Fact Sheet

Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1996/07/23
Levels 13

Review by Colin Phipps

One can be forgiven for being surprised when, after downloading a 111k zip, it turns out to contain no fewer than 13 levels. It's particularly odd for Doom 1, because it means they are split over two episodes. Just to confuse further, the text file isn't included inside the zip, which is annoying as a reviewer but as a player as well, when you have to dig out tools to find out what levels it is going to replace.

With 13 levels in a < 350k PWAD, it's easy to figure out that each one is going to be very small. This is certainly true of GATECRSH. What is also true is that the levels are all very basic, and contain few enemies. There is little decoration or architecture, and there are basic editing errors including bad texture alignment, tutti fruiti, and even bugs like structural errors and bad line tags that prevent some of the levels being completed.

I'm not really sure if the levels are meant to be player as an episode, but anyway let's get started on the first episode:

  1. — Very basic level with a few small rooms and some troopers. Monotextured green stone with some strange wafer thin walls.
  2. — Very simply level, octagonal wooden yard with a mix of imps and former humans. Unmarked exit.
  3. — Just a few rooms in a rocky river theme. An interesting opening fight but with not much scope for the player to choose their tactic, you start in one corner of a room full of lost souls and are given a plasma rifle to clear it - and tons of excess loot afterwards. There's one trap after that and then you're at the exit.
  4. screenshot Dark and sinister series of red brick rooms, with little detail and some tacky looking oversized door, but there is some good decoration and lighting. Just a few wandering imps and demons and lost souls, flimsy opposition to the amount of rocket ammo provided.
  5. — Small network of wood and metal themed rooms, sort of like the underground part of Sever The Wicked. There's some attempt at detail with metal beams, but poor use of lighting and bad texture misalignments. A few opponents, nothing very taxing, just one unthreatening trap.
  6. — Some interesting architectural features, but still very basic and with messy texturing. Unmarked acid. Tons of cells and the BFG make this one a breeze; even with quite a few cacodemons around there's plenty of space.
  7. — Lots of oddly shaped rooms connected by doors, a mixture of stone and blue computer textures, very basic. Quite a few monsters, a fun mix of cacodemons and imps and lost souls, but tons of ammo and no traps to speak of, mostly just simple clearing of rooms.
  8. — A badly textured mess. A few cacodemons and barons, easily beaten with the BFG. Due to a bug the exit doesn't work.

On to the second episode then, with the other 4 levels:

  1. — A rather tough start level, with a chaingun against a large number of lost souls and imps entering through an overlarge doorway. Too little ammo to beat the level at UV without some fist work or monster dodging. The level itself is a messy collection of oddly shaped green stone rooms.
  2. — A small maze of blue computer rooms, packed with monsters and with limited ammo available to start with, although you get cells and BFG later on.
  3. — Unplayable due to a structural bug.
  4. — Lots of brown cement rooms, with the usual bad texturing errors and mess. Packed with cacodemons and a few barons, plenty of rockets and cells.

So, what to say. Well it's a mess, and there's not much to redeem these levels. E2M1 and E2M4 are at least a challenge. The bottom line, though, is avoid.


File List