Dead is an old map. The author's
first steps into the world of Doom level designing is included in this map.
So is there in purpose in reviewing it at all? Is it not a piece of
"something that comes of a rectum"? No!
OK, there's nothing impressive in
the architecture at all. Dead is not filled with detail, excellent shading
and lighting and other great features and tricks seen in most maps today.
However nice "features" such as floors and ceilings lowering and
rising simultaneously and the plenty ness of hidden rooms and secrets really
makes it a bearable experience. You never quite know when a wall will lower
exposing you to an open attack from all sides from hordes of imps and
demons. And rest assured the ammo balance is better than most other giving
you an action filled and tense gameplay. The only problem is that all these
small and nice things are totally hidden behind all the ugliness this level
displays. It's really an excellent example of yesterday's way of designing
with all its misaligned and not un-pegged walls together with its overall
either very dark or very light levels in the rooms. Not only that, but you
can't really tell what sort of world you're roaming through because of the
constant shifting of styles ranging right from gothic to more earthly
scenery. All very weird and most of all old-school; it's like the author was
so trilled with his new found hobby that he simply had to use every texture
and flat available in the doom2 iwad. But we've all been down that road.
The strength of this map is it's
gameplay. Although not as good as A#1 (reviewed also here on The RecesS)
Dead has many funny and most importantly tricky and challenging aspects to
it. An example being if you find the BFG (very well hidden with a hard and
challenging way to it) a tiny door opens revealing a lonely imp when you
pick it up and the inexperienced player will fire the weapon because of
nerves and use the valuable shot. And no, it didn't happen to me, sheesh!
Just like the author wants it, Dead is filled with secrets. I mean, I
thought I'd found almost every one of them, but at the end screen it said
60%..... hmmm, better try it one more time. And that's also the map's strength;
it actually makes you want to play it one more time, just to try and find
all the secrets. However, it irritated me a little bit when I gradually
learned that many secret rooms are hidden inside other secrets rooms, umph!
I liked playing it, but the age
shows. I can't give it a higher score, because there's a lot of other and
better alternatives out there.