Austerity

"Inspired by Agent Spork's "Simplicity", this .WAD show great-looking architecture and challenging gameplay."

Playability: This is a 3 level set for GZDoom/ZDoom, so you'd wait for a enthralling and entertaining gameplay; unfortunately the author didn't exploit the gameplay features of these ports, apart from few ACS Scripts and some special but simple effect. In fact, the levels are mainly based on classic Doom gameplay and especially on action-packed gunfights, that is a good thing actually, and there is no story. Apart from the first map, the other ones are pretty linear. Settings vary from tech-base to hellish as you proceed. I also noticed a serious bug in the gameplay of the 1st map: in the room, where the Blue Key Card is placed, if you fall in the courtyard before hitting the switch and taking the key, you are blocked (see screenshot n. 3)! However, in spite of simple gameplay and that bug, the .WAD is quite funny and challenging. Assessment: 7!

Graphics: Although the name of the .WAD could make you think to an austere architecture, all three levels show a very good-looking and detailed architecture, with great care to borders, columns, niches, computers and consoles, windows, balconies, terrain effects, etc. Lighting is painstaking too and the author put attention on combinations of textures and flats, colour schemes, exploiting a new palette. Moreover the author used also some ZDoom graphical effects, like slopes and skyboxes. The author showed off some awesome things too: you can view them in the screenshots in the relative section. I noticed a sort of tribute to map10 of "Doom 2" ("Refueling base") in a section of map02: look at the 6th screenshot. Assessment: 10!

Difficulty: The author stood out in this department too: as written above, this .WAD is really challenging and funny too; boredom doesn't exist here, since you are costantly engaged in hard battles. Strong monsters arrive soon, but as they arrive you are provided with adequate weaponry and ammo. Large hordes of monsters make their appearance quite often; they sometimes appear suddenly by teleporting near you, but you can foresee this kind of traps, because the author exploited them especially in empty and large rooms or when you must go back. But ammo is abundant, whereas health tend to decrease as you proceed and this is bad, because difficulty increases while proceeding! Fortunately enough, the author put useful power-ups in the places where you really need them; but unfortunately secret areas are not easy to find. A suggestion: save often, since you can get in deadly traps. To sum up, this level set is extremely challenging and funny! Assessment: 10!

New graphics: There are several new textures and flats, some of which are jsut recoloured versions of original "Doom 2" graphical resources: some of them come from a Nick Baker's resource pack. There are also new wonderful skies, as well as recoloured sprites of the plasma bolts, new titlepic, interpic and other graphical resources. Everything looks perfect! Assessment: 10!

New sounds: There are also two new sounds of lights turned on/off: they sound good, but nothing awesome. Assessment: 9!

New music: The three new background tracks are really catchy and, although they maybe don't fit the ambience, they enliven gameplay. There are also new intermission and ending tracks, which are quite good. Assessment: 9!

Overall: Inspired by Agent Spork's "Simplicity", this .WAD show great-looking architecture and challenging and funny difficulty for every kind of Doomer, but a simple gameplay, enlivened by catchy music. The author can surely improve in the gameplay department. Assessment: 9!

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