HAPPY NEW YEAR
Completing the trio (no I'm not going to do an easter one any time soon) Also a message from BDave was relayed to me, so I shall return it: hello to you, too.
Truly we have been spoiled
In the past year or so I have been known to complain heartily about the apparent lack of new maps for vanilla, limit-removing, or Boom-compatible Doom engines ("source ports", but I never did like that term.) Everything seemed to be
- Requiring ZDoom (one day I shall write an article called ZDoom is the Internet Explorer of Doom engines, post it on Doomworld, and get banned for trolling or stupidity)
- A weapons mod (ooh new guns! wow!)
- A deathmatch map that nobody will ever play because nobody plays anything but DWANGO5 (allegedly)
- An upload to the archive of a "missing classic" (that is, a map from 1994, usually off a CD a nameless company made at the height of Doom's popularity, by downloading a bunch of wads off BBSs, for the sole purpose of cashing in)
Some of the 1994 wads aren't so bad, I've played a few, indeed, thanks to CDave I've got one of those CDs!
However in recent times there has been something of a plethora of new releases! In the past month alone:
- Doom Advent Calendar, as I've previously documented
- Congestion 1024, miniturisation taken to an extreme
- Death Tormention 3, a third in the series of excellent Episode 4 replacements
- Classic Episode 2, a sequel to one of the greatest Doom episodes ever made
- NewDoom Community Project, a megawad similar in concept to the Community Chest projects at Doomworld.
The latter in particular took me completely by surprise. I admit I don't read NewDoom as much as I should - which is especially silly since it updates far more often than Doomworld does - and was only vaguely aware of the project's existence. Thus to find a whole new megawad turn up without warning was a delightful late Christmas present.
Classic Episode 2
I knew about a sequel to the Classic Episode a couple of months ago when a thread was posted about it on Doomworld by its author, Jan Van der Veken. I sort of forgot about it though, as I think I decided to try not to get too excited. But now, here it is.
It incorporates Classic10, Classic11, and three other maps; one of which was made from a fork of what went on to be map 3 of the original Classic Episode, and another which is repeated 5 different times with various modifications. There is no secret level, so you do them in the order 1, 2, 3, 9, 4, 5, 6, 7, and finally 8 (it replaces Doom E1) - the repeated map is 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8.
I have to say I think Equinox did the repeated level idea better. "Singularity Complex I/II/III/IV/V" doesn't really change that much between revisions, except for thing layout. The exception is the final one where some hell corruption starts to creep in (and is very effective) They are also often awkward to begin, weapons and ammo being hard to come by, and shooting demons with a pistol can be quite boring or frustrating!
Having said that the other maps are amazing and everything you'd expect from Classic Episode base maps. 5 (which was classic10) is a delight; 7 is even better. Complex routes, lots of windows for interconnection, you name it. The whole thing looks wonderful, it's noticably more detailed than the original. I just don't think it has as many maps that play so well (it's not as varied, either, there are no E3 or E4 styled maps)
In summary this is a better-looking sequel whose gameplay slightly lacks on some of the maps. However don't let that put you off - the bottom line is it's still extremely good in its own right. Go play it now.