This is a review of one of The Dark Mod’s (a mod for Doom 3) fan missions. It may contain traces of spoilers. You have been warned.
Date released: 2011-06-19
Other info: Seasons Contest ‘11 entry
As soon as you see the name of this FM, you can’t help but know right away that there’s going to be some ghosties in here. This idea is reinforced once you read through the mission briefing. “Alberic’s Curse” is an homage to the original FM for Thief II: The Metal Age, called “Cathedral Of The Damned”. Bikerdude is no stranger to doing this sort of thing, as he’s also converted maps by other authors into TDM maps (with the original authors’ permission, of course), such as “Yan’s Test”. What I am surprised at is that this latest offering from said author could be classified as a departure of sorts, though not too vast, from his usual theme when it comes to TDM FMs. Either that or he’s added more atmosphere and life (no pun intended) into this FM.
I couldn’t help but smile a little as I started the mission. You’re greeted by a clichéd scene of a camp site off the beaten path – a gravel road that leads to Bridgeport. You walk over next to the fire and pick up the red book, giving it a bit of a read, only to find that once the semi-seriousness has ended, Bikerdude’s trademark sense of humour is displayed as he comically urges you to “get on with it” – a bit out of place in any TDM mission, let alone this one. Nevertheless.
At first, the way forward isn’t all that clear. Both sides are blocked off by various obstacles, and if you were to attempt to travel along the road to Bridgeport, you’d hit an invisible wall. But once you fumble along the wall and find the hole (Oh, do keep quiet!), you’re all set.
Hover mouse over pictures for captions, if available.
Inside the grounds, there’s few things besides the cathedral to see, such as the cemetery. But there is a plethora of a ways to gain access to the cathedral itself. You could opt to climb up somehow on to the roof of the ground floor and enter through a door, or you could try for a trap door, or you could take the stealthy way in and enter through the underground tunnel into the catacombs below. Here you’ll find spiders – most of them are harmless, although the bigger ones you might want to take out with a broadhead arrow. There are zombies that litter the place, lying all over the floors of the cobweb-covered catacombs – as long as you don’t step on them you should be fine.
Inside the cathedral itself however you will come across several patrolling haunts. This place is practically devoid of human presence unless you count the two deceased robbers who came before you and paid the price for their treachery.
Careful attention to detail and polish is noticeable, with cobwebs, dust particles and so on to be found. More emphasis on the Autumn theme could have been made, but there was some effort put in. One gripe I have with AC is the music and ambience. I don’t like how when in the cathedral, there are overlapping sound tracks, and the main one is not to my liking. It feels out of place, and there is unnecessary urgency and loudness in it. It’s a mess.
It’s not too hard to complete the main objectives for this FM, and it’s quite easily “ghostable” – a term which means to go through a level without raising any alarms and preferably obtaining a perfect stealth score, which would be 0.
+ Great atmosphere, effects, textures.
- Overlapping music/ambient tracks is a bit messy.
- Humour is misplaced.
FM score: 8.7/10