Dark Eden


Fact Sheet

Authors Patrick Martin
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1998/3
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

DARKEDEN is a big "villa style" level. You start outside in some gardens, neatly partitioned by marble walls and arches. The level immediately makes an impression, since obviously some care and detail went into this area; it gets the player in the right mood for the rest of the level.

screenshot You then work your way inside the villa. It soon becomes clear that the first impression of this level is the right one, since every room interesting and detailed. There are nice uses of height levels, staircases and lighting effects to give a good feel to the level. Also, the level steadily gets darker, more sinister and more dangerous as you go further, giving a nice steady building of tension that lasts through the level.

The gameplay is also pretty good. You are given a good selection of weapons, and using this selection well is important to completing the level. There is a good mix of fights, helped by the use of architecture in the fights. There are few traps early on, but later in the level there are plenty of good surprises for you.

The level progression is perhaps not so good. I struggled with health and ammo for a while, and only later realised that I had missed an important room with goodies earlier in the level. Not that the author can do much about that, it was just my bad luck :-). Also, there are several teleports; these are very nice esthetically, but they seemed to be a bit pointless, just jumping between areas which I could walk between easily anyway. Also, there is one door which didn't open properly (it only opened a few inches, so I couldn't see or get through it); later I got curious and looked in WinDEU, and it turned out to be deliberate. Why have it open only a little? Either have it open to some new area, or make it never open, otherwise it looks like a bug.

Lots of sounds have been replaced; in particular the teleport sound is excellent. Many of the others I could live without, but I've heard plenty worse. There is also new music for the level, which helps set the mood excellently (although my coop partner disagreed and changed it =P).

The level is good for cooperative play too, with lots of wide doors, and traps where 2 players can be a real help. The ammo and health are well judged for single player, but are too strict for coop play though, forcing some restarts when we ran out of ammo. We made it eventually :-).

Anyway, as far as I am concerned, this level sets the standard for villa style levels, and a hard one to beat at that. Well worth a download I'd say.

Download darkeden.zip

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