Sequel to Escape from Phobos, Snake arrives on Deimos with a call from Carmack. With the Red Skull power reserves down to 20% all hope in escaping is now lost. It’s over. Unless a miracle happens to stop the invasion. With nothing else left to lose, Snake should head to Carmack’s office, reactivate the portals, grab the Yellow Skull from the Deimos reactor and take the fight back to Natas, the demon’s home world.
Taking place entirely around the Deimos facility, EFD only contains a single map this time around and it’s by no means any longer than prior levels. Instead there’s more focus toward creating a sense of place and does well to portray a new set of objectives as indicated by its story document accordingly. The central room serves as a hub leading to a storage area, Carmacks office and an external access lift that’s inoperable from this side. A humming drone sound effect similar to a reactor can be heard while loitering around here, achieved by replacing the Imp roaming sound to emulate an ambient noise. Surrounding the middle portal sections are sections of lowered floors where unseen Imps can mind their own business for this to work, who will later reveal themselves at a later time. Its clumsy exection is a cute approach to skirt around DOOM’s stock limits which explains the necessity to release this series as three standalone wads as opposed to merging the three together. With the portals currently offline, progress has already been routed out for your by following the story context and stopping by Carmack’s office to find out his current situation.
The crate room did leave me confused for a moment as I couldn’t quite figure out why this area was locked down with a red key with no way to progress. That’s up until discovering there were lifts here that lead to a fairly well hidden switch along the boxes, but even after pulling it I remained uncertain as to its application before backtracking a little. Not the most clear signposting especially for such a function delegated to a storage area. I do however like everything that comes after this now that the yellow key is available, starting with the huge outdoor section that surrounded the base. It’s not the prettiest of sights but does in terms of scale, alongside two towers and their massive nearby antennas, make up the necessary visuals to dress the scene. These structures contain two switches per device to reactivate the portals, but as to which switch powers up which portal is unknown. Each portal back in the central hub has signage to mark what location they warp to, but once active these will no longer be visible. Keeping track of names and their relative position on the map is the only hint you’ll get as going through the wrong portal can lead to consequences. I especially find going to Earth amusing after being gunned down as promised while the Chaingunners then start a squabble amongst themselves.
EFD is a step up from prior levels that enjoys a slower pace and objective focus around getting the portals back online. I only wish that the Deimos reactor portion had more meat on the bone considering what it takes to arrive here, at least another set piece encounter just before the Skull acquisition. It’s a fine level that then accompanies the sequel well as a nice prologue journey while feeling less disjointed as Christenson’s earlier levels.