Simply Evil


Fact Sheet

Authors Pixel Rex
IWAD Doom 2
Engine Boom compatible engine
Date 1998/11/26
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

"Simply Evil" is a huge level level for Doom ][; is was originally going to be for the normal Doom ][ engine, but it became much too big so the author made it a Boom level instead. The level is big and detailed, but the Boom engine (LxDoom in my case) was able to handle it without problems, and on my P166+ I was able to play fine.

The ambience of the level was rather like Heretic, with lots of grey and brown stone and a medieval theme. Fortunately that is where the similarity ends (I never liked Heretic much), since the monsters and weapons are the good old Doom ones. Lots of new textures are imported though, to give a good range of textures to meet the theme; mostly the textures are taken from Gothic DM ][ (a deathmatch megawad), and are extremely good; all of them are very high quality (though there are a few strange ones).

The level is very large, but also very detailed. There is good use of torches and lighting effects throughout the level, and a set of small decorative textures are used regularly, giving the level a distinctive style. There are lots of other nice features like bridges, stylish teleporters, and plenty of other neat things that you'll just have to see for yourself ;).

So what about the gameplay? Well, as you might expect for a level this big, it varies a lot throughout the level. I liked the way that the weapons are well spread in the level, so you play a long time with just chaingun and shotgun. In particular you have to use the chaingun a lot early on, which helps keep the fight varied (it took me about 3 hours to play through, so the variety was much appreciated :). You every monster in Doom ][ as you play through the level, and they are well balanced, so you don't meet the more powerful monsters until later on in the level.

For a level this huge I was glad that the level played without problems mostly. However there is a serious problem in the early/middle part of the level where the game becomes very "choppy", with the game jerking every second or so. The problem is caused not by the size of the level, or even the number of monsters, but by one room where there are hundreds of monsters teleporting around very rapidly. Once you get to that area and kill them the game speeds back up to normal again. It would only take 2 sound blocking lines to fix this, so I was very disappointed that I had had to play a slow game for half an hour for no good reason.

There are plenty of tricks and traps at this level, though perhaps not many given it's size. Certainly there is plenty of action to keep you busy though, and some of the traps are quite fun too ;). The level is very fair though with a good supply of ammo and health, some good secrets too, and no unfair traps. The level progression could be called "piecewise linear": the level has lots of big sections each of which is fairly linear, but they are all linked together in interesting ways, with different areas looking into/over each other nicely. It usually doesn't take long to work out which way to go.

Towards the end of the level you get the more powerful weapons, and the quality of the fights dropped a lot. You grind your way through a load of mancubi, then a cluster of barons; then there's a yard with a spiderdemon and revenants and mancubi, which can't get you and just kill each other. More similarly restricted enemies followed and died just as easily; you are given loads of cells but I didn't use many. The level ends with a cyberdemon which is easily BFGed.

It's a massive level, I dread to imagine how long it took to make. The detail is exceptional for a level of this size, and the action is generally great too. If your going to make a level this big though you have to be prepared to keep it interesting all the way, and watch out for needless slowdowns like the teleport room caused. But overall this was a fun level to play through, well worth downloading if your computer can cope with it.


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