The Demon Castle


Fact Sheet

Authors Jimi
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 2004/01/16
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

the castle The Demon Castle sets the player down in the dungeons of a castle. You have to fight your way out, retrieving keycards until you find a way to freedom. You get one or two views looking out from the castle, and a view back to the gatehouse once you get out, but other than that it consists of a network of underground stone passageways. The author has done a good job of making it dark and atmospheric, and the texturing and lighting is very consistent, sticking well to a theme. I liked the little structural features too, like the loot rooms with a ledge around the sides packed with bits of ammo and blue health bottles (in fact, my main complaint about the castle is that more of the loot later on could have been presented in the same way).

The level is very tough to start with. The player has to beat several fights with the pistol and fists only; and ammo is scarce for some time after getting the shotgun. Fighting with limited ammo is not so bad if the layout is favourable, but this level rarely helps the player out, with steep steps into rooms, lost souls, and tight spaces giving the player little room to manoeuver or get them fighting each other. Some of the areas are really dark, and this can be annoying at times, although combined with the use of spectres it is used deliberately in places. The level does not use many traps or large numbers of monsters, but the limited space is enough to make it hard for the player.

the base The latter part of the level breaks out of the castle, and crosses a lava cavern into an industrial style base. It's uncommon for levels to be able to pull off the two styles in one level, but it works here; the player quite obviously leaves the castle, crosses the intervening cavern, and then enters the base. The base is very well decorated, with lots of crates, computer panels and lighting. The main downside to the base is that the change in gameplay is maybe a little abrupt: you suddenly get a backpack and tons of weapons and ammo, which is a sudden change of direction for a level where you start out punching imps. It's a one-fight area really; and a nasty one, so watch out.

Overall, this is an atmospheric level, with some really nice attention to detail. It's not a "fun" level, in the sense of charging around and blazing away at hordes of monsters with reckless abandon. If you like a the style, with small fights and clever lack of ammo and space to pressure the player, then this is one to try.

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