Way Out and Still Doomed


Fact Sheet

Authors Jonathan K. L. Wood
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1994/09/27
Levels 9

Review by Colin Phipps

Way Out and Still Doomed is the kind of name that's a real gift to a reviewer - you really wish the level is bad, because the potential for jokes at the expense of the name is endless. I was not disappointed in this respect at least :-).

Anyway, Way Out and Still Doomed is a kind of DIY episode, because you get 9 WADs each containing a level, which you get to put together yourself. It's not even like it's a really old level, by late '95 there were tools around to do this, but I guess it's only a minor inconvenience for the player to list them all.

The episode is in the Knee-Deep style, with industrial and high-tech areas. Overall, the structure of all the levels seemed sound, but the style was inconsistent and tacky, with lots of mismatched and misaligned textures. Light levels could have been chosen randomely - some areas were OK, but others were just pitch black.

The opposition come in two sorts. There are the hordes of troopers and shotgun men - tedious to fight. And there are the monsters in mazes, which are normally too thinly spread to be effective at the earlier levels (i.e. "Way Out"), and the mazes too dark to fight in anyway at later levels (but the enemy are "Still Doomed" - hey, I didn't say they'd be good jokes did I?).

So I'll go Way Out on a limb and bother to comment on individual levels, but mostly so I can complain about them.

  1. The start of E1M1 is one such area - you have to fight a horde of troopers, shotgun men and the odd imp in the pitch black. Wonderful - NOT.
  2. E1M2 has an interesting start, with a maze based on concentric circles instead of straight corridors. There are some interesting rooms here. But there is still no overall style to the level.
  3. E1M3 starts with a red maze (red walls, red lights floor and ceiling). This looks very tacky - the floor and ceiling lights and terribly aligned. Besides, I hate red rooms. There is a strange exit area, and no overall style.
  4. E1M4 has the most coherent design of all the levels. The main area is at least complete and fairly consistent with textures, and has some good fights. It might be interesting for deathmatch, with the large number of viewing points and interconnections. It is let down by a stupid end area, which is totally mismatched with the rest of the level, and too dark.
  5. E1M5 consists of a few large areas connected by teleports. With a maze where most of the internal walls were lifts, and a large open courtyard full of pillars of STARTAN1 to be navigated between, the areas all looked a bit tacky.
  6. E1M6 is a dark computer maze. I lost patience with this level - it is just too dark. There is loads of health, but staggering around waiting to be shot so you can see your opponent to shoot back is no fun - the idea of Doom is too aim and shoot, not stagger blindly.
  7. E1M7 is just stupid. The level is much too slow, and its central area consists of a set of pillars in an open area, with hordes of troopers and shotgun men milling around their bases, making getting around even harder. I gave up in frustration at this point. Looking in WinDEU revealed the level would get no better, with one room containing a maze of red torches (the walls of the maze are red torches - serious THING overload).

So you can see there's a real progression through the episode, with early levels easy and frustrating, later levels harder but tedious.

So overall then, the architecture is Way Out, and taking the gameplay into account the episode is Still Doomed. Or should that be the other way around. Wait, didn't I make that joke already? Oh I give up...

Download all-e1.zip

File List