Fact Sheet

Authors David Butler
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1998/6
Levels 10

Review by Colin Phipps

This is a 10 level episode for Doom 2. There is a strong progression through the episode; the levels start very similar to the original Knee-Deep, but become much more similar to Doom 2 as the episode goes on; perhaps the early levels were designed for Doom 1 originally.

screenshot This progression is rather strange. The first few levels are not very good, they look like old Doom 1 add-on levels. The middle levels are better, with reasonably good architecture and some interesting fights. However, there was not enough detail, and the good fights were diluted by many poor fights.

The final few levels of the episode are all "showdown" fights, i.e pitched battles with cybers, spiderdemons or the like. This sort of level is good when used in moderation, but for several levels one after another its too much, too frustrating.

Throughout the episode it is seemed easy. Ammo and heath were usually fairly well judged, i.e not a lot was given, because the fights were rarely that difficult. The last few levels were harder, but still not hard enough at UV.

Here are my level-by-level comments:

  1. This is a fairly basic map, clearly based on ideas from the original Knee-Deep (e.g the exit is like E1M2, with the small lift down to the exit switch; there is a lowering gray computer bank ala E1M4). There are no obvious errors, but the architecture is not detailed or impressive. The fights are also like early Knee-Deep, i.e pretty basic.
  2. I feared that this level would be similar to the first one, when I began in a room looking all to similar to the start room of the original E1M3. But this level has more more imagination, with some nice features. It is still lacking in detail however. The fights are not very challenging, and more traps are needed (e.g the player returns through an area and finds he has revealed a keycard, lying in the centre of a largish room on a marked spot; however getting the key triggers no trap). The few strong enemies were not well spread round the level.
  3. This is a quite stylish level, based on some kind of water/poison processing plant, with lots of lakes etc. But it is almost entirely decorated with plain gray cement, making the areas all seem very uninteresting. Much more detail and variation would make this a good level. There are some good fights, but not enough or hard enough for the modern Doomer.
  4. This level has some good areas. I really liked the large box room, which is dark and sinister, along with some goods secrets. There is also a good area toward the end with some stylish half-open corridors. Alas the fights are rather inconsistent; there are a few tougher monsters, but not enough, and not spread across the entire level; some areas (like the box room) were very easy.
  5. Many good ideas made this interesting to play. The architecture is still fairly simple, but is much more sensible and interesting here. There are a good spread of powerful monsters which add to the action. However, the acid areas and the limited number of rad suits make this level a bit frustrating until you work out where you are going.
  6. There are some good sinister rooms at this level, but not enough of it to make a good level in all. There are only a couple of good fights, and some boring ones too. The exit is also poorly done, it is just a teleport that opens back at the entrance, which I nearly missed.
  7. This level consists of a spiderdemon and a load of barons and hell knights. You have to run around hitting switches and getting out. The only quality of the fights is that you can't kill all the enemies, so you do have to do some running. The architecture was not very interesting either, though there were no obvious defects.
  8. This is a strangely mixed level. The esthetic is good, very similar to The Inmost Dens (Dooom 2 MAP14). But there are very few monsters, so most of the level leaves the player just wandering around looking for ways forward. The level progression is pretty poor; in particular I disliked the acid maze with no rad suit provided, and not even any decoration to help you locate where you were.
  9. This level is just a courtyard with a cyberdemon held in the middle. There isn't much space to fight him, so I think that you are meant to grab the megasphere that he is defending, hit the other switches and exit. Either way it's a pointless level, nobody likes fighting cybers without some kind of special puzzle or environment to make it interesting.
  10. The final level. It is based around a spawn-cube-thrower as at the end of Doom 2, and is very well done; you have to hit various switches on and around the courtyard and overlooking windows to crush the spawn cube source. The architecture could be better, but this level makes a good finale to the episode.

Overall, this is a big episode but with not that many good levels. I think that if the good levels from this episode were used as a basis and improved, they would form the basis of a great episode. As it is, my only recommendation is that if you do download it, skip the first few levels and stop before the last few.


File List