Sunday, May 1, 2011

Double Impact (DBIMPACT.WAD)


A Ralphis and RottKing joint, Double Impact was released in 2011 for limit-removing ports as an E1 replacement. And, yeah, it does borrow some from Knee Deep in the Dead, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. Double Impact tells the story of a lowly mechanic who was busy fixing shit in the maintenance shop when Hell invaded the military complex where he resided. Sure, you're gonna kill all the beasties for slaughtering your buddies, but the real objective is to make it to the launch facility way on the other side of the base so that you can blow astro dust on the Hellspawn on your way out.


For Ralphis and RottKing, the design premise involved passing maps back and forth, building a room or two each time. The result? Imagine if Doom's Phobos maps were three times as large with the monster count steadily climbing from 200 to nearly 600 in the penultimate level. Of course, to spice things up, as the bodycount rises they introduce some faces not traditionally familiar to E1, but they feel fairly natural in a techbase that's slowly going to Hell a la Shores of Hell. All weapons save the BFG are present (though plasma rifles are all secret-bound) and the secret level is a journey unto itself, with the hidden exit section of E1M3 composing maybe 1/3 or more of the map.


But is it fun? I think it is. It's hard, too, and for an OG Doom episode replacement, that means either total bullshit firefights or difficulty via attrition, of which I can safely say this episode reflects the latter with a couple hints of the former. There are zombiemen everywhere and they've never felt more threatening as your health stashes dwindle and you feel the creeping dread of imminent death. I used to think of hitscanners as bullshit (fuck you, commandos!) but I've gained an appreciation for their way of chipping away at the player's resources in a semi-guaranteed manner, upping the stress level. The only difficult spot that doesn't match with the rest of the episode is E1M8 which is a completely different experience. I initially felt the authors were sadists. I still think that might be the case, but if I can clear it, so can you.


Double Impact is super cool, taking E1 to a place it's never really been, and in some ways hasn't been since, what with all the blatant nostalgia trips and Romero circlejerks and what have you. If you ever want to feel the fear you had when you first started playing Doom, back when all of these monsters were new to you, give DBIMPACT a shot. You might get frustrated, or you might get bored. Or, you might just get hooked.




DOUBLE IMPACT
by Matt "ROTTking" Cibulas and Ralph "Ralphis" Vickers

Maintenance AreaE1M1
Nice semi-short map for an opener. It's got a large outdoor area with two garages (including a secret one of the pits). Also like the use of spectres, and the secret leading outside, very E1. The final firefight is my favorite moment, but nothing really stands out, it just looks and plays well.

E1M2Central Computing
Awesome level. I really enjoy the dark sequence in the tunnels; it's not too cramped and has just enough spectres to keep you on your toes. I also love the secrets, especially being rewarded with a secret key! I actually felt pretty threatened this map, not too much health and the hitscanners just chip away at you. Plus a couple bites to the face. Also love the mashup.

Research ComplexE1M3
REALLY cool, long level. I think difficulty in vanilla Doom is more about attrition than navigating monster hordes. Half of this level is tied up in the secret portion leading to E1M9 and it's a blast. I found myself sitting below 50% health most of the map, lots of whiteknuckle shit. Some slugfests that caught me off-guard. I was expecting the final battle, but there was another one featuring cacodemons that had me do a double take.

E1M9Operations
Long and pretty tough level. There's plenty of swarm traps where you have to be quick to react and handle your attackers and once again there's a nice little secret portion of the base with some nifty powerups, among other things. It really pulls the corrupted techbase style which was blossoming at the end of E1M3's secret exit. Biggest threat: spectres, especially ones blocking your well-aimed rockets. Favorite moment, I dunno. When the base walkway lowers and you see Hell just yawning open, that's a good one. The encounter that sticks out in my mind is probably the first teleport rush, around the rocket launcher.

Hydroponic FacilityE1M4
Brutal level, don't really see the Hydroponics unless we're talking about the vines and the lights. A lot of good crossfire here, I mean you're hardly ever in a safety zone, and the yellow key trap is super effective with the 20% slime all around. Very dangerous. The architecture is far more techbase than E1M9 but as that's the secret level it makes absolute sense. Favorite sequence is probably the larger, outdoor area filled with barrels, as there's tons of splashing and quite the horde of beasties to contend with, though the fight leading to the blue key is my favorite encounter.

E1M5Engineering Station
Another nice, large level. Only two keys here, it's just another battle of attrition. Initially I thought the texturing style was slightly scattershot, but the other areas have much more stylistic consistency. Standout encounter is the red key fight, though I have to give a shoutout to the yellow key trap. I always find short crushers to be a cheap swipe at the player.

Command CenterE1M6
Another balls to the wall extravaganza. Favorite moment by far is the descending walkway behind the red key door, you'll know it when you find it. Layout seems better here but the strobe maze in the northwest section leaves a little to be desired. I like secrets like in the west wing, where you can effectively neuter half of a trap to drastically increase your survivability. I'd say there was a health shortage and the opening fight is kind of brutal on pistol start. Also, love the plasma rifle secret. Very creepy.

E1M7Waste Treatment
Very impressed with the stairs leading up to the outdoor section, they're very nice. Very white-knuckle. There's a semi-memorable corrupted base sequence but the real stars are a tight battle through the base's steam tunnels and a brutal slug-fest with an army of barons. There's plenty of ammo to go around, of course, and even a plasma rifle for the inquisitive. After “learning” the map it isn't bad at all, even clocking in around 580 enemies. There's a rather clever bit where they open up the blue key, visible from near the level's beginning, by lowering the sewage level throughout the level.

Launch BayE1M8
Hahahah. It's a maze-like layout with four switches you need to pull loaded with hardbodies and softbodies stymieing your movement. But most importantly like four Cyberdemons and two Spider-Masterminds that port in after hitting the four switches. Then you still got to hit two more, dodging Cybe fire, before entering the ship itself, which is loaded with demon scum and a straight chamber so you still need to watch out for rocket fire. 90% of the difficulty here is in clearing out everything that isn't Cybes and flipping switches before the four Cybes catch up to you and block off all escape. Once you figure out how to guide the Cybes around it's actually pretty easy, acknowledging a few close calls.


AND...


YOU!


This post is part of a series on
Doomworld's 2011 Cacowards

The Top TenBest Multiplayer
Plutonia Revisited32in24-11: Occupy Doomworld
VapordemoBest Gameplay Mod
LunaticBrutal Doom
Double ImpactMordeth Award
Vanguard1994 Tune-up Community Project
ReverieMapper of the Year
JenesisSkillsaw
IceboundHonorable Mentions
Mandrill Ass ProjectDoom II Redux
Khorus's Speedy ShitDoom64 EX

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I just finished Double Impact yesterday (I used AEOD as I usually do with most custom wads). I didn't found the episode to be too hard, I found it very challenging to say at least with hundreds of monsters per each level!

    I died 6 times in total, 4 of which came from level 6's same area from your screenshot (fuck that bitch Zoey from L4D (which is baron class spawner), she kept killing me here in 3 unfair deaths since I saved with low health, while other death came from a mini Hexen Wyvern that got behind me), while the rest 2 deaths came from final level where I have fallen in acid area, even though I forgot I had a flying powerup in inventory, lol.

    Other than that, I enjoyed the episode!

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