DooM Nexus: Space Communications Review

My 2 Cent Take on Space Communications

Space Communications - Matt "TheBraggle" Napier
Doom2 - Solo - 53493 bytes

.: Overview

This is a single map for DooM2 that features two new music tracks (title screen music, and Map01 music), a new night sky, and a new lighting texture that does not appear to have been used in the game. Map design is competent (albeit with some minor errors) and the look is slick, but the gameplay tends towards the easy. [Incidentally, the wad includes an incipient Map02, but there are no enemies and there's no way out of it.] Oh, and this appears to be the author's third release.

.: Competent Design with Some Pitfalls

You find yourself in a space port, armed with your trusty side-arm. One of the first things you notice about this map is how well-lit it is. Thankfully, what you see is pleasing to the eye - wall and ceiling details are nicely done without being over-the-top, and the texturing complements the map and is consistent with the theme. For being one of the author's first maps, this bodes well for future maps. There are a few texture misalignments, and the author could do well to learn the rudiments of texture unpegging, but otherwise the appearance is reasonably solid. The one visual glitch appears if you use DooM.exe (or chocolate-doom.exe) and look out the windows at the sky. Being a limitation of vanilla DooM, sectors that use sky flats and ceilings will display the dreaded hall-of-mirrors effect; using a suitable source port eliminates this problem.

The design is relatively simple, with some key-searching, switch-pressing, and backtracking. But the map's layout lends itself to finding things easily, and you can speed through the level if you wish. Things work the way they ought to, with a couple of notable exceptions. When approaching the switch in the first area accessed through the yellow-key door, a lift is lowered and a chaingunner is released from a closet. If you step into the closet (say to pry the chaingun from its former owner's cold, dead fingers) you can find youself trapped in the closet, as there is no switch to lower the lift from inside. (And, not surprisingly, the correct sidedef of the lift is not textured, causing HOM.) The second error is caused by improper use of the door-open special - opening the blue-key door is meant to open an adjacent door as well, releasing the enemy within. Unfortunately, the adjacent door does not open, with the main consequence being that you'll never get 100% stats.

.: A Cakewalk in the Park. Heh.

In keeping with the position of this level in the Map01 slot, you face mostly very easy opposition. There are a couple of nice traps, one of which pits you against the ravening hordes in a tight area; by-and-large, however, you will have plenty of room to maneuver. You are provided with a modest arsenal, but it is more than adequate to enforce discipline against those that step out of line. There's a good amount of armor, an adequate number of healing items, and not an excessive amount of ammo (which, in this map, is a good thing).

.: Wrap Up

All-in-all, this is a map that is short (two-minutes short) and sweet. It does look and feel like a space port, and the music and night sky go well with the theme. Despite its foibles, I suggest you try this map out.

Clever Little Trap
At the Blue Key
Decent spaceport architecture