ASDOOM2: The Final Countdown


Fact Sheet

Authors Andy Sheppard
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1995/3
Levels 8

Review by Colin Phipps

"ASDOOM2: The Final Countdown" is an 8 level episode for Doom 2. It comes with an enormous plot in the accompanying text files (about 30K of text) which gives you a lot of background to the levels. The plot isn't essential, don't worry; however it does give some useful information.

It's a lot like Doom 2 in style, with no new graphics/sounds and very blockish, cuboid architecture like Doom 2. However the quality varies a lot between levels; some were very lacking in detail. There were a couple of good looking levels though.

The gameplay was a bit more consistent between levels. Generally I felt that the powerful monsters were overdone (lots of revenants and mancubi and chaingunners dominated several levels). There were also rather a lot of cyberdemons/spiderdemons in the levels (often easy to crush, or placed where they were trivial to BFG), although admitedly these were an important part of the plot. This was only a problem with some of the levels though. Since things varied a lot between levels, I'll move straight on to the level-by-level comments:

  1. A large level, using a lot of that MODWALL texture (which looks weird in this level since the structures used are more like a castle than an office block). The level seriously lacks detail but some of the indoor bits are good. The fights are interesting, with lots of use of shotgun men and chaingunners in large open areas. It's a level with a lot of tough fights, but tons of ammo and health to balance them.
  2. A rather empty level; you start off in some tunnels, then get through into a big hallway. With 2 cyberdemons and piles of rockets to use; they're hemmed in at one end so it's just a grinding with rockets exercise. Then you get to the exit. There are just a couple of significant fight, and you have to find several secrets to complete the level. Very little variation in textures throughout the level leads to a boring feel after a while.
  3. A gloomy level, decorated mostly in that STONE2 texture so popular in Doom 1 levels. You gradually work through the various rooms and corridors, dealing with the sergeants and chaingunners. The level progression is interesting, you hit a sequence of switches to gradually reveal more parts of the level. There is one really good fight, with a large room and 4 fixed arachnotrons, where the best (and most fun) tactic is to run around the room shooting each in sequence. However there is a stupid cyberdemon to crush towards the end of the level.
  4. This is another Knee-Deep style level, with computer consoles and metal tunnels. There are some good fights, such as the initial fight where monsters come out of several rooms to attack you. However there are a lot of frustrating areas where the player goes in, fights barons etc, then finds there is nothing to gain in the area. The level lacks detail in most areas, though there are some nice box rooms.
  5. Right from the start this level is visually boring. Almost the whole level is decorated in metal textures, usually only 1 or 2 textures used in any one room. The fights are similarly boring, just blocks of revenants, cacos, mancubi, etc, each separate. And a cyberdemon and a spiderdemon to kill. The level progression is confusing at times, you have to find what I would consider secrets to finish the level; there are some good secrets too though.
  6. An interesting level, with lots of use of acid areas. Like the last level it is overly dominated by powerful enemies, which makes the fights rather dull. The architecture is fairly basic but the acid tunnels are quite good.
  7. screenshot Well this level is a real turnaround for this episode. The architecture is better, very Doom 2-ish with grassy courtyards and cuboid buildings. It's not very detailed but looks ok. There is also a section of underground acid tunnels which is very gloomy and well textured. But the outstanding thing is the fights; there is great use of teleporting monsters and overlooking revenants in the start area that kept me on my toes for quite a while. You have to think a bit to get the red key too...
  8. The final level of the episode. The main area of the level is a rather boring central room, with lots of cybers to crush, and a spiral staircase around the outside, all rather lacking detail. OTOH the side areas are much better, with some good fights and much better detail and more interesting architecture. The level progression is a little strange, but there are lots of secrets around to look for too.

Overall a very mixed episode. Maps 3, 6, 7, 8 are quite good, though the only one which I really thought was well done all round was MAP07. It's a very mixed episode; if you like the old doom2 levels like this is a good example of one, but the lack of details at some levels means it can't compete with more recent works.


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