Some wads, found on a whim, in /newstuff a few weeks ago.
I loaded this map, started running, and never really stopped. Several minutes later I was still going, completely lost but not caring at all, shooting back at the monsters as I ran across ammunition. It was exhilarating.
The map is a seemingly endless well-interconnected network of large areas with pretty much random themes. It blatantly does not care what it looks like. Wide open, mostly outside and bright, very few dark parts. Very few dead ends too, you can run pretty much anywhere you like and always keep going forward (with a couple of exceptions). The architecture does not get in your way: there are very few doors and lifts, except in corners of the map where it likes to hide the keys.
The monster density is really low. There are about a hundred or so, loosely scattered around. But there's so much space, you can just go past them until you've picked up enough ammo to deal with them. You see more monsters than you find ammunition to begin with, so it forces you to explore. Usually this gets you killed as the monsters get in your way too much and you get closed down and overwhelmed, but not here. You can just run around them. You hardly have to play defensively at all; you can just run at your pleasure and shoot when the opportunity arises.
This glorious map is the antithesis of modern mapping. Completely lacking in pretention, it is quite simply the most fun I've had playing a new map in months, possibly years.
Of course, the rest of the world hates it, or at the very least thinks it is mediocre. According to comments on Doomworld's /idgames frontend, this sadly now even includes the author. A real shame: the philosophy he had in mind when making the wad, described in its text file, was spot on.
A set of three small base-style maps of varying themes (brickish, E1 brown/darkgreen, and doom2 lightgreen/E1 blue). Looks nice without being smothered in pointless detail, with some nice sourced lighting in particular. Difficulty balanced well, neither too easy nor frustrating.
Very little to annoy me really and I would recommend this wad if it weren't full of silly bugs. You can stop reading here if you don't care about map bugs. For anyone else:
- map01 has a monster that doesn't teleport because it doesn't cross its line, but only touches it;
- map02 has another, except this time the line special is set incorrectly, and worse, the door to the outhouse holding the red key has a walk trigger in front of it, which makes the map unwinnable;
- map03 also has switches blocked with walk triggers, but at least if you hunt around spamming the use key you can get lucky. Also, the bars around the yellow key have missing textures - it looks like they were changed from lowering-floor to raising-ceiling: their sides have lower but not upper textures.
Two small Doom 2 base maps using metal and light green. Mostly bland and functional architecture, very little "unnecessary" detail. No bad thing from my point of view but I think a bit of lighting variation would have worked wonders. Overall difficulty is acceptable but progression of difficulty was somewhat top-heavy, especially from pistol starts.
Lots of sound replacements: I think they're ones that have been used a lot in wads before as they all seemed familiar. Fairly annoyingly the demon "active" sound (i.e. sound a monster makes randomly when awake and chasing you) is replaced with something that really sounds like a zombie alert sound (monster has just spotted you, woken up, is now chasing) This is quite distracting.
Some minor dehacked work whose most noticable effect is to make the chaingun more stroboscopic.
Feels unfinished as well, the second map especially, you're given quite a lot of ammo right at the end and then the map just stops. No horrific bugs, I think if you go down the lift at the end of map01 you can't go back up again, but that's the very end of the map so you might not care.
In summary it was pretty good, didn't annoy me too much.
Ash Cave Doom episode 1 is replaced with nine tiny maps made out of 64x64 grey boxes. You can play the whole lot in a few minutes. Mostly complete rubbish although E1M8 was quite fun and I played it several times.
A Great Day in Hell A single corridor, not even aligned to the grid, with deliberately poorly chosen textures. 12 cyberdemons, a BFG, and a lot of cells and megaspheres. A worse version of E1M9 from x8a7.