Well, it’s been a while since I last reviewed anything “Doom”-related, so I thought that I’d check out a WAD for “Doom II”/”Final Doom” called “Nevasca (v 1.0)“.
From a comment on another review, I’ve learnt that this WAD was created by the same guy who made “Discovering The Hell: The Five Worlds“, so apologies if I repeat myself when describing some of the things that these two WADs have in common.
As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port when playing this WAD, although it will probably work with “GZDoom” and probably other modern source ports too. Likewise, I didn’t find the secret level whilst playing this WAD.
Anyway, let’s take a look at “Nevasca (v1.0)”:
“Nevasca (v1.0)” is a nine-level WAD (including a secret level) that contains new monsters, weapons, music, power-ups and textures. Many of the levels also have a wintery theme too.
Although “Nevasca (v1.0)” contains nine levels, it’s slightly on the shorter side and it took me between one and two hours to complete the basic set of eight levels. However, this isn’t exactly a bad thing since it means that the whole thing can be played in a single night and that none of the levels really outstay their welcome.
In terms of level design and pacing, this WAD is reasonably good. All of the levels are non-linear and they have a fairly reasonable difficulty curve. Even though you might spend a while wandering aimlessly around a couple of the levels and trying to work out what to do next, they never really get too frustrating.
On the other hand, some of the levels might seem a little bit on the generic side if you’ve played a lot of “Doom” WADs before. This is because, although there are a few new textures, this WAD mostly uses the ‘standard’ “Doom II” textures.
However, there are at least a few aesthetic changes between each level or two and a few cool-looking areas (eg: an area with flickering lights, areas that mix lava and ice etc..) that help to prevent “Nevasca (v1.0)” from getting monotonous.
In terms of difficulty, experienced players will find this WAD to be mildly to moderately challenging at the very most. Although the early levels are relatively easy, the later levels include at least a few archviles, moderate numbers of mid-levels and a small number of cyberdemons that help to keep the gameplay enjoyable. This WAD isn’t exactly “easy”, but it’s hardly “difficult” either.
As for the new weapons, there are three of them. There’s a railgun, which is a fairly standard “weak” railgun that uses up ten plasma cells per shot. There’s also a freeze gun, which is let down by the fact that it’s a long-range only weapon. Since you’ll die instantly if you use it in close proximity to a monster, it’ll probably just end up gathering dust for most of the game.
In addition to this, there is also an “Unreal”-style biorifle too. Although this suffers from the standard problems that come with biorifle-style weapons (eg: a limited range), it makes up for this by having a reasonable rate of fire, by having a reasonable amount of ammunition and by being reasonably powerful. In other words, this is the new weapon that you’ll probably use the most, since it can make short work of both mancubi and archviles.
Not only that, the rocket launcher now has a new sprite, which looks slightly cooler than the “standard” rocket launcher sprite does.
The new power-ups are pretty cool too. The most original of the new powerups are a “+40” health pack (that looks like a backpack) and smaller “+2” health powerups (that look like red versions of the blue vials from “Hexen” and “Heretic”).
However, if you’ve played other modern WADs before, then many of the power-ups will be nothing new (eg: double damage, double defence, health regeneration etc...), but they help to keep the gameplay interesting. The coolest one is probably the “Chronosilence”, since it freezes time for a few seconds – although I’ve seen this type of power-up before in a few other WADs, it never really gets old.
As for the new monsters, they are mostly monsters that have also appeared in quite a few other WADs too. In other words, expect to see dark imps, rocket zombies, marine zombies etc… Even so, it’s always cool to see non-standard monsters in “Doom” WADs 🙂
In addition to this, both the cacodemons and the revenants now have much cooler sprites (eg: the revenants look more skeletal and the cacodemons are a translucent shade of blue).
As for the background music in this WAD, although some of the songs occasionally have heavier or more dramatic moments, the music often sounds a bit too “light” for a ‘serious’ “Doom” WAD. Although it’s always cool to hear 80s/90s-style music in “Doom” WADs, the background music sometimes sounds a bit too much like ‘easy listening’ music.
All in all, this is a fairly ok WAD. If you’ve played a lot of modern WADs before, nothing here will really surprise or amaze you. But, if you haven’t played any modern WADs before, then “Nevasca (v1.0)” is a good introduction to how much cool new stuff fans have added to “Doom” over the years.
Although I preferred the author’s “Discovering The Hell: The Five Worlds” WAD (due to it’s greater variety of settings, greater variety of new monsters etc..) – this WAD is still reasonably fun.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would probably get about three and a half.