The Punisher


Fact Sheet

Authors Dario Casali
IWAD Doom 2
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1995/8/12
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

On paper, The Punisher would appear to have all the qualifications to be a truly bad Doom level. Firstly it's a Entryway ripoff (Doom II MAP01); secondly it contains 10 cyberdemons and 11 spiderdemons, and in fact the level is packed with absurd numbers of monsters of all sorts.

But punisher turns out to be no mindless slugathon. Instead, like most good massed monster levels, it's more of an exercise in crowd control (or in this case perhaps "carnage control" would be more appropriate). Most of the cyberdemons and spiderdemons can be pitched either against each other or against the hordes of other monsters present. Indeed the main problem in this level is the number of archvilles, so the player's main job is spotting them fast, and getting into positions where they can be drawn to the front and taken out ASAP. There's plenty of ammo and health laying around, but you can't afford to be too extravagant, as the main part of the level is only really a warm up for the big traps later on, so you'll need to have plenty to spare.

Structurally the level is very similar to go 2 it (Plutonia MAP32), another MAP01 spinoff - indeed the author was also a contributor to Final Doom, so while I don't have a list of who-did-what for Final Doom it wouldn't surprise me if these two levels were at least related. However, while go 2 it modifies a lot of the MAP01 structure, The Punisher leaves it mostly unaltered, merely making some significant extensions and much more use of the outdoor areas. It has also been retextured in a rocks-and-stone theme which is again similar to its Plutonia cousin.

I still don't like playing ripoffs of the original levels, but The Punisher does manage to strike a fair balance between Hell Revealed style carnage control and a spoof on MAP01.

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