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Level Review: DARKEN.ZIP
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Overview

Jan Van der Veken, who created the Ultimate DooM episode Dawn Of The Dead, together with Travers Dunne organized this WAD. The Darkening is the first episode in a project to replace all three episodes. Some great textures and flats have been added, giving much of the episode a brown, Quake-like feel. The overall design quality is great; texture alignment and placement are well done, lighting is exceptional and layouts are believable. However, all of the maps are pretty small. Even the largest level can be completed in under 15:00. In addition, all levels, except one, are fairly easy. Most lack health, but if you're careful you can survive. Overall, this is an excellent episode created by some very talented people. The second episode contains maps both larger and more difficult, but players looking for a few quick levels to play will be delighted.


Scary
Jan Van der Veken
:54
Easy
A short and sweet Metal/Brick level. Like much of the episode it feels very similar to Quake. Design is good, with excellent use of the new textures... images/darkn_01.jpg

Bloody Hell
Jan Van der Veken
2:09
Easy
Brick design in another short level by Jan. This one's more along the lines of DooM2 than Quake. Light levels remain fairly high, but the atmosphere is definitely there. Those four Sergeants at the beginning are annoying... images/darkn_02.jpg

Entropia
John Bye
1:42
Easy
The smallest level in the episode, done in Brick style. It's pretty much just a series of small rooms with cool lighting connected by small hallways with cool lighting... images/darkn_03.jpg

Relentless
Travers Dunne
4:25
Hard
Though it contains very realistic outdoor construction, it still seems quite small. Good lighting all around. It also happens to be the toughest level in the episode. There's just barely enough ammo to get by, so it's a good idea to punch a few monsters. The lack of a Berserk Pack makes that a bit harder, though... images/darkn_04.jpg

Hand of Doom
Jan Van der Veken
4:09
Medium
Slime and Brick make up most of this level. It's a bit small, but with great design and lighting. Item placement is good, with a minor health shortage. You can run out of ammo if you're a terrible shot... images/darkn_05.jpg

The Mines of Death
Nick Baker
2:19
Easy
There's not much I can say about this one. It's too dark to see anything throughout most of the level. Gameplay is fair, but it's hard to fight monsters when you can't see them. Those two Revenants make good snipers, but they can take a bit too long to kill... images/darkn_06.jpg

Dead Simple 2
Nick Baker
3:29
Easy
My favorite level in the episode is this short, fast-paced masterpiece. It's more complicated than its predecessor, but the title still fits. Great item placement and you just have to love that Mancubi trap. Great job, Nick!!! images/darkn_07.jpg

Discordia
John Bye
4:31
Easy
A very realistic Base level, with an excellent layout that has you weaving in and out of earlier areas of the map. As with Entropia, John focuses more on lighting and detail than gameplay. I'm not saying this is an entirely bad thing; after all, it's an awesome level, visually. It's just not one you're going to play over and over. Plenty of action, but, with the exception of the Arch-Vile/Demon room, it's pretty easy. Altogether, it's the best level I've seen from John Bye. A very worthy effort... images/darkn_08.jpg

Military Complex
Jan Van der Veken
3:58
Medium
Jan returns to his favorite style with this Knee Deep in the Dead level. What could go wrong? In this case, absolutely nothing. An excellent design with a small dose of DooM2 thrown into the mix. The lighting is perfect, as is the gameplay... images/darkn_09.jpg

Under Earth
Travers Dunne
3:25
Medium
Another realistically designed level from Travers, this Brick level is quite small, but the awesome construction makes up for it. Low ammo if you use the wrong weapon at the wrong time... images/darkn_10.jpg

Stone Tyrant
Adam Windsor
2:11
Easy
Adam Windsor is king of the small, detailed, violent level (see also: Requiem). This one isn't hard, but it's definitely got its share of action. Good design and gameplay, of course. Adam, I appreciate all the rockets, but an RL would have been helpful.:-) An excellent finish to a great episode... images/darkn_11.jpg