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Advanced engine needed : ZDoom
Primary purpose : Single
Title : Awakening
Filename : AAAWAKE.WAD
Release date : April 11, 2010
Author : Emil Brundage


Reviewed by: SEB


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Difficulty: 6


Awakening is a massive arena style map with a ton of enemies and inescapable death traps. You don't even get a moment to breathe as you wade through countless armies of angry cretins. On Ultra Violence there are custom enemies borrowed from realm667, which just adds to the carnage as many of them are over powered. However, turning the difficulty down a notch to Hurt Me Plenty removes all custom enemies and leaves you only with the ones found in vanilla Doom, which is a nice touch. As you can see from the screenshots, the quantity of enemies isn't too overboard, but the difficulty arises from navigating tricky areas and a frustrating lack of more powerful weaponry. I could only find the occasional rocket scattered here or there which were used up in a matter of seconds, and neither the shotgun nor the chaingun were enough to survive! With a more generous arsenal, I might have given this a higher score for Difficulty. I like to try and play individual maps from start to finish without quick saving, but due to the sheer size and brutality of this level, I wouldn't recommend that to my worst enemy. Unfortunately I didn't have the patience or skill to finish the map, so I challenge you all to put me to shame.


Design: 8


The map is well thought out and it is obvious that loads of work has gone into producing it. The difference between areas is fresh and exciting, with features such as underground tunnels and conveyor belts (though don't ride the conveyor belt to the end or you'll inexplicably die). This keeps the combat feeling fresh as there is a balance of large open areas and tight confined ones. Although the texture theme is mostly mechanical, some of the underground areas make use of the Hell textures to really add a sense of foreboding. The lighting is okay, but tends to rely on huge sectors all sharing the same light level, and could benefit from a little more variety. When you view the stage map you can see that the stage is comprised of a large encircled pentagram, although this is impossible to tell in-game. We even get given some player-operated crushers designed to ensnare large groups of adversaries, alas these weren't enough to help me survive.


Playability: 5


There are several inherent problems with this map which unfortunately bring the Playability score right down. Firstly, it's for Doom 1 and not Doom 2. This means we are lacking the super shotgun, and that would have definitely tipped the odds in our favour. As Doom 1 has proven, taking out Barons with the standard shotgun is just laborious you NEED the super! I also can't understand why the author would design a map for Doom 1 and then add custom enemies. He could have used the much wider range of Doom 2 enemies to mix up the action, and then added custom enemies on top of that if he felt it was necessary. Secondly, it plays just like a Skulltag Invasion match, with new sections opening up periodically throwing bigger and bigger waves at the player. This begs the question: why wasn't it designed for Skulltag? It would have been so much more fun as a multiplayer Invasion game, or standard co-op Doom at the very least. I'm sure some people love playing these things solo, but personally I found it overwhelming. There wasn't a clear indication of what triggered which area to open up next, which did lead to confusion as I couldn't really work out a clear objective.


Overall: 7


This map has some clear potential. As I already said, I'd love to see it in a multiplayer setting and would have given it a much higher score if it was, but as a solo map it just didn't work for me.














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