As usual, I played this WAD using the “GZDoom” source port. I’m not sure if this WAD will work on other modern source ports, but it probably will.
Anyway, let’s take a quick look at “Valhalla”:
“Valhalla” is a single-level WAD that can be completed in under an hour. One of the outstanding things about this WAD is the fact that it’s extremely atmospheric. Seriously, this WAD looks like a combination of “Quake II”, “Blade Runner” and “Doom 3”.
This is further emphasised by the fact that the level starts out eerily empty, with only creepy ambient music and occasionally the distant sounds of monsters to accompany you. Whilst these kinds of level openings don’t always work in “Doom” WADs, it actually kind of works here. Seriously, I cannot praise the visual style and atmosphere of this WAD highly enough.
As for the gameplay in “Valhalla”, it’s reasonably good. This WAD has a few moderately challenging moments – mainly due to the claustrophobic areas that you’ll fight your way through during several parts of the level – but there’s nothing here that an experienced “Doom” player will find too difficult.
Although the gameplay is certainly fun enough, the main attraction of this WAD is it’s visual style and the various cool things that the WAD’s creator has done with the “Doom” engine.
The most technically impressive part of this WAD is, ironically, hidden away in a corner of one room. There’s an animated security camera monitor which shows an earlier part of the level, complete with the remains of the monsters you fought there earlier. Yes, this is in a “Doom II” WAD!
As for the level design itself, it’s a proper non-linear “Doom” level. But, although it’s fairly complicated, the fact that most of it consists of distinctive small rooms and cramped corridors means that you won’t really get lost or stuck when you play “Valhalla”.
All in all, this is a WAD that has both style and substance. Yes, it certainly isn’t the most challenging “Doom II” WAD that I’ve played, but it’s certainly one of the most atmospheric.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get four and a half.