Well, since I’m still reading the next horror novel that I plan to review (“The Ritual” by Adam Nevill), I thought that I’d take a quick look at a “Doom II”/”Final Doom” WAD today. After all, it’s been almost a month since my last WAD review.
As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, although it will probably work with GZDoom etc.. too. However, according to the readme file, it may not run with vanilla “Doom II”/”Final Doom” or the Chocolate Doom source port. Likewise, be sure to enable jumping in whichever source port you use.
So, let’s take a look at “Rienzi (Release 6)”:
“Rienzi (Release 6)” is a short to medium length single-level WAD that also contains a couple of new textures/animations too.
One of the first things that I will say about this level is that it has a really good difficulty curve and weapon progression. In the early parts of the level, you’ll be fighting zombies and imps with the pistol before gradually encountering better weapons and more powerful monsters.
If, like me, you’re slightly out of practice with “Doom II” then this level is a good way to reintroduce yourself to it. It’s challenging enough to be fun, but forgiving enough not to be frustrating. In other words, it’s a mildly-moderately challenging level.
In terms of the level design, it’s really good. The level contains a really good mixture of gloomy claustrophobic areas and large bright arena-like areas, which help to keep things interesting. Plus, although the early parts of the level seem to be fairly linear, the level quickly turns into the kind of proper non-linear level you’d expect from a real FPS game like “Doom II”.
One strange thing about this level is the keys. Although there are three skull keys hidden throughout the level, the door that they open doesn’t seem to be clearly marked. Still, they encourage the player to search the level thoroughly – which is important because, in the classic fashion, progression at one point depends on finding an unobtrusive passage. Likewise, if you want the plasma rifle, then prepare to look for secret areas.
In terms of the textures and visual design, this level is really good 🙂 The new textures consist of some animated flames and a suitably fiery teleportation animation when the Cyberdemon appears:
For the most part, the level uses the standard textures – but thanks to some wonderful lighting and a cool-looking tower in the later part of the level, everything looks really cool 🙂
All in all, this is a well-designed level that will provide half an hour or so of fun 🙂 There’s a good difficulty curve, some cool-looking areas and a decent amount of variety too.
If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get four and a half.