Thanks for releasing this, Toby! I can only play 2 maps a day, and I’m playing continuously on UV, keyboard-only, GZDoom, with frequent save/reload because I suck. ;D
I’ll get the big negative out of the way first. I absolutely cannot stand all the impassable lines which exist for no apparent reason except to make areas look cooler than they would if you used bars or dwarf walls as barriers. This irritated the hell out of me in E5M1 but drove me batshit bonkers crazy angry in E5M2. It seems so artificial and phony and ruins the believability of the setting. Aren’t there force-field textures you can use if you want that effect? If you’re sticking to the Doom stock textures, you should give up these impassable lines blocking areas we should, by rights, be able to enter.
E5M1 was a nicely-constructed but overly easy map with almost 100% shooting-gallery combat. I still managed to get myself killed when attempting to conserve my shotgun ammo by switching to pistol to kill an Imp, and simultaneously dodging it, going behind a computer in Sector 326, only to realize with horror that a Sergeant was hiding there. Ah, hubris gets me again! :D My health wasn’t great at that point, and between the Sarge and the imps, I didn’t last long as I fumbled for my shotgun. Other than that it was pretty easy, but I spent a long time searching for secrets, of which I found 2, including the Chaingun, the latter a bit late in the map to be the terror-weapon I wanted. My final stats were Kills – 100%, Items – 89%, Secrets – 50%, Time - 15:33, End Health – 103, Armor – 6, Death Count – 1. Yeah, I failed to find the Green Armor path. I liked the nonlinearity here, too.
E5M2 is a whole different animal! I really liked this map for the most part. I got killed right at the start the first time because the trap just flooded monsters, with new sets being revealed by every dodge I attempted, so that I was forced into the nukage maze, where I soon met my fate via Imp fireball at low health. It turned out that there were several ways to fight this area, and I died at least one more time testing the defenses. Natch, the impassable lines at the red key area really bothered me.
Eventually, I went up and got the blue key – very nice fights in that area, one of the few so far where I had room to dodge and whirl – and then went into the nukage maze and got the rocket launcher after dying at least one more time in there. Indeed, most of my 10 deaths came in this maze.
My favorite room was the Metal1 room that you enter at sector 167. It was so cool-looking and dark, and the fights were pretty good, with nice detailing, too.
A very clever trap was the one in Sector 214/215 alongside the lift. It wasn’t lethal, but it really made me smile.
I also feel like a dumbass for not getting the Blue Armor. I found the switch but didn’t take the right path to get the goodies. And it was bad luck that prevented me from finding the Computer Map, since I pressed every wall there except the right one. ;D As for the Soulsphere, I never had a chance with that.
This map also had a somewhat Fava Beans feel, always a good thing in my book.
Overall, I really liked this map and thought it was expertly constructed with a good degree of interconnected non-linearity. It can be argued that it’s a bit heavy on corridor shooting, and the nukage maze is hateful, but it’s hateful in a way I kind of admire, because it will kill those like me who aren’t careful. The only thing I strongly object to is the impassable lines.
My final stats: Kills – 100%, Items – 87%, Secrets – 0%, Time – 19:46, End Health – 86%, Armor – 7%, Death Count – 10.