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By "Virgil the Doom Poet" Homepage dark_c -needs sourceport


For too long had this wad been waiting to be reviewed. Not that I knew this level would not be good, thus pushing the deadline for ages, because I had been playing some other levels by the author before and knew that he stands for quality design. So I took on Dark Castle expecting a good Doom gaming experience. Did it let me down? No, not really, but...

I wasn't blown away either. The detail is there and he's really managed to build quite an impressive castle. A little repetitive in design, but well thought out nevertheless. There's everything you'd expect would be there and the massive amount of new textures and flats together with a replacement sky really finishes a job well-done. The author put in the more usual library scene together some dungeons. Seen before, but done in a rather scary and original way. However, there's also a great portion of creativity in there with areas not similar to anything I ever seen before in wad. All in all a very good mixture.

The gameplay is another story. A very medium experience leaning a bit to the tedious and boring side. In a wad consisting of three levels with an ongoing story well connected into each other, I would have made it a bit more interesting. Maybe he should have saved all those Arch Viles (of which you face more than a couple, and sometimes in very narrow spaces), Spider Masterminds and Cyberdemons till the end of the level-set. Facing a Spider Mastermind in level 1 in one of the four towers aren't really that creative. A mood must be built up forcing the player to get scared of moving to end of the level-set knowing that he'll be facing some of the worst creations alive! And although he's included many good ways of letting the monsters appear and attack you, they aren't used enough. Still, prepare to be shocked once in awhile! Gameplay is medium and holds that dreaded anti-climax in the end.

There was a also a very suitable new music score which suits the levels fine. So don't worry about downloading this 3 level-set. There's definitely some good entertainment in here, however "Ash2Ash" or his latest crazy, acid, sick and stomach turning "The Lost Seraphim" are probably better.


Score: 75%