Castle of the Berserkers


Fact Sheet

Authors Berserker
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1998/10
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot "Castle of the Berserkers" is a large level in the Shores of Hell style for Doom 2. The author mentions that the level can give some display bugs under normal Doom, due to the 2S-line limit; there are no problems with Boom. Also, since this level is very big and there are some large areas in it, I'd suggest that you need at least a P150 to play this level without slowdown.

The plot to this level is important to understanding the design. The Castle of the Beserkers is an old castle, which UAC have taken over to do their experiments in. The architecture is a strange mixture of the marble, wood and plaster old castle, and the new high-tech rooms that UAC installed. Some levels look messy when these different styles are combined, but I thought that this author did it very well. It gave the level a lot of variety.

The early part of this level, breaking into the castle, is a fierce fight. Health and ammo are very limited, and there is very little cover from the enemy until you finally get inside. There is excellent monster choice and placement in this area,

screenshot The action continues inside as you clean out the high-tech rooms inside. There is still some excellent monster placement - in particular there is a box room with quite a few hell knights, which are tricky to fight in the limited space available. There are also some poorer fight though, like lots of imps in alcoves which you can kill one-by-one almost without effort.

The level progression is a bit unbalanced too. You get the yellow keycard quickly, but it was then well over an hour before I got another. I searched all over the place; things were made more confusing because the important door you have to open is marked as a yellow keydoor but isn't. There are a series of switches scattered around the place to be pressed, and gradually you make progress.

The end of the level was fun to play, but with lots of cells and rockets and plenty of space, even the cyberdemon was no problem. It was a bit of an anticlimax after spending all that time searching for that keycard.

As I said above, the design of the level is generally good; however I felt that the level was let down in a couple of areas. The start area is too brown, the only colour was in the sky - it made the are seem kind of dull. And inside the castle, the main hall and one or two areas off of it needed a lot more detail to match the rest of the level.

Overall this was a fun level to play, with a clever design.


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