Wow (PC) review
"At first glace, itís just an empty room. After moving around for a while, it remains an empty room. You will decide it is an empty room and is the epitome of awful .wad construction. You will be proved wrong. Against all odds, it manages to get worse. Worse than an empty room."
I respect the hell out of the people who sit down to program .wads, the fan-made add-on levels to the original Doom thatíve helped a blocky, pixalated FPS first made all the way back in the tail-end of 1993 keep relevant and fresh even today. Maybe iD have turned their back on their primitive masterpiece, but there are talented people out there still who understand the need for sadistic level design and clever enemy placement, and my hat is off to them. For a while now, Iíve found myself enjoying a trip through such .wads as Cyberdreams, which tries to alter archetypical Doomís formula by factoring in a pseudo-puzzle element based around seven-foot goat demons with rocket launchers grafted to their arms; or Alien Vendetta, which takes iDís maniacal level design (back when they clearly cared) and added in a new sheen of spite. Itís because of them, because of their care and hard work, that Iím still as in love with Doom in 2008 as I was some fifteen years ago.
And then, thereís Wow. Something so painstaking awful that all those people that sunk hours and hours in to homebrew maps feel completely embarrassed by association.
Wow is a single room. Itís not a big room; itís square and it has one corpse hanging from the ceiling in a seemingly random fashion. You start in a small indent in the floor and thereís a BFG and a few plasma cells slightly to your left. Other than that, the room is featureless -- no doors, no pillars, no enemies. No exit and, seemingly, no way to progress or finish the level.
At first glace, itís just an empty room. After moving around for a while, it remains an empty room. You will decide it is an empty room and is the epitome of awful .wad construction. You will be proved wrong. Against all odds, it manages to get worse. Worse than an empty room.
The roomís not empty.
Thereís a pit in the floor. You can not see the pit because it still has a floor over the top of it. The inside of the pit is more noteworthy; because no walls have been coded in, the entire underground section reverts to a hall of mirrors -- a section providing nothing but a constant stream of blurs, the type used by lazy animators trying to create an illusion of speed. Itís an error that even a basic bit of .wad coding could have cured but, instead of work on his flaw, the author decided to try and pass it off as intentional. Hereís his overview:
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