DooM Nexus: Base32 Review

My 2 Cent Take on Base32

Base32 - Caleb "Radromity" Sizemore
Doom2 limit-removing - Solo - 47535 bytes

.: Overview

This is a single map for DooM2, and (despite the absence of this particular detail in the text file) it appears to be one of the author's first maps. [A search of the idgames database shows a wad named Outpost, released by the same author in August 2011.] The map is competent, showing some areas of promise, but it has the stamp of an author new to DooM mapping. Health and armor are moderately well-balanced, but there is an excess of ammo and weaponry, considerably reducing the tension and excitement in the game.

.: The Good ....

First, the good: This map has a decent-enough design, with occasional side areas and a "loop around" progression that shows areas that you will visit/have visited. There is some back-tracking required, and a nice mix of indoor/outdoor areas. The architecture remains techbase-themed throughout, with some nice gradation in the appearance of the areas (e.g., some areas are computer rooms, some are corridors, one area is a pipe-filled sewer, and the exit is a surreal pit.) Some of the areas (e.g., the start area, the central outdoor area, and the exit area) have an appealing look, and there is height variation throughout. The early fights are somewhat enjoyable, and there are a couple of traps that may keep you on your toes. The single secret area is cleverly hidden and appropriately marked; as a bonus, it takes you back to the start area if you wish to cut across and go back.

.: The Bad ....

Next, the bad: There is an excessive amount of ammo throughout the map. I played at UV skill, and exited the map with 197 bullets, 92 shells, and 11 rockets. And I was being liberal with my ammo usage. The map includes a rocket-launcher, which is entirely redundant, as the toughest enemies you face are demons (and mostly at distances that allow you to snipe at them with a shotgun.) Moreover, the author does not make you work for most of the weapons and power-ups. There is a liberal sprinking of health, but the SoulSphere near the map exit seemed entirely gratuitous. Thankfully, the blue armor is only available in a secret area.

.: The Ugly ....

Finally, the ugly: The author has not paid attention to texture alignment and texture unpegging. The backtracking, of which I spoke earlier, is mostly pointless (as no new enemies pop up in previously-cleared spaces). The blue key is right behind the yellow key door and there are no enemies guarding it. And let's not forget the lift to the chaingun & ammo alcove at [x=1360; y = -1000], which does not have a switch to lower the lift once you step onto the alcove, effectively locking you in. All of these give the map a clearly amateurish air.

.: Wrap Up

The author seems to have a good eye for visuals, but can learn a lot about creating exciting and challenging gameplay. However, given that this is probably one of his early maps, let's give him a free pass on this one.

Decent techbase architecture
Some theme variation
Exit area