Monday, October 8, 2012

Urban Fire (URBANFR.WAD)

by Eli "ProcessingControl" Cohen

Sadly, when a mapset like Community Chest 4 is compiled, some levels don't make the cut, either due to quality issues or due to being unfinished (though the latter is arguably one of the former). Urban Fire, by Doomworld forum superstar ProcessingControl, is one of these such delights, originally released as a deathmatch map as part of 32in24-11: Occupy Doomworld. He elected to convert the map to single player but since it didn't make the cut, he opted to release it as a solo piece. There's no story, of course. It occupies MAP01, plays in Boom-compatible ports, and has what should be a very familiar music selection from Duke Nukem 3D.

Urban Fire is a city level whose opening belies the high-octane action that pervades the city streets. You start out in some abstract warehouse with conveyor belts then take the chute dump (reminiscent of "Hollywood Holocaust") down into the streets below, which are full of monsters, with even more lurking in the alleys and cubbyholes. Ammo is at a premium; waste too much and you'll be hurting when you flip the blue switch, which unleashes three arch-viles into the playing area. Knowledge of map layout is paramount so you don't find yourself sans cover when the spellcasters start slinging flame around. The other fight that's liable to ruffle some feathers comes with the blue key grab – squads of commandos teleport into a handful of positions in the city, accompanied with a pack of cacodemons.

The layout is very open and abstract, with lots of places where you leap from building to building for ammo, progression, etc., so remember to think in three dimensions. Also, due to aforementioned level layout, you should anticipate enemies sneaking up on you several times. Monsters do a good job of wandering while you're busy keeping tabs on the others. There aren't that many surprises going from building to building, but you'll wake up a few nasty insurgents while exploring, so make sure you can put down what you call up.

Urban Fire is a spartan yet sinister ruined city block that should prove fun for most players desiring more Doom II action, particularly if you like more freeform, city-style levels. If you're looking for a quick romp or more levels using the Community Chest 4 texture pack, this one is a great choice. I hope more of the authors who didn't make it into the mapset publish / finish their works so that everyone can enjoy their official releases.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for the review.

    I was really happy with how this map came out; It's the first one that I've made that I'm still pretty satisfied with. When I was converting it from the original DM level I was pretty sure it wouldn't get into CC4 (fully original levels were given higher priory than conversions of older ones). I still submitted it to the project because mapping on a deadline made me work quicker and making something for CC4 gave me access to nice big team of playtesters (though half of them never replied :P ).