DooM Nexus: FlashLightPlayerClass Review

My 2 Cent Take on FlashLightPlayerClass

FlashLightPlayerClass_v01 - RV-007
ZDooM compatible - "Weapons" Mod - 24725 bytes

.: Overview

This mod replaces the DooM fist with a flashlight (via a new player class). Pressing the "fire" key casts a light that brightens the area in the player's vicinity. It never runs out of battery charge, and can be used at will. Using the "alt-fire" key swings the flashlight as a melee weapon. Picking up a berserk pack gives the player the corresponding increase in power when using the flashlight as a melee weapon.

On the face of it, this is a useful mod, with nice-looking graphics and a nice alternative attack mode. There have been many instances when I've treaded warily along darkened corridors in DooM and wished I had a flashlight. Such an inventory item would have made me less jumpy, and made me less apt to hurl my empty cup of coffee at whichever hapless mook poked his head through my doorway. Alas, as I discovered, this mod became less and less appealing as I dug deeper. [Before I get into the details, let me mention that this mod is a virtual copy of the flashlight in a mod named 6axis_beta1.wad, created in September 2011 by James "Jimmy" Paddock. The sprites, sounds, and the core behavior are 100% rips from 6axis. In his favor, the author does credit Jimmy for the original work.]

.: A Poor Cousin

The first issue I had was with the nature of the light cast by the item. It behaves more like a naked light bulb (radial glow) than a flashlight (focused beam). [I know that this is not a review of 6Axis, but for an example of how one expects a flashlight to behave check out that mod.] The second issue I had was with the weak glow that it cast. Take a look at the two screenshots to see the degree and nature of the brighness when the flashlight is activated. The third issue I had was that the fist has been completely disabled (unless you use the IDKFA cheat code, in which case the fist becomes available to you again). [Admittedly, the flashlight does the same thing as the fist, but I saw no reason to disable it.] The fourth issue is that the text file makes no mention that the item serves as a melee weapon by using alt-fire. [I happened to notice the relevant section of the DECORATE definition, which is how I figured it out.]

.: Copy & Paste Gone Wrong

I opened up the wad in a resource editor and looked over the various bits of code. The flashlight DECORATE definition is lifted from Jimmy's code, sections of it commented out (e.g. the parts that require the battery to be recharged), and four or five lines of minor code added in to change it from a beam light to a radial light and to assign the click sound when the flashlight is selected and de-selected. The SNDINFO code is a copy-and-paste of Jimmy's entire code, including sound defintions for actors that do not exist in this author's work (i.e., bloatware). In addition, while the sound definition includes two alternative sounds for the flashlight swing, the wad itself only contains one of the sound files.

.: Wrap Up

All-in-all, this mod has some utility (albeit limited) but lacks spit and polish. If you want a flashlight that does not need battery recharges and casts a weak radial glow, then this wad may be for you.

Without Flashlight
With Flashlight