By now you’ve probably noticed that I lean more toward bigger WADs and megaWADs to talk about on What’s Awesome, Doom? As a result, I have a growing list of one-map WADs I’ve either enjoyed or been meaning to play that’s just been getting longer and longer for years now… You know what the means! That’s right — it’s time for another special episode! Welcome to the One-Map WADstravaganza: eight single-level releases from the last five years or so. Let’s jump right to it, before I get wrapped up in some long, masturbatory introduction! Presented in alphabetical order:
Mechadon is known mostly for his contributions to community projects and multi-author megaWADs — projects in which he consistently steals the show. He’s also made more than his fair share of one-off maps, DM mapsets, co-op sets… What we’ve never seen from him is a solo, singleplayer mapset. Until now. And it was well worth the wait.
Scythe II and I have a complicated relationship. I was a massive fan of Scythe years before the sequel was a thought in my head, so when II was released, I jumped on it like a rabid wombat. In the beginning, I was blinded by love for Erik Alm and the Scythe name. As the initial high faded, I found myself a tad disappointed. It wasn’t quite there for me — not quite what Scythe had been. And back in those days, I had an strange preference for tech maps, of which there were only five or so buried in
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Nicolas Monti is an artist. Maybe the Picasso of Doom mapping. I’ve made a point of playing all his recent releases as they come. That includes my 2014 WAD Of The Year, Apostasy on Amalthea; one of my favorite WADs of 2015, Desecration on Thebe; and his most recent and expansive work, 2016’s Mano Laikas: A road to Gamzatti. Rounding out that roster is Erkattäññe, in my opinion Monti’s weakest WAD and yet the only one to win him a Cacoward. Erkattäññe didn’t work for me in large part because it was a Doom II WAD. Doom II‘s textures just don’t jive with
Breach is beautiful. “Intricate” or “detailed” would also be accurate descriptors, though you’ve often gotta steer clear of those words in Doom circles. I think both terms are starting to transition out of bad word status — in part thanks to creators like Viggles and projects like Breach — but in the past they were too often associated with maps that either include so much detail that the architecture interferes with player movement, or that focus on detail as a substitute for any kind of stimulating gameplay. And trust me, I wouldn’t be talking about Breach if either were the
If you’ve played Doom the Way id Did, its Lost Episodes are essentially more of the same. A little less id-like, maybe, but with a wider quality spectrum. Doom the Way id Did: The Lost Episodes, to put it indelicately, is six episodes of leftovers and cut maps that didn’t make it into the official DTWiD release. What you have to keep in mind when saying these maps were “cut,” though, is why they would have been cut. The strict rules of DTWiD mean that submitted maps could easily be, and often were, rejected not for being of low quality but
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.
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