- Title: Danne’s E1
- Author: Daniel “dannebubinga” Jakobsson
- Game: Doom
- Engine: Vanilla
- Game Type: Singleplayer/Cooperative
- Total Maps: 9
- Release Date: 2013
Before I get into reviewing the wad, I’ll start by reviewing the wad’s description. From experience, I understand letting go of a wad if you no longer have your heart in making it, so I’m glad he wrapped it up and released it. However, the author is seemingly pretty dismissive of his own work as well, describing it as a “boring shitfest” after having played wads like SoD and Sunder. I disagree with this sentiment. There is a niche for everything, and while many people enjoy the brutal difficulty provided by wads like Sunder, some also enjoy short and sweet rides like this mapset that adapt more easily to less-skilled players (like me).
What we have here is an episode one replacement with maps that take on the familiar theme of Romero-styled tech-bases, and though they probably do not follow Romero’s mapping style 100% like many mappers have attempted, the liberties taken only help it. Knee Deep in the Dead’s textures and aesthetic are solely used throughout the entire episode, but I noticed that the decor seems to become less classic-E1 and more individualized toward the later half of the episode (a welcome touch). Though the layouts sometimes seem complex, they are usually quite straightforward and quick to navigate. Most secrets are pretty easy to spot, but finding them is satisfying, since they usually serve to extend the map’s layout in interesting ways rather than simply being square closets containing items. The opposition consists of Doom’s E1 assortment of zombies, imps, demons, and the usual boss. However, the author manages to ramp up the challenge with this limited bestiary by both upping the monster count and providing various situations in which the monsters can ambush you (such as by heavier use of teleport traps). All in all, nice looking maps with layouts that are fun to navigate and paint red.
The author claims that this episode was simply a way for him to learn the ropes of making maps, but I think it is a decent mapset that stands fairly well on its own. If you don’t mind playing another episode one-styled mapset (and who doesn’t, considering there are enough episode one bases to cover Phobos’s surface area twice over), I recommend giving this wad a shot.