Sadly Unprepared for the Shores of Hell

Continuing on into The Shores of Hell, Doom’s second Episode, and… wow.

I wasn’t ready for this.

First off, yeah, this is all new to me. Clearly I haven’t played more than the shareware Episode 1, then skipped right to Doom II.

The Shores of Hell is a marked improvement from Ep 1. The maps are far more engaging, the pacing is better, and the monster variety is stronger. I’m finding myself far more challenged than I was in Knee Deep in the Dead – dying more frequently, running out of ammo, being forced to up my game in response.

It’s glorious.

A little research shows me that while Knee Deep‘s maps were by John Romero, Shores maps were designed by Call of Cthulhu RPG co-creator Sandy Peterson, brought in after Tom Hall was fired. The Lovecraftian inspiration really comes through – Phobos’s maps were a well made representation of a miltiary base undergoing a demonic incursion, while Deimos’s base has been dragged halfway into hell. The environmental storytelling is strong.

I think I’ve got enough to do a general overview video on the game, with supplementary pieces on the controversies – including Hall being ousted from Id after his contributions were minimized – and on the level design of individual episodes.

A video on notable mods and conversion WADs would be cool, too.

I’m now about halfway through the Episode, and each level has built on the last. Eager to play the rest tomorrow.

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