Saturday, April 28, 2018

Review: Atomprojekt (SDL)

Title: Atomprojekt
Creator: Barry Christian

SDL Version Released:
Length: 34 levels (+ 3 secret levels)
Level Format: Continuous
Story: Yes
Graphics: Original game + some new ones 
Sound: Original game
Special Features: New objects, new doors, new enemies, changed ceiling colors, two new keys, increased amount of ammo, timed level

Note: I did a couple of music tracks for this mod. It doesn't color my ability to review this mod, but I feel that it is important to note nevertheless.

About the game
Passage to Höllenteufel was Barry Christian's first mod in 15 years, and it's widely regarded as a great comeback (I gave it an 8.5/10, not too shabby!). After releasing mods such as Armageddon, The Road to Neuschwanstein & Domination, Barry became less prolific for a number of years. The release of (and the subsequent reaction to) Höllenteufel seems to have reinvigorated Barry, because less than a year after the release of Höllenteufel he released this new mod: Atomprojekt.

Our protagonist, B.J. Blazkowicz, is sent on a mission to stop the Nazi's from creating a weapon of mass destruction. Known as Atomprojekt, the nuclear project is funded by Hitler himself and managed from a military installation at Erlangen. It is your mission to destroy the research, kill all the Nazi's involved and stop them from using this unfathomably destructive weapon.

Mapping: I had some criticism regarding the first couple of levels from Barry's previous project, which where too maze-y in my opinion. Luckily, that is not the case here. Right from the get-go, the mapping is firing on all cylinders. The maps feel wide and expansive, and the changed ceiling colors do so much to add a little more personality to levels. Level one starts off with a trusty combination of teal ceiling colors and grey walls, and all the way through the combination of wall textures and ceiling colors is excellent.

One of the best aspects of this mod is the variety that is being displayed in the maps. From wide corridors to smaller rooms, from hordes of enemies to clever traps, there is enough in here to keep the player on his toes. It reminded me at times of Chemical Warfare, Liz Ryerson's mod, in that it really aims to do something different and keeps up the variety. It's quite easy to map on auto-pilot, fill your maps with 3-space corridors and have it over with. It makes the mapping in this mod all the more impressive.

It is a tough mod, even for the DieHard Wolfers among us. And if I had to note a criticism, it is that, for as much variety as there is, there are a couple of levels that feel a bit too much like hordes of enemies are just thrown at you. That felt a bit too repetitive at times. This will depend per player though, and I can easily imagine many people not being bothered by this at all.

Likes: The mapping is mostly excellent, with only the occasional misstep (level 32, especially its beginning). It really goes to show that there still is much life left in mapping for (semi-)original Wolf3D. It really feels like a culmination of Barry's mapping skill: I dare say it may be his magnum opus. Not much to be added really, it's just solid all around. And special mention for the timed level: it's pretty awesome!
Dislikes: As I stated before, the hordes of enemies felt a bit repetitive to me at times. I also really didn't like the beginning of level 32, where you constantly had to strafe and shoot at the turrets. It became a chore very fast, and it slowed down the gameplay a bit too much. It just didn't work for me.

Ron's Score: 9/10
Difficulty: Very challenging!
Best Levels: 8, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 26, 28, 29, 33 
Worst Level: 32

Wrap-up: Atomprojekt is Barry Christian's magnum opus, and will probably be hailed as a new classic in a couple of years.

Where Can I get it?: You can download the mod HERE or by clicking on the screenshots.

Lingyan203 did a full playthrough of this mod, which you can view right HERE.
Kakhome1 (MrWolfForever) played a couple of levels on his channel, which you can view HERE.

Disclaimer: All reviews are only my opinion when playing the mod and are not intended to discredit anyone or the hard work they have put into creating their mod.

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