Well, since I still seem to be in a “Doom” kind of mood at the moment- I thought that I’d take a quick look at a one-level WAD I discovered a couple of months ago called “Bloody Graveyard“.
As with all of my WAD reviews, I should point out that I used the “GZ Doom” source port whilst playing “Bloody Graveyard”, although it will probably work well on other modern source ports too.
It’s a graveyard, with oceans of blood… pretty self-explanatory really.
“Bloody Graveyard” was released around Halloween last year and, as you might expect, it’s an horror-themed level that takes place in a gigantic graveyard filled with monsters. It also features a small weapon modification and one or two new monsters too. But, is it any good?
In a word, yes. Although it’s certainly not the most complex “Doom” level that I’ve ever played, it’s large enough to require a fair amount of exploration, whilst also being just about small enough that you won’t really get lost whilst navigating it.
Like with any WAD that features large arena-like areas, expect to face a significant quantity of monsters whilst playing “Bloody Graveyard”. However, unlike traditional “slaughter maps“, the number of monsters in this level is relatively small.
In other words, things like THIS are the exception rather than the rule..
Yes, there is the occasional horde of monsters, but they appear at well-placed strategic points throughout the level rather than in almost every part of it. Most of the time, the monsters are just spread out fairly evenly throughout the level.
What this means is that this level feels a lot more like playing a “traditional” Doom level than playing a typical “slaughter map”. Whilst I quite enjoy the much more cerebral and strategic style of gameplay you usually find in “slaughter maps”, it was still kind of fun to play a slightly more mindless and toned-down version of it.
Plus, there are ONLY two or three cyberdemons in the ENTIRE level! What madness is this?
As for the weapons in this level, the only change that I really noticed was that the plasma gun fires bright blue projectiles rather than dark blue ones.
Although this is a rather tiny change, it makes the gun look slightly cooler. Plus, it really stands out against the gloomy red and blue colour scheme of the level too:
It’s stylish AND deadly…
The music in “Bloody Graveyard” is, as you would expect, wonderfully gothic and atmospheric. About the best way to describe it is that it possibly sounds a little bit like the introduction to “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus.
Another interestingly creepy touch in “Bloody Graveyard” is the text that appears on the screen whenever you die. Yes, this WAD actually has custom death text – it’s surprisingly creepy… and mildly depressing:
Woe! Misery! Gloom! Despair!
Finally, I should probably talk about the new monsters in this WAD. Although you’ll spend most of the level fighting the traditional “Doom” monsters, once you’ve found the blue skull key – you will have to press a switch that will summon a level boss called the “Skelly King”.
He’s basically a much larger version of the “revenant” monster and he’s also a surprisingly tough level boss. Not only can he summon hordes of tiny revenants, he also has a variety of other powerful attacks too. The most impressive of which is probably this one, which I just had to make an animated GIF of:
Yes, he’s just launched a swarm of lost souls….
However, and I don’t know if this was just a glitch in the game or whether it was intentional. But, about halfway through my battle with the “Skelly King”, he just ended up standing on a raised platform in the middle of one part of the level and didn’t really do anything.
I’m not complaining (because it meant that I actually had a vague chance of defeating him), but I’m not sure if this was a glitch in the game or not.
All in all, “Bloody Graveyard” is an extremely fun WAD that is well worth checking out if you like gothic and/or horror-related stuff.
Plus, if you’re relatively new to playing “Doom” WADs and you want a fairly gentle introduction to the “slaughter map” sub-genre of “Doom” WADs, then you can’t go wrong with this one.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, then it would get four and a half.