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.