|Cinematic escape. Enjoy one last look at the sights and sounds of Temple of the Lizard Men and roll the credits.|
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Temple of the Lizardmen (LMTEMPLE.WAD)
Temple of the Lizard Men, dating from 2009, is a cool pastiche of several things. I get an Unreal vibe (no doubt due to the soundtrack selection) and the setting feels like a mix of sword and sorcery (battling alien-minded lizard people) and Indiana Jones (exploring ancient ruins from a modern mindset). Storywise, it's not much different from a Doom PWAD, except instead of battling demons, you're against the savage lizard men. Apparently a bunch of other marines have tried to investigate a mysterious temple but never reported back, so you're sent into South America to put these malcontents down. All of the resulting action occurs in this seven-map episode for Doom II, to be played in GZDoom.
LMTEMPLE is composed of short, easy to navigate levels with gameplay leaning toward trappy, just as you'd expect in the kind of ruins exploration the adventure genre has. They're not always the most engrossing series of temples and chambers, but alando1 has a good handle on basic architecture to make things look less like corridors and more like real Mesoamerican ruins. I couldn't help but wish he tackle some megastructures to play through for a more meaty experience, but it looks like he prefers bite-sized excursions. There are some idiosyncrasies, like the appearance of some Doom textures, or that hall of Egyptian sarcophagi in "Mountain Temple", but I think it's otherwise tied together very well, with a few treks through dark jungles to boot.
As far as fighting the lizard men goes, there aren't a whole lot of brand new custom monsters. You'll be seeing Heretic / Hexen resources put through the paces again, a couple monsters from Blood, and even a few Doom II enemies, which I guess plays into that whole sword and sorcery thing I was talking about, with the evil lizard men clearly calling on the powers of Hell in some fashion. The lizard men themselves are sprite edits from the imp; they don't throw fireballs, but they will quickly get up in your face, and the blue ones (I'm assuming they are supposed to be green?) can charge at lightning speed. It's a decent cast of characters, though with the way they're used, I don't think the gill beasts work at all, and Hexen's lurkers are just as annoying as ever.
To deal with this rag-tag assortment of monstrosities, you have a nice selection of armaments. LMTEMPLE does have some features you'll have to get around, like weapon reloading a la Duke 3D's pistol, which will freak you out whenever you're robbed of your ability to fire with the shotgun and rifle. Both, alongside the SSG, will be your bread and butter weapons, with the grenade launcher popping up in a few isolated cases, usually to help you stamp out some uglies. There's a chainsaw in there somewhere, and a rocket launcher, but in the world of Temple of the Lizard Men, they're not very practical weapons.
If you like level sets with a uniform theme and an atmosphere more along the lines of Tomb Raider / Indiana Jones meets Conan the Barbarian, you should go ahead and load up LMTEMPLE and give it a shot. The first level is over pretty fast so you'll quickly know whether or not you enjoy this kind of experience. Avoid if you are a stickler for classic Doom / Doom II action.
TEMPLE OF THE
(by Alan D. aka "alando1")
BEHOLD THE TEMPLE OF THE LIZARD MEN