Monday, March 10, 2014

#1KILL EXTRA (EX.WAD)

#1KILL EXTRA
by Angelo Jefferson


Angelo Jefferson released his Doom episode, #1KILL, in 1997, and published this little offering in the 1KILLXTR package right alongside it. It's a single map replacement for the original Doom, occupying the E3M1 slot. It shares a lot of similarities with #1KILL, though I think that the architecture, layout and thing placement are a shade better than what he did in his first glut of maps, and it isn't the same marble / wood theme. Instead, it's got the feel of a base stranded in Hell, with the main building of the map made of concrete and tech with the outer wall on the grounds composed of green marble.


EX is a somewhat fast play with a high bodycount, and the "fast" is important. It isn't as much of a shotgun grind as #1KILL's later levels, though you will be spending a lot of time with the shotty. Jefferson offers you a rocket launcher and chaingun at fairly early points (for him) and you can use them to soften up the handful of barons you'll encounter. Most of the fights are masses of monsters that offer pressure for the player that chooses to engage or corridor shoots for those that back away. If you stick in the room, you're whittling down enemies, prioritizing based on threat and proximity until you can kind of move around at your leisure. Several of these battles occur as you return to the main room with the overlook.


On the other hand, it IS a bit of a turkey shoot. You're never in danger of running out of shells and there is plenty of health around for reckless players. There aren't a lot of traps that immediately put you in danger besides a pair of blind elevators leading to shotgun guys and the rocket launcher grab (and the obligatory fake exit) and you even get to shoot lost souls in a barrel, so to speak, unless something about ZDoom is preventing them from entering through the window near the exit. Still, the architecture and layout are engaging and the monster count low enough that my eyes didn't glaze over, at least until the two barons guarding the red key, and me with only two rockets. Waaaah.


If you loved #1KILL, or thought it wasn't quite up to snuff, this little Extra should be right up your alley. If mowing through hordes of monsters with the single shotgun isn't your idea of fun, though, you'll want to give this map a pass. It points the way toward Angelo's improvement as an author; I hope he brings as much experience to the plate with The Next Generation.



XTR! XTR! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

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