Retro Review: The Lost Episodes of Doom (Map Expansion Pack)

Review-Lost-Episodes-of-DoomThe popularity of Doom back in 1993 on-wards was immense. When id Software released the map-making tools for the public to craft their own levels so they may battle the flesh-eating demons within their own creations, small-name companies tried to crank out their own unofficial expansions for the game. Out of the bowels of Sybex Incorporated came the putrid creation known as The Lost Episodes of Doom, a collection of mediocre maps created by two amateur level designers. Perhaps back then they looked and played a lot better than they do now.

In The Lost Episodes of Doom, a detailed and engaging introduction is included for the player to read through in wonder before entering the danger zone. Written by Jonathan Mendoza, the plot takes place in parallel to that of the original game. After speaking out against the Union Aerospace Corporation's experiments, you are drafted by your employers to work on Jupiter's moons, Io and Callisto. Sitting snugly in the cryogenic chamber, blissful rest is interrupted by a distress signal. Looks like trouble is brewing on those big spheres of rock (as well as Phobos, where the original Doom is set), so you set off to help out what little military force is available. It's good to see how it interlinks with the original game's plot; it really does make for a great read.

Three new chapters made up of eight levels apiece (no new secret levels are included) make up this expansion pack. They are named 'Massacre on Callisto', 'The Killing Fields of Io', and 'Hell's Gate – The Red Spot of Jupiter'. Chris Klie designed the missions for the first chapter and half of the second, whereas Bob Carter created the rest. Surprise, surprise! The maps are all terrible. Klie seemed to have designed more compact levels with a few long corridors whilst Carter seemed to have loved including gigantic, blank rooms with little resistance in them. On the whole, they're both equally as rubbish as one another's. They may be playable, but that's not saying much.

There are many, many foolish design choices and ideas, which include: generous amounts of ammo and weapons; little resistance from the demons; long halls of slime and acid; poorly-placed textures that make doors and lifts difficult to spot at first glance; poorly-placed secret areas; and much more! There are a few bits of architecture that look decent considering the time of creation, but there's nothing salvageable to make the episodes any more fun to play.

Review-Lost-Episodes-of-Doom-Screenshot

No other new inclusions are to be found here, be they new songs, weapons, foes, or textures. On the topic of textures, in the original game, there were specific themes to levels and chapters. For instance, the first chapter is made up of futuristic bases with a few chemical spills here and there, whilst the third chapter contained Hellish levels full of lava and walls of skin. In The Lost Episodes, there seems to be a random mixture of wall textures that would make Satan himself cringe at the mere sight of these dreadful creations.

Even the boss battles are pathetic. Some of the earlier maps contain bosses carelessly thrown into the mix. The first chapter is nothing more than a teleporter that kills the player and ends the game. Meanwhile, the second chapter's final level contains a gigantic and irritating maze to wander through, where a switch will release the Cyberdemon to fight. Lastly, the final mission is quintessentially a copy of the first level with a Spider Mastermind boss dropped at the start. After sprinting through Hell and back, looking for a weapon to actually kill the mechanical bug with, the game mercifully ends. All in all, they're as enjoyable and satisfying as sitting on a hot pitchfork.

The Lost Episodes of Doom is a putrid pile of boring, bland and repulsive maps that should have remained lost. Unless any Doom fans out there have an unusual desire to try out some particularly old levels, this one is to be avoided at all cost. The only positive point is the nice box art and its well-written story, neither of which redeem the uninteresting levels that await. These Lost Episodes can go to Hell!

The Lost Episodes of Doom (Gameplay)


Last Updated ( 01 March 2015 )  

Comments 

(Link to this comment) Tomleecee 2015-03-01 20:54
Interesting. I'd never heard of this and I'm a big Doom fan. Reading your review though, I think I'll be giving this a wide berth!
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