Fact Sheet

Authors Michal Mesko
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1996/12
Levels 6

Review by Colin Phipps

"The DUSK (v1.21)" is a set of six small levels for Doom 2. The levels are all in the stone and tech styles; there is just one new graphic, replacing the Doom menu header. The levels vary quite a bit, so I'll jump straight to the comments on each level:

  1. A nice (if unexciting) little start level. First you have to pistol your way through a nice crate room with some imps. There are some cement corridors leading to a keycard which are poor, being bright and featureless, and with troopers and demons, which are boring with a pistol. Then the final area, now with a shotgun, a nice little area. There are quite a few secret goodies to be gained too.
  2. screenshot This level reminded me a lot of the Gauntlet (Doom 2 MAP03), not only because of the rusty metal style, but the layout is kind-of similar too. There are some really good fights, using good monster placement and tricks. Apart from one silly staircase in acid, it's a well designed level too, with areas joining up well, and some secrets.
  3. A medium sized level, mostly metal and stone textures. Unusually, you don't really need to clear any of the keycard areas to get the keys. There are some secrets, but not many traps, and many enemies can be left behind. There's some nice architecture, but some of the linking corridors and rooms lacked interest.
  4. screenshot Another smallish industrial style level. There are some nice features in this level, like good lighting, and some nice rooms. Some good action too, with some good traps and secrets, and good use of monsters.
  5. A small courtyard with a cyberdemon. You clean up a few lost souls, grab the rockets lying around, and blast the cyber. Apart from choosing the right place to fight from, not much of interest. The courtyard is well decorated at least.
  6. A grand showdown, or that's the idea anyway. There's just one courtyard, with a spiderdemon to start with, who is easily rocketed. Then a load of arachnotrons are released, which are tricky but playable. There is a big excess of cells, and not much else to see.

So, what I'm saying is MAP04, and particularly MAP02, are good. MAP01 is an uninspiring start level; since MAP02 starts with a shotgun, the only reason to play through MAP01 is the secret stuff. MAP03 is odd, but has good parts.

Alas, like so many short episodes, the finale is overdone. The arachnotron fight is a good climax, but the cyb fight at the level before was unneeded. The original Doom's had a climax level about one in every 9 levels typically, so 2 in 6 is over the top for me.

The rates are pulled down a bit by this. But I can definitely recommend this episode if only for MAP02, and if you play it then you should see MAP04 too. There's too much health overall, but enough action at those maps to make it interesting anyway.


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