Author: Ian Myers
Released: November 20th 2000
Imprisoned inside of a dark cell, weak and weaponless, an open window above the bed teases freedom. And a several hundred metre drop. Enough is enough, today you’ve decided to risk any chance at escaping, all it takes is to attract the guards attention. From there? Find a way out and escape. Alive.
Exploring the dark, twisting halls and stairways of the asylum effectively boasts a foreboding and ominous atmosphere each step of the way, creating a constant sense of dread when approaching a new switch or door. This feeling is brought about early on upon starting the level weaponless for a good chunk of time and only a quarter of health remaining. Gameplay as such is shifted to a slower pace than usual, taking time to move onwards and remaining alert at all times, in fear of dying or wasting precious ammo. Although more supplies and health can be located later on, many players looking for a typical Doom experience may find this one on the boring side. However, I found the change in tone immersive, offering many tense scenarios when progression is made, always guessing what lurks ahead. The choice of music track helped to set the overall mood from the beginning well, but it does become repetitive over time unfortunately.
The addition of strange, new sounds for certain enemies makes it difficult to pin point what exactly might be roaming around nearby. Hearing those loud and heavy footsteps stomping away behind walls did create a lot of tension, even knowing what was causing them. Other moments bring about a sense of panic too. Creeping along the tight interiors and hoping not to run into anything too tough, or heading out onto the balconies outside only to notice an incoming projectile aimed at your face. There are some memorable moments to be had here. Visuals are on par with the mood, using a mix of dark stone, brick and metal textures with the occasional use tan wood, blood or coloured torches around the place for contrast. The structure is generally solid, not overdoing the detail but offers a decent amount of shape and trimming to remain appealing. Escaping the asylum is the number one priority, which can be succeeded in a number of ways from hidden paths, or just going with the flow of the level and through the main gates.
Boasts a foreboding and ominious atmosphere, heavily focusing on slower paced gameplay due to the low health and weaponless start. The experience is tense and eerie, but also remained interesting because of this.