Review: “Denial” (WAD For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/ “ZDoom”)

Well, due to the hot weather, it’s taking me a bit longer to read the next book I’m planning to review (“Final Destination: Dead Reckoning” by Natasha Rhodes) than I expected. So, for the final review of the month, I thought that I’d take a quick look at another “Doom II” WAD. After all, it’s been a few weeks since my last WAD review.

So, after clicking the “Random File” button on the /idgames Archive a few times, I ended up with a single-level “Doom II”/”Final Doom” WAD from 2006 called “Denial“.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, although it’ll probably work with most modern source ports. Likewise, since it’s a “vanilla” WAD (eg: it only uses the standard textures, monsters, weapons etc..), it’ll also work with many mods (like “Brutal Doom” etc..) too.

So, let’s take a quick look at “Denial”:

“Denial” is a medium length single-level WAD which, for some bizarre reason, takes up the level 28 slot. What this means is that, when you start the game, you’ll have to type “IDCLEV28” to skip to this level (if you don’t want to play levels 1-27). I’ve never quite understood why some WAD designers do this. If it’s a single-level WAD, then it should be level one!

One of the first things that I will say about this WAD is that it’s a lot of fun. It’s a mildly-moderately challenging level that will probably take you an hour or so to complete. It’s a perfect level if you’re slightly out of practice, if the weather is a little bit too hot or if you don’t have too much time. Likewise, if you’re a more inexperienced player, then this level will probably be quite an enjoyable challenge.

But, if you’re a more experienced player, then you’ll get to feel like an expert when you play this mildly challenging level.

A lot of the level’s challenge is achieved through careful weapon/ammo/health placement, claustrophobic design and well-planned monster encounters. Although you’ll mostly encounter low-level monsters throughout the level, these segments still remain mildly challenging due to the number of these monsters (eg: small hordes of them), the cramped locations you fight them in and/or their hitscan attacks.

Seriously, this segment might look really easy, but there’s very little cover to hide behind…

Still, the level throws a few mid-high level monsters and/or small arena fights at you occasionally in order to keep you on your toes. Even so, don’t expect the large numbers of monsters that you’d normally see in a more challenging modern WAD. But, saying this, the level still includes the obligatory Arch-Vile too 🙂

Seriously, no “Doom II” WAD is truly complete without one of these 🙂

In terms of the level design, this WAD is reasonably good. Not only is the level an old-school non-linear level, but there’s also a good mixture of claustrophobic corridors and small-medium size arena areas too.

The bulk of the level is spent trying to find one key – which can sometimes lead to you getting lost or stuck, although this thankfully doesn’t last too long (thanks to the size of the level). But, once you’ve found the key, then the level becomes a lot more straightforward – with the other two locked doors being fairly close to the first one.

Still, it’s always awesome to see FPS game maps that look like this 🙂

The level also includes a couple of basic switch puzzles and a few fairly obvious secret areas too, which help to keep things interesting (since they’ll sometimes allow you to glimpse later parts of the level). Plus, whilst this WAD can probably be played using a more “traditionalist” approach, if you want to get the plasma rifle, then you’ll need to use a source port that allows you to jump.

Luckily, this wall of switches doesn’t seem to be a combination puzzle 🙂

I’m pretty sure that you can’t get this without jumping, although there might be a hidden teleporter or something.

All in all, this is a reasonably fun and well-designed level that will provide an hour or so of mildly-moderately challenging fun. Yes, you might get lost or stuck for a few minutes, but it’s always good to see an old-school non-linear level that requires you to explore 🙂

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get a four.

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Review: “Unruly Evil” (WAD For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”/”ZDoom”)

Well, since I’m still reading the next novel I plan to review (“Bring Up The Bodies” By Hilary Mantel), I thought that I’d take the chance to review another “Doom II” WAD, since it’s been about three weeks or so since my last WAD review.

So, after clicking on the “Random File” button on the /idgames Archive Database a few times, I ended up finding a WAD from 2006 called “Unruly Evil“.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD. Since it seems to be designed specifically for ZDoom, I don’t know how well it will work with other source ports (although I guess that ZDoom-based source ports, like GZDoom, might possibly be ok).

So, let’s take a look at “Unruly Evil”:

“Unruly Evil” is a short to medium length single-level WAD which includes a few new features/mechanics.

It also, for some bizarre reason, takes up the Map 28 slot – so, when you start the game, you’ll have to type “IDCLEV28” to skip to this level (or play through the first 27 levels of “Doom II” or “Final Doom”) before you can get to this level.

Yes, if you see something like this, just type “IDCLEV28”. And, yes, I’m using “Final Doom” (because “The Plutonia Experiment” is awesome 🙂 )

One of the first things that I will say about “Unruly Evil” is that, according to the accompanying text file, it was apparently made as a tech demo to show how a level editor called “DCK 3.62” can use some ZDoom-specific features. And, as a tech demo, it’s pretty cool. But, as a level, it isn’t really that great.

Ok, it has some good moments but, on the whole, it’s kind of… meh.

The main features that this WAD shows off include enemies that can turn invisible, in-game text and underwater areas (with an accompanying oxygen mechanic). For the time that this WAD was released, I can see how they would have been fairly impressive. However, whilst it’s neat that this level shows all of this stuff off, it does ruin the gameplay somewhat.

For starters, the enemies that can phase in and out of visibility at will are an impressive feature. However, they are more than a little bit frustrating, due to the fact that they can suddenly pop up out of nowhere without warning. Whilst this does add a little bit of extra challenge and tension to the level, the way it is implemented (eg: with no spectre-like silhouettes when the monsters are invisible) can come across as a cheap, annoying and unfair way of adding difficulty.

Likewise, the in-game text is a rather cool feature. However, it often relays obvious instructions to the player – which can come across as patronising at times. And, when combined with the reasonably linear design of the level, this makes the level feel less like a “Doom II” level and more like a caricature of a more modern FPS game. Still, this text is used in a rather interesting end-level cinematic… which then crashed ZDoom after it had finished.

However, the dark blue text used here is kind of difficult to read against the gloomy background. The bright yellow text in the rest of the WAD would have been a better choice.

Finally, the underwater area is kind of a neat addition. Still, given that most “Doom II” levels with underwater areas don’t include an oxygen mechanic, expect to get caught out by this when you venture into this area for the first time.

The Doomguy can drown? But what about that spacesuit/oxygen mask that he usually wears?

The level itself is, as I mentioned, somewhat linear (with only a few non-linear elements) and there are a few moderately challenging elements- such as a couple of enjoyable small-medium size arena fights (which, to the level’s credit, feature a Cyberdemon and an Arch-vile).

On the plus side, this is one situation where the in-game text is actually kind of epic.

The level is both generous and stingy when it comes to heath too. Although there are a reasonably number of health packs near the beginning of the level, I didn’t really find many in the later parts. And, since your health is likely to be low during the later parts of the level, the sudden appearance of invisible enemies can result in a frustrating insta-death occasionally.

All in all, this is a pretty cool old tech demo. But, when seen on it’s own merits as a level, it isn’t that great. It’s linear and frustrating. Even so, it’s a cool glimpse into the history of “Doom II” modding, source ports etc…

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get two and a half for the level design but four for the features.

Review: “Try Before You Die” (WAD For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”)

Well, since I’m still in the middle of reading a rather long C. J. Sansom novel (is there any other type?), I thought that I’d take the chance to review a “Doom II”/”Final Doom” WAD today.

After all, it’s been at least a couple of weeks since the last WAD review and, despite playing an older version of “Reelism” occasionally, I was worried that I was getting out of practice.

So, after clicking the “random file” link on the /idgames Archive a few times, I eventually found a rather interesting-looking WAD from 2016 called “Try Before You Die“.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD. According to the accompanying text file, this WAD is designed for ZDoom-based source ports – so, it will probably work with ports like GZDoom too.

So, let’s take a look at: “Try Before You Die”:

“Try Before You Die” is a medium to long single-level WAD which revolves around a demonic invasion of Earth.

With Earth in ruins, humanity’s only hope is for the Doomguy to complete some kind of infernal trial in order to rid the planet of hell’s forces. So, yes, pretty standard stuff really.

Well, what were you expecting? A romantic comedy?

One of the first things that I will say about this level is that it’s pretty cool. Not only is the level design the kind of interesting non-linear level design that you’d expect from a classic 1990s FPS game, but the gameplay is also suitably challenging too 🙂

And, in keeping with the 1990s style of the level, this is also one of those modern levels where jumping is disabled by default (although the level is designed with this limitation in mind, so it isn’t really that noticeable whilst playing).

I should probably start by talking in more detail about the level design. In addition to containing a reasonably good mixture of claustrophobic corridors and arena-like areas, this level is also divided into two distinctive areas. There’s a ruined city area and a demonic fortress area (with four sub-areas you can teleport to in any order you want) – and, considering that this WAD only uses the standard “Doom II” textures, both areas look pretty cool.

Woo hoo! Gloomy post-apocalyptic landscapes 🙂

And THIS area almost looks like something from “Final Doom” too 🙂

This is also one of those awesome non-linear levels where you’ll often find yourself having to explore, in addition to finding new routes back to earlier areas of the level. Although the level is reasonably large, it’s still small enough to make exploration interesting rather than frustrating. In other words, it probably won’t take you too long to work out where you’re supposed to go next.

Likewise, this level also contains some fairly interesting, but solvable, puzzles too. For example, if you step through a teleporter in one area, you’ll quickly get torn to pieces by imps when you emerge on the other side. As such, you have to find where the teleporter exits and then use a nearby window/hole in the wall to deal with the imps first.

The level also includes an interesting little puzzle involving teleporters and barrels, a few basic switch puzzles, some combat-based puzzles etc… These puzzles are interesting enough to be reminiscent of the classic FPS games of the 1990s whilst also being straightforward enough not to become frustrating.

Hmmm…. I’m surrounded by barrels o’ fun!

In terms of the difficulty, experienced players will find this level enjoyably challenging 🙂 Whilst it is more of a standard-style level (think “Final Doom” turned up to eleven) rather than a “slaughtermap”-style level (where you’re faced with giant hordes of monsters), the level’s difficulty is achieved in a variety of interesting ways.

When you start the level, you’re faced with a reasonable number of mid-low level monsters, few health power-ups, relatively little ammo and a few claustrophobic areas. Whilst the difficulty in these parts of the level can feel a little bit cheap (especially if you’re slightly out of practice), the level soon begins to include a variety of different types of challenging combat.

These include really fun arena areas, areas where you’ll be running for your life, tense battles in narrow corridors, a Cyberdemon battle and even a fun little slaughtermap-style segment where a wide corridor quickly fills with powerful monsters (and you’ll have to use quick reflexes and clever tactics to find a way to escape).

And, yes, this level fulfils it’s mandatory Arch-vile quotient too 🙂

In addition to all of this, the relative scarcity of health items throughout the level (seriously, my health was less than 20 for large portions of the level!) helps to keep things suspenseful and challenging too 🙂

All in all, this is a really fun level 🙂 It’s a really cool modern twist on classic 1990s-style FPS levels. If you feel that “Final Doom” is a little bit too easy or you want a slightly more epic classic-style “Doom II” level, then this one is certainly worth checking out.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get four and a half.

Mini Review: ‘Xaser’s Arena (Version 2)” (WAD For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”/ “ZDoom”)

Since, once again, I’m still reading the next book I plan to review ( another 600+ page Tudor tome called “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel), I thought that I’d review another “Doom II” WAD, since there really aren’t enough WAD reviews here these days.

So, after clicking on the “random file” button on the /idgames Archive a couple of times, I eventually found an interesting-looking WAD from 2003 called “Xaser’s Arena (Version 2)“.

Interestingly, this is an earlier WAD from the creator of several WADs I’ve reviewed in the past called “Zen Dynamics“, “Dead. Wire” and “Dead. Air“.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, although I’m guessing that it will probably run with most modern source ports.

So, let’s take a look at “Xaser’s Arena (Version 2)”:

“Xaser’s Arena (Version 2)” is a single-level WAD that includes new textures and music. This WAD actually has a backstory in the accompanying text file too. Basically, the Doomguy is in the middle of a holographic training simulation when a virus causes the monsters inside the simulation to become real and dangerous.

So, yes, it’s basically like a “Doom”-themed version of one of those holodeck-based episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” 🙂

Set phasers to “obliterate”!

One of the first things that I will say about this level is that it looks really cool. After you’ve worked out how to enter the hologram area (just press the two consoles next to the doors), the main part of the level uses a really awesome neon green grid texture that reminded me of both the holodeck from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and some of the sci-fi levels from an amazing “Doom II” WAD from 2015 called “Reelism“. Seriously, this level looks really cool 🙂

Yes, technically speaking, this is a cyberpunk WAD 🙂

The level design here is pretty interesting too. This is one of those intricate, compact, claustrophobic levels which will require you to press switches, collect keys and constantly search for where to go next.

The level’s small size works really well here since, although some switches may affect things slightly further away, you won’t have to search for them for too long. Likewise, the many claustrophobic corridors you’ll find yourself in really help to add some challenge to the level’s combat too.

However, this level does have something of a strange difficulty curve. Basically, although it is technically possible to get the shotgun near the beginning of the level, you’ll probably miss it – since working out where it is and going through the steps to get it whilst being hounded by multiple cacodemons etc.. is a little bit difficult when you’ve only got a pistol and your health is getting drained quickly by multiple monster attacks.

What this means is that you’ll probably spend many of the early parts of the level with low health and an inadequate amount of pistol ammo. In other words, you’ll probably end up having to use your fists a lot. If you’re experienced with “Doom II”, you’ll probably be able to use tactics to get through most of these parts of the levels in a slow and methodical fashion. Still, whilst this turns low-level monsters (eg: imps, pinky demons etc..) into a genuine threat, it does come across as a rather cheap, and occasionally frustrating, way to achieve difficulty.

Five health and no bullets. Never let it be said that “Doom II” is an easy game. Still, this crumpled door looks pretty cool.

However, as soon as you get the super shotgun, chaingun and/or rocket launcher slightly later in the level, everything quickly becomes far easier. So, yes, the difficulty curve of this level is a little bit strange.

Seriously, once you find this place, the difficulty level suddenly changes from “challenging” to “pretty easy”.

In terms of the new background music, it consists of fast, upbeat, futuristic music that goes surprisingly well with the level. It’s cheesy enough to be fun, but good enough not to become annoying for the 15-45 minutes you’ll probably spend with this level.

All in all, although this level has a little bit of a strange difficulty curve, this is a cool-looking and reasonably well-designed WAD. It’s a fascinating early level by a designer who would go on to create even cooler sci-fi WADs (the most enjoyable of which is probably “Dead. Air).

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get at least three and a half.

Mini Review: “The Shining” (WAD For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/”ZDoom”)

Well, since I’m still reading the next book I plan to review (“Heartstone” By C. J. Sansom), I thought that this would be the perfect time to check out another “Doom II” WAD. After all, it’s been about three weeks or so since the last one.

And, after seeing the first minute or so of this video review of a “Blood“-themed WAD from 2014 called “The Shining“, I just had to check it out.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, although I’m guessing that it will probably work in most other modern source ports.

So, let’s take a look at “The Shining”:

I live… again!

“The Shining” is a single-level WAD that is very heavily based on the first 1-2 levels of “Blood” and it features new music, new textures, new weapon/explosion sounds and a new weapon item sprite.

One of the first things that I will say about this WAD is that it both is and isn’t like “Blood”. On the one hand, many of the new textures and sounds are from “Blood” – not to mention that the level design itself has also been heavily influenced by the first 1-2 levels of “Blood” too. However, in terms of monsters, difficulty etc.. it is very different to the source material.

Yes, it looks similar to “Blood”, but it plays very differently.

In essence, this is a little bit more like a WAD such as “Derceto” (which was based on “Alone In The Dark) in that it tries to make sure that this level still looks very much like a “Doom II” level, rather than a total conversion (unlike something like “ZBlood). In other words, expect to see the classic “Doom II” monsters and some of the classic “Doom II” textures here.

For example, whilst this area has some cool flickering/variable lighting effects, it looks more like “Doom II” than “Blood”.

Likewise, some elements of the level design have been altered or simplified slightly in order to take into account the classic limitations of the “Doom” engine. Even so, if you’ve played the beginning of “Blood”, then you’ll be right at home here. Although a few parts of the level are an almost pixel-perfect recreation of “Blood”‘s opening level, the basic structure and geometry of some other parts is still very reminiscent of the original game.

For example, this part of “Blood” is reconstructed perfectly, but I’m pretty sure that the design of the maze is somewhat different though.

However, one thing that the designer of this WAD should have kept is the difficulty level of the original “Blood”.

The very first level of “Blood” is difficult. It is meant to be a punishing challenge that helps you to prepare for the even more difficult levels later in the game. On the other hand, this level is… easy. Most of the time, you’ll be facing low-level monsters, with only the occasional Cacodemon, Hell Knight or Baron thrown in to add a little bit of challenge.

Seriously, one of the more “difficult” areas just includes two Hell Knights and a Baron – in a large arena with lots of things to hide behind and lots of raised vantage points you can use.

Yes, this level does achieve a bit of mild challenge via things like a couple of well-placed monster closets (which might catch you by surprise) and the fact that the super shotgun is hidden (I thought it wasn’t there but, upon watching all of the video review after finishing the level, I noticed that it actually was. I just missed it).

However, experienced “Doom II” players (or anyone who has played the original “Blood”) will find this level to be disconcertingly easy.

The level design itself is reasonably good, with the level itself being a slightly simplified version of the kind of non-linear level that you would expect from a classic 1990s FPS game. The level is divided between a funeral home and a maze-like area, just like in “Blood”, although some liberties have been taken with the layout and design in order to keep things new, interesting and a little bit more streamlined.

The blood spatter effects near this door are pretty cool.

And there’s an extra reference to “The Shining” too.

The new textures, sounds and music are pretty cool too. In addition to a fair number of textures from “Blood”, this game also includes some of the weapon sounds (and possibly explosion sounds) from that game too 🙂 Likewise, the chaingun also gets a cool new item sprite too.

But, looking more closely at it, the handle is pointing in the wrong direction.

And, of course, the level’s background music is the kind of ominous, gothic ambient music that you’d expect in anything based on “Blood” too 🙂

All in all, this is a fun little level. Yes, it’s a bit too easy and it can be completed in 15-20 minutes or so, but it’s always cool to see things that are based on “Blood” 🙂 Still, as “Blood”-inspired levels go, you’re probably better off playing something like “ZBlood” or “Infuscomus“.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get three.

Mini Review: “Abandoned Mansion” (WAD For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”)

Well, since the novel that I’m reading (“Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson) is taking longer to read than I expected, I thought that this would be the perfect time to review another “Doom II”/”Final Doom” WAD. After all, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last WAD review and I want to make sure that at least one appears this month.

So, after clicking on a random WAD on the front page of the /IDGAMES Archive, I ended up with a WAD from 2011 called “Abandoned Mansion“.

Although I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, the level has apparently been designed to be vanilla compatible. So, it’ll work with pretty much any source port. And probably “Brutal Doom” too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Abandoned Mansion”:

“Abandoned Mansion” is a single-level WAD that contains new music. Bizarrely, it takes up the Level 21 slot though. So, when you start a new game, you’ll have to type “IDCLEV21” in order to skip to this level. I’ve never quite understood why designers put single levels in any other slot than the first one, but it happens sometimes. So, remember that this WAD only changes level 21.

As for the level itself, it’s a short-medium length level that features non-linear level design, albeit with a fairly linear progression. For the most part, this works reasonably well since it allows the player to do a little bit of exploring but also means that they’ll never get stuck or lost whilst playing. This is helped by the fact that the level is divided into three distinctive areas.

At the beginning, you have to fight your way through a rather gothic courtyard- complete with cemetery- and find the yellow skull key in order to get into the mansion.

All made using the vanilla textures too. Luckily there was a skull or two in there for the level designers to use.

The mansion itself is an interesting little area, that consists of a central corridor with several locked and unlocked doors branching off from it. Once you’ve got through all of these, you’ll find yourself in front of a teleporter.

Hmm… Obviously the hotel reviews for this place weren’t entirely accurate. This is not what I’d consider to be “charmingly rustic”!

Well, that was a reasonably short level…This is the exit, right?

But, instead of ending the level there, there’s a fun little surprise in store for you. As soon as you step through the teleporter, you’ll find yourself in a hellish arena where the air is heavy with projectiles and the nightmarish roar of a Cyberdemon can be heard soon after you start dodging the projectiles.

Ah, stuff like THIS is why I play “Doom II” 🙂

After fighting your way through this area and raising a rather cool-looking bridge, you can complete the level.

Best of all, since this is a vanilla-compatible level, there’s no annoying first-person platforming. You literally just walk diagonally from platform to platform 🙂

In terms of the gameplay, it’s reasonably good. In addition to the smooth way that the level flows, it also has a bit of a difficulty curve too. Although experienced players (even out of practice ones like me) will only find this level to be mildly challenging, the level’s combat is pretty enjoyable, with a small to moderate number of mid and high-level monsters.

Including the obligatory Arch-vile too 🙂

However, the difficulty is kept relatively low thanks to the generous amount of ammo on offer. Seriously, by the end of the level, I was able to defeat the Cyberdemon with the plasma rifle and still have more than enough plasma left over for the monsters that remained. So, yes, this level would have been more enjoyable if the amount of ammo lying around had been reduced a bit.

In terms of the new music, it’s really cool 🙂 Apparently, it has been taken from something called “Hell To Pay” and it’s this wonderfully atmospheric, droning MIDI tune that really helps to add to the level’s “90s horror game” vibe 🙂

All in all, this is a reasonably fun way to spend twenty minutes. Although this level won’t provide experienced players with that much of a challenge, it flows really well, it has a nice three-part structure and some interesting moments. It’s also cool to see a haunted mansion level made using the vanilla textures too (the only other example I can think of is possibly “Derceto).

If I had to give this WAD a rating out of five, it would get at least three and a half.

Mini Review: “L O L L Y” (WAD For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/ “ZDoom”/ “Doom II Legacy” etc..)

Well, it’s been nearly a month since my last “Doom II” mod/WAD review. So, in keeping with the ancient and hallowed traditions of this site, it seemed like time to review another one. And, after seeing this video review by Major Arlene, I thought that I’d check out a short WAD from 2002 called “L O L L Y“.

As usual, I used the “ZDoom” source port whilst playing this WAD, although it was apparently originally designed for the “Doom II Legacy” source port. Still, given the age of this WAD, I guess that it will probably work on most modern source ports.

So, let’s take a look at “L O L L Y”:

“L O L L Y” is a short single-level WAD that was originally designed for deathmatch, but also has some single-player elements too. In addition to this, this WAD also contains some new textures and sounds too.

And, yes, it looks pretty awesome 🙂

One of the first things that I will say about this WAD is that it looks really cool 🙂 Thanks to all of the new textures, it has the kind of bright vivid sci-fi look that I’ve only ever really seen in a few other WADs (like the one and only “Ancient Aliens). Plus, in defiance of the laws of “Doom II” physics, it also contains rooms that are placed on top of other rooms!

What sorcery is this?!?!?!?

This phsyics-defying marvel is further emphasised by some really cool-looking translucent floors that allow you to look up or down at the rooms above and below you. These not only give the level a slightly futuristic look, but they also fit into the bright ice lolly-related theme that the WAD’s name hints at:

Nope, this floor isn’t mirrored. You can literally see right through it.

As for the actual gameplay, it’s reasonably ok. Although experienced players won’t find the level’s 40-50 mid to low-level monsters to be too much of a challenge, the arena-like nature of the level means that it plays a little bit like a cross between a very mild “slaughtermap” level and a more traditional “Doom II” level. Yes, you’ll probably be able to blaze through the level’s monsters in about five or ten minutes, but it’s still reasonably fun if you’re a little out of practice and/or are a novice player.

Seriously, this is the most challenging part of the level!

The ammo distribution in this level is a little bit strange though. Although there’s just enough ammo in the level, it slightly tends to favour the rocket launcher and chaingun – which is probably in keeping with the level’s deathmatch roots. This element of the level is also noticeable by the fact that the only health pickups are four beserk packs and a couple of spheres. Needless to say, this makes the single-player experience even easier, since your health will rarely drop below double-digits.

The level’s deathmatch-based design is also notable because, although the level does have a (very slightly hidden) “exit” button, it doesn’t actually work. So, technically speaking, there’s no way to actually finish this level.

Seriously, it’s just there for show. The button doesn’t actually do anything.

As mentioned earlier, there are also a few new sounds too. These are glorious examples of late 1990s/early 2000s-style silliness. For example, whenever you take damage, the Doomguy will shout something like “we are many”, which is hilarious. Likewise, the level’s teleporters have a slightly different sound effect which sounds like the kind of thing that you’d expect to hear on an old computer program from the 1990s or early 2000s. It still sounds futuristic, but it’s also mildly nostalgic too 🙂

Then again, if you’re still playing “Doom II” these days, then nostalgia is probably something you love 🙂

All in all, this WAD is a fun little novelty. If you’re a little bit out of practice or you just want to spend a relaxing 5-10 minutes playing “Doom II”, then this WAD is well worth checking out. Yes, there’s technically no way of finishing it and it is primarily designed for deathmatch, but it looks cool and there’s still some single-player fun to be had here.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would just about get a four.