Sunder WAD Review

Release: uh…
Author: Insane_Gazebo

Review Date: 08/03/2019
Last Updated: 08/03/2019
Episode 1 – Maps 1-10
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Sunder is the mightiest of all mighty when it comes to hardcore slaughter gameplay, bridging the gap between the most beautiful vistas you’ve ever seen and the most absurdly difficult crunches of Doom gameplay you’ll ever experience. Still in development and hopefully one day it will be finished!

Episode 2 – Maps 1-16 + 31, 32

MAP11: “The Furnace”

The Furnace ups the ante once more, providing a daunting and monotonous midi that somehow doesn’t get on my nerves, even if the map can take over an hour to complete. The map starts you off deep inside an iron and lava filled box with the biggest hordes you’re bound to see in Doom. As you progress in and around the areas at the bottom, you’ll eventually access stairs upwards and eventually outwards, when its revealed that the map takes place inside a jungle area at the very top, which you can eventually get to, but it’ll be hard! This map really tests your patience and your skills.

MAP12: “The Zealous Machine”

This map gets crazy! The music is bumpin’, and the wood-metal theme is awesome! This map maintains a really medium difficulty until the very final two rooms, of which are extremely difficult. I’d reckon the last room in this map is the hardest throughout the entire WAD so far! Though, I use ‘hard’ as a term loosely. It just seems a wee bit unfair… (yes, I said it) even if there are two invulns! Either way, this map is pretty good, and if you’re save-scumming anyway, it won’t take you too long compared to the rest.

MAP13: “Obsidian Nightmare”

First of all, this map’s midi breaks after one loop and I don’t know why or how to fix it, so minus a point for that (unless its only my problem somehow, who knows…). Anyway, this map starts out in a dark black and bright orange contrast, and I love it. The first bit from the spawn point is just trying to find a corner to hide in to grab your initial foothold, which is harder to achieve. This map tones the monster counts way back down in favor of close quarters combat and more rigid difficulty rather than relying on monster counts. (not an insult, by the way!) The ending area is truly and absolutely beautiful with the contrast, and the difficulty for this map continues its upward trend as it goes along.

MAP14: “Hive Mother”

The final map from the pre-2019 release, and it gives a very “next-generation” vibe from the honeycomb micro-polished aesthetic to the continued expansiveness of the environments. If previous maps didn’t slow down your frame rate, this one surely will a bit. If not, hang in there for the next map! One thing about this map that annoys me is the ending area, I feel that the movements required are too specific to avoid the arch-vile mess. This map loves AVs, and most of the time they are fun to deal with, but at the end it gets a little frustrating. Either way, an excellent addition to the set thus far! And it’s only going to get better… right?

MAP15: “Babylon’s Chimera”

Hoooooo weeeee!!!!! This map is BIG! And I mean GIGANTIC! The map is so big that some areas literally forced the game down to less than ten frames for me, and I’ve never seen that happen in Doom before! Sheesh! The map is long, and will take you a very long time. Depending on your abilities, it could take hours and hours. The paths are long and mostly linear with some branch-offs and backtracks, and the music is incredible for the journey. It really sets the mood of “I’m going to be here… for a while”.

MAP31: “House of Corrosion”

I hope you like green because if so, you’re in luck! This map is green as hell, if hell were green that is, and it’s another slow and steady small shoot ’em up map, like 13, compared to the sprawling slaughterfest of the previous. This map has a lot of fun platforming and looping around, thought it can get a little confusing at times. The ending area with the floating blocks was a super-duper awesome touch, and the visuals continue to be amazing! One oddity about this level was the midi kept making a helicopter noise, and it was freaky!

MAP32: “The Harlot’s Garden”

A really awesome aesthetic change from all the prior maps! A wonderfully designed forest/jungle with a small street or path marking progress. The music for this map is absolutely fantastic and delivers a wonderful atmosphere of fear and loneliness. The courtyard with the visible mansion is fantastic, and the hedge maze was exciting to go through slowly, guessing where monsters were spawning and coming from. The mansion and the rest of the map screams difficulty, but there IS barely just enough ammo and health to make it. Trust me, I managed to do it!

MAP16: “Whispers of the Gnarled King”

This map is an endurance test. Extremely high monster counts while each encounter has only a few hundred enemies. It takes a long time, so strap in and get ready for the long haul. It has a foreboding midi looming in the background while you slowly trudge through a slaughter filled platformer like maze of wood and metal. This map borrows a lot from Precarious, but makes it cooler with a lot more encounters taking place indoors. The encounters range from easy, to run-around-and-skip, to save and reload for 30 minutes. It’s hard as hell, but the feeling of walking up the stairs at the end makes it all worth it.