Fact Sheet

Authors King REoL
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1997/11
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

The last time I played "REoL TOUGH: The Pit" was back when I had a 486, using good old Doom.exe for DOS. Trouble was, this level has a ridiculous number of THINGS in it, completely overloading the old Doom.exe. There are hordes of monsters scattered throughout the level, and even a large forest in one area, all contributing to serious slowdown, disappearing things, savegame crashes and other misc bugs. At least the author mentions this in the text file. Definitely a "made for Boom, even though written long before it" level.

Fortunately this time I was armed with a good source port, and was able to see the level the way it was meant to be. Having a good port doesn't make the excess of things any less a defect in my opinion; there is a vast excess of ammo and other goodies. You only get the basic weapons, shotgun and chaingun, for fighting most of the level, which makes fighting the monster hordes quite interesting; there are lots of holding-a-doorway fights which are good I thought, especially because a good mixture of monsters are used.

The level has a good theme, with a central "pit" which connects the different parts of the level; this area was nicely done, nice and atmospheric. The other areas weren't as good though, with no real consistant style, and the author seems to have used the needless piles of ammo and goodies as a substitute for architectural detail. There are also some noticable flaws like doorways in outdoor areas which have no flanking walls, so look wrong.

The level progression is quite interesting, nice and non-linear, and not easy to get lost, you just keep returning to the pit to find ways forward. On the other hand, the level has a missive secret area, packed with more monsters and stuff. Sounds good? Well, maybe, if the REJECT were built and the level wasn't already totally overloaded with things. As it is, when I first played this level I was struggling against the resulting slowdown, and couldn't save my gave, so I didn't want to risk going through more areas than necessary. So the area is a waste that spoilt my game.

With the advent of good ports like Boom, levels that are completely over the top can finally be played the way they were meant to be played. But it's still poor design and nothing has changed that. This level has a lot of potential, and I rather liked parts of it, but with the problems it has I can't really recommend it.


File List