The Chemical Base


Fact Sheet

Authors Pablo Dictter
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 2001/03/29
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot BRICK10 has to be one of the most distinctive textures in the Doom palette - the slime-covered brick texture has been put to use in many a sewer level, and it's great for creating a watery atmosphere. With that texture and the nice attention to lighting I was inevitably reminded of similar levels such as Helios 2. It is also clear that, like me, Pablo is a box-room fanatic, with lots of crates scattered around the level. The level does not go overboard with detail but makes good use of water-filled tunnels, acid tanks, and industrial textures to create the chemical plant setting.

The gameplay, however, is very weak. The map does not implement different skill levels, but more importantly is lacks a progression in difficulty. The level starts with a scattering of sergeants, imps, hell knights and cacodemons, never more than a few active at once. And it stays that way for the rest of the level. The player gets the double-barrel, the chaingun, but the monsters don't get much tougher and if anything get fewer in number as the level goes on. Even the couple of archvilles present are isolated, with cover available so they make an easy double-shotgun kill. Add to that the secrets, which are not very hard and give the player a supercharge and a megasphere - the level is easy enough without these, so with them you might as well play blindfolded. I can only remember one trap, but a cacodemon and a couple of demons is hardly going to upset the player, especially when the trap shows conspicuously on the map long before it triggers.

The music from The Crusher (Doom 2 MAP06) is included for the level. The Crusher is one of the (many) maps from Doom 2 I dislike, and I never liked ts music either, but I think this level has changed my mind because the music goes well here.

Overall, nice architecture fails to make up for lack of interesting fights. If it were an outdoor level I'd say it was a walk in the park, but unfortunately I can't think of an equivalent saying for a walk in a chemical plant, so I'll just go play something else instead.


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