A few days before I wrote this review, I was in the mood for playing another “Doom II” WAD. In particular, I was in the mood for a cyberpunk-themed WAD and, after a bit of searching, I found this WAD from 2016 called “Mutiny (A Doomworld Community Project)“.
As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD. However, it will probably work on any modern limit-removing source port that allows jumping. Interestingly, this WAD also comes with a Dehacked file too. Looking in the text file, this file only affects the story text screens and map names or something like that. I used it nontheless, but it isn’t strictly necessary.
Anyway, let’s take a look at “Mutiny (A Doomworld Community Project)”:
“Mutiny” is a 16-level WAD that contains new textures and new music. This WAD is described in it’s text file as being inspired by “late 90’s cyberpunk-themed wads” and some areas of the WAD certainly have a fairly “industrial”/gothic/post-apocalyptic 1990s-style cyberpunk look to them (thanks to the new textures and some clever design decisions).
Whilst I’m slightly more of a fan of “Blade Runner“-style 1980s cyberpunk, there are still lots of cool-looking cyberpunk areas in this WAD.
Whilst there are some brilliant cyberpunk levels and areas in this WAD, there are also at least a few areas that just look a bit like “standard” Doom II. Even so, there are some brilliantly creative flourishes here – such as a giant door in the final level that is made by tiling the standard door textures:
But, what about the gameplay? Well, for the most part, “Mutiny” does this really well. As you would expect from a modern WAD, it is aimed at experienced “Doom II” players and offers quite an enjoyable challenge.
Most of the time, this is achieved in the traditional way (albeit with slightly more chaingunn zombies than in many WADs) but there are also a few “slaughtermap” style areas (such as the final level) which help to add some variety to the gameplay too.
One slight problem with this WAD being a collaborative project is that it occasionally doesn’t have a consistent difficulty curve.
For example, one of the easiest (relatively speaking) and shortest levels in the WAD is level fourteen. Yes, this offers a bit of a respite from the longer and more challenging levels, but it seems a bit unusual to place a level like this near the end of the WAD.
Another thing that might be a bonus or a problem (depending on your tastes) is that the levels in this WAD are occasionally on the large and labyrinthine side of things.
Whilst it’s always great to see old-school non-linear levels, there were at least a few times where I got completely stuck and/or lost, and had to actually stop playing the WAD for a while (only to work out where I was supposed to go after seeing the level afresh the next day). Whilst this made me nostalgic for the golden age of FPS gaming, having slightly smaller levels and/or a few more shortcuts to locked doors wouldn’t have gone amiss either.
There are also a few cool set-pieces here too. For example, at the beginning of level ten, you are offered a choice between a super-shotgun or a rocket launcher. You can only choose one of them. So, if you are playing from a pistol start (which I wasn’t. Seriously, why do people do this?), then it probably adds an extra level of challenge and strategy to the level.
Another innovative set piece can be found in level four, where you have to solve a simple puzzle that involves raising and lowering two platforms in order to form a bridge.
These platforms are raised and lowered by either standing on or not standing on two large buttons on the floor. Although it might take you a few seconds to work out what you’re supposed to do, this puzzle is technically impressive (for “Doom II”, at least) and it doesn’t really get in the way of the gameplay either.
The music in this WAD is really good from what I can remember. The most memorable pieces of background music were futuristic-sounding 90s-style MIDI tunes that fit in especially well with the cyberpunk theme of the WAD. The best piece of background music can probably be found in the final level, since not only does it quickly build up into a suitably epic piece of background music, it’s also vaguely reminiscent of the music from the original “System Shock” too.
All in all, this is a fun retro-futuristic WAD that will provide several evenings of enjoyment. In addition to the thrillingly challenging gameplay, there are also a few interesting set pieces and slaughtermap-style segments that add some variety to the gameplay, but expect to get stuck and/or lost at least once or twice. It isn’t quite a perfect WAD, but it’s still a really good one.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would probably get about four and a half.