Well, because I’ve been playing a few other games – I seem to have neglected “Doom II”/ “Final Doom” a bit recently. So, I thought that I’d rectify this strange situation by checking out a WAD called “Midnight Tek Frenzy“.
Although I played this WAD using one of the more modern versions of “ZDoom“, it’ll probably work on pretty much any modern-style source port for “Doom II” or “Final Doom”.
Anyway, let’s take a quick look at “Midnight Tek Frenzy”:
“Midnight Tek Frenzy” is a single-level WAD that took me about half an hour to complete.
The entire level is a large arena that has been split into a variety of fenced-off areas, platforms and catwalks. In order to complete this level, you must find six keys and then complete a basic timed switch puzzle…
In case you haven’t guessed already, this is a level that is squarely aimed at intermediate to expert “Doom” players. I’m kind of in two minds about whether to describe this level as a “slaughtermap” or not – since, whilst there are certainly a lot of monsters here, there aren’t quite the giant armies of mid-level monsters that you’d usually find in a slaughtermap-style level.
Yes, you’ll be faced with a small army of imps at one point in the level and you’ll even find yourself up against four arch-viles at once (this part of the level is surprisingly easy though. Because they all emerge from a small room, you just need to run up to them quickly and fire the BFG a couple of times before they leave).
But, despite the large quantity of monsters in this level and the enjoyably frenetic gameplay, it still almost doesn’t quite feel like a slaughtermap level since the monster density is just very slightly too low. Still, if you want a good introduction to this style of level, then you can’t go wrong with “Midnight Tek Frenzy”.
This level also feels slightly different from a “slaughtermap” level because of the level’s emphasis on non-linear exploration, finding keys and solving puzzles. Whilst experienced “Doom” players will find the monster-filled areas easy to navigate, you’ll probably spend at least five minutes aimlessly wandering the level in search of the last key.
Plus, like in any good “Doom” level, many of the keys are booby-trapped in all sorts of inventive ways.
Visually, this level is pretty cool – although it mostly uses the standard “Doom II” textures, there’s a new skybox and a few small textures from games like “Duke Nukem 3D” thrown in too. Whilst it’s nothing stunningly spectacular, this level still has a really cool sci-fi atmosphere.
Musically, this level is fairly cool too. The maker of this level uses some of the fast-paced and upbeat music from “Rise Of The Triad: Dark War” as the background music and this compliments the frenetic and thrilling gameplay really well.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with this WAD. It’s enjoyably challenging, but it’s certainly not the most difficult WAD that I’ve ever played. However, the slightly greater emphasis on exploration and puzzle-solving help to set this level apart from other levels of the same type.
If I had to give this level a rating out of five, it would probably just about get a four.