1024: ABC Edition by Ilya "Joe" Lazarev is a "megawad" for
vanilla Doom II. Why the quotation marks? Let's talk about it.
While maybe not the hardest damn wad out there, this one does
put up a fight, though not necessarily in enjoyable ways. On
most maps in this wad, you are immediately pitted against an
angry horde and have to act quick to annihilate them and force
some breathing room into the situation. Being a 1024 style mod,
there generally isn't a whole lot of room to maneuver, so you'll
be doing a lot of sidestepping in tight quarters. Occasionally,
you'll run into some Cyberdemons and a single Spider Mastermind.
But by the time you do, you'll already have the BFG, most
Not a whole lot more to add here. Lots of enemies in tight
fights. Nothing too challenging.
Here's where the mod really suffers. In principle, all of the
maps are designed by a letter of the English alphabet. Why not
something like Chinese or Korean? Eh, it doesn't matter. Point
is, the maps are laid out in a 1024x1024 box (if you aren't
familiar with the 1024 series of maps, spoiler alert). But what
really makes this one stand out, and not in a good way, is that
in most maps, it's just a box. Box after box after box. No areas
to peer out, no landscapes to at least make it seem like you're
in a building or hellish arena in a field of flames... Just
single sided linedef boxes.
For the most part, fights are laid out pretty well, aside from
the hiccups of being in close quarters to some pissed off imps
and revenants when you start the levels. However, Lazarev does
something incredibly... I dunno, lame might be a good word for
it. Now, I realize that the mod is based around the English
alphabet, which has 26 letters, and Doom II has 32 maps. So the
author scatters "skip maps" throughout the wad - five in total,
bringing the map count to 27, NOT 32 (hence "megawad"). I'm
sorry, but this is just sloppy, and comes across as lazy. This
could easily be solved with a MAPINFO lump for ZDoom users. And
yes, the skip maps are 64x64 boxes where every wall is an exit.
Detailing is practically nonexistant. It's fine that the author
wanted to focus more on gameplay elements than detailing, but
this kind of comes across as 1994-ish. And also, one of the maps
has a really ugly HOM on a staircase in Mount Pain II (see
screenshot). Come on, man.
I really wasn't sure what score to award here, but some bad
design choices leads to an unwinnable scenario on MAP30. There
is no rocket launcher or any rocket ammo on this map. At all.
This makes a pistol start impossible, due to Romero's head only
taking splash damage (BFG doesn't do that, so...). On top of
that, if you play the entire mod from start to finish, you've
likely exhausted your rocket ammo, which means after all that,
you can't beat this mod. Period. Unless you cheat, you're just
f*cked. Which is a real shame, because aside from that, the
final level isn't that hard, even with three cyberdemons and two
Overall (Not an Average): 4
I really didn't enjoy this wad. With the 1024 concept, this
really comes across as a "me too" wad, without the flare.
Execution seemed very sloppy, and being unable to finish the mod
kinda leaves a bad impression. I can't really recommend this
one, unless you're feeling particularly masochistic.