31/12/2010 @15:11:54 ^19:18:23

Three more maps in two more wads by Dutch Devil / Morbid Doomer.

Evil Unleashed

Evil Unleashed is the name Doom was going to have before they called it Doom, I think. It's also the name of this map which is for Doom1 and replaces E1M1.

It's one of those maps that's like an entire mission, you know the ones like UAC_DEAD, Outpost 21 etc where you're in a base and you have to clean it out and to exit you need to go off into some other "Hell" section and retrieve an artefact to open the exit? Well it's like that, there's a few pentagram gates and the furthest one has the red key on it.

Architecture and texturing are pretty much spot on; the start is kind of blocky but it's not really a bad thing and the rest of the map is fine. The gameplay is fairly easy although there are are two or three big teleporter traps to contend with. It's more or less a really good map, as you'd expect from Dutch Devil.

The only weird thing about it is the placement of the keys really. It has a weird flow, it seems if you follow the "natural" way to do it you end up running all the way across an empty level, opening the yellow door, pressing a button and running halfway back again through the still-empty map to fetch the blue key. And you can get the red key without knowing what it is for. I don't know if maybe some more of the doors should be locked and the map repopulated via teleporter more often.

Unknown Project

Blood Boiler (MAP01) is a techbase. It's kind of a bit disjoint, being a central hub with doors around into different sections, but it's not too bad and you don't notice so much because you're too busy fighting - the battles are nicely staged and quite hard. Although it is a bit top-heavy (the red key section is much easier than the preceeding fights, I found)

Temple of Acheron (MAP02) a green stone castle, like something out of Episode 4 I guess. It's probably the better of the two maps, if only slightly. It's a bit less disjoint but probably just as top-heavy, although for much of the map you need to at least be careful and there is one fight towards the end that can go bad very quickly I've found.

While both maps are more or less completely separate, have completely different themes etc. (and should be played as such) they have their similarities (both have a secret area on a platform in the centre of a damage pool, for instance) Both very good maps, nicely made and textured, and not bad at all to play other than my usual nitpicks.

Finally I must mention the palette replacement. I don't like it. The basic game palette does the usual irritating desaturation of blue and green that we see in so many modern maps already - I could do without it but it's not too aggravating. But then it gets into the redscreen palettes and makes them... blackscreen. So I end up not noticing when I'm taking damage... Never mind what happens when you pick up a berserk box, the screen just goes darker for no reason. Bad idea. Fortunately they're easy to remove from the wad!