Unholy Realms megawad for Doom 2

October 22, 2014




The Review



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Design 7

     I was tempted to give this map a higher design score but level 1 was very basic in it's design. And, as often happens in megawads, the design got much better as I progressed from map to map. For instance, level 1 was, as I said - very basic - nothing to write home  about. Not bad, just nothing really that makes you go - WOW, that is really nice. In level 2 the author began to incorporate some decent lighting. By level 3 it seems that the author was beginning to hit his stride, incorporating some nicely done 3dish elements into the map. The only downside was all the switches, which to me is something that I try to avoid as a mapper but it wasn't incredibly distracting from the gamplay - just enough to mention. Level 4 incorporated alot of detail, which is something that the author did well in many of the maps but things like nukage that has no effect on the player is a wasted texture and detracts from the design element - if you're going to use that texture, you have to cause damage to the  player, or what is the point? In level 8 there was one battle that I came across that was essentially pointless - again, why do something if it serves no purpose. Conciseness in a wad is a good thing - everything you do should have some reason for existing - just like a book - everything you learn about the characters, everything they do, should have some sort of purpose towards fulfilling the storyline - same here.




Gameplay: 6.5


     I would have loved to have given this a higher score but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The author favored arena type scenarios, which is fine and doesn't detract from the final score at all but the traps he set were relatively predictable in their scheme and he continued to use variations of the same traps throughout the various maps so that even though the battles themselves (especially as you got further into the megawad) were relatively difficult,  you knew they were coming - there were no surprises. I used to use "difficulty" as the heading for this section but difficulty is really a very relative term - it all depends on your idea of what difficult is. For some people, difficult could Nightmare while others might find Hurt me plenty to be difficult. So, I feel that is an outmoded method of determining the relative gameplay elements of a map.

As I said, this one was difficult - but  predictable. Not that I didn't get caught out here and there but even then, once you saw it - it was easy to conquer that particular trap. He even uses a fair amount of Archviles in these maps which I truly loath but except for a couple tricky spots, even they weren't that big of a deal. Also, you will (at least I did) find yourself with plenty of ammo/health in most situations. The author was fairly generous and since the chainsaw was available right from the get go - alot of ammo can be saved with judicious use of that particular weapon in circumstances where you'd like to conserve ammo or, just because you love chewing shit up with the chainsaw.  :-)

One last thought, which forced me to change the score from a 6 to a 6.5 because it does add to the gameplay, there were many sections where I had to strategize in order to defeat the swarming hordes. Forcing a player to strategize is awesome in my humble opinion. :-)



Playability: 8


     This is actually my highest score for this map and I guess to justify it, I have to define exactly what playability is. To ME, playability is the ability of a map/maps to draw you in and continue to play them. THAT is why these maps get this score. These maps definitely did that. I was mostly intrigued with some of the design elements - despite the minor things like nukage that doesn't damage the player (on more than one occasion), than anything else but it was also fun. I especially love getting some good old fashioned monster in-fighting going for my viewing and listening pleasure - it's fun to watch and saves ammo as well. More than likely, you will discover the first few maps to be rather easy but the difficulty (there's that word again) does increase and the maps are fairly entertaining and really, that's all we're looking for. Here's a pic of some of that sweet 3d I was talking about earlier:



Overall: 7ish


     This is sort of an average for the three categories above. Not exact by any stretch of the imagination, but I think you get the idea - it's a fun megawad with some really good design elements - a bit easy and predictable but at times really leaves you wondering how to get around a certain obstacle (that obstacle being the badasses keeping you from reaching your destination). At one point, I lured an archvile into a room away from the exit so he could do his damage there and then I quickly busted marine ass to the exit, mowing down a couple of revenants along the way that he had already resurrected (the bastard - that's why I hate them so much - destroying my hard work).


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