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By Jon Washburn Homepage sac_bld -needs sourceport


Although growing older by the minute this enormous level still represents a good example of some of the more serious level making. The fact that it must have taken forever to make those very impressive and persuasive lighted hallways more than says it.

I can't hide the fact that I was rather impressed with the way the author had chosen to pay so much attention to lighting in this level. Especially in the before mentioned hallways. Every carefully placed candle throws out a tremendous amount of light and does not seem to stop until hitting solid rock after having perfectly cast its glow out of its respective alcove. A school example of how this is to be done, one which many authors could learn from.

A sad fact is it however, that this isn't quite fulfilled to a more gratifying extent throughout the entire level. On the other hand that would probably have meant forcing the author to still be working on this level since it's absolutely and most certainly extremely big! This level holds some of the biggest classic huge outdoor areas seen to date. A good thing that the Doom marine runs as fast as he does, because this could have never been made in any newer First Person Shooter. Again, they're huge! And somewhat useless too in certain areas. They add to the uniqueness of the level and to the fact that it's some sort of temple you're wading through. Supposedly you're only sent in to investigate, but I seemed to smash the place and all in its inhabitants to pieces! Ohh well... The big outdoor areas are off course not a total waste of space. They hold some Serious Sam like fights with hordes of Imps and Cacodemons, and an occasional Arch Vile. First of all every horde-of-Imps fights I have ever fought have always been tricky. Since you can't hear the fireballs coming and the Imps spread out you'll have to be on alert all the time and secure everything 360 degrees around you. You might be able to outrun all the monsters in these big areas but not the Arch Vile's attacks! No matter how far you run, if first he has you targeted, there's no running away or dodging. All this together with Cacodemons flying high and low, you're really in need of all that space! It's just too sad that the big buildings you have to look at are rather plain and bare to look at; a contrast to most of the interior design on the inside. Can't have it all!

There's another tricky part. Though simple it's quite a unique one. Namely the fact that almost all of the ammunition have to be picked up by fallen bodies scattered throughout the rooms and areas. This means that if you don't scout every part of the current area very carefully you might miss an important clip or shell. Sometimes you have to run away from some monsters (and watch your back for Hell Knight or Baron of Hell firing) to find some life keeping ammunition ahead. Another interesting thing was the fact that most of the health have to be picked up in what seems like a residential quarter with lots of beds and such. Not exactly a time saving solution I might add. And it adds to the difficulty of the level in another way other than just putting in tons of monsters.

Some interesting ideas correct the flaws that come naturally with large open areas in a Doom level. Not many authors can handle this but its seems that Jon Washburn did it OK without it ever being perfect. I liked this level, and I think you will too.


Score:  71%