Sunday, May 5, 2013

HeDRoX 2 (HEDROX2.WAD)


Rodrigo Acevedo, aka "El Rodo", clinched a coveted Cacoward in 2005 with the release of HeDRoX, a short, highly detailed level for Doom II. HeDRoX 2, its sequel, is a considerably longer adventure, published in 2013. It's actually two maps, arranged similarly to Galaxia. The first level is the main draw with the second serving as a separate finale. As before, Acevedo suggests you play HeDRoX 2 with ZDoom. Actually, he also wants to see you play his level with Brutal Doom, looking at the .TXT. I used the former. Similarly, there's no provided story for HeDRoX part deux. It's just another nondescript techbase for you to plow through.


I think Acevedo managed to make some improvements over the first installment of his series. First and foremost, the level is a much bigger and wide-open journey than the original's cramped, brief outing. As I mention below, it reminds me in part of the epic architecture and spacing of Michael Krause's stuff like Run Buddy. This is a boon as most of Rodrigo's detailing isn't going to get you hung up, with lots of bits exiled to inaccessible locations, some of which really do stick out in my mind. Still, it comes across as fetishistic, and when you get right down to it, you're rarely fighting monsters anywhere but directly in front of you.


There's no shame in throwing enemies up on balconies or things to fire down at the player or using considerably more flying monsters. HeDRoX 2 is gorgeous, but it's just not that compelling when you don't have to think hard about where you're going or what you're fighting. The overall effect is a map that feels kind of flat and strung together. Savor the interesting moments when you have them, like that outdoor T-junction where you're fired upon by imps, or that green metal structure in the nuke pit immediately south, because they're few and far between.


It still plays pretty much like the original HeDRoX if you liked that, just with a much less shit finale. It's also cool to look at and if you're into grinding through straightforward techbase maps (well maybe not the switches to lower the blast doors at the eastern horseshoe), you'll still get a kick out of its sequel, especially since Acevedo's detailing has made such a triumphant return. Actually, I think it's less overwhelmingly busy than HeDRoX...most of the time. It was a fun play, just not anything I'm likely to revisit.




HEDROX 2
by Rodrigo "El Rodo" Acedevo

HeDRoX 2 Part 1MAP01
A monumental techbase loaded with detail. There is a lot of space, though, and the enemy encounters are few and far between with little meaningful combat. Most of the monsters are doled to you in hordes that are for the most part easily dispatched. My favorite encounter of the whole level was the large horseshoe to the east that was filled with imps, revenants, and other unsavory beasts. Other than that, and maybe that semi-outdoor area immediately prior to the red key, it's pretty easy. I'm reminded of Michael Krause's levels in that the level is much larger in scope than its progenitor, HeDRoX, but he still rarely uses height variation in an interesting fasion, with most of the action taking place on one plane. I do like how much easier it is to move around in.

MAP02The Final
A super-fast slaughtermap. It has the scale of MAP01 but the fights are crammed into two sections. The first battle is a semi-dangerous assemblage of spread-out monsters that won't take very long to kill, especially if you turn around and grab the assortment of goodies in the opening room. The second group will destroy itself, especially with a little coaxing. You might have to surgically remove the pain elementals, but the rest handles itself, after which you can clean up with a BFG. There are some ominously dark siderooms with lurking monsters but they barely register. A decent finale.

HERE COMES THE BLOODRAYNE AGAIN
FALLING ON MY HEDROX LIKE A MEMORY

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