'Redux' For Doom 3 Recreates That Pathways Feeling
Earlier this month, Brendon Chung released a mod for Doom 3 called Pathways Redux based on Bungie's 1993 adventure-shooter for the Macintosh, Pathways into Darkness, known widely to Bungie fans as simply PiD. The gameplay was a mix of what eventually became traditional run-and-shoot gameplay, interspersed with text interactions with non player characters-- in this case, dead German soldiers-- that had preceded you into the subterranean depths of a Mayan pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula. Your mission was to bring a thermonuclear device with you to the lowest depths of this pyramid and escape before it is remotely detonated to prevent the awakening of a "sleeping God" that was imprisoned in it. Humanity learned of this so-called God from an advanced alien race called the Jjaro, a name that should be familiar to Marathon fans. For more information about PiD's story, see http://pid.bungie.org.
Keep in mind, this review is from the perspective of someone who has never played the original game; so it may not focus on the same things that a hardcore PiD fan would.
First off, for those that want to install and play the PiD mod, you need to download the Doom 3 1.1 patch. Getting Pathways Redux running without it was very problematic, so just go ahead and download that patch first.
You start off suspended from a parachute, falling towards Earth from 6000 meters in the air. After falling for three mintues while trying to figure out what to do, you think you might would have hit the ground already; but no. As it turns out, you need to use Doom 3's interactive features to advance the story. Clicking on the rip-cord does the trick and starts your descent to the surface. Editor's Note: As in the original game, your parachute fails, but you somehow manage to survive the fall...
Once you hit the ground you must rummage around and pick up all of your fallen goods, including a machine gun, a pistol, and some other items. The opening forest scene here has a very low framerate for some odd reason, but don't be in any hurry to change your settings; once you get inside the pyramid, the framerate remains high throughout the rest of the game. After walking through the short but stunningly-designed forest you find yourself in some dark caverns, looking for something to pull, hit or shoot to make something happen. All of the graphics from this point on are great, with some extremely well-done lighting effects from torches and magical lights. The designer of the mod did an extremely good job designing the levels and environments; you really feel as if you're inside an ancient pyramid.
Although this game is short, including only about 45 minutes of gameplay, it is still a lot of fun. The reused characters and models are really well-done and look like completely new models. There is an incredibly cool elevator area where you're lifted up by a system of stones and pulleys, accompanied by some very impressive sounds.
As in the original game, you will collect magical crystals that allow you to talk to the strewn out dead bodies of German soldiers, previously pyramid adventurers; in this way you gather hints and clues as to what is coming up next and how to effectively kill the enemies you encounter. As the game progresses, and you escape, you're treated to pictures and a description what happens afterwards. Although it leaves you wanting more, this mod did provide alot of fun during the short you play it.
If you've never played Pathways into Darkness, but still fancy yourself a hardcore Bungie fan, and you have access to Doom 3, it's well worth the download to get this mod and try it out. Since unlike Marathon, there is not now and it is unlikely there will ever be a version of the original game that will run on modern hardware and operating systems, this may be the only convenient way to experience this game for those without access to an old Macintosh. For the harcore PiD fans, it seems that the author went to a lot of trouble to recreating the look and feel that created such devotion in early Bungie fans; they might want to check it out to experience a bit of nostalgia through the lenses of modern FPS technology.
Was the orginal game only 45 minutes long or did Brendon shorten it? I consider myself a hardcore Bungiephile but I haven't gotten my hands on PiD yet.
The original game had 20+ levels and took many hours to play (it actually had a time limit for completion). The mod only gives the flavor of the original game, it doesn't duplicate it in terms of play time.
Rampant for over five years.
The original game was the full version with loads of levels and stuff, I think it's just because taking on a full-blown mod of that scale would of been way too much work for Brendon.
That's cool. I wish I could try it without Doom.