- Title: MWDoom – Episode 1: What dwells within…
- Author: Michael ”Magic-Walker” Neuhoff
- Game: Doom
- Engine: Gzdoom
- Game Type: Singleplayer/Coop
- Total Maps: 9
- Release Date: 2014
MWDoom Episode 1 is a nine (8 normal + 1 secret) map GZDoom episode for Doom 2. From the little story that can be gathered from the context of the map names and endgame text, it appears our hero must clean out yet another invasion in some place probably called Tharsis.
Though the episode is structured like a Doom episode (complete with a cute “you are here” intermission map screen), there isn’t much of a consistent theme between the maps. Instead we get nine individualized maps with distinct atmospheres using mostly stock Doom and Doom 2 resources. Some examples include a bright red hellish level, a brick tech-base in a sea of nukage, and bright-grey tech-base with crates galore. The maps are cleanly textured, and have the layers of detail you usually see in modern wads. Little ZDoom additions to the maps include decorative slopes, effects pertaining to fluids, and ambient skies.
Map progression is linear for the most part, though the layouts do have occasional loops to make traveling to an earlier part of the map easier, as well as small hidden branches with secrets. Various rooms contain interesting architecture for the player to navigate, which is always a plus. The levels are only moderately difficult, and though challenge does ramp up in the later levels, it is always pretty manageable. The trick to most encounters is patience: clear out a room before pressing any switches or moving to the next area, and you’ll be comfortably safe. This is possible since monsters are usually contained to the rooms you meet them in, and though the maps are filled with monster closets, it is rare to be caught by surprise. Expect to meet most members of Doom 2’s cast throughout the episode. Don’t panic however, since you will also be carrying the trusty super-shotgun, which performs much of the legwork in this mapset’s fights. Though the ZDoom engine is used mostly for aesthetic purposes, scripting is occasionally used to lock you into an area until you clean it out.
One hiccup I had was in the map MW1M6. I just could not figure out how to get the silly red key in the room full of crates, despite being able to see the crates that led as a set of stairs to retrieving the key. Though jumping was disabled in the wad, I propelled myself over a crate with a rocket blast to reach the set of stairs, and was able to obtain the key as well as enough health to make up for the damage I incurred. Other than this, I found the episode to be a fun set of straight-forward small-to-medium sized maps. I recommend giving it a shot, and I look forward to seeing what the author may come up with for a second episode.