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Congestion 1024 for Doom2






The 1024 Crew (full listing in the enclosed text file)

SP Doom2 (map 1-32)

New graphics: - YES
New Sounds: - NO
New Music: - YES
New Demo: - YES
Difficulty Settings: - YES

requires: GZdoom, Zdoom, or Prboom

Reviewer: DOOM4EVER

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32 maps no bigger than 1024 X 1024. Some maps have areas outside the 1024 X 1024 block but they are not part of the playing area. The idea was to focus on quick and fun gameplay.


The Review:



New Stuff: New textures, flats, some great music, and a new hud display. I especially liked some of the rock and wall textures. Oh and nice job on the title pic shitbag!

I used GZDOOM to test these and had no homs or other errors with that port.
Let me start off by saying that there is way too much to talk about in these maps, and there's no way that I can cover all of the aspects of my experiences inside these cramped halls, twisting rock faces, dark pits, abandonedfactories, hellish bases, and ravaged cities. And just think that all of these maps are 1024x1024 or smaller!!! These maps are for those of us who like close-medium quarters in battle and don't mind going toe to toe with the fiercest of hell's minions in such spaces. I must say that these are not easy, with some maps taking me as long as 10 MINUTES on UV. That's right, imagine being in a map that's only 1024x1024 for 10 minutes. Now some of them I started with as little as 4 health because of surviving by the skin of my teeth in the previous map so it's understandable that I might take my time in such a situation. It got so bad at one point that I had to punch down 2 hell knights in the level "Gothic" (I beleive that was the name) which I had wounded with my double shottie. Get used to punching down demons and finishing off monsters with your fists/chainsaw in order to save for your double shotty. Now let's go a little deeper into these maps...


Level Design:

    I was surprised at the variance of themes in the maps, use of traps, height of some maps to add length to the levels, the creative switch use, the indian jones style switches that require you to walk over them, and the placement of enemies in tight corners. I also didn't feel like I was in a 1024x1024 cell, mostly because of the creative design by authors who created a world beyond your playable restrictions. I wasn't sure if the ability to jump was ever intended for these maps but I did it anyway to get to several secrets or to get over annoying demons at times. The extreme level of detail in some areas was staggering, such as the abandonned complex with broken ceilings and bridges. Little things such as broken doors being held up by crates really made me appreciate the time and effort placed into these maps. 3-d effects were used to create some nice eye candy as well as cool bridges and railings. There were some really creative uses of the normal doom engine technology as well, such as wires that snaked up to tv's, ducts that ran above your head and into the ceiling, pumping cylinders, cracked lights, a cracked switch, and some other stuff I'll let the player discover. Shadows were also very well done and added some incredible atmosphere to the maps. Some of the maps had lights interacting with each other, which I know from experience takes a lot of tedious designing but looks awesome! I also enjoyed the lights that only hit the floor but not the ceiling, such as spotlights and windows.


    One thing that many players may find annoying were the archviles who populated nearly every level. (I love fighting these guys so even when one attacks me in a square room with NO where to hide I still don't mind because with careful timing you can solo an archie in the open with the double shotty. You just have to get him to play his pain animation at the right time). So if you don't have the skills some of the monsters which appear in the cramped levels can seem a little unfair. You need to strafe and take advantage of every corner that these designers give you in order to survive. Especially when you're up against revenants, barons, and mancubi. Monster placement made these levels really fun to play and you never knew where the next trap was coming from because of the extensive detail in each map and creativity of the level designers. Expect some nasty traps, ambushes, and the old teleport-behind-the-player-just-after-becoming-visible trick. Going back to the archies, I especially loved when an archvile would teleport into the last room you had fought in so that all those demons that you just sent back to hell could have a second (or third, or fourth....) whack at you. Another thing I liked about the monster/trap placement was that it was different in every map. You didn't ALWAYS get ambushed on pushing a switch. You didn't ALWAYS have walls openning behind you with a chaingunner ready to write his name in your back. And then sometimes switches didn't have any traps at all and this variance really kept me on my toes (loved it!). I look forward to playing this megawad a second time mostly because of the numerous challenging battles presented by these maps. I especially loved the ambushes which forced me to charge groups of attacking monsters in order to get out of the "kill zone." That's just good level testing by the author.



Every map was different when it came to the difficulty. Some maps were hard to finish without punching down a few monsters to conserve ammo, while others gave enough rockets and shotgun ammo to go to town on your enemies. Basically if you are careful throughout you will be able to save up during the easier levels to prepare for the harder ones. Also, like the ammo, the health amounts in each level varied from map to map. In most instances you had to scrape through levels with < 15 health, but often the next level would have some starting health waiting for you (usually no more than 35 total). I tried to use very few save slots to make these maps as fun as possible, and there were times where I scraped through battles with 1 health when I could of gone back to the previous save point knowing what traps were coming. But this hairy combination of low health and never knowing when the next cache of ammo/medipacks were coming made for an extremely entertaining dooming experience, which forced me to stay on my toes and keep my weapons changing depending on the situation. Another aspect to these maps was that you had to kill like 99% of the enemies in order to finish every level! This is because of the tight quarters that you are forced into by the 1024x1024 restriction on the maps and just good design. So if you are the kind of person who likes to "speed run" doom maps stay away from these! This is in your face, action packed, hallway to hallway dooming that will leave your fingers tingling and your face sweating.


Favorite Map:
House of Shadows was my favorite map...
The music was great.
I loved the quake symbol that flashed in one area.
I loved the platforms that moved up and down in a set pattern, making the battle there EXTREMELY interesting.
The combination of close quarters, nice design of light fixtures, constantly revisiting areas, perfect setup for the shotty, and some barons showing up in there with just enough room to fight them, made for an entertaining, fast-paced map that was difficult but not so hard that I needed to save every three seconds. Not saying it was easy though, in one hairy situation a staircase with a single hole in the railing was enough to give me the edge against 2 barons: without it I'd of been toast! I really appreciate the amount of time it took to make those light fixtures, especially the ones that interact with each other or nearby architecture such as a staircase or hole in the floor.

I had one serious complaint:
The map where you are forced to die at the end was tough but not impossible (Gothicka by shitbag). You can see (if the screen shot is up) at one point I had to punch my way through 2 hell knights that I had partially wounded with my double shotty ! It was hard but after a few tries I got the job done and then ran to the exit (which sends you to a little square room where you must die to complete the level). Then I got really pissed because the next level I'm stuck with just a pistol against a group of imps, shotgunners (out of reach so I can't get their ammo initially), an archie half way across the map, one or two revants on posts at eye level, several lurking cacodemons, and oh yeah, 2 barons start in the room next to you. Did I mention that the entire area is filled with shoot-through windows? Yeah that level was impossible. You don't have the ammo to kill those guys and I even id-clipped to check for secrets but there are none close to the start location. Basically this map was placed at the wrong location in the mega wad. You don't have the player forced to die in the previous level then to have him face a level where you are REQUIRED to have ammo/weapons from a previous one. I couldn't even find nearby starter weapons like a shotgun or chaingun. At least give me a freakin' chance!!! I can't pistol whip monsters greater than a hell knight in close quarters!!!

Overall Score: 9.0
The only architectural mistakes I could find were some sky textures that went "into" walls. Must have just been areas the designer felt you couldn't come across and I usually only found them when on top of secrets and in other hard to reach areas. I'm not sure if you should be able to jump in some of these maps but if you do you can beat the "dead simple" replacement level by running into the middle and jumping to the teleporter there. Also there seemed to be quite a mix of authors who worked together and others who just did a map on their own and placed it randomly in the wad. Those areas of the megawad that "linked" levels (like having a peice of the previous level visible but not reachable) were really cool and gave you a sense of travelling through areas. But then you would beat a level and just be randomly placed in a different area and the feeling of purposeful venturing would be lost. Other than the "caco district" level where you must start with a pistol and 50 rounds (you are forced to die in the previous one) I had no complaints in the difficulty section of these maps. The placement of that level hurt the megawad as a whole. There is no way to beat it because it assumes you have the shotty and chaingun already, hence the box of shells and bullets that are near your starting location. If you change "caco district" to maybe the level before "Gothicka" it becomes possible or maybe give the player some starting guns!!! Anyway, overall the levels were fun, creative, and forced me to evolve my close combat strategy to meet the needs of each map. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this megawad and said "WOW" more than once going through the awesome architecture. And to think each map is only 1024x1024...
One final thought: Level 30 is a must play! I absolutely love the ending... even though for some reason I couldn't kill the monster spawner, maybe I wasn't hitting his head correctly or something. Anyway it's a really cool level and a great closer for the megawad.











































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