Monday, April 2, 2018

Lava City Outskirts (SWLAVCIT.WAD)

by Sam "Metabolist" Woodman

Before the current crop of speedmapping sessions - Abyssal and others - there was the Doomworld Speedmapping events with a 100 minute time limit. And while SW wasn't in all or even most of them, the first compilation got him in such a spirit that he made his own take on the theme of the initiating jam - "lava city" - as a sort of practice level. Thus became Lava City Outskirts, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II released mid-2001. There is no story or setup beyond the author's notes on the map's creation.

All of the action takes place in some sort of crater in Hell. There's a rivulet of molten rock running through the western portion of the playing area while the east half is dominated by a couple of buildings joined by a faux-ROR walkway that make up the "city" portion. While height is basically binary the two floors offer some shocking variety by giving you commandos and a Baron in the top segment of the central building and a peanut gallery of imps harassing you from the western ledge. That goes a lot to add pressure to the gameplay on the ground.

Which comes in the form of a boatload of Hell knights plus the arch-vile and two revenants in the eastern structure who are more than capable of making their way down to your level by way of the elevator. That's a lot of heat, particularly when you're metering out your counterattack with the combat shotgun. Oh, sure, there's a rocket launcher tucked in right behind you, but if you go into full panic mode so that you're not boxed in to the starting area then you might miss it entirely or at least until you're done clearing out most of the heavies and take some time to breathe.

It's a pretty good speedmap. Action-packed, enjoyable, and not too difficult. It even has a goofy hair-thin ledge secret! If you're looking for a minute or two of action then you could do a lot worse than to have a go on the edge of Lava City.


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