Mini Review: “Resident Evil: Code Name Hunk [Demo 1.2]” (TC/ Mod For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/ “GZDoom”)

2016 Artwork Code Name Hunk 1.2 mini review sketch

Although I looked at a previous version of this demo in January, I was contacted about a month ago by the maker of this mod who gave me a public link to the next version of the demo (it’s below the Youtube video, although the site that the demo is hosted on downloads the demo in a rather unusual way, which apparently varies depending on your browser).

For this mini review, I’ll only be looking at the most prominent piece of new content (the Krauser campaign) in this mod. If you want to see a review of the other parts of this mod, then check out my review of version 1.1.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Resident Evil: Code Name Hunk [Demo 1.2]”:

Screenshot_Doom_20160224_161219

If you haven’t played “Code Name Hunk” before, it’s a very extensive “Doom II” mod (using the “GZDoom” source port) in the style of one of the modern “Resident Evil” games.

Although I’ve only played the really old “Resident Evil” games, this mod seems to be a reasonably accurate recreation of what I’ve seen of the modern games (albeit with retro “Doom”/ “Resident Evil 2”-style graphics 🙂 ).

However, I should probably mention that you’ll have to configure the controls yourself before you start playing. Although this demo comes with a copy of “GZDoom” (you’ll obviously need to supply your own “Doom II” or “Final Doom” IWAD though), all of the controls in it are set to the default controls (and there are no default key bindings for many of the essential actions in this mod). So, be sure to take a look at the options menu before you start the game.

The most visible change in version 1.2 of this demo is the fact that there is a new playable character (called Krauser) available. But, rather than just being another character, he also has his own set of levels – the first of which is included in this demo.

Yay! Multiple protagonists :)

Yay! Multiple protagonists 🙂

Like with the Hunk campaign, Krauser’s campaign begins with an introductory FMV sequence (including both newly-animated footage and footage from one of the modern “Resident Evil” games) that explains some of the character’s backstory.

Krauser is a mercenary who has been hired by Albert Wesker to spy on Hunk (as such, the events of Krauser’s campaign take place slightly later than the events of Hunk’s campaign).

On his way to the town, Krauser is in the mood for a fight, so he jumps out of the helicopter into the zombie-filled forest surrounding the town. Although the pilot is annoyed by this, Wesker is merely amused.

*sigh* The pilot is such a killjoy. It was only a small parachute-free jump..

*sigh* The pilot is such a killjoy. It was only a small parachute-free jump..

Oh, Wesker!

Oh, Wesker!

One of the first things I will say is that there are some significant gameplay differences in Krauser’s campaign. Whilst Hunk’s campaign is more like a traditional “Resident Evil” game, Krauser’s campaign is a lot more action-based and it only features a very small amount of puzzle-solving.

Although Krauser gets more weapons than Hunk, this is balanced out by a higher difficulty level. In other words, there are lots more monsters to fight – not to mention that ammo and health can get fairly scarce sometimes.

This looks really cool and it will destroy anything with a single strike, but it takes quite a while to recharge.

This looks really cool and it will destroy anything with a single strike, but it takes quite a while to recharge.

Even on “normal” difficulty, this mod is surprisingly challenging. In other words, expect to encounter far more hunters, zombie dogs and lickers than in Hunk’s campaign. In addition to this, there is a type of mini-boss (from “Resident Evil 2”) that appears regularly about halfway through the demo level. These creatures can only be harmed with Krauser’s mutant arm and you’ll run into at least six of them within a relatively short amount of time.

However, although the monsters are fiendishly difficult, it’s important to remember that they cannot climb even the smallest incline or leave the area they spawn in. So, if you encounter a hunter or one of the mini bosses, just run back until you find a set of steps or a doorway of some kind. Once there, you can either fight them in complete safety, or just run away.

It may look fearsome, but as long as you stay at the top of this small ledge, you can just sit back and wait for Krauser's mutant arm to recharge in total safety.

It may look fearsome, but as long as you stay at the top of this small ledge, you can just sit back and wait for Krauser’s mutant arm to recharge in total safety.

However, even on “normal” difficulty, I had to restart the final third of the level three times before I was finally able to complete it.

Unless you conserve literally all of your ammunition during the final third of the level (which is similar to parts of Hunk’s campaign) and search carefully for more ammo at the beginning of the level, then you won’t have enough to defeat the final boss. I understand that this is meant to be challenging, but I would have appreciated slightly more ammo in this part of the level.

Yes, I even had to resort to using the bow and arrow... and, by the end of the battle, I only had three arrows left...

Yes, I even had to resort to using the bow and arrow… and, by the end of the battle, I only had three arrows left…

In terms of the level design, the demo’s level is divided into three distinct segments. After you’ve completed one part of the level, you’ll get an in-game cutscene and then the next part of the level will begin.

The large sprawling outdoor area in the first third of the level wasn’t quite as confusing as I had feared when I saw the preview video for this version of the demo on Youtube a while back. In addition to this, it also features some creepy dark tunnels that help to add some variety to the level. Plus, since this is still “Doom”, you can just press “tab” to bring up the level map – which can come in handy if you get lost:

 Seriously, why don't more modern games have something like this?

Seriously, why don’t more modern games have something like this?

The second third of the level is a lot more linear, where you explore a series of corridors and open a series of gates by defeating several mini-bosses. Although there are a couple of parts where you can choose to take one of two possible routes, for the most part you will have to explore the whole level.

The gates can only be opened by defeating the mini-bosses.

The gates can only be opened by defeating the mini-bosses.

The third part of the level is a drastically shortened version of Hunk’s campaign, where you have to explore a restaurant and then fight the final boss. Again, make sure to conserve literally all of your ammo during this part of the level (eg: use the knife when fighting the zombies in the restaurant) because you’ll need it for the boss battle.

In terms of the graphics and sound design, they’re as good as always. The monsters actually look 3D, and Krauser is well-animated enough that you’ll soon forget that he’s just a 2D sprite. Likewise, the sounds, music and voice acting are all fairly decent too.

All in all, this is pretty cool. Even though I only played the new Krauser level this time round, it’s surprisingly different from the Hunk level. Yes, the final boss battle borders on being unfair but, apart from this, there’s lots of cool stuff here. The new weapons all work fairly well and the first level of the Krauser campaign contains a good variety of settings (even if it’s easy to get lost during the earlier parts of the level). It’s a good addition to a great mod.

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

Mini Review: “Brutal Wolfenstein 4.5” (mod for “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”/ “ZDoom”/ “GZDoom”)

2016 Artwork Brutal Wolfenstein 4.5 review sketch

Whether you love it, loathe it or think that it’s just ok “Brutal Doom” is probably the most well-known “Doom II” mod of the past decade. In fact, it was the thing that got me back into playing “Doom” regularly again after a few years mostly spent playing other games.

So, I guess it was only a matter of time before modders decided to give other classic 1990s FPS games “brutal” makeovers too.

Anyway, out of morbid curiosity, I decided to check out a “Brutal Doom”-style recreation of “Wolfenstein 3D” called “Brutal Wolfenstein 4.5“.

If you’ve never played “Wolfenstein 3D” before, it’s a WW2-themed game where you play as an American soldier called B.J.Blazkowicz who has been captured by the Nazis and must fight his way out of their fortress (called “Castle Wolfenstein”).

Despite being a Wolfenstein-themed mod, “Brutal Wolfenstein 4.5” uses the “Doom” engine – or, more accurately, the modern source ports of it (I used “ZDoom” whilst playing, but this mod will also run with “GZDoom” too).

So, although you won’t need a copy of “Wolf 3D” to play this game (although if you’re a retro FPS gamer like me, you’ve probably got one anyway) you will need a copy of either “Doom II” or “Final Doom”.

Before I go any further, I should probably mention that this is more of a “first impressions” article than a full review – since I’ve only had the chance to play a few levels of this mod at the time of writing. Hence why I’ve called this article a “mini review”, even though it’s about 1500 words long.

(For the sake of good taste, I’ve also made sure not to include any screenshots that include WW2-related symbols in this review – although, given the context of the game, expect to see a lot of these when playing. Likewise, I eventually decided not to include any screenshots of the more gruesome parts of this mod in this review. However, I’ll be discussing why ultra-gory death animations work reasonably well in the original “Brutal Doom”, but don’t work well in mods based on “Wolf 3D”. Still, despite my criticisms later in the review, I respect the freedom of expression of the people who made this mod and I do not believe it should be censored in any way.)

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Brutal Wolfenstein 4.5”

Screenshot_Doom_20151029_002042

If you’ve played “Brutal Doom” before, then you’ll sort of know what to expect already.

But, although this mod has a lot in common with “Brutal Doom” (eg: a modern-style reloading and aiming system, different gameplay mechanics, taunts, melee attacks, extra blood etc…), it also has a lot of extra Wolfenstein-specific stuff in it too. Which is both a good and a bad thing.

One of the most notable changes is that parts of the levels I played had been redesigned in order to take advantage of the features offered by the “Doom” engine. The most notable example of this is probably a “Doom”-style lift that I found in one of the early levels.

However, the limitations of the “Doom” engine are also on show here and – like the the secret “Wolfenstein” levels in “Doom II” – all of the doors open vertically, rather than horizontally. But, the changes to the level layouts help to make a familiar game feel new again – which is kind of cool.

Not only that, thanks to the fact that this mod uses modern source ports for “Doom”, the gameplay is fast, frenetic and fluid, which is a refreshing change from the slower and clunkier gameplay in the original version of “Wolfenstein 3D”.

Another change that you will notice fairly quickly is that B.J. Blazkowicz has a lot more weapons available to him than he did in the original game. When playing through the first few levels, I found several different weapons like a bolt-action rifle, a heavy machine gun, a “Rise Of The Triad“-style MP40 and a WW2-era German assault rifle.

It's kind of weird to see a WW1-style bolt-action rifle in a WW2-themed game though.

It’s kind of weird to see a WW1-style bolt-action rifle in a WW2-themed game though.

And, yes, this gun sounds as dramatic as it looks.

And, yes, this gun sounds as dramatic as it looks.

These weapons each have different characteristics – with the MP40 having abundant ammunition but a lower rate of accuracy, and the assault rifle being more accurate, but at the cost of less available ammunition.

Using the the “give all” cheat, I also took a quick look at the other weapons too and they include a rocket launcher, a flamethrower, a collection of WW2-era American weapons too (eg: a military pistol, a tommygun etc..) and some kind of sci-fi microwave gun.

In addition to this, you can also pick up stick-style grenades which can be thrown using a hotkey (although you’ll have to configure this in the control menu). Although this is a cool feature, there’s a slight delay between pressing the key and actually throwing the grenades – which usually means that you’ll get shot several times before you can throw the grenade.

The delay is probably realistic, but it gets in the way of the gameplay slightly.

The delay is probably realistic, but it gets in the way of the gameplay slightly.

One slight technical problem I had with this mod is the fact that it seems to be designed to be played in higher resolutions. For speed reasons, I usually play “Doom II” in 640 x 480 but – even after briefly increasing the resolution to 800 x 600 – the heads-up display still couldn’t quite fit onto the screen. Although I kind of got used to this, only being able to see half of the health meter can get slightly annoying.

As you would expect from anything inspired by “Brutal Doom”, this mod is significantly more gruesome than “Wolfenstein 3D” was.

Whilst this obviously includes lots of extra blood spatter, it also includes a few other changes which -whilst they might work in ” Brutal Doom” – don’t really translate well to “Wolf 3D”…

The extra blood isn’t really a major problem – however, this mod also includes some of the more sadistic elements of “Brutal Doom” too. Even though they’ve been toned down slightly, there’s a huge difference between sadism in an obviously unrealistic sci-fi action game like “Doom” and sadism in a game that tells a fictional story set during a real part of history.

Although the enemy soldiers have a couple of different “Brutal Doom”-style drawn-out death animations, these thankfully seem to be fewer in number and slightly less prolonged than the ones in “Brutal Doom”.

Still, given the fact that the game contains human antagonists (even if they are members of one of the most evil organisations in world history), these sadistic animations are significantly more disturbing than the melodramatic sci-fi monster death animations in “Brutal Doom”.

I understand that they’re probably meant to be “realistic” and, in the context of a slower-paced story-driven game, they might be dramatically justified. But, in a fast-paced action game designed purely for entertainment, they seem somewhat out of place.

Another disturbing element in this game is how surrendering is handled.

Like in “Rise Of The Triad”, some of the enemy soldiers will “surrender” after a fight. But, if you wait a few seconds, they’ll just put their hands down, get to their feet, and start fighting you again. As a way of showing how evil the enemies are (and referencing “Rise Of The Triad”), this isn’t particularly disturbing in and of itself, but…..

The disturbing part of this is that, if you accidentally shoot one of these surrendering enemies whilst fighting any nearby enemies then- instead of either punishing you or doing nothing, the game sometimes rewards you for doing this with a health bonus (eg: a “Brutal Bonus” from “Brutal Doom”).

This is extremely creepy – given that the game is set during a historical war (even though the story of the game is fictional), rather than in an unrealistic sci-fi setting. If nothing else, it makes the protagonist look like less of a heroic character.

I’m probably taking this way too seriously, but if the main character is one of the good guys (eg: the Allies) in one of the most clear-cut “good vs. evil” wars in history, then the game shouldn’t reward the player for breaking the rules of war.

As for the enemies, they’ve also received some fairly significant changes too. The most notable change is that they now have new voice acting and this is done fairly well.

In addition to this, there’s a larger variety of enemies to fight against. So far, I’ve noticed that some of the basic “soldier” enemies now carry rifles instead of pistols (and are slightly more powerful as a result) and there’s a new type of “officer” enemy too:

 It's surprisingly difficult to get a screenshot of this guy since, by the time you've pressed the "print screen" key, he's already shot at you several times.

It’s surprisingly difficult to get a screenshot of this guy since, by the time you’ve pressed the “print screen” key, he’s already shot at you several times.

All in all, although this mod is technically impressive and it includes a lot of changes that breathe new life into a very old game, making a “Brutal Doom”-style version of “Wolfenstein 3D” probably isn’t the best idea in the world.

What might be enjoyably melodramatic and cartoonish in an unrealistic sci-fi game tends to come across as more disturbing than anything else when transposed to a real world historical setting.

If I had to give this mod a rating out of five then, on a purely technical level, it would get a four. But, for want of a less-miserable sounding description, on a moral level, it’d probably get a one.

Review : “Aeons Of Death (V 6. 06.1)” (Mod For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”/ “ZDoom”)

2016 Artwork Aeons Of Death review sketch censored version

Every now and then, I’ll find a mod or a WAD for “Doom II” that will really knock me off of my feet. This happened to me when I found “Reelism X2.1“, “Reelism Gold“, “Neo Doom” and, to a lesser extent, “Brutal Doom“.

Anyway, the day before I wrote this review, I found another mod for “Doom II” called “Aeons Of Death (V 6.06.1)” that also provoked this reaction in me, but why?

Before I go any further, I should probably point out that in order to get this mod to work, I had to use one of the more modern versions of “ZDoom” (version 2.8) instead of “GZDoom 1.8.10”. In addition to this, in order to get this mod to work, you have to download and use both the mod itself AND the coding pack that comes with it. At the time of writing this review, I’ve played this mod for about six or seven hours.

I should probably also warn you that this review contains (unrealistic) GRUESOME IMAGES.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Aeons Of Death”:

Best of all, heavy metal music plays when this screen appears :)

Best of all, heavy metal music plays when this screen appears 🙂

“Aeons Of Death (V 6. 06.1)” is a mod for “Doom II”/ “Final Doom” that introduces lots of new monsters, new weapons, new graphics, new gameplay mechanics and two new gameplay modes.

In essence, “Aeons Of Death” is a mashup of pretty much every great FPS game ever created.

I’m not exaggerating here, there’s content from “Blood”, “Duke Nukem 3D”, “Shadow Warrior”, “Wolfenstein 3D”, “Exhumed”, “Painkiller”, “Quake”, “Quake II”, “Heretic”, “Hexen” “Rise of The Triad”, “Unreal”, “Half Life”, “Half Life 2”, “Left 4 Dead 1&2”, “Doom II” and quite a few other games too.

OMG! It's a battle between an assault trooper from "Duke Nukem 3D" and a grunt from "Quake"!. Words cannot express how cool this is!

OMG! It’s a battle between an assault trooper from “Duke Nukem 3D” and a grunt from “Quake”! Words cannot express how cool this is!

There is so much new content in this mod that even after playing it normally and then later looking at more of the new content using cheat codes, I still haven’t quite seen everything that it has to offer. But, I’ve probably seen a significant amount of it. Seriously, this mod has a lot of content and I’m not going to be able to cover all of it in this review.

Anyway, the two new gameplay modes in “Aeons Of Death” are “ordinary” mode and “Left 4 Dead” mode.

I’ll start by talking about “Left 4 Dead” mode, since it’s one of the coolest things that I’ve seen for a while.

Although I’ve been a massive “Doom” fan since I was a teenager at least, I went through a massive “Left 4 Dead 2” single player phase in 2011 and 2012. If you’ve never played this game before, it’s a game where you have to fight hordes of zombies and mutants, whilst assisted by either other players or AI-controlled teammates. And now someone has made a version of it for “Doom II”:

 Yes, it's a 1990s style version of "Left 4 Dead"! This is beyond awesome!

Yes, it’s a 1990s style version of “Left 4 Dead”! This is beyond awesome!

The “Left 4 Dead” mode in “Aeons Of Death” is pretty close to the source material. Don’t ask me how, but the makers of this mod have managed to turn all of the graphics from the “Left 4 Dead” games into cool 1990s-style animated sprites. The only major change is that, for obvious reasons, you don’t have any AI-controlled teammates to help you out.

Like the source material, this game mode even has an AI “Director” that chooses where and when to spawn large hordes of zombies. In addition to this, you’ll also have to fight against mutated special infected too. Many of these are similar to their counterparts in the “Left 4 Dead” games, but the jockey is slightly more difficult to deal with (eg: since you don’t have any AI teammates, I think that you have to look up and shoot at him in order to remove him from your head).

But, usually, if you see a pair of legs appear on the screen, then you're pretty much doomed. Pun not intended.

But, usually, if you see a pair of legs appear on the screen, then you’re pretty much doomed. Pun not intended.

As you would expect, the gameplay in this mode is fast, frenetic, challenging and intense. If you’ve played the “Left 4 Dead” games before, then you’ll be right at home here. Again, I cannot overstate how amazing it is that someone has made a version of “Left 4 Dead” for “Doom II”!

As for the “ordinary” gameplay mode in “Aeons Of Death”, this replaces the monsters with a randomised combination of monsters from pretty much every great 1990s and 2000s FPS game ever made. Using the menu, you can even choose which games’ monsters you want to be included in this mod.

In many ways, this gameplay mode is just like a much more challenging and unpredictable version of “standard” Doom II. This is mainly because the new monsters tend to spawn in relatively large numbers.

Seriously, even Barney Calhoun from "Half Life" has turned evil and is out to get you!

Seriously, even Barney Calhoun from “Half Life” has turned evil and is out to get you!

I cannot overstate the sheer number of different monsters in this gameplay mode. Most impressively, quite a few monsters from slightly more modern 3D games have been perfectly converted into 1990s-style 2D sprites too. I don’t know why, but I absolutely love it when “Doom” mods do stuff like this. It’s like a really cool fusion of old and new.

It's an antlion! In "Doom II"! An antlion !!!!

It’s an antlion! In “Doom II”! An antlion !!!!

For the sake of gameplay balance, many of the monsters in “Aeons Of Death” are either more or less powerful than their original counterparts. Most of the monsters that I’ve seen so far have had reasonably similar levels of health and attack damage.

For example, you might encounter an arch-vile on the second level of “Doom II”, but it has a significantly reduced amount of health and a much weaker attack than it does in “Doom II”.

Oh, how the tables have turned!

Oh, how the tables have turned!

In addition to this, “Aeons Of Death” is significantly more gruesome than regular “Doom II”.

Although it doesn’t reach the excessive levels of sadism found in mods like “Brutal Doom”, this mod includes cartoonish 1990s-style ludicrous gibs, gratuitous blood spatter and polygonal “Quake”-style gibs. Seriously, whatever happened to gibs in FPS games?

Remember when games had gibs like this?

Remember when games had gibs like this?

Not only that, there's also a ludicrous amount of blood spatter when you are shot by one of the monsters.

Not only that, there’s also a ludicrous amount of blood spatter when you are shot by one of the monsters.

As for the new weapons, there are a ridiculous number of them here and many of them are based on weapons from other great FPS games. Some of them are faithful to their original counterparts, but many of them have been changed in random ways:

For example, the chaingun from "Duke Nukem 3D" is now an energy weapon that uses the sound effects from the hyperblaster from "Quake II".

For example, the chaingun from “Duke Nukem 3D” is now an energy weapon that uses the sound effects from the hyperblaster from “Quake II”.

Even using the “give all” or “IDKFA” cheat doesn’t show you all of the many new weapons. To give you one example, when I used the “level skip” cheat to test out the mod on a different level of “Doom II”, I found a nailgun rifle that I’d never seen before:

Hmmm... Sometimes cheaters DO prosper!

Hmmm… Sometimes cheaters DO prosper!

Best of all, unlike many other modern mods for “Doom II”, “Aeons Of Death” mostly avoids using realistic reloading mechanics. Although a couple of the weapons require reloading, most of them don’t.

Since manual reloading systems can get in the way of the gameplay, it’s great to see that it’s mostly been avoided here 🙂

Ok, the rapidly firing shotgun gets a pass here because, well, it's a shotgun that you can shoot repeatedly very quickly.

Ok, the rapidly firing shotgun gets a pass here because, well, it’s a shotgun that you can shoot repeatedly very quickly.

However, if you’re playing the game normally (eg: without cheating), then “Aeons Of Death” has an annoying habit of placing arbitrary limits on how many weapons you can carry.

Sometimes, you’ll spot a really cool-looking gun, only for the game to give you a “slot 3 is full” message when you try to pick it up. Although you can configure the controls to include a “drop weapon” key, doing this when you’re surrounded by monsters can be distracting to say the least.

In addition to this, “Aeons Of Death” also features both an items system and a magic system. The items system functions as you would expect it to do and you can find things like portable medkits throughout the game (which come in handy surprisingly often).

Not only that, this game also includes the “Diabolical Dice” from “American McGee’s Alice” too 🙂 Interestingly, they have randomised effects when you use them (eg: they’re just as likely to help you as they are to harm you).

"Ah, the Diabolical Dice … a word of caution; don't throw them when you're alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing. "

“Ah, the Diabolical Dice … a word of caution; don’t throw them when you’re alone. The fiends lack loyalty, and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing. “

The magic system is fairly similar to the items system and it allows you to pick up and use various spells that you find scattered around the levels. I haven’t really tested this out much, but it’s still kind of a cool thing to have.

All in all, this mod is amazing! If you grew up playing FPS games back in the days when FPS games were actually good, then you will feel more than at home here. There’s just so much awesome stuff here and I’m also still astonished that someone has actually managed to make a version of “Left 4 Dead” using the “Doom” engine! Seriously, if you’re a retro FPS gamer, then you should play this mod!

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

Mini Review: “Resident Evil: Code Name Hunk [1.1 Demo]” [TC/ Mod For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/ “GZDoom”]

2016 Artwork Code Name Hunk Mini review sketch

A while after my review of the “Mercenaries” mod for “Doom II” was posted here, the creator of this mod contacted me and asked if I wanted to check out a public demo of his latest “Resident Evil”-themed fan project called “Resident Evil Code Name Hunk [1.1 Demo]“. Being a fan of the zombie genre, “Doom” and the old “Resident Evil” games, I just had to check it out.

Although I usually tend to write articles, reviews and mini reviews quite far in advance of when I post them, I thought it best to post this (fairly long) mini review today whilst the demo is still current. I’ll probably reschedule the review I’d originally planned for today for sometime later in the year.
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Interestingly, the download of this demo actually comes with a copy of the source port (“GZDoom 1.9”) that you will need to run it. However, it isn’t a stand-alone game – so, you’ll still need to have “Doom II” or “Final Doom” if you want to play it.

Since this is a zombie-themed game, I should probably warn you that this review may contain some (unrealistic) GRUESOME IMAGES, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.

Likewise, I should probably also mention that the demo itself contains red/white FLICKERING LIGHTS/ STROBING EFFECTS and may not be suitable for players with photosensitive epilepsy and/or certain types of migraine (I’m not an expert on these subjects, so I don’t know if the part in question is intense enough to pose a problem or not).
———
So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at “Resident Evil: Code Name Hunk [1.1 Demo]”:

Screenshot_Doom_20160109_025937

Since this is a demo of a much larger mod, “Code Name Hunk 1.1” only contains one level. Even so, there’s a surprising amount of content here – and the demo took me about an hour (or possibly slightly more) to complete.

The demo begins with a long FMV cutscene from one of the “Resident Evil” games. Yes, you heard me correctly, FMV – in “Doom”!

The story begins in 1998 when a group of commandos from the Umbrella Corporation have been sent to Racoon City to retrieve a sample of the G-Virus from William Birkin. This doesn’t go quite as planned and Birkin is shot, but – in the ensuing chaos – he is also also exposed to the virus and begins to mutate.

It's actual full motion video... in "Doom". What sorcery is this?!

It’s actual full motion video… in “Doom”. What sorcery is this?!

The intro then switches to an in-game cutscene showing Hunk (the main character) being killed by the monster that William Birkin has mutated into. This happens on the orders of the Red Queen (presumably the same one that appears in the first “Resident Evil” movie).

The game then shows the events of nine hours earlier, when Hunk and his team have been sent into Racoon City to retrieve the virus sample….

In addition to some fairly impressive introductory cutscenes, the demo also contains quite a few in-game cutscenes too. Although they’re really cool and they also help to add some character to the game, one slight problem is that most of these cutscenes seem to be unskippable.

So, it’s sometimes a good idea to save directly after the cutscene finishes – especially if it’s a cutscene that introduces a new type of monster!

Like this one. It'll make you feel nostalgic about "Resident Evil 2" when you see it for the first time, but if you don't save quickly or fight the licker well enough then you'll probably end up seeing it multiple times.

Like this one. It’ll make you feel nostalgic about “Resident Evil 2” when you see it for the first time, but if you don’t save quickly or fight the “licker” monster well enough, then you’ll probably end up seeing it multiple times.

In terms of the gameplay in this demo, I’ve got a lot – both good and bad- to say about it. Still, it’s a “work in progress” version of the game, so some of the problems I mention may not be an issue in later versions.

One of the first good things is that, although “Code Name Hunk 1.1” is a much more action-orientated game than the classic “Resident Evil” games were (eg: it uses the modern-style “Resident Evil” camera angles etc…), it’s still very much a “Resident Evil” game at heart.

In other words, you’ll also need to explore carefully, actually read any documents you find and solve several puzzles. This adds some variety to the gameplay and also helps to give the demo more of a classic “Resident Evil” kind of feel.

If you’ve played the classic “Resident Evil” games, then you’ll have no trouble solving the puzzles here. They’re complex enough to require a bit of thought, but they’re simple enough to be enjoyable rather than frustrating.

Most of them are simple item/key-based puzzles, although the game also contains a couple of slightly more complex and inventive puzzles where you have to find and use certain codes.

 One of the puzzles involves a film projector and it's really inventive. Although, again, I should probably warn you that it contains strobing effects.

One of the puzzles involves a film projector and it’s really inventive. Although, again, I should probably warn you that it contains flickering/strobing effects.

Amusingly, one of the characters even makes a sarcastic comment about "Resident Evil" puzzles LOL!

Amusingly, one of the characters even makes a sarcastic comment about “Resident Evil” puzzles LOL!

Interestingly, the most challenging part of these puzzles was finding exactly where I was supposed to enter the first code.

Another cool thing about the gameplay is that many of the classic monsters from “Resident Evil” 1-3 show up in the demo. There are zombies from “Resident Evil 2”, hunters, lickers, zombie dogs and the Nemesis. All of these monsters look and behave exactly as you would expect them to.

Although, I have to ask, why aren't there any zombie cats in the "Resident Evil" universe?

Although, I have to ask, why aren’t there any zombie cats in the “Resident Evil” universe?

It's great to see THESE zombies again too. Seriously, it's been way too long!

It’s great to see THESE zombies again too. Seriously, it’s been way too long!

However, even on “medium” difficulty, the difficulty curve in the demo can be slightly steep to say the least. Although you begin the level by fighting a few zombies, it isn’t long until you suddenly find yourself fighting against two hunters in a narrow street (with very little room to dodge or run).

Although I imagine that this part of the game would have been easier if I’d conserved my ammo slightly more carefully beforehand, it was still slightly too difficult for an early part of the level in my opinion. Another thing that makes this one part of the level significantly more challenging is that, unlike in the classic games, you don’t have the option to retreat to another room if you’re low on ammo.

This is probably one the most difficult part of the demo, and it's surprisingly close to the beginning. I only got through it by chance and a lot of trial-and-error.

This is probably one the most difficult parts of the demo, and it’s surprisingly close to the beginning. I only got through it by chance and a lot of trial-and-error.

 Even the Nemesis battle is surprisingly easy, when compared to fighting those two hunters!

Even the Nemesis battle is surprisingly easy, when compared to fighting those two hunters!

Another slight problem with the demo is the controls. Unlike many games, this is one where you should probably actually read the manual before you start playing.

Although you’ll probably get used to the controls after a while, some of them aren’t very intuitive (for example, in order to run – you need to press “forward” and “reload”). Not only that, you’ll also have to manually alter some of the controls before you begin playing (eg: you’ll have to enable “always mouselook”, otherwise you won’t be able to aim your weapons properly etc…).

Like in the classic “Resident Evil” games, the demo takes a slightly more realistic approach to combat. In other words, Hunk has to draw and aim his guns before he can reload or fire them. He also can’t change weapons whilst he’s aiming (and there’s also a slight delay when switching weapons). Although this is fairly faithful to the source material, it can get in the way of the gameplay slightly during some of the more frantic battles.

Despite the modern-style camera angles, this game is based on "Resident Evil 1-3". So, running and shooting at the same time is impossible.

Despite the modern-style camera angles, this game is based on “Resident Evil 1-3”. So, running and shooting at the same time is impossible.

However, when you are close to a monster, instructions will flash up on the screen and you will be give the option of either dodging or performing a melee attack. Interestingly, there are now two possible ways to dodge a monster (compared to just one in the “Mercenaries” mod).

Although this is a really cool addition, it was somewhat confusing at first due to the generic on-screen descriptions (unlike the clear “Press A + D” instructions in the “Mercenaries” mod).

 Ok, I have two seconds to dodge. Do I follow the manual or the instructions on screen? Or ... Ouch!

Ok, I have two seconds to dodge. Do I follow the manual or the instructions on screen? Or … Ouch!

As for the weapons in “Codename Hunk 1.1”, they’re fairly similar to the weapons in “Mercenaries”. Hunk can use a pistol, a shotgun and a submachinegun. Throughout the game, you’ll also find flash grenades that can be used to briefly stun any nearby monsters.

This is a really cool addition, although the grenades only stun larger monsters for 1-2 seconds, which doesn’t always give you enough time to switch to another weapon (if you’re out of SMG ammo).

Graphically, “Code Name Hunk 1.1” is absolutely superb! The sprites are absolutely perfect and the animation is really smooth too.

In addition to this, there’s a surprising variety of locations in the demo level – including a cinema, a church, a creepy basement, an industrial freezer, a city street and a restaurant. All of these locations look like something that you might have seen in the original “Resident Evil” games.

 This is one of the coolest locations in the demo. Seriously, it's just like something you'd expect to see in the first two "Resident Evil" games.

This is one of the coolest locations in the demo. Seriously, it’s just like something you’d expect to see in the first two “Resident Evil” games.

This part of the level is wonderfully chilling, if you'll pardon the pun.

This part of the level is wonderfully chilling, if you’ll pardon the pun.

The level design is also fairly good too. Like in the classic games, the level is fairly non-linear and the locations all look fairly realistic. Although this level will require you to explore carefully, it’s relatively small size means that you won’t get lost for too long. In addition to this, the end of the demo also gives you an intriguing hint as to what the second level will be….

Musically, this demo also makes use of several pieces of classic “Resident Evil” music, as well as some more modern music. My favourite thing about the music is that the police station music from “Resident Evil 2” (my favourite piece of Resident Evil music) starts playing when Hunk enters the church about halfway through the level.

The voice acting in this demo is also fairly good too, considering that it’s a fan made game. Not only that, Hunk also gets to say several wonderfully badass lines of dialogue too.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die...." - H. P. Lovecraft

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die….” – H. P. Lovecraft

All in all, this looks like a really interesting beginning to a really cool project. Like with the “Mercenaries” mod, I’m still astonished that anyone has been able to re-create the “Resident Evil” games so accurately and faithfully with nothing more than a source port for the “Doom” engine.

Yes, “Code Name Hunk 1.1” has a few small flaws (eg: the control scheme, the short stun times and the difficulty spikes in some areas), but it’s worth checking out if you’re a “Resident Evil” fan.

If I had to give what I’ve seen of “Code Name Hunk” so far a rating out of five, it would get a four.

Mini Review: “Doom The Mercenaries” (Mod For “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”/ “GZ Doom”)

2015 Artwork Doom The Mercenaries review sketch

Well, rather than write that cynical rant about new years resolutions that I’ve been meaning to write for the past couple of years, I thought that I’d take a look at a really interesting “Doom II” mod that I found called “Doom The Mecenaries“, which turns “Doom” into a third-person action game.

As usual, I played this mod using the “GZ Doom” source port and the levels shown in this review are the standard level from “Doom II”. I also only had a chance to play this mod for a couple of hours before writing this review – so, this will be more of a “first impressions” article than a full review.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Doom The Mercenaries”:

Yes! It's "Doom II"... in the THIRD PERSON!

Yes! It’s “Doom II”… in the THIRD PERSON!

“Doom The Mercenaries” is an attempt at re-creating the “mercenaries” mini-game from the “Resident Evil” games using the “Doom” engine.

If you’ve never played this mini-game before, it’s an unlockable bonus game mode (that was introduced in “Resident Evil 3”, although it was foreshadowed by the “extreme battle” mode in the PC port of “Resident Evil 2”) where you fight zombies and monsters against the clock.

Like in the original mini-game, you can choose to play as one of several “Resident Evil” characters in this mod. These characters are Hunk from “Resident Evil 2”, Albert Wesker (yes, you can play as Wesker), some guy called “Krauser” (?), Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong.

 Stop! Don't... open... that... door!

Stop! Don’t… open… that… door!

In the original “mercenaries” mode, you’d earn extra time for each zombie you killed but, in “Doom The Mercenaries”, you just build up combinations and earn points based on the number of monsters you can shoot in a short amount of time.

 It's the counter that says "10 in a row"

It’s the counter that says “10 in a row”

This “Doom” mod seems to be based on one of the more modern “Resident Evil” games, since it uses an ‘over the shoulder’ perspective and your character can also move whilst shooting.

Although I miss the classic “Resident Evil” controls, I can see how this perspective would be more suited to an action game like “Doom” (but not a horror game like “Resident Evil”).

Modernity! Evil modernity!

Modernity! Evil modernity!

One of the first things I will say about this mod is that the controls take a bit of getting used to. You’ll need to manually change some of the controls yourself ( since, if you don’t, you won’t be able to reload your weapons), but you use the right mouse button to draw or holster your weapon.

When your weapon is drawn, you use the left mouse button to fire it. When your weapon is holstered, the left mouse button allows you to run. Some characters can also draw a knife by holding down the right “shift” key.

Unlike in the old games, you only have to slash zombies three times rather than thirty times.

Unlike in the old games, you only have to slash zombies three times rather than thirty times.

Another interesting feature is that, like in the original mini-game, you start each level with all of your weapons. Each character also has an exclusive special weapon too- for example, Ada has an infinite ammo explosive crossbow, Wesker has a powerful sniper rifle etc… So, instead of weapon pickups, you’ll find weird glowing columns that will add an extra thirty seconds to your clock:

Caught somewhere in time.

Caught somewhere in time.

As for the gameplay, it has it’s good and it’s bad elements. On the plus side, since the objective of “Doom The Mercenaries” is to get a high score before the time runs out, this requires a totally different gameplay style – with more emphasis on constant fast combat and a lot less emphasis on actually finishing the level properly. So, this mod can really breathe a lot of new life into even the most boring “Doom” level.

Likewise, the animation in this mod is absolutely excellent. All of the character movements (eg: walking animations, shooting animations etc..) are perfectly fluid and it really feels like you’re actually playing a third-person action game, rather than a FPS game with a few changes to the sprites.

- Modern reloading systems are annoying, but at least this one is well-animated.

– Modern reloading systems are annoying, but at least this one is well-animated.

However, the scoring system makes no distinction between low-level and high-level enemies. So, defeating one arch-vile or one baron of hell will earn you as many points as defeating a lost soul. [EDIT: However, defeating a cyberdemon will give you two points, rather than one]

So, instead of fighting the most powerful monsters first, the best strategy is to stick to fighting low-level monsters wherever possible:

For once, the pain elementals AREN'T a pain! Quite the opposite in fact. They're glorious floating high score generators :)

For once, the pain elementals AREN’T a pain! Quite the opposite in fact. They’re glorious floating high score generators 🙂

Still, I imagine that this mod would be a lot more fun on “slaughtermap” levels than on the standard “Doom II” levels. However, there’s one reason why you probably wouldn’t want to play it on a level with too many monsters.

Even the mighty Hunk can be easily felled by a small group of zombies.

Even the mighty Hunk can be easily felled by a small group of zombies.

When you get attacked by a monster, it will often send you flying – costing you precious seconds as you get up again. Whilst I can see how this is meant to fit in with the game’s time mechanics, when you’re surrounded by monsters you’ll often get attacked the instant you’ve got back on your feet.

Combine this with the second or two it takes to draw your weapons and the classic “Resident Evil” trick of making your character move slightly more slowly when they’re injured and you can probably see how this might cause problems.

However, this problem is mitigated slightly by the fact that each character has a “dodge” move that they can do just before a monster attacks them. Just before a monster attacks your character, a prompt will appear on the screen telling you to press the “A” and “D” keys. If you do this, you will be treated to some rather cool acrobatics:

Stop! Hammer time!

Stop! Hammer time!

Likewise, there’s at least a slight delay when you change weapons and you can only reload your weapons when they are drawn. Whilst this might be “realistic”, it also breaks up the gameplay slightly and forces you to use slightly different tactics in the middle of fights. But, this isn’t an entirely bad thing – it just takes a bit of getting used to.

All in all, despite my criticisms, this is one of the coolest “Doom II” mods that I’ve played in a while. With just a few changes, “Doom The Mercenaries” transforms “Doom” into an entirely different game, with totally different gameplay mechanics. And, let’s be honest, isn’t this what mods are supposed to do? If, like me, you’re a fan of both “Resident Evil” and “Doom”, then check this mod out!

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

Mini Review: ” The Trailblazer (v1.2d)” (Mod For “Doom II”/”Final Doom”/ “GZDoom”)

2015 Artwork The Trailblazer WAD review sketch

Well, although I usually try to review at least one “Doom” WAD a month, it’s been a while since I reviewed any gameplay/weapon mods for “Doom II”. I mean, I’d planned to review both “Demonsteele” and one of the more modern versions of “Brutal Doom” at some point, but I never quite got round to it. So, instead, I thought that I’d take a quick look at a rather badass mod called “The Trailblazer“.

As usual, I used the “GZ Doom” source port whilst playing this mod, and the levels I used when reviewing this mod are just the ordinary “Doom II” levels (or, rather the first 11-13 of them). Although the site recommends using the very latest version of “GZDoom”, I was able to get this mod to work perfectly on version 1.8.10 of “GZDoom”.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “The Trailblazer”:

Screenshot_Doom_20150819_190507

“Trailblazer” is a gameplay/weapon mod that is heavily inspired by old-school action movies. You play as a chain-smoking, eyepatch-wearing Snake Plissken-like action hero called Malcolm Striker who must take revenge on his nemesis Vladimir Vladimir….. by fighting hordes of demonic monsters. So, yes, this mod is pretty badass already.

As befitting a badass 1980s action hero, Malcolm Striker has an impressive array of weapons available to him. These include a combat knife, a basic pistol, dual revolvers, dual sawn-off shotguns, a pump-action shotgun that can shoot fire, dual uzis, an assault rifle, a revolver that shoots explosive bullets, a grenade launcher, a minigun and a blunderbuss of some kind.

This is the super shotgun replacement. It's ACTUALLY a super shotgun, in the literal sense of the word !

This is the super shotgun replacement. It’s ACTUALLY a super shotgun, in the literal sense of the word !

 Sigmund Freud probably has a few things to say about this gun....

Sigmund Freud probably has a few things to say about this gun….

 But, who cares? There's a revolver that shoots explosions!!!

But, who cares? There’s a revolver that shoots explosions!!!

Most of the weapons also have an alternate fire mode too. With dual-wielding weapons, the alternate fire just fires the gun in Malcolm’s right hand. Likewise, with the basic pistol and the assault rifle, the alternate fire just switches to a “Call Of Duty”-style aiming mode.

Oh great! It looks like a MODERN game :(

Oh great! It looks like a MODERN game 😦

However, some of the alternate fires are pretty inventive, like the one for the explosive revolver. This alternate fire is so awesome that I actually made a small (badly-animated) animation to show you what it looks like:

I didn't really animate this very well but, yes, you can fan the explosive revolver!

I didn’t really animate this very well but, yes, you can fan the explosive revolver!

In addition to this, you also have a melee attack that you can use with every weapon. Although you’ll have to set the keys for this yourself, all it really does is make Malcolm Striker punch whatever is in front of him.

Although the rate of punches increases when your health is low, this melee attack is only really useful when you have the “bezerker” power-up, since his fist glows and anything that Striker punches will explode. Like this:

Hadouken.

Hadouken.

All of these weapons feel satisfying to use and many of them either have fairly heavy recoils (that can knock you off ledges if you aren’t careful) or incredibly high rates of fire.

However, this also means that many of the weapons (eg: the dual uzis and the dual sawn-off shotguns especially) are at least slightly overpowered. In other words, this mod actually makes “Doom II” slightly less challenging than it should be.

My only other gripe with the weapons is that many of them feature a “realistic” reloading system, which can get in the way of the gameplay slightly. Even so, the reloading animations are surprisingly well-made, and some of them actually include motion blur effects to make them look smoother:

 Even the firing animation for the blunderbuss includes motion blur :)

Even the firing animation for the blunderbuss includes motion blur 🙂

As for other gameplay changes, “The Trailblazer” includes a “Duke Nukem 3D”-style items system, where you can carry multiple items and choose when to use them. Like in classic 3D Realms games, “The Trailblazer” also has a slight sense of humour about this and the “portable medkit” item has been replaced with a bottle of cheap “piss”-brand whisky:

Hmmm... it looks more like a bottle of lager to me....

Hmmm… it looks more like a bottle of lager to me….

From what I’ve read, these items also include things like jetpacks, although I didn’t encounter any of these during my playthrough of the first third of “Doom II”. However, many of the power-ups are also slightly different too – such as the “Blazingsphere”, which allows you to run and punch much more quickly than usual:

And it looks a bit like Dark Eco from the old "Jak And Daxter" games too :)

And it looks a bit like Dark Eco from the old “Jak And Daxter” games too 🙂

There are also a couple of item replacements too, which fit in really well with Malcolm Striker’s cheesy 80s “action hero” character. Both the “+1” armour and health power-ups have been replaced by different brands of cigarettes and, if you use these, Malcolm Striker will even occasionally flick cigarette ends every few minutes:

And, yes, he does this when he's holding two guns too. I'm not sure how he lights the next one, but somehow he does.

And, yes, he does this when he’s holding two guns too. I’m not sure how he lights the next one, but somehow he does.

All in all, “The Trailblazer” is a rather fun gameplay mod. If you feel that “Doom” needs a bit more old-school badassery, then you can’t go wrong with this mod. Yes, the novelty value wears off after a while and some of the weapons are a little bit overpowered, but it’s still a great way to add some extra fun to “Doom” levels that you’ve played many times before.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it’d probably get a four.

Mini Review: “Duke Nukem Xmas 2014 1.0” (Mod For “Duke Nukem 3D”)

2015 Artwork Duke Nukem Xmas 2014 1.0 review sketch

To me, “Duke Nukem 3D” and Christmas are inextricably connected. I can’t think of a cosier, warmer and more nostalgic game to play during the festive season than good old “Duke 3D”.

Fun fact: when I was a kid in the 1990s, I actually loaded up “Duke 3D” on Christmas day one year just to see if Duke would still say his “What are you waiting for? Christmas?” line. He did 🙂

So, imagine my delight when I recently discovered this Christmas-themed level for “Duke Nukem 3D” that was originally released in late 2013.

Running this mod is fairly easy, since it comes with a built-in launcher that uses the “eDuke32” source port. All you need to do is to unzip the download and then copy the “DUKE3D.grp” file from your registered copy of “Duke Nukem 3D” into the unzipped folder and you’re ready to go.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “Duke Nukem Xmas 2014 1.0”:

And, yes, that's snow falling on the menu :)

And, yes, that’s snow falling on the menu 🙂

Duke Nukem Xmas 2014 1.0″ contains a single new leve for “Duke 3D” called “It’s A Wonderful Life”. In this level, Duke has to fight his way through a really awesome alien-infested town during the festive season. It also features custom weapons, dialogue, graphics and music too.

Although the level begins in a fairly linear fashion, with Duke standing next to a stopped train and working his way through a series of caves, the level quickly unfolds into something more non-linear.

One of the really cool things about the beginning of this level is that Duke will actually say an entirely new line of dialogue (that seems to have been spliced together from several other lines of dialogue). If I remember rightly, he says: “Damn, they’re gonna pay for shooting up this train“.

From the look of things, I'd guess that there was snow on the line.

From the look of things, I’d guess that there was snow on the line.

I love how you can see part of the town from this part of the level :)

I love how you can see part of the town from this part of the level 🙂

Although the town is relatively small, it looks absolutely spectacular. Everything from the falling snow, to the fairy lights and the old Christmas movie posters really help to give this level a nostalgic 1990s movie Christmas style atmosphere and I love it!

Ok, I haven't seen any of these movies, but the posters really add some atmosphere to the level.

Ok, I haven’t seen any of these movies, but the posters really add some atmosphere to the level.

Yay, it's like the town from "Gremlins"!

Yay, it’s like the town from “Gremlins”!

..But with fairy lights! Fairy lights!

..But with fairy lights! Fairy lights!

Another interesting feature in this level is that many of the buildings feature teleportation-based doors. Basically, you walk up to the door and press “action” and you’ll be teleported to the building’s interior.

Even though this allows the level designers to make the buildings bigger on the inside and to include multi-storey areas, it also has a few problems too.

The first is that getting into the right position to use the doors can be a somewhat finicky affair where you have to strafe across the door whilst hammering the action button until the teleporter decides to activate.

The interior areas look really cool, but getting in and out of them can be a little annoying.

The interior areas look really cool, but getting in and out of them can be a little annoying.

Not only that, it’s impossible to tell which doors are accessible and which ones aren’t. Whilst this normally wouldn’t be an issue, it can be a problem when you are under heavy fire from groups of monsters.

Plus, when you enter a building, groups of monsters can sometimes have a habit of gathering near the outside of the door- which can often result in an almost instant death when you leave the building later.

The level also includes lots of other cool touches, such as destructible Christmas presents that can give you health or ammo – as well as the occasional sprite or texture that has been borrowed from “Blood” or “Doom”.

A "Doom" keycard? But, HOW did you know?

A “Doom” keycard? But, HOW did you know?

 There's also a playable jukebox - or should it be a "Duke Box"?

There’s also a playable jukebox – or should it be a “Duke Box”?

And this Easter egg that I only found when I re-played the level a while after completing it.

And this Easter egg that I only found when I re-played the level a while after completing it.

As for the gameplay, this level is fairly challenging. Even though the only aliens you will encounter are assault troopers and pig cops, the level’s difficulty is increased quite significantly by the rather limited supplies of ammo and health on offer.

Or, after re-playing the level again, it’s more accurate to say that the amount of easily-accessible health and ammo in this level is fairly low. However, if you look around enough, you can find quite a bit of health and ammo hidden in various parts of the map.

So, unless you go secret-hunting, you will need to use quick thinking, tactics and strategy if you want to get through this level in one piece.

Yes, you can run out of ammo (and health) VERY easily in this level...

Yes, you can run out of ammo (and health) VERY easily in this level…

Talking of weapons, this level also includes a new weapon too. The RPG has been replaced with a “firework launcher”. Although this acts just like the RPG, the ammo sprites and explosion effects are significantly different and much cooler.

Fortunately, you don't have to light a blue touchpaper every time you want to fire it.

Fortunately, you don’t have to light a blue touchpaper every time you want to fire it.

Musically speaking, this level is pretty cool too. The background music is a jazzy MIDI version of that old 1940s/50s Christmas song that plays during the credits of “Die Hard” (along with “Gremlins”, this is one of my favourite Christmas movies). I can’t remember the title of this song, but it’s really nostalgic and it goes really well with the rest of the level.

All in all, this is a brilliant level which is an absolutely wonderful accompaniment to the festive season. If you’re a 1990s retro gamer, then I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas than with this level. Yes, some features of this level don’t work absolutely perfectly, but it’s still absolutely amazing.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get four and a half. Merry Duke-mas everyone 🙂