House of DOOM


Fact Sheet

Authors Steve Noonan
IWAD Doom 2
Engine Boom compatible engine
Date 1998/4
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

"House of DOOM (v 3.5)" is an updated version of HOD30.WAD, which uses the Boom engine to provide new features which were not possible under Doom. The level is a house and its surrounding garden; Boom's silent teleports are used to give the house a 1st floor and a basement.

The start of this level is a really tough fight. The house is full of and surrounded by monsters, most of hear you right from the start. You start inside, but your first move should be to run outside, otherwise the monsters outside just shoot you as you struggle with those indoors. Once outside you have to keep running to avoid the heavier monsters, just sniping the human enemies and grabbing their ammo. The pain elemental in the garage really makes this fight, since you have to concentrate your fire on him while staying ahead of the heavier opponents wandering the garden.

The outside of the house is not bad, with some sensible choices of textures. However, the good impression was spoilt by the terrible garage door, which looked totally unconvincing. Otherwise the garden area was quite good, though the cars going past on the road outside looked pretty naff.

Inside the house there some good details, like the cooker hobs and the bathroom. The basement in particular is excellent, with lots of things like scattered boxes, an old sofa (?), and small high windows which all made it feel like a real basement. However, the rest of the house lacked this level of detail - it was just too bare of day-to-day objects like books, crockery, towels etc to be convincing. The author does sensibly import some new graphics to help, but much more is needed to make it convincing.

The 1st floor was the worst for me; having a shoot-through wall with a mancubus behind it completely breaks any kind of realistic atmosphere that the rest of the level tried to create. Even worse, I walked through into his hole and found serious texture problems and that it was a dead-end trap. Also, the new sky texture that the author uses looked OK outside, but from the 1st floor windows it looked tacky.

Once the garage and garden are subdued, you can begin to collect the serious weapons and clear out the the rest of the house. There are not so many good fights from then on; one or two are good, but mainly you just have to clear the rooms, which aren't too big. The level progression wasn't always clear; in particular the red key is on a box in the garage, which I assumed would be lowered by a switch, but instead I later found that one of the other boxes was a lift.

Basically I don't think that Doom has the right textures or objects to make a decent house. But BOOMHOD is better than most levels that try, and is excellent in parts.


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