Doom Review: Under Neith

February 1, 2005 at 1:01 PM (General)

It has been quite a while since I’ve done a review for a Doom level.  I played Under Neith a.k.a. Neith 2 a couple of days back in Hyderabad, and here is a review.

I played the original Neith about a year ago and was very impressed with that map, which was set on a UAC tech-base built on an imaginary moon!  Apart from good level design, there were a couple of aspects which made it stand out for me.  Firstly, the map somehow seemed to have an "organic" shape, with curves on the walls and rooms seeming to flow into one another, unlike your typical tech-base.  The map also was extremely atmospheric, and good use was made of Nick Baker’s "5th Episode" texture set.

I was therefore overjoyed when I saw that a sequel to Neith was in development.  Nick Baker had also suggested an awesome name for it, "Under Neith" (since this level was to take place under the original tech-base)!  I kept checking on the status of the map once in a while on WADs in Progress, but there was no news of its release.  Well, imagine my surprise when it suddenly gets released one day.

I immediately downloaded it and played through it, and I have to say it’s a great level!  There’s more of the same dank and dark atmosphere, more of the same unusual organic feel, and some cave-like areas as well.  This time, you don’t ever get to go to an open area, as it’s all set underground.  It is a pretty straightforward map in my opinion.  It flows pretty smoothly (I was stuck in one place though, which I will talk about later…) leading to an exciting conclusion!

I played this on Ultra-violence skill and did not have any trouble completing the map.  It is not too difficult, and there is adequate health and ammo, as long as you remember to use the berserk pack whenever you can.  I remember when playing the first Neith, I was almost at the end and couldn’t kill all the monsters as I’d wasted my ammo.  I was careful this time.

I got stuck for some time in one particular place — this was in getting the blue key (screenshot above).  I eventually looked in an editor to find out how to get those bars to raise.  Other than that the level went by pretty quickly for me.

I noticed a couple of graphical glitches in the map.  There is one area early on in the map with some shotgunners behind some bars (kind of like a jail-type thing).  There is also a bright red section of wall here.  I saw some HOM when standing behind the bars.  I played it with ZDoom only, so I don’t know whether the error appears in other ports.  Of course this is not probably something you’ll notice unless you’re looking for errors!

Other than those minor complaints, I liked the map a lot, and I loved the atmosphere.  If you liked Sarge’s Waste Treatment Center 911 and the original Neith, then you know what I am talking about.

Under Neith contains textures by Nick Baker and some made by Sarge Baldy himself.  There is a music replacement (the MIDI from E1M6 of the original Doom) that suits the map well.  It runs on E1M2 and requires a limit-removing source port to play.

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