John Romero is back, baby — and he’s brought a new Doom level with him. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Over twenty years after the game came out, Romero’s back with a freshly-baked map. Maybe the first of many, if we’re lucky.
It’s the holidays! Another Doomsday just a few days ago, and Christmas and New Years right on the horizon. There’s another sort of holiday to celebrate today, too: the 25th episode of What’s Awesome, Doom?, and just over three years that I’ve been doing the column! Yeah, I’ve really only done 25 episodes in all that time. What a professional! To celebrate the holiday season and these big landmarks, I’ve put together a special episode: one of those Top Ten lists the internet loves so much. Except this is a Top 13 — my personal most memorable maps: three official
Another Doom anniversary, another classic Doom-styled mapset. What better way to celebrate Doom‘s 22nd birthday than with what, in an alternate universe, could have been id’s official Doom levels? Doom the Way id Did is the Doom homage to end all Doom homages. Tired of mapsets only textured to look like E1 but that don’t play anything like it? Done with the straight lines and right angles of modern maps? This is the WAD for you: for the first time, a full, three-episode megaWAD that attempts to recapture the essence of id’s original levels in every possible way.
It’s weird to think that I’ve been doing this Doom thing for over a decade. 2002 is when I got into it, even if I did play Doom as a kid back in ’94. I was a teenager by 2002: no longer terrified of the pixelated demons, and newly equipped to navigate the internet and find PWADs to play. That’s where I found the three names that still embody that early time of wonder and discovery as I first stepped into the glorious world of Doom WADs: STRAIN, 2002 A Doom Odyssey, and Scythe. Returning to Scythe is like wrapping
Chris Hansen is the God King of the single-map WAD, and virtually his entire two-decade body of work, outside of the occasional community project contribution or collaboration with Paul Corfiatis, fits that mold. Hansen has been doing what he does, and doing it brilliantly, for a very long time. So, of course, here comes Monument to change all that.
Limitation projects. Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no escaping them. You see a lot of the standard bemoaning about the concept — “Why can’t anyone just make a normal WAD anymore?” — but the truth is you could do a lot worse with one of those “normal” WADs than you could with 50 Shades of Graytall. Of all the limitation projects that’ve come out in the last decade or more, 50 Shades may be the most compelling. The idea behind all these projects is to put creators in increasingly restrictive boxes — to force them to be more creative,
Sacrifice is the second WAD I’ve reviewed by a creator who is no longer with us. And that’s two too many. Just this past Sunday, news made it to Doomworld that Ty Halderman, one of the most prolific and beloved members of our community, had died on July 31st. I never knew the man, but everyone knows just how vital he was to Doom‘s legacy — and to the longevity of its modding scene. If not for his efforts to archive and catalog Doom WADs over the last twenty years, who knows where we would be now? I almost certainly
Oblivion is a Doom 1 episode by Stormwalker, who last year gave us the spectacular and surprisingly underrated Flashback to Hell. This is a lighter, more bit-sized release than Flashback was — one that you can probably finish in an afternoon, especially since it’s nice and easy on the challenge. It plays pretty casually, even on Ultra-violence, until the last couple maps, where the stakes rise, and rise quickly. In Oblivion, like Flashback to Hell, Stormwalker’s mapping style is unmistakable. Every room he creates is polished to perfection, without getting caught up in unnecessary details or going nuts with sector
Favillesco Alpha Episode: Apostasy on Amalthea was my personal WAD-of-the-Year in 2014. I came for the promise of a WAD made entirely out of Doom alpha textures, and I ended up staying for Nicolas Monti’s one-of-a-kind mapping technique and bizarre stylistic sensibilities. This year he returned with an unexpected sequel, Favillesco Alpha Episode 2: Desecration on Thebe, and I had to know if lightning could strike twice.
A draught excluder or draft stopper is used to eliminate cold draft and slow heat loss. It is placed in the bottom crack of doors and windows. – Wikipedia All of a sudden, so much of my life makes sense… Like what the heck that long, sand-filled thing I used to pretend was a scary snake as a kid was. Also what the heck the title of Thy Flesh – Turned into a draft-excluder means. The only remaining question: how the heck is this WAD so good?