Blue Room Doom: BETA


Fact Sheet

Authors S Ross
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1998/9
Levels 5

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot "Blue Room Doom: Beta" is a five-level mini-episode. It comes complete with demos, a new title graphic, and new music.

The first 3 levels of the episode are not bad, especially level 2 which was quite interesting to play. But the other levels are not so good, and levels 4 and 5 look like they took about 10 minutes each to make. Here are my level-by-level comments:

  1. An interesting level made up of 3 very small areas. The first is a simple barrel puzzle. The second area is a good little fight, with the cramped architecture restricting both your and the monsters' movements; it is tricky when you only have a pistol. The final area is a quick chaingunning and ammo collecting exercise against a horde of troopers. I liked the second area, but the architecture of the others could be improved.
  2. This level starts with a large area which is just an ammo dump; this was a bit frustrating, because I didn't need most of the stuff here, but later on I needed it badly but couldn't get back.

    The main area of the level reminded me of Ultimate Doom; it is in the wood and metal style, and there are lots of monsters overlooking the main area from windows. The gameplay is very unusual, because there are plenty of rockets but far too little of any other ammo, so you have to use rockets whenever possible. This can get tricky in some of the nastier traps :-), and there are some heart-stopping moments towards the end of the level. The design is good, as different areas link up and overlook each other nicely; the level progression is interesting too.

  3. This level is similar in style to Duke Nuke'm level 5 (I think — the canyon level); you have to walk around the ledges and pillars inside the canyon, trying to open the exit. The floor of the canyon is a death trap (of course), and there are lots of things that collapse underneath, so save often.

    I though the choice of monsters was very good. There are well placed chaingunners which mean you have to be very careful to spot them first. The cacodemons and pain elementals make dangerous enemies here too. The level is very short though, which is probably a good thing: if it were any longer I would begin to complain about the lack of variety available in a brown canyon.

  4. This level consists of a single room, with a horde of demons, chaingunners and arachnotrons which attack you. You have to hit a couple of switches and escape fast. The architecture is very basic — not that you get a chance to look at it, because you just have to blast your way through to the switches and leg it. Hardly worth bothering.
  5. The final showdown of this episode, this level is just a high walled arena with lots of ridiculously tall pillars in it. It has been done before, and this level is just as crap as all the previous times people have done it. There are lots of monsters, but with the ammo given you can easily wipe out the spiderdemon and other baddies that populate this dump. You complete the level by doing some tedious jumping between the pillars (difficult because you can't see or judge the jumps) to collect a few keycards.

I can only wonder what normal Doom 2 would make of level 4 (I was using LxDoom). Given the visible sprite limitations of normal doom, I don't think it would cope well with the hordes of monsters.

MAP02 is the only good level of the set; levels 1 and 3 are not bad either. If you do download this, I would avoid levels 4 and 5; demos are included, so watch them instead. In fact, perhaps you should wait and see whether a non-beta version comes out; hopefully they will find some better levels to make the set a worthwhile download.


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