Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reconstruction/Decomposition (RCDC_V2.WAD)


by "Da Werecat"

Reconstruction/Decomposition almost slid past everyone, released in 2014 in the thread of its origin (mrthejoshmon's "My map to your map") and then later in its own to little fanfare until it was updated to include difficulty settings, among other things. It then received the interest that had thus far eluded it, and which is well-deserved. It's a MAP01 placement for Boom ports (.OGG support preferred) and, uh, I think it takes place on some kind of space craft, though whether the ship / station is still in conventional space at the level's end is debatable. There isn't any kind of framing story, but enough is implied for your imagination to run wild.

Atmosphere is king in RCDC. This is due to a triple threat of a track from Aubrey Hodges of PSX Doom / Doom64 fame, copious amounts of tension which will no doubt strike some players as being boring, and a completely new set of unfamiliar textures.  I would be hard-pressed to single out any one of these as being the prime contributor. D_RUNNIN would render a more action-packed feel that emphasizes the dead space between encounters in a negative fashion. String every enemy together and you end up with zero real tension because the next monster is right around the corner. Doom II's stock textures tell experienced players way more about their surroundings than they consciously think about. When that comfort is broken, you find yourself paying much more attention than usual.

I'm not sure what the original map was like, but joshmon's own observations and provided screenshots paint it as a straightforward zombie slaughter. Werecat quickly moves from mystery to survival horror before settling in to "Entryway"-level mixed monster packs. Once you get used to killing zombies, he puts the player through some more modern scripted firefights (like the 3D-map ambush or the ring of mancubuses), finishing off with a couple of moderately challenging battles that use arch-viles as major players. The author declines to repopulate the spaces you backtrack through with one major exception, where you'll have to beat a Cyberdemon down using conventional arms.

Werecat has some pretty cool Boom cheats up his sleeve. When you're engrossed in the experience, they manage to skirt past your disbelief through surprise factor and an obscured automap hiding the more far-out sections. The fact that it uses a more Giger-esque interpretation than the unsettling but still fleshy Doom is a fresh take on things. Altogether, it adds up to a harrowing experience. I'd love to see a mapset using these textures and more; it seems naturally suited to an alternate take on Doom. Thanks for this cool little level, Werecat, and keep making cool stuff!


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

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