I'm usually not a big fan of
doom and doom2,
I prefer quake and its verticality, but
since I'm currently reading some Lovecraft tales (they didn't age very
well), I thought about giving a try to
Shrine is a total conversion mod for Doom 2 set in a Lovecraftian inspired
world. Battle new demons with new weapons, while exploring ancient cathedrals
and eldritch worlds from the dark beyond.
I'm far from being an expert in doom levels, but I really liked this
Its atmosphere is astonishingly good: the monsters are really cool,
weapons have a distinctive appearance and have a good feeling (the
grenade-launcher is amazing ♥), and all the
environments are gorgeous: gloomy forests and cemeteries, deep caverns, dismal
manors, bleak mountains, … there is a really great Lovecraftian vibe
everywhere, supported by a top notch sound design and music. Moreover, the monsters
placement is top-notch, creating some credible scenery, like worshiping scenes
in obscene cathedrals, insane invocations of grotesque creatures, … also, it's
worth mentioning that the animation of the water cascades is astonishing!
In most of his stories, Lovecraft refers to impossible geometries,
elusive angles, seemingly moving spaces, intricate Arabesques roused into a
kind of ophidian animation, … and I was curious if this could be somehow
implemented in zdoom. I don't want to spoil too
much, but Womb (map10) has some horrible corridors, and Archive (map11)
gave me the feeling that everything was constantly falling down.
Unfortunately, on the not-so-bright-side, the level-design is a bit simplistic,
there is only a single ammo type, and you get powerful weapons quite early in
the game, including the completely overpowered BFG-like, which makes the game
super-easy, even on Ultra-Violence
difficulty. The last boss is a huge disappointment, I was expecting something
epic, and … well I don't want to spoil it, but … meh.
But everything else is pretty neat and if you like Lovecraft's universe,
those 16 levels are completely worth 45 minutes of your life.