Saturday, December 27, 2014

Doom 2 In Name Only (D2INO.WAD)

Doom 2 in Name Only arose out of discussions of Chris Klie's BF_THUD. After playing Klie's megaWAD, it's pretty clear that he took most of his design cues from the names of the map slots his levels appeared in. A thread by Hellbent prompted another thread by ella guro where the project took off and then stagnated until its untimely release in 2014 amid some controversy. The final product is a full-fledged megaWAD for Doom II that makes a claim for vanilla compatibility, but the sheer size of many of the submitted levels made for less than rigorous playtesting as far as technical details go. A limit-removing port should be used, at the very least.

The original concept was to develop Doom II levels based purely on the map name with little guidance besides the usual - stock textures, vanilla limits, pistol start balance, no required "pro" gimmicks. After almost two years of development and a change in project leader, the execution ended up quite different, especially considering ella guro's quote - "vanilla Doom 2 wads that use the original gfx and follow the progression (subterranean/city/hell) of the original are a dime a dozen. let's make this one something different, and special :)!". I think that the PWAD picked up some pacing restrictions in monsters and weapons that added some continuity at the expense of the freewheeling style ella guro was targeting, but this mapset rarely gets as abstract as its potential. When it does, though, hoo boy...

The end result is an uneven whole. To me, I feel that it swings between authors that are trying to tell the strong narrative that they never got from the original Doom II and people that are just doing their own thing. Certainly, it's arguable that the former camp is part of the latter but I see a clear difference between the levels of authors like ProcessingControl and Antroid vs., say, Joseph Lord. It's also clear that some of the maps aren't even Doom 2 In Name Only, containing blatant homages to IWAD levels. Joseph Lord is by far the worst offender, with "Barrels o' Fun" containing a section clearly derivative of the original, plus an obvious E1M8 homage. And that's not all!

I think that this PWAD most closely resembles ella guro's initial sell, to "remake [your] least favorite Doom levels as something they actually like to play", and if the progression happens to mirror the starbase / city / Hell stuff it's probably because there are plenty of people who have voiced displeasure with the way Doom II's levels were executed and wanted to see a "Refueling Base" that looked like one, or a "Downtown" that wasn't an abstract take on city blocks. D2INO feels like a more literal / realistic take outside of some of the wilder interpretations and while it's kind of disappointing in that regard, given the execution of most experimental map in here, it's probably a blessing. 

Right off the bat. scifista42 has two maps in this set. I really love "The Citadel"; it feels like one of those enormous '96-'97 magnum opus levels that is loaded with places to go and things to explore and has lots of cute little messages for the player, including cues from Duke3D. It's a big, exploratory adventure and I can forgive the little annoyances by the dark area with the lite amp goggles because, hey, a level that makes lite amp goggles feel like an actual resource! On the other hand, the infamous "Dead Simple", which takes the simplicity of the shape of the triangle and does it to death. The base concept is alright but the map overstays its welcome with the size and spread-out monsters; check out Speed of Doom's "Hell's Honeycomb" for a mapset that plays with a simple tile concept, or "Hexagon" from 10 Sectors. scifista's take is just too damn long with too little to show for it. Love MAP19, though.

mouldy was a shoe-in for interesting levels, so his works don't come as much surprise. The same goes with cannonball and ProcessingControl, though Cohen's "Crusher" caused some consternation. Why, I don't know; it seems like a perfectly serviceable map from '95-'96, and maybe that's where the issue lies. Cohen's sense of visuals and atmosphere go hand in hand with Antroid, who comes as a surprise show-out considering how much I see him criticizing just about every mapset. If his mapping style reflects his needs as a player, then he seems most closely related to the works of authors like Z86 of Hellbound. There is an unmistakable affinity for map-as-narrative with the levels evoking a clear sense of place that's rooted in realism, but not in a way that's visually bland.

Adam Windsor cameos in MAP32, with a level full of high-HP monsters that should serve as a nice, brief challenge while Xaser counterbalances with a loveletter to Wolfenstein 3D complete with Hitler boss monster. The level is better than it has any right to be, much like his Commander Keen entry in Doom 2 the Way id Did. There's definitely more to this megaWAD than MAP31, but if you were going to pass it over completely based on all the negative reactions, you ought to at least try "Wolfenstein". And mouldy's maps, and cannonball's. That's not to put the other guys out, but the rest of the map slots are a very mixed bag.

_bruce_ clearly does one thing and does it well. His brand of organic map layouts is an anomaly in the Doom universe and it fits the slots of the levels he chose quite well. I'm curious as to what he would do with "Industrial Zone" or "Suburbs". an_mutt's works are all over the place, but "Tricks and Traps" is a solid play in the starbase style. Egregor does a good job with MAP11; it's just a well put-together castle-type-thing. Olympus's MAP26 is short and sweet in a sea of bloated Community Chest-length offerings. Most of the rest of the authors didn't really wow me, though as a whole they have a sort of realistic appeal to their levels, if that's your sort of thing. The main exception is Joseph Lord, the most-maligned author of the set, whose levels have some interesting ideas but lack any sort of discipline when it comes to execution.

There's no need to evaluate the efficacy with which these levels represented their names, because they all meet the standard, however nebulously they accomplish it, whether it's as simple as a big fuck-off Entryway or a living, organic city (that eats other cities?) as envisioned in "The Living End". Like I said, I was somewhat disappointed that the re-imaginations weren't as crazy as ella guro had looked for, but looking at "Dead Simple" I see that every bout of experimentation has its price. As always, I look forward to seeing what these authors do in the future, and though Doom 2 In Name Only won't go down as one of my more favorite megaWADs, there are some things in here that should not be forgotten.

by assorted authors

by Eli "ProcessingControl" Cohen
Cohen starts us off with a chaingun-fed imp and zombie slaughter of The Innocent Crew proportions. The opening area is very cool; I like the entryway centerpiece and the imps on ledges plus surprise chaingunners at the end are a nice combination as the demons and zombies distract on the floor. The foyer isn't as neat since you are mowing down bullet fodder in hallways but there are some cool traps like the instant-reverse staircase and the finale, where the zombies actually get a chance to do some damage... not that they have a chance of succeeding.

by "_bruce_"
_bruce_ does uncomfortable things with that dingy tech panel texture, creating a level that looks like an organic, technological cave. like a labyrinth built into a junk heap. The action starts at shotgun frenzy and then doubles the fun when you pick up the SSG, at which point all pretense of threat evaporates and you're just blastin' away imps, shotgun guys, and demons. I like the layout, particularly the southern section loop. While the tech wallpaper weirds me out, the execution is very sharp.

The GantletMAP03
by "_bruce_"
More tech strangeness from _bruce_. There are a couple of cool architectural areas like the crossroads that dominate the level's eastern side and the view from below to the exit ledge immediately prior to the crushing ceiling obstacle course that I assume is this level's namesake. Again, it's mostly clearing hallways of Doom II trash, but the finale is enough of a shake-up with monster closets trapping you in close-quarters, which makes the enemies somewhat threatening.

MAP04The Focus
by "Antroid"
Something like an adventure map that starts out with a casual canyon crawl before hitting the relatively underwhelming techbase, inside which is some kind of invasion point for Hell. Unless you get chipped down by commandos, there isn't a whole lot to worry about unless you get turned around somewhere in the network of red rock cracks and let your rad suit run out. The demon trap in the base is decent, but the action is pretty tepid overall.

The Waste TunnelsMAP05
by "an_mutt"
Well, it's definitely a sewer level. an_mutt's MAP05 features lots of close-quarters combat with the most open area being a secret and the second most open area the home of a cacodemon / spectre pile-on that should take you a bit of time to clear out. The first time you see it, you get to pump a bunch of rockets into some Hell nobles. The dead drop near the end puts you in the most dangerous scenario of the level, supposing you didn't find the secret plasma rifle.

MAP06The Crusher
by Eli "ProcessingControl" Cohen
Cohen's take is undeniably lo-fi with its main two areas crammed into giant squares but I love the macrotecture and the labyrinthine clusterfucks. Some of the trap rooms area really cool; I really like the banded platform room in the southeast corner where the zombies and cacos can actually wipe you out if you're not careful. The only thing I'm not really fond of is the last crusher platform in the eastern room since it tended to either block my jumps or crush me right at the end. The big maze which earns this map its name has a nice twist with the cacos flying over the walls, though the execution isn't as great when you're sitting behind a rocket launcher which tends to clip the hedges.

Dead SimpleMAP07
by "scifista42"
scifista has fun with triangles, the simplest geometrical shape. It's just way too long (especially with that action-packed music track), whether you're clearing out revenant turrets in the main area to the north or mowing down packs of Doom II trash in the blue tech area. There are some interesting ideas scattered around. My favorites are the arch-vile green marble area, the sparsely populated platforming section, and the mancubus / arachnotron / Spiderdemon finale which is fun to turn on mean ol' momma. The connecting tissue is just utterly lacking.

MAP08Tricks and Traps
by "an_mutt"
This doesn't seem any more tricky or trappy than your average user map, though it's definitely more full of teleport ambushes than the stock levels as I recall them. I like it, though. It's got kind of a "Refueling Base" vibe and has a lot of mid-tier monsters scattered around, particularly revenants. The fights aren't too terribly memorable with things feeling more weighted toward skeleton jump-scares but there are a couple of bits like the cacodemon invasion and the pincer attack between the two Hell knights and an arch-vile in the southern segmented hallway that had just the right feel.

The PitMAP09
by "CorSair", Cyriak "mouldy" Harris, and "BluefireZ88"
"The Pit" is big and has a lot of empty space. It's some kind of huge, demonic crater in what used to be a city center or military base or something judging by the obvious barracks and, I don't know, maybe a plane terminal. Monsters like pain elementals appearing on the outer rim are an unwelcome surprise, especially when starting out seems so sketchy in terms of your available weapons; you're pretty much driven into one of the tunnels out of desperation. Inside, there's too much open room to keep the enemies threatening and most of the interiors being glorified rectangles is kind of a bummer. I like that southwest room, though, and the southern cacodemon / lost soul fight ain't bad.

MAP10Refueling Base
by "CorSair"
Another big and mostly empty level that well and truly resembles its title. The quasi-realistic layout doesn't absolve it from boring combat, including an opening with an homage to the original that eventually devolves into pistol-whipping zombies and possibly Hell knights. The most excitement you'll get are from the clusterfucks that await when you return to the main outdoor area which will suddenly be flush with a ton of cacodemons and pain elementals, plus new sentries standing on the vats. The glowing exception is the northern great outdoor fight, a nice taste of bullet Hell amplified by pain elemental panic. The glowing evil eyes are a nice detail touch and the weird teleporter tunnel exit is pretty cool.

Circle of DeathMAP11
by "Egregor"
A very cool Hellish fortress that's predominantly marble. The main threat is a Cyberdemon in the dead center of the level (the eponymous "circle") but he's only dangerous if your eyes glaze over because you have plenty of room to move around in. I like how Egregor starts you off looking through the lava tunnels to open the front door only to return much further down the line. The combat is pretty much cramped room clearing with some neat fights in the sewer section to the north and that hall to the northeast with a surprise arch-vile. The eastern courtyard has a decent skirmish on the return trip.

MAP12The Factory
by Matthew "cannonball" Powell
A pretty cool industrial level. While I figured out how to get the ancient machinery moving, I couldn't discover its importance. The opening fight is a little rough, taking on three revenants with a single shotgun, but once you punch their ticket it's on. Powell is a hand at engineering tricky combat and this level is full of it without being the kind of murderbrawl that I've seen some of his Doom II maps become. Most of the crazy stuff happens in the central room with the yellow and blue key doors, the most memorable moment for me being the wave of cacodemons when you reenter from the descending elevator, but the blood-filled basement is a lethal side-area. Stuffing an homage to the cacodemon exit room in a secret is a tasteful touch. Love that helicopter.

by Glen "glenzinho" McColl
Starts out with a Tyson opening where you punch out a huge crowd of imps and demons before eventually hitting the downtown which looks like some kind of coastal business district. The arch-vile guardian in the ground floor warehouse pissed me off before I found the crusher switch long after he was dead. Main street has plenty of window snipers but it's pretty easy to thin out and the four hundred or so enemies will be wiped out in a series of skirmishes as you make your way to a ruined subway and secret underground tunnel. The combat is serviceable, just not memorable, though I enjoyed the shootout at the subway terminal, which puts those columns to good use.

MAP14The Inmost Dens
by "_bruce_"
Another level in _bruce_'s particular organic style, but this one differentiates itself from the others with a spacious northern area that shows that the author can do cool things with architecture. Combat is still mostly skirmishing, but _bruce_ slips in some higher-tier monsters here and there, including an early mancubus, albeit one that's easily dispatched with the opening rocket launcher. Pretty fun.

Industrial ZoneMAP15
by Matt "cannonball" Powell
Holy shit, cannonball. This is basically a "Downtown" sandbox-style industrial complex with some pretty cool buildings and a lot of walking area. There's also a pretty involved secret quest for the red key, which takes you to the alternate exit, where you can be either the guy who wrote down the obvious puzzle hint or the guy who does some repetitive, tricky platforming. Most of the true chaos dies out after you cleanse the streets, which includes the Spiderdemon sniper in the center square, but Powell has a few teleport ambushes to send your way before all is said and done. I think the best fights are in the normal exit area to the north, complete with macrotecture in his slaughter style. All of the off-areas are definitely worth visiting, though. It's just... a really long trip.

by Xaser Acheron
Xaser does what he does best, using a variety of custom resources to deliver a gorgeous Nazi castle that's full of demons and takes things a step fuhrer with the inclusion of a Hitler bossmonster who has a full posse that will likely make things difficult for you. Xaser goes through the trouble of connecting the castle wings together but there's almost no backtracking since a teleporter gives you the quick link to the front door to the main event. Health is a little tight, and you won't get any of the weapons without a nasty fight, but the rocket launcher is the worst of the bunch. The best sharp shock is the Cyberdemon you probably forgot all about... Fantastic level.

Große MAP32
by Adam Windsor
This is a pretty fun hard-hitting map but if you know about the most troublesome elements - the arch-viles - it defaults to a blastathon with the rocket launcher and BFG. The outdoor area is suspiciously lax in opposition and handful of Cyberdemon BFG bumps will remove the nastiest parts. The exit room is more distracting with a nasty opening crossfire that's finished with a surprise ambush that might throw you off-guard.

by "schwerpunk" and Joseph Lord
In this level, you get to explore a secret military installation on the edge of town. There's a neat story going on here with the holding cells full of demon specimens and secret viewing rooms used to study them but it's buried under a lot of repetition, thoughtless combat, and stuff that plain doesn't make any sense like the 3 X 3 building / vegetation maze. For every misstep, there's a crazy idea that kind of pays off. The zombie slaughter room has zero visual appeal but trying to chew through the undead to kill the arch-viles is kind of threatening and the beginning area, where you explore the ruined buildings, is good enough. The secret base stands in stark contrast to the rest of the level and while visually imposing, it goes on a bit too long. I like the imp teleport ambush, though.

by "an_mutt"
This is a quaint little apartment block. The layout kind of reminds me of student dorms. The building interiors are basically MYHOUSE, sending you into cramped fights with an emphasis on revenants. There's also big outdoor battle involving a Spiderdemon that leaves you kind of exposed but if you play with some guts you can get the other monsters to do most of the work for you. My money's on the green marble area, though. It has the lion's share of the interesting battles, albeit crammed into a relatively small space.

MAP18The Courtyard
by "kongming"
All the careful artifice of scenes like the crumbling marble-on-blood walkway seem odd when juxtaposed with the simple, rectangular geometry that composes most of the map. At the very least, kongming has filled the map out with a few interesting encounters, though with your rocket launcher / plasma rifle in hand most enemies are fated for a quick end. I think the most dangerous fight is the northern courtyard's (there are two courtyards) red key ambush since there's a lot of open area and you might get hemmed in by baron / knight flesh while the arch-vile stalks around, but there's more than enough cover to keep you safe. 

The CitadelMAP19
by "scifista42"
sci goes in the complete opposite direction with this take on an old classic. This feels like one of those massive opus levels from '95-'96, and I mean that in a good way. The map has a lot of moving parts and a healthy atmosphere. The ammo feels a little tight, though. I guess you could berserk punch more stuff but I completely ran out of scratch in the dark dungeon and was only saved by a handful of rockets which I used to bounce back. It will take a good while to finish this map out, especially if you want all the secrets, one of which has a scale model of the original "Citadel". The cathedral fight had a pretty obvious setup but isn't used so much that it loses its luster. I also love the final battle, though it's a hard left turn considering the rest of the level. Beware the southern tunnels; the darkness is more annoying than anything but I can see the whole thing frustrating many players.

by Cyriak "mouldy" Harris
A cute concept level that starts out with you running from a horde of Hell nobles into a trap where you're forced to hole up inside a tiny compound while what feels like a hundred goat-men mill about\ outside. While you're under siege, you have all the tools for your salvation, leading you through secret passages to the base where you confront the demons that have masterminded your assault. The rest is pretty much letting a handful of Cyberdemons go to town on your opponents. The majority of the gameplay, that being the stuff leading up to the Cyber counterattack, is textbook mouldy, throwing you into claustrophobic combat situations. The difficulty is understated compared to his other levels, though.

by Matthew "cannonball" Powell
cannonball goes with the usual MAP21 shtick by sending you into what is mostly a Tyson level. "Nirvana" is a place of relaxation and were it not for the stock textures I could see this as a nice little refuge for Doomguy. There are always monsters, though, and the emphasis on the berserk fist means it's a fairly exacting level since you'll be punching out several arch-viles and Hell knights in awkward scenarios. Experienced fisters will be right at home, however.

MAP22The Catacombs
by Tristan "Eris Falling" Clark
Is that a "Ballistyx" reference I see in the beginning? Eris comes up with a bunch of interesting setpiece areas but the tunnels that tie them together are, with one exception, bland and uninteresting, hallways in everything but name only. Thankfully, you don't do a lot of fighting in the tunnels and can instead enjoy the sights of areas like the opening chamber, the toxic waterfall cavern, and the Spiderdemon / arachnotron room that gets co-opted for a fast and frantic slaughter. You need the blue and red keys to finish out but the lion's share of the combat comes from the blue side, which has its own riddle to solve. A less stringy layout would do wonders for those major chambers.

Barrels o' FunMAP23
by Joseph Lord
This level features homages to E1M8 as well as the original "Barrels o' Fun". The latter has the most exasperating encounter of the level, where pain elementals descend on you from either side with revenants behind you and Hell knights coming in from the other room. I kind of like it when it's not throwing Doom / Doom II setups in your face. The other areas have some decent connectivity and blowing up monsters with barrel sharpshooting but there are some serious stumbling blocks. The only reliable way I could pass the Spiderdemon / arachnotron encounter was by hiding in the corner by the exit until some of the imps / commandos had teleported in and even then it was walking on eggshells.

MAP24The Chasm
by "Antroid"
Antroid nails the look of a chasm and the typical gameplay of a canyon crawl. The author keeps things interesting by varying up the side areas and main sections of the chasm, though the only real nasty part is the tunnel town about halfway through as it's thick with lots of mid-tier monsters, including pain elementals, and demands your respect. The series of battles leading up to the exit are about the best that the level has to offer, with respectful arch-vile use that throws you off without fucking you over. There's also a lot of beautiful, orthogonal architecture for the ruins segments. All that said, it's a very long level and is more adventure than action-oriented. You only need one of the two keys to finish, though, which is a nice twist.

by Cyriak "mouldy" Harris
This feels like it would fit right at home with the rest of mouldy's repertoire. There are a half-dozen different ways to get around this slice of Hell and every way you poke around you're going to wake up even more monsters. It's pretty forgiving for a Mouldy level, though there are still the bits off odd machinery like the descending pillar room near the exit that add some character, and there seems to be an ideal balance of health to ambush that leaves you some recovery margin after you're inevitably left reeling from one of the many surprises. Just a fun, dense level.

MAP26The Abandoned Mines
by "Olypmus"
Olympus does a solid with one of the most concise levels of D2INO. The health feels a little sparse starting out but once things get in full swing - after the rad suit section - you'll be too busy blowing monsters away to really care. The mines themselves have some nice connectivity and enemies like commandos stuffed into every corner to chip away at your health. There's also a Cyberdemon and Spiderdemon to worry about, though the former is by far the more dangerous of the two. The northernmost area is kind of tricky to break into as the enemy layout exposes you to fire from something but all of the nasty stuff shoots projectiles so you won't be too put out.

Monster CondoMAP27
by Joseph Lord
This is a very large fortress-map-thing with a ton of monsters but a lot of them are going to die wholesale so don't let the count intimidate you. Lord has some nice bits of architecture hiding around the level but the fights and connective tissue are so uneven that it's hard to recommend it. Worst of all is the false wall "Spirit World" ripoff in the northeastern area, which has three different arch-viles that will be hiding behind blocking lines plus a handful of revenants that pop out here and there. Other areas are hilarious due to a lack of familiarity with vanilla limits, i.e. the huge cloud of neutered pain elementals in the central courtyard, but they'll have their teeth back once you deal with the mess of lost souls to the northwest. The throne room is a massive clusterfuck that all but requires a BFG zerg through the revenant column but I got to see a Spiderdemon take down most of the cacos / pain elementals so it's a wash. It would be a pretty cool level if you cut all the dumb stuff out.

MAP28The Spirit World
by Cyriak "mouldy" Harris
Now this is neat. mouldy's sedate opening plays with light and shadow so all the monsters cast black silhouettes against the red backdrops. Eventually you'll have to deal with a storm of enemies to be fended off with rocket launcher spam, but the worst has yet to come. The infernal citadel has a revenant-infested main chamber that will be the site of a major clean-up at the level's end. Don't go rushing into it until you grab the blue and yellow keys, though, which will grant easy access to an invul sphere, megasphere, and ammo, which should make things easy-peasy. Fun stuff. I think the northwestern area was more challenging, but I admit that the storm of zombies had my low-health teeth chattering when trying to grab the yellow key.

The Living EndMAP29
by "Antroid"
Simple yet satisfying. I wasn't initially sold on the skyscrapers made of arcane skin but I quickly adjusted in the face of some neat midtexture cheats and the constantly moving geometry. After you adventure off the ground you hit the flesh tunnel and get to pick any order of flipping the three skull switches required to reach the exit. All of these routes are pretty tricksy and infested with arch-viles, making them fairly challenging regardless of your loadout. The skyscraper fight with the Cyberdemon is about the only annoying part, though. There's no way to engage him up close so be prepared to burn some ammo. The finale is pretty cool if an ultimately pointless gesture given all the space you have. Points for atmosphere, at least. I like the ruined city block.

MAP30Icon of Sin
by Cyriak "mouldy" Harris
While this is technically one of those levels where the IOS slowly populates the map while you solve the puzzles, it's way more manageable than appears at first glance. You won't have to deal with the vast majority of the enemies that appear and once you grab all the weapons and ammo from every chamber there are a choice few powerups that will set you on the path to success. One invulnerability sphere in particular should be all you need to bust up the arch-vile revue that appears when you finally enter the central chamber. Granted, you'll probably have a huge caco / pain elemental swarm built up that you'll also have to deal with, but there's enough ammo in there that you should be able to clear the ground, run up the tower, and slay the evil point blank.


The Lost ChasmMAP34
by Joseph Lord
588 monsters! A lot of these guys are pointless zombie slaughters that only serve to rack up the body count. The level itself is even less focused than Joseph's other works, filled with dead-end backtracking and other insults to injury, the worst all being a wall that refuses to be chopped down as intended, a fact that must have eluded the playtesting team due to this map being wisely replaced by Antroid's take. My enthusiasm dulled considerably during the Cyberdemon plus two arch-viles battle that marks the end of the second section. It's just a really awkward fight to try to do with any weapon. I'm not sure how to feel about the more wildly experimental fights, like the blue key door coffin where you try to mow down shotgun guys faster than they teleport in. By the time you reach the final encounter, you won't believe that it's just that simple. Well, it isn't, but I'm not going to reveal the final kick in the nuts, and you shouldn't have to feel it. Avoid.

This post is part of a series on
Doomworld's 2014 Cacowards

The Top TenBest MultiplayerRunners Up
Going Down32in24-13Bauhaus
The Adventures of SquarePushBloody Steel
Back to Saturn X: Episode 2Rage CTFMayhem 2048
PlasmaplantBest Gameplay ModWhitemare 2
Shadows of ChronosDemonSteeleYou Dig
Monster Hunter Ltd. 1/2Mordeth AwardThe Wailing Horde
ResurgenceDoom 2 in Name OnlyReconstruction/
Mayan MishapMockawardDecomposition
Urban Brawl: Dead of WinterBrutalist Doom
Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft ExcluderMapper of the Year


  1. I do love how well you seem to articulate thoughts into the writing, especially upon dissecting the different styles of individual authors and how their contributions hold up. I haven't played through D2INO yet, but understand enough of your perspective what I could expect from the wad; Not limited to this particular review either. It's no surprise my own reviews have taken some influence from your writing since discovering this site - pretty inspiring really! I'm always checking back here for new posts.

    1. the best things that could happen from me writing reviews would be people playing pwads and writing their own reviews. im glad for that.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. i accidentally removed tim's comment, but since these get sent to my gmail anyway, i am going to repost it! sorry, tim.

      I thoroughly enjoyed the first six levels, and the remaining maps were enjoyable, if disjointed. It was "Dead Simple" that simply pissed me off, the design was so homogeneous, even the differing textures did little to aid in navigation, I found myself constantly running around with an overlay map on the screen. I know I have a good sense of direction, and maybe it's a fault of mine, but I doubt anyone playing this map any idea where they were most of the time, or where to go. I don't mind maps that require exploration, but maps that make you question whether you're going in circles are not acceptable.

      I thought the enemy placement on this map was uninspired and uninteresting, it amounted to nothing more than "Here's a big group of this type of enemy, kill them." Very little variation in enemy type led to boring gameplay.

      Other than that, I really enjoyed this mapset, I found it really interesting to see everyone's take on the names. I had always wondered, "Why the hell is this a Refueling Base?" "Why the hell is this an industrial area?" Doom's abstract level design has always been one of it's biggest strengths, but it was interesting to see how the designers dealt with making a map realistic and playable at the same time. I also liked the creative ways they dealt with maps with names like "The Focus" and "The Gantlet".

      Excellent review."

  3. I'm currently playing this, long time ago (4 or 5 months) I saw Lingyan's map 20 playthrough, and I really loved what I was looking at. Cybers vs. Nobles is a classic.
    A nice mixture of map styles, for once I could recognize (more or less) which later map was made by who, taking into account earlier maps, say I knew map 14 was made by the same who did map 02 and 03. This is not something I usually pay attention but it was very notable in this pwad. And the main theme of the wad is very well executed in my opinion, though a few maps felt somewhat obscure. I can't help but to feel I wasn't very convinced of map 07, the green sector with revenants and archviles as snipers literally put me off, for many reasons. Long maps don't bother me, but I think it should have ended in that green part. Map 24 is great and much better than the original "The Chasm" to be honest. Battling Hitler as a boss enemy was sure something, and I know it comes from Wolfenstein (which I've never played entirely), but watching him infighting, shooting fireballs from his back while looking at me, was odd. Practically the same odd sensation to watch SS Nazis infighting.
    But overall it's going positive, still have 4 more maps to play, I hope the IoS is not gimmicky, did never bother to win the original in legal terms, huh.

    1. Omg the bonus map is pure shit!! What the f*** was mister Lord thinking about?????????

    2. Probably something like "awwww yeeeeah makin' a map for doom II"