Thursday, January 23, 2020

WolfenDoom: The Original Missions: E1

Well, its been about a month since my last Wolfenstein-related entry, and seeing as my current choice of next FPS game, Terminator, is too short to do anything but one entry on and too long to complete in one afternoon. Time for WolfenDoom: The Original Missions. Not to be confused with WolfenDoom (for Wolfenstein) or anything else. Originally released sometime in the '90s. I say sometime, because, well, I don't know exactly when this particular WAD was released. Whole bunch of these Wolfenstein for Doom games were released on a particular day in 1997, at least on IDgames archives. However, because I am a lazy human being, or more precisely, one with someone who prefers not to waste his time setting up another Doom port when I still haven't gotten a working Mac emulator, I will be doing NightFright's ZDoom port. Which in of itself is an update of C.J. Mullen's version. Like all good projects with a mixture of internet handles and real names, I'm sure this will go smoothly.

As I start up the game, I am greeted by a strange version of the Wolfenstein theme. Curious. Is it the fault of the midis? Or is it a choice of soundfont that greatly clashes with what the game was intended to sound like? I don't know, but this is the first time I've had a game suffer in this department.
Well, it goes into the game proper. Someone forgot to turn on the lights. What's with this ceiling? The control scheme feels...wrong. The sounds...wrong. The weapons...wrong. The sound effects feel like they've been taken from Jedi Knight. One was from Quake. There's also enemy stepping sounds now. I imagine most of this stuff was taken from the Mac version. I can imagine both a professional or a non-professional looking at the pistol sprite they have and okaying that. That looks very wrong. Armor instead shows you how much treasure you have on that level. Clever. Other than that, its the first level of Wolfenstein. Nothing to complain about yet.
Get this, instead of a strange purple wall, there's just a brown/grey one. Now, I don't know if its Doom or if I just know my way around now, but I didn't think this was so bad this time around. Its still the strange, self-entangled, weirdly placed door level. I also noticed I was an efficent killing machine. That's Doom, in Wolfenstein every encounter could mean my death. Still couldn't get all the treasure and enemies, apparently I missed some of them. Despite there being nowhere for me left to go.
There's a weird bell in the music for this one. Actually the whole track is weird. This level tries to be some kind of chateau instead of the dungeon I presume the original was. Some kind of outside area that wasn't there. Not a bad attempt. When moved to Doom, Wolfenstein maps feel a lot more emptier and bigger. Despite being a fast boy, Doomguy feels slower than BJ.

Adding elevators to the original Wolfenstein levels. Not just elevators, but an elevator in front of a long secret corridor. Now, having an outside can be a bit ambiguous, but elevators? In-level elevators? I mean, if you want to do that for an original level, that's fine, but Wolfenstein is supposed to be a series of floors! I'm also starting to question if I should use turbo or not.
Didn't notice it before, but there are a lot of cross hallways in this level. If this were a video LP this level would consist of five minutes of backtracking compared to 3 minutes of action. I've got a lot of health but I'm struggling to keep above 20 in ammo, I think this is due to the way the games calculate damage. In Wolfenstein, anyone can be killed at any time and enemies are quick on the draw. In Doom, its much less extreme in terms of damage output. Also, most secrets, after being activated, don't cleanly disappear into the ceiling.
While in general the first three episodes are better than the later ones in terms of design, I can't help but feel there are still issues. Several rooms basically exist for there to be enemies in for no apparent reason. Almost every room feels like a torture chamber, an office, or a storage room. Maybe a few dog kennels or prison cells. Given my opinion on how every level feels the same, is it any wonder I don't like replaying this?
Just a bunch of jewels in a barracks for some reason. Another level with an outdoor view. Doesn't seem any higher. That about sums up this mod, doesn't it? Another frelling elevator too. I realize I bring this up in some way almost every level, but Wolfenstein always feels weird in the level design department. Too abstracted to be realistic but not abstracted enough to fill in information yourself. Space is folding in on itself in this mod and I don't like that at all. Going by the last level, this area should be the last level. I just...hugh.
So...its a garden on the upper level. That works. Not the strangest thing I've seen. This is a mess of wooden hallways I checked out of mentally pretty quickly. Probably was a mistake to do this so soon after the proceeding game. There's an interesting gauntlet in the center of the map where you're trapped between two groups of guards behind walls and pillars, but only if you really wanted to do that.
11 secrets, but more than half the treasure is in a single unsecret room. Most of those secrets are in the form of a series of rooms. I don't remember how I felt at the time, but now they feel lame. That's what happens when it just looks like you're pushing walls up, I guess. Another fountain outside. Getting less workable now with this stuff.
What, no windows outside? You know, its weird seeing this level without a massive ceiling. Hans is...surprisingly, just as lethal as in Wolfenstein. Maybe less lethal. And somehow my time is only an hour. What. The boss theme sounds really...screwy.

And the outro music sounds like complete garbage now. Apparently a minor change in how the horn sections sound is enough to make an okay soundtrack sound terrible. That's not going to be annoying at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment