Thursday, August 18, 2011

Device One (DEVICE_1.WAD)

by Christen David Klie

While six of Chris Klie's Master Levels submissions made it, six did not. Klie was gracious enough to upload the rejects to Compuserve (initially) and then the idgames archive (much later). If you haven't figured it out already, Device One is one of the outtakes. There's no actual story. I'm supposing that Device One is the strange machinery found at the tail end of the level, which is constructed in a darker techbase theme, more like OG Doom's "Toxin Refinery".

There's a lot of nukage you'll have to wade through, especially at the end of the map. Klie has thoughtfully provided for you, with a few rad suits and an invulnerability artifact to keep you afloat. There aren't many toughs, surprisingly, just a few scattered bruisers (and a particularly rude end-of-level encounter). If I had to ding this map for anything, it would be the lift floor immediately north of the starting room. At the very least, all of the lifts rise and fall in three distinct groups, so it's not completely annoying.

Most of the architecture is vast, underground chambers housing industrial runoff. The center chamber, containing the red key, looks very nice with its lighting. The western area of the map requires a bit more finesse, as it's mostly a 20% damage floor. There's some chasing around to get the pertinent keys but it's all fairly obvious and you'll get to the final room in no time. It doesn't look that intimidating at first, but when you hop on top of the device you'll enter a service tunnel with something fun lurking at the very end.

Device One is another fun map from Chris Klie. It's not particularly difficult, and it's not as puzzle-centric as some of his other stuff, but it pulls off the underground theme fairly well (without being as blandly coloured as Subterra). That said, with one or two exceptions, none of the fights are very interesting, which may explain why id passed it up for inclusion with the Master Levels. Like most everything else Klie's done, though, fans of his style should find Device One a fun romp.


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