DooM Nexus: Crossing Pipes Review

My 2 Cent Take on Crossing Pipes

Crossing Pipes - scifista42
Doom2 with ZDooM - Solo - 29342 bytes

.: Overview

This is a single map for DooM2 that requires ZDooM or its derivatives. It's quite a small level, whose salient features are its sector economy and its paucity of ammo. While it is rather plain-looking, a few of the fights are fairly enjoyable. It may very well be the author's first released map, as a search of the idgames archives did not yield any other results.

.: Ten Sectors

This map is an attempt at creating giant, underground pipes (at least in the initial section of the map); the use of slopes and the BLAKWAL2 texture works reasonably well in creating this illusion. The level is built around a self-imposed limitation of ten sectors, and considering this fact the map is well-constructed. As some of those sectors are sloped, and the author has used self-referencing to stay within the 10-sector limit, some areas are vast and have a surreal appearance (see second screenshot). The dark, straight walls are punctuated with occasional windows that reveal the hellish infestation just beneath the surface, but for the most part the look is uniform (uninteresting, some may say), with little texture variation. Textures are properly aligned, and the constructs have an air of mapping competency.

The game is linear, in the sense that there is really only a single path you can take to progress; it is non-linear in the sense that you will return to areas you've previously cleared. You will require the blue key, although the author hands it to you right before you'll need it. Aside from that, you'll use several switches intended to open up areas to allow you to proceed. In other words, everything you do is designed to funnel you into set-piece battles.

.: Watch That Ammo

The map starts with some promise, with you standing at a "crossroad" and enemies at all exit points. The supershotgun that you pick up immediately will get a good workout as you dart up to the one-eyed wonders and dance maniacally around them. If you find the poorly-marked secret area you'll be able to arm yourself with heftier hardware, but even if you don't, the weapons you pick up as you go along are more than adequate to quell the raging masses. What you won't find, however, is a generous supply of ammo. Make every shot count, otherwise you'll find yourself with a paltry 10 bullets in your magazine and facing a pair of hungry demons. I chose to beat them into submission sans berserk fists, wanting to save my meager supply of bullets for what might lie wait around the corner. A little later I was in a similar situation, but facing a very pissed off revenant. Can you say "frustrating"? After bringing up saved games a few times I managed to get past the choke points and add to my arsenal and supply. That's not to say that I ever felt totally stocked, and the boss battle at the end was touch and go. If you back away and snipe at the boss you'll likely squander away your stock and force yourself to squat like a duck while it shits all over you. Your best bet is to dart past it to the stash behind, and engage it at close quarters to improve your accuracy. It also makes for a much more exiting challenge. You are given health packs at strategic locations, but there is an absence of armor whatsoever.

.: Wrap Up

Despite the plain look of the game and the shortage of ammo, this is an enjoyable map in parts. I recommend it, if for no other reason than to experience a ZDooM map in ten sectors.

The Crossing Pipes
Vast & Surreal
Boss Fight in Tight Quarters