Area 666


Fact Sheet

Authors Richard Britt
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1999/6/12
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

"Area 666" is a single level for Doom 2. The text file includes a detailed plot (part of which is intended to be read after you complete the level), but you don't need to read it... you can work the plot out by playing the level (e.g. to the right, see the crash-landed alien spaceship).

You start out in a subway train at an underground station, quite nicely done, with tracks stretching away in both directions, lights etc. Good use is made of the pistol start, you have to tackle a couple of rooms before getting a good weapon.

The indoor areas are almost all done in gray textures, but there is good use of different textures, windows between areas, crates, and decorations to make it more interesting. There are several areas which are like accomodation, with beds, computer consoles, toilets etc. The outdoor part... well you can see the crashed spaceship above ;-).

Gameplay was fairly good; you get plenty of shells and bullets, which are all yuo need for the first part of the level. There are some rooms which are packed with monsters, so you just control the doorway and they kill each other a lot. Others rooms have good placement though. The outdoor area has a lot of monsters which converge on you when you open a dor out there, a fairly good fight as you balance letting them fight each other while not letting them get too close. There are some traps and secrets around the level. It's non-linear, with keycards to find and switches to hit.

I've been pretty upbeat about the level so far, but now for the serious setbacks. This is only the author's second level, and alas there are some rather common beginner errors. At least one set of door tracks with a bad texture and unpegged, thick doors, use of the doortrack texture on the side of a lift... all ugly. More seriously, there seemed to be a bug in one place, where the ceiling over a lift would come down like a door. This doesn't block the level progression, but does expose a big HOM.

In the final area of the level, you are teleported through to Hell. The area is packed with several spiderdemons and a load of other badies, but mostly you just let them kill each other, then clean up easily at the end. There is a cyberdemon which you can run past. However there is a complete excess of ammo and plenty of space in this area, so it'd be equally easy to fight him. The architecture is stylish but undetailed, and the niches in which there are ammo dumps look very simplistic.

Overall, this level has some excellent ideas, and I was very impressed at the way the level made the plot clear. This would probably get a 4 if not for the beginner errors. Still, I certainly hope we can look forward to continuing good levels from this author in future :-).


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