Well, I suddenly realised that it’s been almost a month since I reviewed a “Doom II” WAD. So, I thought that I’d check out a rather interesting level called “Infuscomus“.
As usual, I used one of the slightly more modern versions of the “ZDoom” source port to play this WAD. I’m not sure how well it will work with other source ports, but it seemed to work very well on “ZDoom”.
So, let’s take a look at “Infuscomus”:
“Infuscomus” is a horror-themed single-level WAD that contains new textures, sounds, monsters, music, items and a new weapon.
As you may have guessed from the title, this WAD has been heavily inspired by another classic FPS game called “Blood” and it manages to recreate that game’s gloomy, gothic atmosphere- albeit with more of a “Doom”-style twist to it.
The level itself mostly takes place within a large and gloomy mansion/castle of some kind, which is filled with claustrophobic corridors, grand halls and tiny rooms. Needless to say, the opportunities for jump scares are numerous! Although most of them aren’t particularly scary, it’s still cool to see the screen judder suddenly, as monsters suddenly teleport in beside you.
The level design itself is fairly good, although it can occasionally get a bit on the labyrinthine side of things – occasionally requiring slightly more backtracking and searching that you might expect.
For example, throughout the level, you’ll notice that several doors require a blue card (rather than a blue skull key) in order to open. It’s a good idea to memorise where these doors are, since you will later have to re-visit every single one of them in order to progress past a later part of the level.
In visual terms, this WAD is pretty spectacular. Although the WAD obviously takes heavy inspiration from “Blood” (including borrowing a few textures too), it still manages to have it’s own distinctive “Doom”-influenced look to it at the same time. The level also contains a good variety of different aesthetics and room designs, in order to keep things visually interesting.
One of the other outstanding things about this WAD is the fact that it contains several new monsters. Whilst I have seen a few of them in other WADs before, some seem to be totally new. In addition to this, a few of the “standard” monsters receive a couple of changes – for example, the Revenants have about half the normal amount of health, to compensate for the fact that the “ordinary” shotgun is the most powerful weapon you’ll have throughout most of the level.
As you might expect from a horror-themed level, health and ammo can sometimes be on the scarce side (although the level actually includes portable health kits to compensate for this slightly). This is especially noticeable when fighting some of the more powerful “new” monsters. However, many of them can still be beaten with the right tactics. I absolutely love challenging “Doom” WADs that force the player to play strategically, so it was great to see this in “Infuscomus”.
For example, in one part of the level, you enter a small room with a low table in the middle of it. After doing a game-critical action (pressing a button or something like that), the room is quickly filled with four or five armoured knights with hammers (one of the most powerful and deadly new monsters). If you try to fight them normally, then you’ll fail fairly quickly. Instead, what you have to do is to quickly run onto the table – where they can’t attack you, then you can fight them from complete safety.
As for weaponry, most of the weapons are fairly “normal”, with the chaingun having a slightly different sound and a couple of the weapons having a slightly faster rate of fire. Even so, there’s one new weapon here – an alternative Super Shotgun. Not only does this weapon have a new sprite, but – instead of firing both barrels at once – it actually fires two shots in quick succession every time you use it.
My only complaint about this weapon is the fact that you only find it relatively close to the end of the level, so the number of times that you get to use it is probably lower than it should have been (especially during some of the more challenging earlier parts of the level).
In terms of the music, it’s the kind of atmospherically creepy music that you’d expect in a level like this.
All in all, this is really cool WAD. It’s atmospheric, challenging and reasonably well-designed.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would possibly get a five.