Congestion Control 2


Fact Sheet

Authors Karthik
IWAD Doom 2
Engine limitless source port
Date 2003/05/14
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot 1 This is a single level for Doom 2, in a marble-and-rusty metal Hell base style. It's more in the style of Crusades than Ultimate Doom, though (or maybe Last Resort (Requiem MAP15)); there are plenty of gory decorations, marble halls, rusty bars and coloured torches, but the level uses a lot of Doom 2 textures too, giving it a more industrial feel. Visually it is a feast, with detail crammed into every corner, hence the requirement for a limitless port. Most of the rooms are connected by windows and gratings, and even the outermost rooms have windows looking out, although too high up to see through. The rich marble texture palette always makes for visually interesting levels, but the architecture here too is very intricate, and there is lots of detail and decoration.

screenshot 1 The gameplay starts out well, with the player attacked from the start and thrown into one of the main areas. The large number of windows and gratings between rooms mean that there is a constant danger of attack from other directions; in particular, the building in which the player starts is overlooked by another complex across a large courtyard, and the monsters in this far building snipe at the player for much of the first half of the level. Monster placement is good, with monsters in overlooking ledges and lurking in siderooms that pop out at awkward times. There are lots of traps, including some quite good ones, and some secrets too.

The level progression is interesting; the early part of the level has no keycards, and then in the final area the player gets most of the cards in quick succession. In the early part of the level, the number of switches means that the way forward is not always clear, but it does not take long to find — except for one awkward little switch to lower a lift, which is recessed into the wall beside the lift in such a small recess that it is easy to overlook, confusing me for a while.

The level is quite big, but not long in gameplay terms: only half an hour even at my leisurely pace. Nor is it particularly hard; the traps are good but not overwhelming. There is tons of ammo, including a huge number of cells that must be more than even the most reckless player could use, taking the sting out of the latter half of the level. There is a cyberdemon near the end, but with plenty of space, BFG and tons of cells, even I could deal with him easily.

Overall, I was disappointed to leave this level; visually it is such a treat, that it is a shame the author couldn't manage to fit a few more fights in to stretch out the action. Of course, there is a school of Doom authors who play mainly to see what they and others can create in terms of architecture, and are not that interested in the gameplay; clearly I am not in this group. Still, for the half-hour that it does last the gameplay is very good, and while there is plenty of loot, there are still enough traps and tricky fights to give the player a challenge.

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