Fact Sheet

Authors Echo
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 2000/02/12
Levels 1
Other New textures and music

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot Feudal is a level for Doom 1, and going by the name you won't be surprised to hear that it is a castle level. It is decorated mostly in a mixture of green stone and marble, with some specific new textures imported to liven up the level.

The first half of the level is a series of underground halls of some kind, not part of the castle but leading the player towards it. As such they are rather linear and weakly defended, with nothing more than one cacodemon for significant resistance, and no more subtle monster placement than an occasional imp standing in the corner behind a door. What does make this part of the level interesting are the new textures, with some very stylish embossings and wall hangings used in the halls. The architecture is simple with minimal detail, but with some nice features, including an atrium, an open roofed corridor and a colonnaded hall.

The castle itself is far more interesting architecturally, with an outer curtain walls and a keep; the player starts outside the castle but hemmed in by an outer earthen dike that surrounds it. The action is better too; the player is sandwiched in a series of fights, first by the curtain walls and the outer earthwork, and then between the curtain wall and the keep. There are a couple of cacodemons around that take advantage of being able to fly over the walls, but apart from that the opposing firepower is rather weak, mostly troopers with just a few imps and sergeants. It's a good runaround though, picking off the overlooking enemies and watching for cacodemons. Inside the castle there are a series of switches to hit and keycards to retrieve, and a number of traps to keep the player on guard. The main hall of the keep is very nicely done, and there are some nice side areas.

Having defeated the castle, the player has to go back through the earlier halls to reach the exit, and various extra monsters have been released - these are mostly just a few imps and sergeants, not well placed or in numbers, so they fill the void but don't pose a challenge. Then there's the cyberdemon, which left me wondering why it wasn't placed in the colonnaded hall - don't we all like dodging in and out of pillars wearing down a cyberdemon? Instead it is placed in a broad corridor, which is too wide to make it an good rocket target from outside, but too narrow to go in and circle it. Fighting from the doorway would be fine if you had a double-barrel and a lot of shells, but you don't. It's a Doom 1 level, with no extra cells, few rockets and no backpack. At a loss for a sensible way to fight the cyb, I gave up and ran past.

Overall, some brief fun storming the castle is not enough to make this a must-play. The new graphics are excellent but the early halls end up feeling more like an art gallery than a Doom level. There is good stuff here but not assembled in an amazing way.

Download feudal.zip

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