for the most part. I have no problem with challenging wads where the focus is on fights but I prefer when they're a e s t h e t i c a l l y well done too.
I had some trouble with ammo management but nothing beats chainsawing a cacodemon here and there. Played on Hurt me plenty. Also the custom sounds are bad. Firing the shotgun = firing a grenade with the assault rifle of half-life 1. My brain cannot handle so much at once. "They're waiting for you Gordon in the RIP AND TEAR chamber." "UHH!"
Favorite parts: >implying
Bad parts: That room where the archvile revives the Revenants you just killed a minute ago and you can't reach him since there's a wall of imps. Big Yikes sweetie!!
Two stars it is. Hell meh! Now if the author were to kindly send a nice 1x contribution to my paypal (where x is a 0 and the more the better), I could add another star for good measure.
P.S. Put "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed on loop while playing this. It's quite fitting.