Fact Sheet

Authors psyren
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 2004/04/04
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

It never creates a good first impression when you fail to include the TXT file inside the ZIP file. Maybe it's only me — and I have to admit that, because I am writing reviews, I have to know more about the WAD than most people — but I like to know what I am playing. But perhaps this is deliberate here, because perdido02.txt is misleading anyway: it says "Map 02", but it is actually MAP01. Strange.

screenshot of main area Anyway, to the level itself, which is mainly indoors and brick textured. Architecturally the level is sound, but boring. Actually it's a bit strange, because there is a fair amount of detail attempted, but somehow it doesn't seem to stop most of the areas seeming bland. There is a lot of use of torches, but the lighting is very uniform; there are many areas in which one corridor or room looks a lot like another, although in places this can be explained as a deliberate maze; and it sticks mainly to a few brick textures. The best part is the outdoor area with an acid lake; everything else has just a bit too much symmetry and not enough variety.

The gameplay is better, though. There are some good fights and traps — in particular there is one very clever trap with a room where the floor descends, lowering the player into a maze. On the downside, it's not very hard, and many of the traps fail to pressure the player: a trap releasing barons over the far side of the yard just isn't half as threatening as releasing them right by the player. There are some closer traps, though, and ammo is limited for the early part of the level.

One unusual feature is the crushing ceiling maze: a maze in which some ceilings crush, and it's easy for the player to lose track of where these are. I would have advised the author to turn the crushers off once the player leaves the area, though: it is offputting when you are further on in the level and can still hear them, it makes you keep looking around in case it's a new crusher.

Overall, this makes an entertaining half-hour. Visually bland, which is a pity, since a few of the areas are more interesting. The gameplay is too easy to challenge a good player, but there are some good ideas.

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