At the Gates of Midian

  • Release Date: 2001-08
  • Author: Necros
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 67

Tronyns Review

At the Gates of Midian is a multithemed two level pack which includes some modified monsters and doom-influenced stuff. Previously the author had released 'Castle Necrosis' which looked very cool, but which I could not run due to my incooperative GL drivers.

Midian's first map is a large, rather linear map with large architecture and simple designs. Texturing at first is a unique take on the Runic style, including some green trim and blood, from which it progresses through a custom-textured canyon and back into classic Runic territory. After this come some strange areas that are best described as a mix between Runic, Industrial, and Doom. After these areas comes some true Doom territory - areas built in Doom's wooden textures with horde combat and heavy use of modified monsters. Something that really stood out as Doomish was the use of bars - most mappers would not make so many bars (which in Doom would have been handled as a mask) but here that has been done resulting in a quite Doomish feel.

The problem is, these themes don't really work together. What would have been far better would have been a coeherent mix of several of these themes - say a mix between Runic and Doom Wood, with the custom canyon textures for outdoor areas. This all-over-the-place theme selection takes much from the map. However, that isn't to say that it isn't an enjoyable map - just not a particularly moody or polished one. The combat is usually very enjoyable, not very hard by current standards, but there are a *lot* of monsters to mow down. This is great through most of the map, especially in the last Doom wooden areas.

The second map is a symmetrical map with four platforms full of modified Shamblers. I should say something about the modified monsters. The modified Fiends trying to be Doom's Demons doesn't work at all. They reminded me much more of a larger, less mobile version of Scourge of Armagon's gremlins than the Demons. If the man wanted Demons, he should have used the Demons from 'Your Path of Destruction.' As well as these, there are a couple of modified Shamblers. There a black ones which are decent, not too out of place, but then there are 'Fire Shamblers' which are just Shamblers with the lava texture pasted onto their chests that shoot fireballs. I hated these guys. Overall the new monsters should have been better quality and had more modifications, or better modifications, to their skins and attacks.

Anyway, the last map is an arena-like blast that's relatively low on supplies compared to the first map. The feel is still quite Doomish, with mobile bars and huge raising platforms (we haven't seen huge sections of rising floor since Doom), and huge horde combat. However the combat does get a bit tedious with all of the annoying fire shamblers - duck behind a corner, shoot, duck again, shoot - run around the map firing at everything, into another corner - repeat.

Overall, At the Gates of Midian succeeds in having mostly enjoyable horde combat and doom-style areas, but it is brought down by the simple designs and incoherent themes. Still a worthy release, but could have been done much better.

Tronyn's Score: 67