SUBMISSION DETAILS:

MAP05 - The Cage
zodiac
Download Link: http://www.datafilehost.com/download-d81091b9.html
Playable on: MAP05
DESCRIPTION:

A McGee map aiming for the larger size and thematic impact of The Crusher. 

You emerge from the sewers at the base of a mountain.  The Starport's at the top.  Between lies a demon-infested prison complex where an old 'friend' awaits!

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FDAs would be appreciated here, I had some feedback that the level plays a lot differently depending on your style!

Comments:
Phobus wrote on 16-Sep-2012 (11:14)

This was another of the ones I've been recommended (and haven't commented on to the author directly). It feels very Waste Tunnels, which is a bit unfortunate. I also thought that, outside of the secrets, health and ammo were very tight (in stark contrast to your MAP18 :P )

I like the size of the map and the way it progresses - it feels about right, but a bit hard for a MAP05 perhaps. The visuals are definitely right for the early "episode" of Doom 2 and the monsters used fit pretty well too. It was definitely good to see that the map centred around it's namesake, much like "The Crusher" and one or two other maps in that vein. If I had to complain about something other than difficulty, I'd be tempted to say things were a little too square, but then again, so was the original Waste Tunnels.

A bit too homage-y perhaps? I'd want to see if others agree before committing to that POV as a complaint.

purist wrote on 09-Jul-2012 (20:43)

Wow, zodiac - this one is great! A real Waste Tunnels/Crusher hybrid. More than Warp Factor I felt a real control over the map in that I could feel what the author intended as I progressed. After dodging a potentially shaky start due to tight ammo, I was pretty much comfortable for the most part but that is only right considering I found the secret PR, Soulsphere and Mega-armour and this is a map aiming for MAP05.

Theme

Some may say certain parts were so close they were in homage territory. The Soulsphere secret guarded by Lost Souls strongly evoke the water section of Waste Tunnels while the intended hanging corpses look lifted directly from the cage section of the same stock level. I would gladly overlook these since they are simply details and not core elements of the map. Some parts of the level seemed a little over elaborate in architecture - such as the slightly arched doors, but it looks good and you can get away with this in McGee-style as he was known for going a little further in detailing.

Difficulty

Of the maps I've played so far this is the one element that is most often off-kilter in that most are more difficult (and often longer) than the stock map they replace. The Cage I think is much closer to the sweet spot in this regard. I'd like to see a chainsaw added close to the beginning to help with the initial ammo frugality and to give the player the option of saving ammo on the Demon rush (I thought this was a little overkill, one or two Demons could be cut here) but the only fight that I thought was anything like out of place was the hitscanner ambush on the YK. It certainly worked at keeping me on my toes, but I don't recall a comparator in the first six maps of Doom II. On the other side of the scale the secrets I found were a bit overpowered, trivialising the map. On one hand this is not a serious problem for MAP05 but I would have either the soulsphere or mega armour and not both.

Level Flow

This is where the map really excels. There's only a couple of things I would consider revising. The YK is superflous - even by McGee's standards and the BK door leading from the exit area back to the earlier parts of the level appears to be broken, leaving the player unable to return to the earlier part of the map.

Overall, I really like this one. Nice name, nice concept, memorable action and a moody gritty atmosphere make this feel like it's built from Doom II DNA. Improvements can be made but it's already as near as dammit as far as I'm concerned. Would definitely get my vote.